7 Fabrics That Can Really Irritate Sensitive Skin ...


7 Fabrics That Can Really Irritate Sensitive Skin ...
7 Fabrics That Can Really Irritate Sensitive Skin ...

Fabrics that irritate sensitive skin may differ from person to person, but there are some that are more likely to cause problems among those with delicate skin. If you struggle with irritation, you’re in luck, because there are several ways to counteract the issue and find relief. Sometimes it’s as easy as choosing different clothing, but other times you may have to see your dermatologist to get to the root of the skin condition you’re suffering from. Check out this list of common fabrics that irritate sensitive skin and you’ll be able to easily get started finding out what’s causing your problems.

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I know that wool is warm and can be really beautiful, but it’s also one of the most common fabrics that irritate sensitive skin. Sometimes wool can be scratchy and rough, so wearing it against your delicate skin can lead to itching and even rashes or hives. If you love your favorite wool garment and can’t stand the thought of giving it up, try layering it over something that provides a barrier between your skin and the wool. For example, try a long sleeved cotton t-shirt under a wool sweater.


Moreover, when shopping for woolen clothing, opt for high-grade wools like Merino which are known to be softer and less irritating. However, even with premium wool, always check the label for blends that might include synthetic fibers, as they can exacerbate skin irritation. For those extra sensitive individuals, it's worth exploring wool alternatives or looking for wool that has been certified as hypoallergenic. Remember, comfort doesn't have to be compromised for style; there are plenty of cozy options that will cater to both your fashion sense and your skin's needs.



Many garments are still made from polyester, even though it often makes people think of the disco era. Other clothing is lined with the fabric. However, synthetic fibers are those most likely to be the culprit when irritating skin. Sometimes polyester is blended with other materials, such as cotton, in clothing. This can sometimes allow you to wear it without a problem. That depends on your level of sensitivity, so just keep an eye out for problems when you wear polyester.


Polyester is a synthetic fiber made from a combination of coal, water, air, and petroleum. It was developed in the 1950s and is now one of the most widely used fabrics in the world. Polyester is often used to make clothing, upholstery, and even carpets.

Polyester is known for its durability and wrinkle-resistant properties, making it a popular choice for clothing. However, it can be a source of skin irritation for those with sensitive skin. Polyester is made from synthetic fibers that can irritate the skin, leading to redness, itching, and even rashes. It can also trap heat and moisture, making it uncomfortable to wear.

In addition to irritating the skin, polyester can also be a source of air pollution. The production of polyester releases volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the atmosphere, which can contribute to smog and other air pollution. VOCs can also cause respiratory issues in humans, such as asthma and allergies.

Frequently asked questions

Oh, I totally get you! Some fabrics just don't sit right with sensitive skin. It's usually because of the fibers or treatments used on the fabric. Natural fibers like cotton are gentler, but synthetics like polyamide or acrylic can sometimes be rough and itchy.

You know, for a lot of people, polyamide can feel itchy. It's a synthetic fabric and can sometimes feel plasticky or rough. If you have sensitive skin, you might want to skip it.

Linen can be tricky. It's very breathable, which is good, but it can be a bit coarse. Some people find it a bit scratchy, especially if it's not softened properly.

If you have sensitive skin, I'd definitely say be careful with lurex. It's got this metallic threading that can feel super scratchy. Looks amazing, but might not be worth the discomfort.

Cotton, baby! Organic cotton is usually a safe bet. It's soft, breathable, and generally doesn't irritate the skin. Other great options are silk and bamboo fibers. They're super gentle and feel luxurious.



Not only is spandex made from synthetic fibers, but it also sits very close to your skin. That combination spells trouble if you have sensitive skin. Not only can the actual fabric irritate your skin, but the proximity to it can exacerbate the issue. I know that spandex comes in many workout clothes and swimwear, but if it irritates your skin, consider looking into alternatives that can keep you comfortable.


Spandex, also known as Lycra or elastane, is a synthetic fiber that is highly elastic and often used in workout clothes, swimwear, and other clothing items. It is known for its ability to stretch up to five times its original length, and for its ability to recover its original shape after stretching.

However, this fabric can be a problem for people with sensitive skin. Spandex sits very close to the skin, which can lead to irritation and discomfort. The synthetic fibers of the fabric can also cause skin reactions such as redness, itching, and rashes.

Spandex is often blended with other fabrics such as cotton and polyester to create a softer and more breathable fabric. However, this does not always help with skin irritation, as the spandex fibers are still present.

If you have sensitive skin, it is best to avoid spandex altogether. Look for clothing items that are made with natural fabrics such as cotton, silk, and bamboo. These fabrics are much softer and less likely to irritate your skin. Additionally, make sure you wash all of your clothing items before wearing them to remove any potential allergens.



Rayon is a cheaper substitute for silk, but can cause irritation for many people. I know it’s much more affordable than silk garments, but if it causes you problems, it’s a waste of money anyway because you aren’t likely to wear it if you don’t feel comfortable in it. With sensitive skin, you may need to make an investment in more expensive clothing. The good news is that it generally lasts longer and won’t have you itching and scratching all day long.


Rayon's silky feel can certainly tempt anyone looking for elegance on a budget. However, its synthetic nature often includes chemicals that sensitive individuals might react to. Investing a little more in hypoallergenic fabrics like pure silk, cotton, or linen could save you discomfort and doctor's bills. Think of it as a fashion choice that doubles as self-care—after all, nothing beats that luxurious feeling of slipping into an outfit that's both chic and kind to your skin. Remember, investing in quality pieces can lead to a timeless and comfortable wardrobe that pays dividends in both style and well-being.



Acrylic is often combined with other fibers to create imitation wool or for fleece and fake fur. However, it’s unnatural component can really do a number on sensitive skin. You may be able to tolerate it when it’s mixed with other materials, but alone it may not be at all comfortable for you. The trick is to try things out to discover what works and what doesn’t. You may notice that just wearing an item for a couple of minutes will clue you in to its potential to irritate your skin.


Acrylic, a synthetic material, can often have a plastic-like feel and might not allow the skin to breathe as well as natural fibers, leading to discomfort and irritation. For those with a tendency towards skin allergies, acrylic can cause rashes due to the chemicals present in the fiber. It's also worth noting that acrylic garments should be laundered carefully, since they can build up static which attracts dust and pollen, potential irritants for sensitive skin. Be mindful of tags and stitching in acrylic clothing as well, which can add an extra layer of irritation.



Nylon is pretty prevalent in clothing, but again, it’s a synthetic fiber so it might not be your best choice if you suffer from skin irritation. At the same time, it’s often used in combination with other materials so you might be able to get away with some garments that contain the fabric.


Nylon is a synthetic material made from polyamides, which are long-chain polymers synthesized from petroleum-based chemicals. It is known for its strength, elasticity, and resistance to wear and tear. Nylon is a popular fabric for clothing and is often blended with other materials such as cotton, spandex, and wool. However, it may not be the best choice for those with sensitive skin, since it can cause irritation.

Nylon fabric can cause skin irritation due to its chemical composition. It is made up of polyamides, which can contain formaldehyde, a known skin irritant. Nylon can also cause skin irritation due to its tight weave, which can cause friction and heat buildup against the skin. Additionally, some people may be sensitive to the dyes used to color nylon, which can cause further irritation.

In addition to skin irritation, nylon can cause other types of discomfort. It is not as breathable as natural fabrics such as cotton, and can cause sweating and heat buildup. Nylon is also not as absorbent as cotton, and can cause moisture to be trapped against the skin. Lastly, it can cause static electricity, which can be uncomfortable and irritating.



Before you leave me an outraged comment that I don’t know what I’m talking about, read on. While cotton itself is one of the best choices for sensitive skin, it is prone to collecting and absorbing laundry detergent and fabric softener particles, both of which can cause issues. If you’re buying secondhand (which is great for the environment and the pocketbook), you may have to wash your clothing a couple of times with your own detergent to make it comfortable to wear.

Organic cotton, silk, cashmere, linen, hemp and bamboo are great natural fibers to look for if you have sensitive skin. They do tend to cost a bit more, but it’s worth it to be comfortable in your clothes, right? Do you have sensitive skin? What kinds of fabrics do you shop for?

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Where Thoughts and Opinions Converge

Thanks. Did not know organic cotton is best. Dealing with very bad skin disease am blistered an red. Need to buy clothes that do not ich me

I learned of my allergies in 2020 and now wear 100% collon, linen, silk, wool and NO elastic of ANY kind including elastane. I find that my clothes tend to wrinkle more and are more difficult to keep looking nice -- and having to use a cord or fabric tie instead of elastic in undergarments and other elastic waisted garments does pose a bit of a lack of ease but comfort and NO hives nor itching is well worth it. I use baking soda, blue Dawn DW liquid soap and borax together ( under 1 teaspoon of each). Works wonders on my natural fiber clothing!

I wish more companies would activeyl accommodate the many citizens who live with allergies.

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