• 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin UK 2022 | Ecover, Fairy and More 1
  • 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin UK 2022 | Ecover, Fairy and More 2
  • 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin UK 2022 | Ecover, Fairy and More 3
  • 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin UK 2022 | Ecover, Fairy and More 4
  • 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin UK 2022 | Ecover, Fairy and More 5

10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin UK 2022 | Ecover, Fairy and More

Laundry is just one of those parts of grown-up life that everyone has to do. However, if you suffer from sensitive or extremely dry skin, or are affected by eczema or allergies, it can be difficult to find a laundry detergent that doesn’t irritate your skin - adding extra stress to this weekly chore.

We know that everyone’s dermis is different, so we have prepared a buying guide for choosing a hypoallergenic washing powder, liquid, pod / capsule or tab for the most delicate of skins, whether for yourself, your child or baby. We’ve also compiled a list of our top 10 recommended products to buy in the UK, from Asda, Amazon, Tesco and Waitrose, including non-bio, dermatologically tested, completely unscented (as well as some scented) options, so you'll be sure to find something to meet your needs and requirements.

This Article's Contributors

mybest Editing Team
  • Last updated: 15-08-2022
Table of Contents

How to Choose a Laundry Detergent for Sensitive Skin in the UK

Key Points to Consider

  1. To Make Sure All the Ingredients Are Kind to Sensitive Skin, Check the Label
  2. Based on Your Skin and Laundry Needs, Choose Between Liquid, Pods, Tabs and Powder 
  3. If You Can't Find a Suitable Detergent, Seek Advice From a Doctor or Dermatologist 

1. Check the Label to Make Sure All the Ingredients Are Kind to Sensitive Skin

1. Check the Label to Make Sure All the Ingredients Are Kind to Sensitive Skin

Enzymes Are a Common Allergen so It's Best to Opt for Non-Bio Detergents

Most detergents available nowadays are “biological” detergents, meaning that they contain enzymes which help to break down the proteins which make up the stains found on clothing. They are therefore the most effective at cleaning clothes thoroughly.
However, the enzymes found in biological detergents are common allergens, so can irritate very sensitive skin. People who have easily-irritated skin should go for “non-bio” detergents instead; “non-bio” meaning that there are no enzymes found inside.

Avoid Perfumes and Fragrances Wherever Possible

Some common skin allergens and irritants found in detergents, as well as laundry softeners and cosmetics, are perfumes and fragrances. These are often added to washing powder and liquid in order to mask any unpleasant smells after washing.
Although some people can be fine with certain fragrances, the main problem with perfumed-added products is that the exact contents of the "perfume" does not have to be included in the ingredients, so some contain hidden allergens. For this reason, people with sensitive skin should either avoid fragrances completely or look for a product that claims it is hypoallergenic.


Softeners can be fragrance-free too, there are some included in our pick of the best fabric softeners

Also Stay Away From Optical Brighteners and Dyes if You Find They Irritate Your Skin

Laundry detergents with dyes and optical brighteners should also probably be avoided by those with particularly sensitive skin conditions. Optical brighteners include chemicals which make clothes look whiter and brighter, without actually helping to clean them in any way. While this can be fantastic for white shirts, it’s not great for delicate skin.

2. Choose Between Liquid, Pods, Tabs and Powder Based on Skin Sensitivity and Your Laundry Needs

2. Choose Between Liquid, Pods, Tabs and Powder Based on Skin Sensitivity and Your Laundry Needs
For sensitive skin, you want to make sure that there’s as little detergent left over on the clothes as possible, to avoid long periods of contact with the skin and subsequent irritation. Liquid detergents are easily rinsed from clothes, however they are not considered the most effective at removing stains. Pods / capsules (and the powder-equivalent 'tabs') are convenient and less messy, but you can’t adjust the dose.
Powders are excellent at removing stubborn dirt and stains from your clothing. However, they can have trouble dissolving at lower temperatures, so there’s a higher chance that residue will be left on your clothing. If you want to use powder, then check it is suitable for use at the temperature you like to wash at. Powders come packaged in just a cardboard box, so you don't generate any single-use plastic waste - hurrah!

Do make sure your washing machine itself is squeaky-clean as mould spores are very irritative - check out our top washing machine cleaners.

3. Don't Be Afraid to Ask a Doctor or Dermatologist if You Can't Find a Suitable Detergent

3. Don't Be Afraid to Ask a Doctor or Dermatologist if You Can't Find a Suitable Detergent
While you may find the perfect laundry detergent for your skin straight away, it is more likely to involve some trial and error. Try experimenting with different products to find out which particular allergens you are allergic to. If you have a particularly serious skin condition with no room for experimentation, don’t be afraid to ask your doctor or dermatologist for their specialist opinion.


If your hands need some extra care, then check out our hand soaps for dry skin suggestions.

Compare the Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

For those after a quick look, here is our Top 5:

  1. Ecover - Zero Non-Bio Laundry Liquid for £6.50
  2. Waitrose - Essential Laundry Liquid Sensitive for £3.50
  3. Nimble - Laundry Lover for £6.10
  4. Fairy - Non-Bio Washing Powder for £10.00
  5. Simply Sensitive - Non-Bio Soluble Powder Soft-Tabs for £14.37

For a more in-depth look at the comprehensive top 10 selection, make sure to read on to learn more about the different types of laundry detergents for sensitive skin available and understand how our ranking was determined.


This article’s chosen EC site price listings are reflective of its publishing date.

Image
1
Ecover  Zero Non-Bio Laundry Liquid 1

Ecover

2
Waitrose Essential Laundry Liquid Sensitive 1

Waitrose

3
Nimble Laundry Lover 1

Nimble

4
Fairy  Non-Bio Washing Powder 1

Fairy

5
Simply Sensitive  Non-Bio Soluble Powder Soft-Tabs 1

Simply Sensitive

6
Ecover  Zero Non-Bio Washing Powder 1

Ecover

7
Surcare  Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Powder 1

Surcare

8
Ecozone  Concentrated Non-Bio Laundry Liquid 1

Ecozone

9
EcoGurus Eco Laundry Detergent 1

EcoGurus

10
Presto!  Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Capsules 1

Presto!

Name

Zero Non-Bio Laundry Liquid

Essential Laundry Liquid Sensitive

Laundry Lover

Non-Bio Washing Powder

Non-Bio Soluble Powder Soft-Tabs

Zero Non-Bio Washing Powder

Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Powder

Concentrated Non-Bio Laundry Liquid

Eco Laundry Detergent

Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Capsules

Features

A Cost-Effective Eco-Friendly Option Formulated for Those With Skin Allergies

A No-Frills Laundry Liquid That is Completely Fragrance-Free

Baby-Specific Laundry Detergent Which Leaves No Residue

A Gently Scented Formula From Fairy Approved by the Skin Health Alliance

UK-Made Eco Laundry Tabs With No Irritating Ingredients

Great at Removing Stains While Being Gentle on the Skin and the Earth

Fragrance-Free Powder Cleanliness for Delicate Skins

Scented Laundry Liquid That's Tough on Stains and Gentle on Skin and the Planet

A Premium Eco Product Which is Gentle on Skin But Tough on Stains Even at 30 Degrees

A Fantastic Value Bulk Buy for Busy Family Homes

Price£6.50£3.50£6.10£10.00£14.37£6.72£6.25£12.99£14.95£24.89
TypeLiquidLiquidLiquidPowderTabsPowderPowderLiquidLiquidCapsules / Pods
Non-BioYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
FragranceFragrance-FreeFragrance-FreeNoNoFragrance-FreeFragrance-FreeFragrance-FreeNoFragrance-FreeNo
Optical BrightenersNoNoNoYes - Optical Brighteners IncludedNoNoYes - Optical Brighteners IncludedNoNoNo
Expert EndorsementBritish Allergy FoundationDermatologically Approved-Skin Health AllianceNational Eczema SocietyBritish Allergy FoundationAllergy UKAllergy UK-Dermatologically Tested
Number of Washes42 Washes27 washes45 washes60 washes48 washes25 washes25 washes50 washes28 washes(4 x 38) 152 washes
Volume1.5 L960 ml1 L3.9 kg1.25 kg1.8 kg1.625 kg2 L2 L4 x 1 kg
Link

10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin in the UK

This ranking has been compiled by the writing team at mybest UK via careful evaluation of the points made in the buying guide and thorough research of each product and comparing multiple verified customer reviews across the EC sites used. 

1

Ecover Zero Non-Bio Laundry Liquid

£6.50

TypeLiquid
Non-BioYes
FragranceFragrance-Free
Optical BrightenersNo
Expert EndorsementBritish Allergy Foundation
Number of Washes42 Washes
Volume1.5 L
2

WaitroseEssential Laundry Liquid Sensitive

£3.50

TypeLiquid
Non-BioYes
FragranceFragrance-Free
Optical BrightenersNo
Expert EndorsementDermatologically Approved
Number of Washes27 washes
Volume960 ml
3
TypeLiquid
Non-BioYes
FragranceNo
Optical BrightenersNo
Expert Endorsement-
Number of Washes45 washes
Volume1 L
4

Fairy Non-Bio Washing Powder

£10.00

TypePowder
Non-BioYes
FragranceNo
Optical BrightenersYes - Optical Brighteners Included
Expert EndorsementSkin Health Alliance
Number of Washes60 washes
Volume3.9 kg
5

Simply Sensitive Non-Bio Soluble Powder Soft-Tabs

£14.37

TypeTabs
Non-BioYes
FragranceFragrance-Free
Optical BrightenersNo
Expert EndorsementNational Eczema Society
Number of Washes48 washes
Volume1.25 kg
6

Ecover Zero Non-Bio Washing Powder

£6.72

TypePowder
Non-BioYes
FragranceFragrance-Free
Optical BrightenersNo
Expert EndorsementBritish Allergy Foundation
Number of Washes25 washes
Volume1.8 kg
7

Surcare Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Powder

£6.25

TypePowder
Non-BioYes
FragranceFragrance-Free
Optical BrightenersYes - Optical Brighteners Included
Expert EndorsementAllergy UK
Number of Washes25 washes
Volume1.625 kg
8

Ecozone Concentrated Non-Bio Laundry Liquid

£12.99

TypeLiquid
Non-BioYes
FragranceNo
Optical BrightenersNo
Expert EndorsementAllergy UK
Number of Washes50 washes
Volume2 L
9

EcoGurusEco Laundry Detergent

£14.95

TypeLiquid
Non-BioYes
FragranceFragrance-Free
Optical BrightenersNo
Expert Endorsement-
Number of Washes28 washes
Volume2 L
10

Presto! Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Capsules

4 Pack

£24.89

TypeCapsules / Pods
Non-BioYes
FragranceNo
Optical BrightenersNo
Expert EndorsementDermatologically Tested
Number of Washes(4 x 38) 152 washes
Volume4 x 1 kg

Laundry Tips for People With Sensitive Skin

Laundry Tips for People With Sensitive Skin
Firstly, make sure that you avoid putting too much detergent into the machine, which could leave a troublesome residue on clothing. You also want to make sure that your clothes are rinsed of detergent completely, so one more rinse cycle could help if you want to be extra cautious.

Secondly, you’ll want to wash any new clothes after purchasing them. You don’t know what kind of detergent has been used on them before, so washing them with your own hypoallergenic detergent will let you wear your new clothes with confidence.

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Written and researched by Brigid Bernard

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