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How to Choose a Sensitive Skin Detergent

How to Choose a Sensitive Skin Detergent

If you have sensitive skin, one of the best things you can do is switch to a sensitive-skin laundry detergent. But with so many detergents on the market, which is the best choice?

When choosing a sensitive skin detergent, there are a few things to consider, including the ingredients, how the detergent is formulated, and any recommendations from doctors and other professional groups.


Detergents can contain, well, a laundry list of ingredients. Here are some of the most common detergent ingredients and how they are used in different laundry detergent formulas:

  • Surfactants: help to remove dirt and oil
  • Enzymes: molecules that break down stains
  • Builders: reduce water hardness and help adjust pH so detergents are more effective
  • Solvents: dissolve substances and help control viscosity
  • Chelants: help detergents clean more effectively by controlling minerals in the water
  • Polymers: keep dissolved particles (like dirt and allergens) suspended in the water and off fabric
  • Brighteners: help surface of fabric to appear brighter
  • Dyes: colored pigments added to formula
  • Perfumes: added fragrance

Some “gentle” detergents just remove dyes and perfumes from their formula. But that’s not enough if all the other ingredients remain the same.

Products that are truly dedicated to sensitive skin, like all® free clear, are made from the ground up. Each ingredient is chosen based on how well it cleans AND being gentle for sensitive skin.


Checking ingredients and understanding how detergents are made are important factors when choosing a sensitive skin laundry detergent. But that can be tedious and time-consuming for many people.

So the easiest ways to figure out which detergent to pick is to look for specific points on the label.


  • Start with the basics. Make sure the detergent is clearly 100% free of dyes and perfumes. Avoid products labeled as “unscented” because they often contain perfumes to cover a naturally unpleasant smell.
  • Seek doctor recommendations. all® free clear is the #1 recommended detergent brand by dermatologists, allergists, and pediatricians for sensitive skin.
  • Look for key words. Make sure the product is “hypoallergenic” and “gentle on skin” or “gentle for sensitive skin.”
  • Look for trustworthy endorsements, including those supported by accredited health groups such as the National Eczema Association.
  • Choose products that are Safer Choice Certified. This seal is given by the United States’ Environmental Protection Agency to brands that use ingredients that are safer for people and the planet.

Sources: (accessed 3/20/24)

Relevant Products in this Article

  • all® free clear liquid laundry detergent, THE ORIGINAL

  • all® free clear MIGHTY PACS® laundry detergent, THE ORIGINAL

  • all® free clear dryer sheets