Shopping for jewelry with sensitive skin can be a frustrating experience. This is especially true if you haven’t fully figured out which metals you react to and which ones you can wear. If you’re still working through the nuances of what you can and can’t wear, here are some things to keep in mind when shopping for jewelry.
Shopping for Jewelry When You Have Sensitive Skin
Less Is More
While not the only sensitive skin culprit, large jewelry pieces can cause skin irritation. Anything that covers a large area of your hand, neck, wrist, etc. can cause moisture to build up and irritate the skin.
While the size of your jewelry isn’t the only reason your skin gets irritated, it’s something to keep in mind. If you want to wear stackable wedding bands, go for thin ones you can mix and match. If you find your skin getting irritated, transfer one of the bands to another finger or your other hand and try that out instead.
Low-quality jewelry (like costume jewelry) gives you the look of nice jewelry without the price tag. Unfortunately for those with sensitive skin, it tends to be an irritant. The best option if you have sensitive skin is to buy higher-quality jewelry. You don’t have to spend thousands, but you do want to avoid costume jewelry or anything you can buy from a kiosk.
Take Your Time
Especially if you’re new to shopping for jewelry that works for sensitive skin, it can be a frustrating process. There’s really no way around taking your time, though. It’s going to take a bit for you to figure out what works for you and what doesn’t.
A good place to start, though, is by avoiding nickel. While not the only issue for those with sensitive skin, it’s one of the more common irritants. Nickel allergies are relatively common among women, but a small percentage of men also have a nickel allergy. It’s not guaranteed to fix your irritations, but it’s a good place for most people to start.
Choose Your Metals and Stick to Them
If you already know what metals work for you, this is going to be a whole lot easier. If you don’t, you’re just going to have to experiment and document the results. Yeah, that sounds like you’re a science project, but still.
For many people, sterling silver is going to be the answer since it’s hypoallergenic. Gold isn’t a bad choice either, though purer gold is going to be better. Cheaper gold is going to have some nickel in it. The purer the gold, the less nickel. Again, not a guarantee, but the odds are in your favor.
Ask for Help
Maybe consult a doctor before a jeweler, but don’t be afraid to talk to your jeweler. The pros have seen this before and can usually point you in the right direction even if they don’t have the answer. If your irritations become too uncomfortable or common, stop your jewelry search and talk to your doctor.
Know Your Remedies
If you haven’t figured out which metals work for you, this is just going to be a part of the process. You’ll want to know the remedies that provide you with the maximum relief. Topical antihistamines may work, but they are not the only option you have.
Avoid Low-Quality Plated Jewelry
So, this is a tricky one. Plated jewelry, in and of itself, isn’t bad for those with sensitive skin. However, poorly made plated jewelry can wear or get chipped, exposing the metal underneath. If you’re going to wear plated jewelry, make sure you’re aware of both the plating and the metal underneath.
If you can’t wear the metal that’s underneath your plated jewelry, it isn’t a dealbreaker. However, you’ll need to replate the ring or get rid of it when it gets chipped.
Buy the Classics
Imagine you find a trendy piece you love and can wear, but in a couple of years, it’s completely out of style. If that doesn’t bother you, feel free to ignore this advice. If that sounds like something you want to avoid, stick to the classic stylings. As fun as trends can be, they’re just that — trends. They’re going to come and go, so stick to the pieces that have staying power.
When in Doubt, Go for Hypoallergenic Jewelry
This is the simplest option, though not your only one. If nothing has worked for you yet, this could be a good place to turn. Platinum, stainless steel and purer gold, among a few others, are hypoallergenic and offer you the best chance of having a non-reactive piece of jewelry. If all else fails, you can try silicone jewelry.
Shopping for jewelry when you have sensitive skin can be disheartening at times. However, if you have a game plan and treat it like a fact-finding mission, you can figure out what works for you and buy pieces that you love for years to come.