The highest concentrations of two of the substances were found in none other than polyester. What is acrylic fabric? One of the biggest culprits is one that's found in nature—wool (not to be confused with the softer merino wool). Let’s share in the comments! Man-made fabrics like acrylic, polyester, rayon, acetate, and nylon are treated with thousands of harmful toxic chemicals during production, according to ScienceDaily. It is durable and not very expensive to produce, which is why it’s popular. And in case you've ever wondered what the worst fabric for skin is, hear us out. Hydrolysis testing measures potential delamination of the fabric. Polypropylene is a synthetic fabric that is derived from hydrocarbon fuels that have the potential to negatively impact the environment. It doesn't get more timeless than a 100% cashmere sweater. This classic jumpsuit is the type of thing you'll wear year after year. Is Polyurethane Foam A Dreamy Comfort Or Toxic Nightmare? These types of fabrics are extremely stretchy and a lot of tight clothes are made with them like sports bras, leggings, T-shirts, shaping underwear, tights, bikinis, etc. While in its production, the fabric gets bleached or dyed with different chemicals. Acryllic fabric is made of polycrylonitriles and may cause cancer, according to the EPA. Just add your Birkenstocks to this silky hemp summer dress. Warm sweaters or light dresses, our favorite athletic leggings or shaping underwear — so many things around us are made from synthetic materials. Hydrolysis testing measures potential delamination of the fabric. There's something to be said for the "ignorance is bliss" mindset, but when it comes to small sartorial tweaks that could greatly improve the health of your skin and body, knowledge is undoubtedly the way to go. While it's admittedly tricky to avoid every fabric that science deems bad your skin, informing yourself on the dangers of certain textiles can lead to wiser decisions about how often you choose to purchase and wear harmful fabrics. Toxic chemicals in fabrics is really an issue affecting everyone. The reason that vintage clothing can be harmful to skin is simple. To make it a bit easier for you, we did the dirty work and dug through the depths of the internet to provide you with the skin-saving information you need. So it goes without saying that protecting it and treating it well is of the utmost importance, which is exactly why we should be thinking about what it comes in contact with every day—like our clothing. Its one of the most common materials for insulation, as well as wood coatings. Similar materials, like PVC, contain chloride and aren't biodegradable. When burnt, the materials release very limited toxic chemicals to the air thus fairly safe. Not to get too biology class on you, but as you know, the skin is by far the body's largest organ. These soft cotton tees are an editor favorite. According to research conducted by sustainable outdoor clothing brand Patagonia, the process to convert bamboo to its softest state (rayon fiber) releases toxic chemicals (carbon disulfide, sodium hydroxide, and sulfuric acid—eek!) Acrylic fabrics are made of acrylonitrile, which is a carcinogen and a mutagen. Any fabric made to be wrinkle-resistant (even non-synthetic ones) get their wrinkle-free powers from a hazardous chemical called formaldehyde. 3. Polyurethane (PU) is a composite material made of: (1) one or more layers of polymer resins joined by urethane links; and (2) a woven or non-woven textile backing such as polyester, cotton, nylon, or ground leather. Polyurethane (PUR and PU) is a polymer composed of organic units joined by carbamate (urethane) links. Manufacturers use it as a fabric finish. These include cotton (especially organic), merino wool (which is softer than wool, thanks to finer fibers), cashmere, hemp, silk, alpaca, and linen. This is the category that holds the majority of the skin-harming culprits. These 100% cotton vintage-style shorts will be your summer wardrobe staple. Not to go into too much gory detail, but skin germs found in sweat feast on chemicals, which synthetic fibers can't absorb, therefore creating an environment for smelly bacteria to grow. All signs point to polyester being the number one worst fabric for skin. Live Science says that wearing wool can trigger eczema flare-ups, and a Mayo Clinic doctor, Megan Johnston Flanders, MD, says that the fabric can even irritate normal skin. And now, here's the perfect linen dress for summer. Moreover, rising body temperatures help to release chemicals from this fabric that are later absorbed by your skin. Polyurethane comes in many shapes and forms. When you think of bamboo, a buttery-soft, fluid fabric probably comes to mind, but in reality, that's not how it's found in nature. In addition to all that, its production is heavily polluting the environment. PU (Polyurethane) faux leathers are a synthetic fabric that may or may not be extremely durable. Even though they look good and comfortable, they can be dangerous for your skin and your general health. PU (Polyurethane) faux leathers are a synthetic fabric that may or may not be extremely durable. Some polyurethane foam contains non-renewable fossil fuels that adversely affect the environment. Prolonged contact with these fabrics can cause skin irritations like dermatitis. This can cause a variety of problems and irritations like rashes, itching, redness, eczema, and dermatitis. Durability also depends on the type of resin used to make the PU leather material. Here’s the list! This post was published at an earlier date and has since been updated. It also uses a long list of chemicals like caustic soda, chloroform, terpineol, limonene, sulfuric acid, pentene, sulfuric acid and even the formaldehyde we spoke of before. Comfortable and cute. Polyester is the worst fabric you can buy. Avoid furniture cushions and mattresses made from polyurethane foam/plastic as well as any fabric with acrylic, polyester or polyvinyl chloride, all of which can be toxic to the respiratory system.