Have you ever bought a pair of earrings only to watch your earlobes change colors and swell up? You might have had an allergic reaction.
You aren’t alone, about 10% of Americans are allergic to nickel, which often sneaks into jewelry.
You might be wondering, how can you be sure that your jewelry is allergy-safe and nickel-free? If you want quality jewelry, hypoallergenic jewelry is a great alternative. Not only is it safe for all skin types, but it also comes with a ton of other great benefits you may not know about.
Keep reading to learn more about hypoallergenic jewelry and why you should make the switch today!
What Does Hypoallergenic Mean?
When we talk about jewelry, the term hypoallergenic means that the metals have a small risk of causing an allergic reaction. Hypoallergenic jewelry contains metals that are pure like titanium, stainless steel, and platinum.
When making jewelry, certain metals are too soft to create strong and durable pieces. Jewelers must mix in other metals to reinforce and strengthen the jewelry piece. Some of these added metals can create an allergic reaction.
Nickel is commonly alloyed with silver and gold jewelry, but it is also one of the metals that cause most skin allergies.
Hypoallergenic jewelry is a safer alternative, especially for those with sensitive skin.
Signs That You’re Allergic to Your Jewelry
Certain metals can be tough on sensitive skin and cause an allergic reaction. If you want to know if you have skin sensitivity to certain metals, there are ways that you can observe your body and skin when wearing different types of jewelry.
Though these symptoms vary according to the individual, there are some common signs to look out for including:
- Irritated and itchy skin
- Patches of red rash
- Discolored skin
- Teary and swollen eyes
- Skin inflammation
- Blisters and swelling
- Skin flaking
These are some of the signs that you might be allergic to the metals in your jewelry. As the symptoms vary, so will the severity of the reaction.
What Metals You Should Avoid for Your Jewelry
There are certain metals that are commonly used in everyday jewelry that can give your skin an allergic reaction. Here are some of the common culprits that are added to jewelry that can cause sensitivity:
This is an alloy that is made up of zinc and copper. It is a low-grade metal and is known to cause allergic reactions. Some jewelry can also have brass-plating, so be sure to avoid those.
Nickel is one of the metals that most commonly causes a reaction. It can create red, itchy, and swollen skin when it comes into contact with skin. This reaction can occur minutes or hours after contact.
You can find nickel in a lot of items such as costume jewelry, body jewelry, zippers, and buttons.
If you have sensitive skin, you should avoid all jewelry that contains nickel and opt for a hypoallergenic alternative.
Metals With Low Melting Temperature
These metals include zinc, lead, and tin. These metals can be found in cheap jewelry and are not only prone to causing an allergic reaction, but they also tarnish and discolor very quickly.
The Best Metals for Sensitive Skin
You now know what metals to avoid if you don’t want an allergic reaction.
Let’s see what metals are the best for your skin and which ones are found in hypoallergenic jewelry.
Some metals, like gold and silver, are too soft to create durable jewelry. In order to create hypoallergenic jewelry, these hypoallergenic metals don’t contain a harmful level of alloys that can cause irritation to the skin.
Stainless steel is an alloy but it is made up of very mild materials that will not harm your skin. These include chromium, carbon, and iron. Titanium is also sometimes added for extra strength and durability.
While some forms of stainless steel can contain nickel, the concentration is so small, it won’t cause a reaction.
Stainless steel is often looked over for sterling silver. However, with sterling silver containing a small percentage of copper, stainless steel might be the better option for your skin.
14K Gold and Up
One of the best metals for your skin is pure gold which is 24k. This metal is easy on the skin.
If you have very sensitive skin, it is recommended that you choose 18k gold or higher to avoid irritation. For some, 14k can be safe, while for others it might still cause a reaction because of its copper content.
Sterling silver is an alloy and not pure silver as many people believe. It does contain over 90% silver, but there is a copper content of under 10%.
Sterling silver, however, is safe on the skin and a great alternative to other metals. Silver-plated jewelry is also a good option if your skin is allergic to copper.
Niobium does not have any additives and is 100% pure. It is great for those with hypersensitive skin.
This grade of metal is used in the medical industry to create implants used inside the body, such as knee plates. It is very safe to use as an added metal in jewelry and will not cause an allergic reaction.
This high-quality, hypoallergenic metal is very safe as it does not contain nickel or cobalt. It is also a good alternative to gold or silver because it is not as expensive but it still looks great.
Why You Should Wear Hypoallergenic Jewelry
There are many benefits to hypoallergenic jewelry. Not only does it look beautiful and save you from allergic reactions, but it is also higher in quality. Check out some of these reasons why you should switch to hypoallergenic jewelry.
It Won’t Give You a Rash
As previously mentioned, one of the advantages of hypoallergenic jewelry is that it won’t cause an allergic reaction or give you a rash.
The metals used are purer and higher-grade, so they are more compatible with human contact.
A nickel allergy can develop at any age. You can also expose your skin to nickel without triggering a reaction for some time. However, once your body has an allergic reaction, your body will always suffer from this allergy.
While some hypoallergenic jewelry does contain a small amount of nickel, medical-grade metals are nickel-free.
Hypoallergenic jewelry ensures that you avoid a reaction altogether. This is a great option for baby jewelry if you’re worried about skin sensitivity and irritation.
It Looks Better Than Other Jewelry
When buying pretty jewelry, you might notice that hypoallergenic metals often look and feel better.
Jewelry is made of low-grade metals like nickel that can tarnish and fade easily. It can also look cheap to the naked eye with the colors being slightly off to higher-grade metals.
Hypoallergenic jewelry is made of premium metals, like platinum and titanium, and the quality shows. The jewelry is elegant, classy, and stylish. It is just as durable as other metals and has a resistance to tarnishing.
You Can Wear It All Day
If you’ve ever purchased a cute necklace from the rack at a fast-fashion establishment, you know how quickly the color fades and your neck turns red with irritation. For some, a reaction can occur in a matter of minutes.
For nice jewelry that you can wear all day, hypoallergenic jewelry is a great option. It’s safe, comfortable, and easy to wear all day.
It Is High Quality
One of the greatest benefits of hypoallergenic jewelry is that it is higher in quality.
If you are a jewelry lover, investing in quality is your best bet because hypoallergenic jewelry lasts a long time. Not only does the jewelry look great, but it will also last you a long time.
There are also many options that suit every budget and style. You don’t have to sacrifice style for comfort and quality.
Buy Quality Jewelry and Protect Your Skin
Investing in quality jewelry means investing in your health. We all want to look and feel great with beautiful accessories, but we want to be conscious of what types of metals and materials we are letting near our skin. If you have sensitive skin, make sure that you know the signs of an allergy and opt for hypoallergenic jewelry.
Not only does hypoallergenic jewelry look great, but it is also high quality, comfortable for all-day wear, and won’t give you a reaction.
If you found this article helpful, be sure to keep visiting our awesome blog for more useful tips on jewelry and metal allergies.