Hypoallergenic Jewelry: Why Gold Is the Best Metal
- Metals and Allergies
- Spotting and Managing Skin Sensitivities from Jewelry
- Gold: Composition and Allergenic Properties
- Choosing the Right Gold Jewelry for Sensitive Skin
- Get the Finest Gold Jewelry — Your Skin Will Thank You
Did you know that the metals in some jewelry can set off allergic reactions and irritate your skin? In fact, metal allergies are some of the most common skin allergies. If you’re wearing a chain, bracelet, earring, or ring on the daily, it shouldn’t be causing you problems.
If you need hypoallergenic jewelry, gold is the way to go. However, it’s important to understand the differences between types and grades of gold. Many gold products also contain nickel, which can cause major skin irritations.
We got you. Today, we’re going to cover all you need to know about spotting and avoiding jewelry metals that might mess with your skin. We’ll also discuss the skincare advantages of gold jewelry and give you the rundown on choosing high-quality gold products that won’t make you itch.
Metals and Allergies
A metal allergy is a form of contact dermatitis. Contact dermatitis is an irritating rash caused by direct contact between the skin and a certain material or substance.
Nickel is the metal that most commonly causes allergic reactions. Other metals that can irritate the skin include:
How do you know if your skin is going to be allergic to certain metals, though? If your skin tends to be sensitive to fabrics, soaps, and other common products at home, there’s a good chance you’ll also experience irritation from jewelry that contains nickel.
That means your best bet is to buy hypoallergenic jewelry like pieces made from gold or gold-plated pieces with a quality base metal.
Spotting and Managing Skin Sensitivities from Jewelry
If your jewelry is causing an allergic skin reaction, here are the symptoms you might experience:
- Rash or redness
- Swelling or blisters
- Tenderness, soreness, or sensitivity
If you have a metal allergy, you might notice these symptoms in the areas where your skin touches chains, bracelets, or piercings. Symptoms typically show up between 12–48 hours after contact and are worse if you’ve been grinding it out and working up a sweat.
Your safety is what matters. If you notice a skin reaction to a piece of jewelry, remove it right away and seek medical attention if the reaction is severe.
Gold: Composition and Allergenic Properties
Straight up: we stand behind gold as the best metal for anyone with an allergy. Karats are what determine the purity of gold, and it’s what makes the metal skin-safe.
Let’s break it down and learn why it matters for your skin.
A karat is a measurement of gold purity, measured in 24ths. So, 24k gold is pure gold, while 18k gold consists of 75% gold and 25% other alloys. Grades you might be familiar with include 10k, 14k, 18k, and 24k.
Pure gold is hypoallergenic. However, 24k gold isn’t usually used for jewelry because it’s soft and easily scratches and bends.
To keep a piece strong and durable, the gold is typically alloyed (combined) with other metals, or used as a plating over other metals, to form the best combination of style and strength.
Common metals mixed with gold in jewelry include nickel, silver, and zinc. Gold alloys you’ll commonly find include:
- White gold, made with various metals to create a light color
- Rose gold, made with copper to create a pinkish color
Unfortunately, many gold alloys used in jewelry contain significant amounts of nickel, resulting in the potential for allergic reactions. Therefore, if you have sensitive skin, it’s important to choose jewelry made with high-quality hypoallergenic metals, such as 316l stainless steel.
At GLD, we only use hypoallergenic base metals because we want everyone to enjoy our jewelry without allergies getting in the way. When you buy a piece from us, it’s either solid gold, gold-plated over skin-safe metals, or alloyed with hypoallergenic materials to create different colors like white gold and rose gold.
Choosing the Right Gold Jewelry for Sensitive Skin
Do you have sensitive skin that causes issues with certain pieces of jewelry? Ride with gold. But, remember that not all gold is created equal.
First, higher karat ratings mean more hypoallergenic gold and smaller amounts of other metals. That means 14k and 18k gold are less likely to cause irritation.
Next, consider the other metals that are alloyed or plated with the gold. It’s generally best to avoid nickel. If you have had allergic reactions to jewelry in the past, you can also ask a doctor if they can give you advice on what other metals to stay away from.
When you’re shopping, look at a brand’s reviews. Do customers complain that the metal has irritated their skin? Does the brand tell you what materials they’re using to craft their pieces?
Don’t be afraid to reach out and ask either. A brand that stands behind their products should have no problem giving you extra info about their materials if it helps you make a purchase with confidence.
Be sure to also take good care of your jewelry when using it and when it’s stored away.
Along with choosing high-quality hypoallergenic jewelry, taking good care of your pieces can help reduce the chance of skin irritation. To preserve gold-plated jewelry, keep it dry and away from harsh chemicals and polish it with a soft cloth on occasion to remove anything from the surface. Proper care helps preserve your jewelry’s gold plating, thus reducing contact with the underlying metals.
Get the Finest Gold Jewelry — Your Skin Will Thank You
If you’ve got sensitive skin, cheap jewelry won’t cut it.
At GLD, we offer the finest chains, watches, bracelets, earrings, and more at affordable prices.
Our gold-plated jewelry is nickel-free, which means it feels as good as it looks. Shop our collection today to find the next beautiful piece to add to your collection.