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  • 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin UK 2023 | Ecover, Fairy and More 1
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  • 10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin UK 2023 | Ecover, Fairy and More 3
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10 Best Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin UK 2023 | 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.
Last updated 20/07/2023
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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

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

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

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.

Was the Buying Guide helpful?

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. 
Popularity
Products
Image
Click to purchase
Key features
1

Ecover

Zero Non-Bio Laundry Liquid

Ecover  Zero Non-Bio Laundry Liquid 1枚目

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

2

Waitrose

Essential Laundry Liquid Sensitive

Waitrose Essential Laundry Liquid Sensitive 1枚目

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

3

Nimble

Laundry Lover

Nimble Laundry Lover 1枚目

Baby-Specific Laundry Detergent Which Leaves No Residue

4

Fairy

Non-Bio Washing Powder

Fairy  Non-Bio Washing Powder 1枚目

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

5

Simply Sensitive

Non-Bio Soluble Powder Soft-Tabs

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

UK-Made Eco Laundry Tabs With No Irritating Ingredients

6

Ecover

Zero Non-Bio Washing Powder

Ecover  Zero Non-Bio Washing Powder 1枚目

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

7

Surcare

Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Powder

Surcare  Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Powder 1枚目

Fragrance-Free Powder Cleanliness for Delicate Skins

8

Ecozone

Concentrated Non-Bio Laundry Liquid

Ecozone  Concentrated Non-Bio Laundry Liquid 1枚目

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

9

EcoGurus

Eco Laundry Detergent

EcoGurus Eco Laundry Detergent 1枚目

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

10

Presto!

Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Capsules4 Pack

Presto!  Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Capsules 1枚目

A Fantastic Value Bulk Buy for Busy Family Homes

If you don't see the product you're looking for, you can request that it be listed.
No.1

Ecover Zero Non-Bio Laundry Liquid

Zero Non-Bio Laundry Liquid Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£6.50
Reference price
£6.50

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

As suggested by the name, this amazing laundry liquid has no enzymes, no fragrances, no dyes, and no optical brighteners. It is approved by dermatologists and Allergy UK, so you can use this with the knowledge that there really is nothing bad for your skin inside.

What’s more, this product is better for the environment too. The ingredients are plant-based and biodegradable, and the bottle is made from 100% recycled plastic. Great for your skin and the planet - plus this is one of the most cost effective options on our list too! Win, win, win.
Was this Ranking helpful?
No.2

WaitroseEssential Laundry Liquid Sensitive

Essential Laundry Liquid Sensitive Image 1
Source:waitrose.com
Reference price
£3.50
Reference price
£3.50

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

This non-biological and dermatologically approved own-brand laundry liquid has absolutely no fragrance at all. Allergy-prone reviewers are rejoicing that, "It smells of nothing!"- which is a rarity in today's over-fragranced laundry products market. 


Despite the 'Essential' part of its name, it is confirmed by many to be a very effective product, giving excellent results even at cool washing temperatures. This means that you will save money on every wash - in addition to this product being exceptionally good value already!

No.3

NimbleLaundry Lover

Reference price
£6.10

Baby-Specific Laundry Detergent Which Leaves No Residue

Nimble's plant-based laundry detergent is designed for delicate baby skin - as such it contains no enzymes, optical brighteners or dyes. It does manage to have a light, allergen-free fragrance, which many new-parent reviewers are in favour of.

The active cleaning ingredients are specially formulated to wrap securely around fats and stains and to detach easily, leaving no irritation-causing residue behind. The liquid is suitable for hand-washing too, which is essential when trying to keep up with the laundry generated by a baby! It will be a relief to parents that this laundry liquid is also extremely good value.


No.4

Fairy Non-Bio Washing Powder

Reference price
£10.00

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

Well-known and well-respected brand, Fairy has this legendary non-bio formula, which is dermatologically tested and has the seal of the Skin Health Alliance. There are very few ingredients and only small amounts of optical brighteners and perfumes, meaning the scent is pleasingly subtle.


Selecting this big-brand powder is actually a very affordable option - it is a HUGE box that will last for 60 washes, all the while creating no plastic waste - as the box is made from easily-recycled cardboard. 

No.5

Simply Sensitive Non-Bio Soluble Powder Soft-Tabs

Non-Bio Soluble Powder Soft-Tabs Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£14.37
Reference price
£14.37

UK-Made Eco Laundry Tabs With No Irritating Ingredients

Approved by the National Eczema Society, these washing tabs have no perfumes, dyes, or optical brighteners, so are fantastic for children, babies, and those with extremely sensitive skin. Without these ingredients Simply tabs still manage to clean dirt and stains thoroughly, making them a convenient (yet slightly pricier) option to use for the weekly wash.

Simply is manufactured in the UK (in Yorkshire) and the ingenious tabs are packaged in individual  water-soluble wrappers, making them mess-free and waste-free to use. A great all-rounder for delicate skin, being effective, eco and UK-made !

No.6

Ecover Zero Non-Bio Washing Powder

Reference price
£6.72

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

This dermatologically tested product from Belgian eco-friendly company Ecover, contains no optical brighteners or enzymes. It has a subtle, natural fragrance and is made from plant-based ingredients.  It comes in an easily-recyclable cardboard box, meaning no single-use plastic guilt either

This isn't as high up the rankings as the liquid Ecover Zero version, simply due to the more expensive cost, for considerably fewer washes. Those with sensitive skin who have used the powder say that it cleans clothes thoroughly even in cool water. Win, win for your skin and for the environment!

No.7

Surcare Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Powder

Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Powder Image 1
Source:waitrose.com
Reference price
£6.25
Reference price
£6.25

Fragrance-Free Powder Cleanliness for Delicate Skins

This product from Surcare does include some optical brighteners, but contains no fragrance, so is fantastic for people who are sensitive to perfumes and scents. Moreover it is approved by the British Allergy Foundation.

At a glance you may not recognise this brand, but it is an old and trusted one which has just had a fresh, new make-over (whilst retaining the trusted skin-friendly product inside). A great option that will leave clothes clean, bright and fresh without any unnecessary scents.
No.8

Ecozone Concentrated Non-Bio Laundry Liquid

Concentrated Non-Bio Laundry Liquid Image 1
Source:ecozone.com
Reference price
£12.99
Reference price
£12.99

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

Green brand Ecozone strives to offer people eco-friendly alternatives for their daily lives, and therefore they use many natural ingredients. As such, this detergent contains no harsh chemicals or optical brighteners, making it gentler on the skin as well as the environment.

The subtle fragrances may irritate extremely sensitive skin, so that is something to bear in mind. This is a powerful option that is strong on dirt and stains, yet is gentle to your skin and to planet Earth.
No.9

EcoGurusEco Laundry Detergent

Eco Laundry Detergent Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£14.95
Reference price
£14.95

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

EcoGuru non-biological washing liquid is made from high grade, high quality plant-based ingredients and this ensures that it  performs as well as leading brands. The laundry liquid is completely fragrance free and cleans perfectly at 30 degrees, plus the customer support is excellent.

This laundry detergent is produced using solar power and it's packaging is made from recycled plastic. It's not surprising that it has hundreds of 5* reviews, however the high price point has landed it further down our ranking - it is a premium product, making it too expensive for busy households to use daily.


No.10

Presto! Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Capsules4 Pack

Sensitive Non-Bio Laundry Capsules Image 1
Source:amazon.co.uk
Reference price
£24.89
Reference price
£24.89

A Fantastic Value Bulk Buy for Busy Family Homes

An Amazon brand, Presto! has created a washing powder specifically for those with sensitive skin. While it does contain fragrance, it does not contain any enzymes which might irritate the skin and is tested by dermatologists. The mild floral, fruity fragrance hides any bad odours, leaving your laundry fresh and clean.

With 4 boxes, this pack will supposedly last you through a whopping 152 washes. While some say that it is as good as well-known brands such as Fairy, others complain about the overpowering fragrance, which is something to keep in mind if you or you are sensitive to stronger smells.

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.

Written and researched by Brigid Bernard

Top 5 Laundry Detergents for Sensitive Skin

No. 1: Ecover Zero Non-Bio Laundry Liquid

No. 2: WaitroseEssential Laundry Liquid Sensitive

No. 3: NimbleLaundry Lover

No. 4: Fairy Non-Bio Washing Powder

No. 5: Simply Sensitive Non-Bio Soluble Powder Soft-Tabs

View Full Ranking
The descriptions of each product are referenced from content available on manufacturer, brand, and e-commerce sites.
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