Acne is one of those skincare issues that can be difficult and frustrating to get under control. That’s probably why the internet is filled with articles, videos and threads on the different ways people clear up their acne.
In the latest acne-related news, one Redditor put out a “PSA” that dryer sheets can cause acne. Reddit user u/regissss wrote about their struggles with breaking out and trying to find out what was causing it. They said they narrowed down their use of laundry products to free and clear laundry detergent, fabric softener, and dryer sheets.
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However, when that wasn’t working, they just used the detergent and white vinegar as the softener. They claimed this little trick did the job and eliminated breakouts.
“My dermatologist confirmed that dryer sheets can be a huge trigger for some people,” u/regissss wrote. “Apparently they coat fabric (including your pillowcases) in a thin layer of wax and grease, which can leech into your pores at night while you sweat.” They wrote that this is why the sheet is greasy when you put it in and dry when you take it out.
When we talked to New York dermatologist, Joshua Zeichner, MD, he confirmed that dryer sheets can cause a potential skin irritation, especially because of their fragrances. “I do not recommend dryer sheets in my most sensitive skin patients for this reason. Generally speaking, worsening of acne is not a problem I see from dryer sheets. Theoretically, however, the surfactants used in the sheets could irritate the skin in some sensitive-skinned acne patients leading to flares.”
So, while it is possible, he still doesn’t think removing dryer sheets from your laundry routine will, alone, clear up skin. Instead, he recommends going to a dermatologist for a full evaluation. “The most likely cause is your genetics and hormones,” he says. “And [dermatologists] have great medications to help treat the skin independent of whether you use dryer sheets or not.”