If you have sensitive skin, you’re probably no stranger to the red welts and hives that appear when you pop in the wrong kind of jewelry. After all, there are so many different types of jewelry out there and it can be hard to know which is safe for someone with a jewelry allergy.
Or, it used to be. With this helpful guide on hypoallergenic jewelry metals, you’ll soon be rocking the best bracelets, necklaces, and earrings without worrying about how they will affect your skin.
If you’re ready to uncover the secrets of hypoallergenic jewelry, keep reading. Let’s explore everything you need to know about choosing hypoallergenic fine jewelry so you can stay stylish!
What Causes Jewelry Allergies?
While it might seem like your accessories are the direct cause of your discomfort, jewelry allergies are actually metal allergies. The official name for this type of allergy is called contact dermatitis.
Contact dermatitis has many different symptoms. A few of the more common indicators that you might have this allergy include:
- Itchy and red skin after wearing jewelry
- Swelling and blistering
- Red marks where the jewelry made contact with the skin
- Dry and flaky patches of skin
- Hot and inflamed skin where the jewelry was used
The way that metal allergies work is that when your body comes into contact with the metal, its immune response is triggered. Your body releases histamine to attack the metal that’s touching your skin, which leads to your body producing the aforementioned unwanted symptoms.
What is the Most Common Jewelry Allergy?
Some metals are more likely to produce an allergic reaction than others. The most common metal allergy is to nickel, and in fact, 20% of people in the US have a nickel allergy.
Interestingly enough, this allergy is more common in kids and women. However, it can develop at any age, meaning that you could be born without a nickel allergy and develop it as you get older.
One of the easiest ways to avoid developing a nickel allergy is to avoid wearing nickel jewelry in the first place. This limits the body’s exposure to the material and makes it less likely that you’ll have a negative allergic reaction.
What Is Hypoallergenic Jewelry?
Okay, so now that you understand metal allergies and how they relate to jewelry, it’s time to get a better feel for what hypoallergenic jewelry is. That way, you’ll be prepared to make a decision on which hypoallergenic accessories to purchase!
So, let’s break down the definition of hypoallergenic jewelry. This type of jewelry is simply jewelry that is made to reduce the likelihood that you’ll have an allergic reaction.
Typically, pure metals are less likely to cause an allergic reaction because it doesn’t have filler metals, such as nickel, which can cause allergic reactions in people. Instead, they’re made of pure metal so that your jewelry doesn’t irritate the skin.
What Is Hypoallergenic Jewelry Made of?
There are several different types of metals that are considered hypoallergenic. Most hypoallergenic jewelry brands, such as DreamlandJewelry.com offer products in these metals so that you can say goodbye to allergic reactions.
Platinum is a soft, white precious metal that is quite rare. Typically, jewelers will use 95% platinum with 5% of palladium, iridium, or another hypoallergenic metal.
This metal is extremely durable and doesn’t tarnish. And, since it’s harder than gold, it doesn’t scratch or corrodes easily. However, it’s important to know that platinum is a very rare metal, so it often comes with a high price tag.
Palladium is another metal that comes from the platinum metal group. It’s a great choice for people who are allergic to gold because it’s a similar value.
Palladium is even harder than platinum, making it scratch-resistant, and is very lightweight. Additionally, it doesn’t tarnish, oxidize, or corrode, making it a long-lasting metal to choose for your jewelry.
While gold, in general, is a hypoallergenic metal, the safest metal in this family is 24kt yellow gold. Yellow gold is more hypoallergenic than white gold, and since it contains 24kt, it has 24 out of 24 parts gold. In other words, there are no added metals that could cause allergic reactions.
Gold is soft but is still a fairly strong metal. It is quite durable, making it a great choice for someone who wants everyday pieces of jewelry to wear. And, it looks great with other gemstones such as diamonds, emeralds, and rubies.
Best of all, gold doesn’t lose its yellow color as it ages. You can wear it for years without worrying about it losing the beautiful sheen that it’s known for!
Cobalt is a hypoallergenic metal that’s often used to make rings. It’s a naturally occurring metal that is often combined with chromium to produce cobalt chrome, a hypoallergenic metal alloy with a white-silver look.
Cobalt chrome is bio-degradable and inert. And, it doesn’t tarnish, break, or chip thanks to its scratch resistance properties. And, it’s easy to resize, which makes it a great choice for people who are shopping for rings in particular.
Pure silver is a malleable and soft metal that is favored in the jewelry industry. However, most jewelry makers use sterling silver, a slightly cheaper form of metal that contains roughly 10% of other metals, such as copper.
While silver is a hypoallergenic material, it’s not as durable as gold, platinum, palladium, or cobalt chrome. To help prevent tarnishing, most jewelers will plate silver pieces in rhodium to prevent them from tarnishing and losing their shine.
Stainless steel is made out of varying grades of steel alloys and uses a unique blend of different chemicals. Regardless of what the chemical makeup of your stainless steel is, this metal winds up being strong, durable, and hypoallergenic. Plus, it doesn’t tarnish and is easy to manipulate into various designs.
Most body jewelry, such as nose rings and belly button rings, is made out of stainless steel. The result is a very strong piece of jewelry that can be worn by people with metal sensitivities.
Another type of hypoallergenic metal used in modern jewelry is tungsten carbide. Tungsten carbide is made using tungsten and carbon and combining them under very high temperatures. The result is a scratch-resistant material that is highly cost-effective.
Jewelry made out of tungsten carbide is strong, long-lasting, and lustrous. They’re a great choice for people who lead active lifestyles and need durable yet hypoallergenic jewelry.
One thing that’s important to note is that some jewelry manufacturers will combine tungsten carbide with nickel to help save on costs. Be sure to read the packaging on your jewelry before purchasing to make sure that you’re getting truly hypoallergenic products!
Titanium is one of the most purchased types of hypoallergenic jewelry. The reason for this is because titanium is cheap and lightweight, making it a comfortable and affordable material to use to make gorgeous jewelry.
On top of that, titanium is a scratch-resistant and strong material. Because of these features, jewelers can make unique designs with titanium, giving your jewelry a cool finish.
Plus, it’s resistant to corrosion and is a non-toxic material. That makes it the perfect choice for every day, hypoallergenic jewelry!
It’s not just metal that is used in hypoallergenic jewelry! Ceramic carbide is a non-metal substance that is hypoallergenic, scratch-resistant, lightweight, and nonconductive.
Jewelry made from ceramic carbide is very long-lasting and doesn’t lose its hue over time. Additionally, it’s extremely hard, making it a great, scratch-resistant choice for people wanting hypoallergenic jewelry.
How Do I Choose Hypoallergenic Jewelry?
So, how exactly do you choose hypoallergenic jewelry? The fact is that it’s fairly easy to do!
When shopping for jewelry, make sure to look for labels stating that the product is nickel-free. This helps you ensure that the product is, in fact, hypoallergenic.
Make sure to carefully read all the labels on the packaging, too. Some jewelry that is labeled as “hypoallergenic” still contains elements that are made of nickel and which can irritate the skin.
Choose the Right Hypoallergenic Jewelry Metals
Now that you know about hypoallergenic jewelry metals and materials, you’re ready to purchase the perfect accessories to complete any look. And, you know that you’ll be able to enjoy wearing these pieces without worrying about unwanted allergic reactions.
If this guide on choosing hypoallergenic jewelry was helpful to you, be sure to check out our other articles. And, make sure you hit the subscribe button so that you don’t miss out on any of our new and exciting content!