Jewelry for Sensitive Skin: What You Should Avoid

Finding the perfect piece of jewelry is hard enough, but needing to factor in a jewelry allergy makes it even more difficult. Previously, we identified the symptoms associated with common metals that can cause skin irritation. In this post, we outline common jewelry metals to avoid if you have sensitive skin and tips to help solve irritating jewelry problems.

Jewelry Materials To Avoid with Sensitive Skin

  1. If you are allergic to nickel, brass, or copper avoid jewelry that is most commonly made with this type of metal, including costume/fashion jewelry.
    • Opt for higher quality fine jewelry instead. Fine jewelry has higher price tags, but it is made to last!
  2. Avoid metal alloys, which contain a mixture of two or more metallic elements, as they may trigger a similar reaction. Metal alloys include stainless steel, rose-gold, and to the surprise of many people – white gold!
  3. Plated jewelry also involves the use of mixed metals, so make sure to check the label thoroughly before purchasing.
  4. Outside of jewelry, there are many other items that contain common allergy-causing metals, including bra-fasteners, zippers, or snaps.
    • It is hard to avoid everyday objects that can trigger allergies, but they also are important clues indicating if you have a metal-specific allergy and what metal it may be that is contributing to it.

Metal Allergy Jewelry Solutions

There are several hypoallergenic metals available that can help resolve the issue of that icky green skin, itchy/irritated skin, or infected piercings caused by jewelry. But before you go out shopping for allergy free jewelry, here are some other ways to solve your “irritating” jewelry problems:

  1. Those with an allergy to nickel jewelry and other metals can test your favorite pieces by purchasing an at-home nickel spot test kit.
  2. Be especially mindful when purchasing body jewelry, like belly-button rings, eyebrow jewelry, or tongue rings since it comes into contact with your body for longer durations of time. Look for the words “surgical” or “nickel-free” and routinely clean your body jewelry frequently.
  3. Purchase jewelry specifically labeled as hypoallergenic, or try opting for other materials like plastic, 925 sterling silver, platinum, or at least 14k gold.
  4. Try out jewelry made of Palladium Alloys. Palladium is a white metal related to platinum that is hypoallergenic and budget friendly! Palladium is often used in white gold jewelry and is a great option for those allergic to white gold jewelry made with nickel.
  5. Have a jeweler re-plate your fine jewelry if the plating has worn out and it has begun to cause an allergic reaction. Some fine jewelry can sometimes contain metal alloys underneath the plating. Re-plating will restore that protective layer of metal between your skin and the base.
  6. If you already know what jewelry pieces have been giving you trouble, try to avoid them. We know it’s hard to let go of our favorite pieces, but do it for your skin ladies! Don’t let him see an infected ear when he leans in for that kiss! Yuck!
  7. If you only have a mild allergy, try wearing your nickel, copper, or brass-based jewelry for a shorter period of time to avoid any effects.
  8. If your reaction is immediate and you can’t seem to wear your jewelry for any length of time before the allergy kicks in, it is better to just avoid it at all costs. Give it away, or throw it away ladies!