What Jewelry is Hypoallergenic?
The term "hypoallergenic" or "not allergenic" is a term that is used with a lot of jewelry. Jewelry allergies are a big problem, wearing a piece of jewelry and getting a skin rash is not a cute look! But what jewelry causes this rash, and what jewelry does not cause any allergic reaction? To understand jewelry allergies, lets first look at what jewelry metals causes allergic reactions.
What Jewelry causes allergic reactions?
So what jewelry causes allergic reactions?
The short answer is: Any jewelry that contains nickle.
According to the NIH (National Institute of Health), up to 17% of women and 3% of men have a nickle allergy, while 1-3% of people have an allergic reaction to cobalt and chromium. Cobalt and chromium are sometimes found in jewelry metal, but rarely. But nickle is very common in jewelry.
What jewelry contains nickle?
Almost all silver colored jewelry contains nickle. Nickle is the color of silver, is strong and is cheap. So it is an affordable filler for jewelry. Most silver colored "costume jewelry" contains nickle. If it is cheap and silver colored, there is a good chance that it contains nickle.
Is sterling silver hypoallergenic?
Sterling silver is an alloy (mix) of metals that contains 92.5% silver. What other metals are in sterling silver? You guessed it: nickle. Nickle can be found in a lot of sterling silver, but the amount of nickle in sterling silver is generally pretty low. So only a person with a severe nickle allergy would react to the nickle in sterling silver.
So what jewelry is hypoallergenic?
The following jewelry is hypoallergenic:
Pure silver jewelry or pure gold jewelry
Silver and gold itself are hypoallergenic, put pure 100% silver and 100% gold jewelry is very soft and fragile, so it is not common.
Stainless Steel Jewelry
Stainless steel (or surgical steel) is hypoallergenic and tarnish resistant, it is strong and does not cause any allergies. It is a great choice for jewelry.
Brass and Copper jewelry
Copper jewelry and brass (an alloy of copper and zinc) is hypoallergenic, but does tarnish. Copper tarnish leaves a green color which some think is an allergic reaction, but the tarnish does not affect your skin. You cannot have an allergic reaction to copper, brass or it's green tarnish.
Brass and copper jewelry can also be plated (covered) with a thin layer of pure silver. This, if done without nickle, is hypoallergenic.
And of course, any jewelry without nickle!
What do I do if my jewelry gives me an allergic reaction?Did you already buy jewelry that gives you an allergic reaction? Then cover it with a layer of clear nail polish. The nail polish will create a barrier that prevents your skin from touching the metal, so it won't cause an allergic reaction. It doesn't last forever, but you can keep reapplying it. It is the best solution I've heard of!
Culture-Cross Hypoallergenic Jewelry
Not all of our jewelry is hypoallergenic. We work directly with jewelry artists around the world, and nickle is a very common metal used in jewelry everywhere. But we have had our jewelry lab tested, so we know which jewelry contains nickle and which jewelry is hypoallergenic. In our product descriptions we say what kind of metal is used in the jewelry. All of our brass jewelry and silver plated brass jewelry is hypoallergenic, and all of our stainless steel jewelry is hypoallergenic.
If you have any questions about whether or not a jewelry piece is hypoallergenic, feel free to ask! We're always here if you need us.