Organic Cotton Towels and Silk Sheets: Your Sensitive Skin Will Thank You!
It’s amazing how rough we usually are with our skin. From sun and wind exposure to harsh exfoliating ingredients to the way we scrub and poke and prod, it’s a wonder this large organ stands up to it all!
During cancer treatments, however, suddenly we’re forced to pay attention. The skin is dry, fragile, tender, and easily wounded. Things that never bothered us before now cause us pain. Sometimes we become so sensitized we literally stay away from everything that could possibly feel harsh.
One thing you can do to be gentler with yourself and your skin is to invest in a few common items that feel good. Start with your towels. Typically, you use them 2-3 times a day. Hopefully you’re patting dry and not rubbing. However, even with the gentlest strokes, some materials are too harsh for sensitive skin. Many store-bought towels are cheaply made with synthetic materials, and then processed with harsh chemicals. Choose instead natural fibers such as fine cotton and silk. (Be cautious with wool and linen—depending on how they’re processed, they may feel too rough.)
Fortunately, there are many manufacturers out there creating soft, tender towels. Bamboo Linens offers organically made cotton towels, as well as bamboo towels that are naturally anti-bacterial. Rawganique sells organic cotton bath towels (and sheets) completely free or dyes or chemicals, and Ecolinen has a nice organic cotton hand towel.
Be careful, too, about what detergents you use. You can have the softest, most natural towel there is, but if you wash it in harsh detergent, ingredients like bleach, brighteners, and surfactants can cling to the towel fibers and make their way onto your skin. Read our post about popular detergents, and be sure to care for your towels with gentle, toxin-free cleansers. If you’re going through chemo, change towels daily to lower your risk of infection.
Besides the clothes you wear every day, there is one other material that touches your skin for hours—your sheets. Most of us don’t think about it, but we come into contact with our sheets for years out of our lives! Silk sheets may be more expensive, but they’ll make treatment more tolerable for you. You tend to move with more ease on silk, so you won’t get wrapped up in the sheets, and your hair is less likely to break or fall out. If you have radiation burns or other skin wounds, you’ll be less likely to catch or hurt painful areas. If you’re having trouble sleeping, which many do while going through cancer treatments, silk sheets could really help you, as they’re known to just put the body in a happier place. They typically last longer than regular sheets as well, which can make the cost worth it in the long run. Try KushTush natural silk bedding, or Ultimate Comfort bedding. If you just can’t swing the cost, try organic cotton sheets from Anna Sova Luxury Organics or Eco Bedroom.
One more thing: Remember to change your sheets weekly, if not more often. You can never be too careful while your immune system is compromised.
Do you have recommendations for soothing bed and bath products? Please share!
Photo courtesy of Snap Village.