Page 148 - South Mississippi Living - June, 2023
P. 148

 Healthy Fabrics for Healthy Skin
Synthetic fabrics can restrict skin breathing due to chemical additives
that sensitive skin may not be able to tolerate. Polyester and satin are examples. Polyester can reduce hydration resulting in skin dryness and irritation. Likewise, satin doesn’t allow body moisture to evaporate well. It has a beautiful luster and feels so soft, but its combination of polyester and nylon doesn’t bode well for hours-long wear in hot weather.
Since your clothing is in constant contact with your skin, fabric plays an important role in its health and protection. Natural, skin-friendly, hypoallergenic fabrics are soft, breathable, and the best choices
to prevent clogged pores and regulate body temperature. Right up there with eating well and regular exercise, choosing healthy fabrics is another positive arrow in your skincare maintenance quiver. Think of cotton, linen, silk, merino wool and other natural fabrics as good for you and good for the environment.
 As you carefully choose healthy food, sunscreen, and body products to nourish and protect your skin, there may be something equally important that you’ve overlooked. Surprise... it’s the fabrics you wear! Who but your dermatologist knew?
Whether it’s outerwear, underwear, the sheets we sleep on, or the towels we dry ourselves with, any fabric that makes direct contact with our skin can affect skin health. So, how do we know which ones are best for us? The quick answer
is that natural fabrics are traditionally more breathable and skin-friendly than synthetics. Synthetics may incorporate chemicals that can cause itches, rashes, or other irritations. As a rule, natural, plant- based fabrics are the gentle and safest choice for those with sensitive skin.
Cotton leads the way for its softness, comfort, and absorbency. It’s hypoallergenic and helps regulate body temperature. Cotton is very breathable, which is good for those living in hot, humid regions. One word of caution is that chemicals are used in some forms of printing and dying cotton fabric. Skin-
sensitives should look for organic and naturally dyed cotton.
Linen is constructed from natural flax plant fiber extracted from seeds and stems to create beautiful cloth that is healthy
for the skin. Linen is soft and durable as well as anti-bacterial, non-allergenic, anti- static, and moisture absorbing. It may display a few wrinkles, but that’s part of its inherent style and beauty.
Pure silk is quintessentially popular
for its strength, shine, and durability. Given its elegance, softness, and cost, silk is considered to be luxurious. It’s also credited with providing health and beauty benefits due to its smoothness and acknowledged kindness to sensitive skin. Silk locks in hydration which can plump skin cells and is believed to battle wrinkles.
Merino wool is soft, gentle, breathable, warm, and non-irritating. It’s thinner than regular wool making it easier to wear in layers and regulate body temperature. This light and natural fabric is a favorite of athletes and outdoor enthusiasts not only for its practical benefits but because it’s exceedingly comfortable.
148 | June 2023 | SOUTH MISSISSIPPI Living
story by
Barbara Travis

   146   147   148   149   150