How to choose jewellery for sensitive skin

Does your sensitive skin often react to your jewellery? You’ve tried different brands, avoiding certain materials, but the problem still arises. It’s hard enough having to find the perfect piece of jewellery, but you face the added problem of having to find jewellery that won’t irritate your skin. It is estimated that between 10 to 20 percent of people suffer from a nickel allergy - the main cause of jewellery irritation. So trust me when I say many people understand the struggle of finding jewellery that doesn’t make your skin kick up a fuss!

With the following tips, you’ll know exactly where to go and what to look for on your next shopping hunt for jewellery. Here’s everything you need to know when buying jewellery for sensitive skin. After this guide, your jewellery will make you look and feel great!

Understand your skin

There’s many possible reasons your skin is reacting to jewellery. Do you break out in a rash wearing a specific item of jewellery? Does your skin feel sore and slightly swollen? The chances are you have a nickel allergy. As a metal of low value, nickel is often used to make fast fashion jewellery. Whilst this is the common cause of most skin reactions, it’s worth getting your skin tested by your doctor. A patch test will reveal which metals you are allergic to, and therefore which jewellery pieces to avoid. It may be the case that copper-based jewellery pieces are in fact the cause of your discomfort. You don’t want to waste money buying jewellery that you then cannot wear. So take the time to understand your skin and you’ll soon know where and what to shop for.

Once you know what metals are causing your skin grief, invest in a jewellery test kit. This is a readily available kit which allows you to test which metals are in your jewellery. Wouldn’t it be better to know a piece of gifted/inherited jewellery is going to upset your skin before the itching and pain ensues? A jewellery testing kit does just that. Say goodbye to sore earlobes and hello to a simple and painless jewellery experience!

Be wary of piercings

The last thing you want is an inflamed tongue or painful ear piercing. Especially if they pose the risk of a severe infection. If you’re thinking about getting a piercing, then do thorough research beforehand. Make sure the piercer is using high quality jewellery - ideally pure silver or gold above 14kt. Talk through your skin issues with the piercer beforehand, and they should advise the best options for you.

Buy gold with a higher purity

Gold jewellery

There’s a reason it’s 24 karat magic! Gold jewellery of higher purities (14kt and above) are less likely to irritate your skin. Have you ever worn a piece of jewellery that’s left a green residue on your skin? This means that the piece contains a brass or nickel alloy. Jewellery like this is cheaper to produce, however cheap jewellery leaves visible marks! By investing in high-quality jewellery such as gold, not only will your skin be rid of irritation. But it also looks better and more expensive. Ditch the fast fashion pieces that will leave your skin itchy, sore, and resembling the hulk. Instead, go for jewellery that is worth your money.

Avoid leather jewellery

Many people with sensitive skin make the error of thinking that leather is the perfect solution to their jewellery stresses. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Whilst certain leathers may slip under the radar and cause no reaction to your skin. However, the tanning process that gives leather a certain look often involves metal. Many people disregard leather as the cause of skin irritation as it sometimes takes several days for the rash to surface. Traces of metal are found in most leather products - handbags, belt, shoes, and jewellery. If you want to avoid the rash, then it’s probably best to avoid leather. But not all is lost! Pleather jewellery is a great alternative.

Go metal-less

If you’re reading this and thinking, ‘what’s new?’ perhaps your answer lies in avoiding metal all together. From stones, macrame, glass, ceramic and plastic, there is more choice than every when it comes to non-metal jewellery. Ditch the alloys and find your non-metallic fix! Often, the designs created using non-metallic bases are more unique, fun and edgy. So it’s a win-win solution!

Invest in quality hypoallergenic pieces

Whilst gold jewellery of a high purity will solve your skin stresses, it is admittedly more expensive. There are however, an array of affordable alternatives to gold jewellery. Hypoallergenic jewellery is designed with sensitive skin in mind. It is made from pure materials and free from alloys that will cause irritation. Materials such as titanium, surgical steel, platinum, silver and niobium rarely cause irritation to skin, and contain hypoallergenic properties. Thousands of brands opt for these materials over expensive gold, so you can still wear the latest trends and designer jewellery.