Ah, retail therapy – what a wonderful thing. We all know that tingle of joy when you buy something that has caught your eye on impulse, feeling a rush of excitement and satisfaction wash over you, confirming that you did the right thing to treat yourself to something beautiful. However, have you ever put on a new piece of costume jewellery only to realise that it gives you a rash or itch?
Here’s everything you need to know about hypoallergenic jewellery so that that never happens (again) – how to determine if you have a metal allergy and what to look out for before making a purchase.
How Do I Know If I Have a Metal Allergy?
Everyone’s skin chemistry is different, making some of us more sensitive to certain chemicals, organic material and metals. People often mistake a metal allergy to be the discolouration or staining of the skin (usually black or a greenish-grey hue) from jewellery that has oxidised from sweat and moisture or worn down its thin metal plating. Rather, real metal allergies cause the skin to turn red and very itchy, developing into a rash that can even have a burning sensation with swelling and blisters.
An allergic reaction is not just limited to where one would commonly wear jewellery such as the earlobes, neck or wrists, but any part of the body that comes into contact with the metal. It’s important to keep in mind that some watches, handbag chain straps, eyeglass frames and even hairpins can also cause an allergic reaction if they contain the offending metallic element.
What Are The Most Common Jewellery Allergies?
The most common jewellery allergy is apparent with accessories that contains nickel – it has been estimated that about 20% of the population has sensitivity to this white metal that is used widely to create alloys. You might also be surprised to learn that even fine jewellery can sometimes contain nickel, so a hefty price tag or fancy brand name does not mean that the metals used are nickel-free. If you have a metal allergy, it’s always best to do your research or ask a qualified representative. Nickel can be found in a wide range of everyday items such as zippers, metal buttons, earring pins and the majority of costume jewellery on the market.
Another metal known widely to be harmful to humans is lead. While it does not as commonly cause an immediate or obvious reaction, lead is a highly toxic metal used to make batteries, ammunition, petrol and paint. Regulations and consumer awareness have largely reduced the amount of lead used in costume jewellery around the world, however, it is important to beware of cheaply made or mass manufactured products from countries that are not known to have widely enforced universal safety and quality measures.
What is Hypoallergenic Jewellery?
Hypoallergenic jewellery means that the jewellery is made from pure metals such as platinum, rhodium, pure gold, titanium, palladium, copper, surgical-grade stainless steel, sterling silver and fine silver. Increasingly, high-end and luxury brands have become more intentional about offering hypoallergenic jewellery to ensure the quality and enjoyment of their products for consumers of all skin types.
Know Your Own Skin
While most people will not have allergic reactions pure and precious metals used in hypoallergenic jewellery, there are sometimes exceptions. Though few, some people have been known to be sensitive to copper, commonly used in varying quantities to make the well-loved and on-trend alloy we know as rose gold. If you have naturally sensitive skin or suspect a rare allergy, you can consider “spot testing” or wearing the jewellery in question for a short time to see if a reaction happens. You can also consider speaking with the store representative about their return policy if you end up choosing to return the item.
If you are under a great deal of stress or your immune system is compromised, your skin can sometimes react in ways that out of the norm. This means that what is usually a minor or unnoticeable intolerance to an allergenic metal can sometimes cause a sudden or unexpected reaction. If this is the case, we recommend refraining from wearing jewellery altogether and consulting a skin or healthcare professional.
Skin-Loving Jewellery At Your Fingertips
Every piece of jewellery by Arium Collection is free of lead and nickel. We are proud to offer only hypoallergenic products made of 16 karat gold, rose gold, rhodium and gun-metal plated brass, striking an ideal harmony of comfort, beauty and uncompromised quality. If you have any questions about our products or your metal allergy concerns, please reach out and we will be glad to assist you.