What is hypoallergenic jewellery?
Have you given up on your favourite piece of jewellery because it caused an agonising breakout of rashes? If you did, then you belong to the group of people who are allergic to metal. But before you swear to never lay your hands on another article of jewellery, you should know not all hope is lost. Let us introduce you to hypoallergenic jewellery.
Some people are sensitive to certain types of metals that can trigger allergies. These allergies can manifest in the form of dermatitis, inflammation, redness, rashes and itchiness on the parts that come into contact with the metal. For people susceptible to such kinds of metal allergies, many jewellers offer hypoallergenic jewellery options.
So what exactly does hypoallergenic mean? Is it safe to use? Does it compromise on quality?
Hypoallergenic is a term used to define materials that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction. Whether it’s for amongst people with sensitive skin, those suffering from a nickel allergy or simply the ones who prefer a higher quality finish, hypoallergenic jewellery has gained popularity in recent times.
Hypoallergenic jewellery is created using metals that are safe to wear. Most hypoallergenic jewellery pieces are created using pure metals like Platinum, Gold, Titanium, Niobium, Argentium Silver, Tantalum and Surgical Grade Stainless Steel. In its purest form, metals like silver and gold are too soft in their natural form to create intricate and complicated designs. Hence, jewellery manufacturers blend it with nickel metal to make a metal alloy to increase their tensile strength, achieve the desired malleability and improve durability.
The most common culprit for allergy flare up is nickel. If you are allergic to nickel, then you must avoid jewellery items made of White Gold, German Silver, Mixed / Plated Metals and Costume Jewellery. Most metals that are termed as hypoallergenic contain miniscule traces of nickel that can only be measured using highly sensitive instruments. Since the amount of nickel is maintained at levels that are below average, these metals are LESS likely to cause allergies and qualify as hypoallergenic. In general, hypoallergenic jewellery will contain more of the precious metal and less of the inexpensive base alloys. As a rule of thumb, the higher the purity of the metal, the less likely it is to cause allergies.
Nickel is not only harmful for the body, but also has deteriorating environmental impacts. Due to its cheap market value, nickel is a highly sought after metal. Unfortunately, its extraction outweighs its environmental concerns causing loss of biodiversity and contamination of water and soil. Exposure to elevated levels of nickel during its extracting and processing is also toxic to the body and causes lung and nasal cancer. At Brinda, we strive to maintain a very high standard of ethical sourcing and sustainability. We choose to refrain from working with nickel and produce jewellery only with high grade metals.
Best practice for jewellery shopping would be to know about safe metals and look for jewellery pieces made specifically with these metals, rather than for those metals marked hypoallergenic.
Is Sterling Silver Hypoallergenic?
Sterling silver is a metal alloy of 92.5% silver (hence, also termed 925 sterling silver) and 7.5% other metals. This 7.5 percent is usually filled with copper, zinc or germanium. These metals are hypoallergenic and suitable for sensitive skin.
However, it is important to note that people react differently to different metals depending on their physical chemistry and immune system. Some people report being allergic to sterling silver while others to titanium. Seek advice from your doctor or your jeweller to make an informed decision before making any jewellery purchases. Watch this video to learn more about metal allergies and hypoallergenic jewellery options.
Hypoallergenic Jewellery In Extraordinary Style
Say hello to jewellery that is kind to your skin. Introducing our range of hypoallergenic jewellery that is gentle against your skin. Featuring dainty to statement styles that look as good as it feels to wear. Express yourself with designs that resonate with you while being forgiving to skin that is sensitive. Jewellery designs that are stylish and ultra gentle – including earrings, necklaces, rings and bracelets.