Whether it’s cozy sweaters, breezy dresses, sleek athletic leggings, or shaping undergarments, many of our go-to clothing items are crafted from synthetic materials. Despite their appeal in appearance and comfort, these fabrics can pose risks to both our skin and overall health. From unpleasant odors to skin irritations, these materials might even lead to more severe issues like nausea. Chemicals present in synthetic fabrics aren’t ideal companions for our skin’s well-being.
Polyester stands as one of the most prevalent and widely used synthetic fabrics. Even when combined with natural components like cotton to resist wrinkles and tears, its impact on our well-being can be detrimental.
Wearing polyester restricts skin breathability, leading to the release of chemicals due to increased body temperatures, subsequently absorbed by the skin.
This can trigger various irritations and problems such as rashes, itching, redness, eczema, and dermatitis. It’s advisable to steer clear of polyester in both clothing and linens for a healthier experience.
2. Rayon (Viscose):
Despite being derived from natural sources like wood pulp, rayon can cause skin irritation and doesn’t wick moisture well. Substituting rayon with modal, which is also made from wood pulp but undergoes a different manufacturing process, could be a better choice due to its softer feel and moisture-wicking properties.
This fabric has the potential to release toxic substances that may lead to symptoms like nausea, headaches, vomiting, chest pain, muscle discomfort, and insomnia. Moreover, the manufacturing process of rayon significantly contributes to environmental pollution.
Nylon Known for its strength and elasticity, nylon is commonly found in activewear. However, it doesn’t breathe well and can cause sweating and skin irritation.
Fabrics like spandex or elastane offer elasticity without compromising breathability, while natural alternatives like merino wool or bamboo-based fabrics offer comfort during workouts.
Acrylic Often used in winter wear for its warmth, acrylic can be abrasive and cause skin irritation or allergic reactions. Opting for wool or cashmere can provide similar warmth without the discomfort associated with acrylic. Acrylic fabrics, composed of acrylonitrile, harbor health risks due to its carcinogenic and mutagenic properties.
Exposure to this substance may trigger various health issues such as headaches, nausea, dizziness, breathing difficulties, limb weakness, and more. Wearing acrylic fabrics increases the potential of absorbing acrylonitrile through the skin.
Moreover, the manufacturing process of acrylic significantly contributes to environmental pollution.
5. Chemically Treated Fabrics:
Fabrics treated with chemicals for water or stain resistance, like perfluorinated compounds (PFCs), can have detrimental health effects. Opting for untreated natural fabrics or seeking out products labeled as PFC-free can help minimize exposure to such chemicals.
Other synthetic fabrics, these are made from harmful chemical substances like polyurethane, that is also considered to be a carcinogen. Prolonged contact with these fabrics can cause skin irritations like dermatitis.
In general, natural fibers like cotton, wool, bamboo, or linen tend to be safer choices for individuals seeking comfort and reduced risks of skin irritation or other health issues associated with synthetic or chemically treated fabrics. Always consider your own sensitivities and preferences when choosing clothing materials to prioritise comfort and well-being.