When you buy new clothes, you probably want to wear them before throwing them in the laundry. They're clean, right? At least they look clean. But that doesn't mean your skin is safe.
I don't necessarily like to think about all the other people who have tried on the clothes I just purchased, but we can't ignore that it happens. Regardless, the potential germ factor from previous wearers isn't why you should hold off on wearing new clothes the second you bring them home from the store.
It's actually the chemicals that you're exposing your skin to by putting on new clothes that you should be worried about -- especially when it comes to clothes that you'll be sweating in.
If you have sensitive skin, maybe you've even noticed patchy redness after wearing and sweating in new workout clothes. This could be the result of chemicals from the clothes getting into your pores.
According to clothing manufacturing expert Lana Hogue, these are the clothes you should definitely wash right after purchasing: socks, underwear, undershirts, T-shirts, shorts, summer dresses and swimsuits, if you're not planning to wear them in water immediately.
Outerwear and event wear are both safe. Basically, anything that you sweat in needs to be washed first. When you sweat, your pores open up, increasing the risk of irritation from chemicals in the fabric.
No matter where your clothes were manufactured, the various materials are made in different countries. The laws about chemical use in clothing are inconsistent across the world.
For example, some clothes are made with dye that contains formaldehyde resin, which causes skin irritation. Sure, it's a small amount and wears away with a wash, but even though formaldehyde is a low-level carcinogen, exposing your skin to it all the time can be dangerous. One of the side effects of these chemicals is an itchy red rash called dermatitis. This includes fabrics like cotton as well.
And even if you're like me and don't care about who has tried on clothes before you, you should probably be aware that there have been cases of lice and other bacterial infections spread in stores on the actual clothing. Gross.
It can be a pain to wash clothes right after buying them instead of wearing them to your next workout class or date, but all I can say is your skin lasts longer than the clothes you buy. It deserves to be taken care of.
Also, you probably don't want to break out in an itchy red rash on a date. Laundry is your friend.