Sensitive skin is hardly a treat. For many people, it means a lifetime of trial and error to figure out which laundry, sleeping, and weather conditions won’t make your skin lose its (seemingly own) mind. Sleeping conditions might be the most important of these three, as sleep is crucial not only to your skin but your immune system and sense of wellbeing, too.
Consistent, restful nights of sleep that last at least seven hours can have immense health benefits. Not only will your body get better at fending off infections, but you’ll wake up with a well-rested visage as well. Sayonara, dark circles.
But what about the rest of your skin? Eczema sufferers can attest to fitful nights of sleep spent alternating between itching and sleeping, sometimes even to the point of bleeding. That does not sound like a bed we’d want to be sleeping in. However, many people with sensitive skin hardly realize that their poor sleeping habits might be something very much within their control: their bed linens. Fortunately, those who suffer from skin problems have found great success by making a simple switch to bed linens made with natural fibres, or by changing up their laundry routine.
Today, we’re going to talk about the best bed linens for sensitive skin, and how you can care for these linens to give yourself the optimal conditions for a restful night’s sleep.
Go natural, baby
You’ve probably seen caricatures of old-money matrons contemptuously purring that they’d never sleep on bed linens with a thread count lower than 1500. Well, we have some news for these debonair dames: any thread counts higher than 400 involves a synthetic weaving process during manufacturing. Artificial anything is most definitely something sensitive skin-havers should avoid, as it could point to added fragrances, dyes, or other unwelcome chemicals. You’ll be far better off with bed linens made from natural fibres, like silk, organic cotton, and linen. However, did you know that each of these natural fabrics has its unique advantages?
Silk bed linens are luxurious, no doubt about it. But they’re also great for sensitive skin. Not only are they naturally hypoallergenic, but their molecular structure makes it difficult for nasty little dusty mites to burrow their way in and make a home. Moreover, silk bed linens are a great thermoregulator, meaning they’ll keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Anyone who’s been to a home goods shop has invariably seen the many different types of cotton bed linens: Egyptian cotton, jersey, Pima, and flannel, to name a few. Cotton is another naturally hypoallergenic fabric that is resistant to skin irritations. Extra-long staples (ELS) like Egyptian cotton and Pima are also softer and more durable than other varieties, meaning they’ll last longer. Be careful, though; these cotton types are a bit more expensive than others. Furthermore, many Egyptian cotton bed linens labelled as such turn out to be far from the real thing, so you do your homework before you go shopping.
Last but not least, linen is an airy, breathable fabric that is perfect for sensitive skin, especially during the warmer months of the year. However, linen is highly prone to wrinkling, so you might want to consider other natural fabrics if ironing or regularly rumpled bed linens aren’t your thing.
Now that you’ve got the scoop on what types of fabric are suitable for sensitive skin, let’s talk a little bit about how to care for your bed linens in ways that will make your skin happy.
Caring for your bed linens
For starters, it’s wise to wash any new bed linens before using them. This first wash ensures that any odd chemicals or materials picked up during the manufacturing process get washed off. Moreover, a lot of “natural” laundry detergents are chock-full of irritants. Look for cleansers with labels like ‘hypoallergenic,’ ‘fragrance-free,’ and ‘dye-free.’
You’ll also want to steer clear of fabric softeners and dryer sheets, which are both usually laden with synthetic chemicals. Opt instead for old cotton T-shirts; cut them in squares, anoint them with a few drops of essential oil like lavender, and then throw them into the dryer like you would a dryer sheet. You’ll achieve the same effect without any extra scratchiness.
Next, it’s vital to wash your bed linens at least once a week. Dead skin cells accumulate pretty quickly, especially in a place you frequent as much as your bed. On a slightly more disgusting note, a buildup of dead skin cells makes quite the feast for dust mites, which often live in the fibres of your bed linens. Yikes!
We hope you’ve learned a little about how to sleep more soundly with your sensitive skin. For some of the best natural fibre bed linens on the market, head to Richard Haworth. Their extensive selection of top-quality natural bed linens is, indeed, a dream come true.