A Guide to Hypoallergenic Jewelry
Are you allergic to your jewelry? If you are experiencing earrings that make your ears itchy and swollen, bracelets that leave a ring of itchy skin underneath, or necklaces that cover up a blotchy, red decolletage - chances are that you are having a reaction to the jewelry metal.
Trendy, inexpensive jewelry or costume jewelry can often come with more risks than poor quality. Leaving you itchy and rashy, many inexpensive metal types are known to irritate the skin and result in reactions.
To help break it down, we’ve created a guide to hypoallergenic jewelry to help shed some light on what metals to steer clear of if you have skin sensitivities.
What jewelry metals can cause a reaction?
If you are trying to figure out if you have a jewelry allergy or sensitivity, try to observe how your body and skin react when you are wearing different jewelry types. Does your finger swell underneath your new ring band? Are your earlobes itchy when you put earrings in?
If you are experiencing rashes, itchiness, red marks, swelling, or blisters, chances are that you have a metal allergy or sensitivity.
Everybody has different body chemistry, but there are some metals that are more likely to cause a reaction than others. Here are some of the most common:
An alloy of zinc and copper, brass is a lower-grade base metal that will often cause allergic reactions. If allergic to brass, also be careful to avoid plated-brass jewelry as well.
Jewelry made from nickel is the most common metal allergy. A natural white metal often mixed with other metals to create an alloy, nickel can be found in earring posts, body jewelry, costume jewelry, and most cheap jewelry pieces.
- Low Melting Temperature Metals
Low melting temperature metals, like zinc, tin, and lead are common metals used in lower-cost jewelry. Most often found in costume or fashion jewelry, these inexpensive materials can easily cause a reaction with the skin.
Though rare, some people may also experience an adverse reaction to copper. It is important to note that green discoloration from copper is not a sign of a sensitivity or allergic reaction. Instead, discoloration is caused by the reaction of metals against moisture or perspiration on the skin.
Good alternatives for your skin
Jewelry made to minimize the risk of an allergic reaction, hypoallergenic jewelry is often made of higher-grade and purer materials, making them safe for sensitive skin.
To avoid jewelry allergies and prevent potential rashes, stock your jewelry collections with these hypoallergenic metals:
- Sterling silver
Sterling silver is 92.5% pure silver and 7.5% other alloys. When the metal blend is made of copper or zinc, the reactivity of this metal is very low and considered safe to wear for sensitive skin. Though it doesn’t typically contain any nickel, be sure to check with your retailer before you buy.
When it comes to gold, the higher the karat, the better the hypoallergenic properties. For example, 18k gold is 75% gold and 25% other metals, a 14k gold piece is around 58% gold and 42% other metals, and a 10k gold piece is about 42% gold and 58% other metals. In the US, 10K gold is the lowest level of purity that can be legally marketed and sold using the word “gold.” With a higher gold content, there are fewer other metal blends and a lower degree of reactivity.
Other Safe Materials:
- Stainless steel
Shop Hypoallergenic Jewelry At Common Alloy
With strength, durability, and resistance to tarnish, hypoallergenic jewelry helps you to not only look great, but feel great as well. Investing in quality jewelry means that you won’t have to deal with itchy earlobes, rashes, or other future problems with irritated skin.
At Common Alloy, all of our jewelry pieces are nickel-free, high quality, and safe to wear. Ready to add some sparkle to your everyday collection? Shop Common Alloy.