The high cost of fine jewelry means that this type of jewelry is pretty much accessible to most jewelry lovers, which translates to a big chunk of the population opting for the cheaper variety of fashion jewelry, also known as fake jewelry. This often happens even for individuals that struggle with metal allergies and sensitivity reactions.
For such individuals, the search for affordable jewelry that is skin-safe and hypoallergenic is largely a game of chance. There is always this huge risk of the jewelry selected causing adverse reactions or mild reactions and a rather slim chance of these kinds of jewelry sitting pretty without causing any irritation.
And with some of the versions of fake jewelry being non-irritant for a few weeks or limited wear times, you need to identify ways of making sure that you can still wear the fake jewelry comfortably, despite suffering allergies in the past.
So, keep reading to learn more about some of the remedies that would work for you if you are allergic to the metals used to make fake jewelry.
How to wear fake jewelry when allergic
1.Create a barrier for your skin
The most effective way of protecting your skin/ ear when wearing fake jewelry is finding a way of creating a safe barrier for your skin to prevent allergies or reduce the risk of allergic reactions. One of the things that work for most people is the application of clear nail polish on the earrings posts, for example.
You will need about 3 coats of clear polish on the jewelry. This way, you won’t have to worry about the metallic part of the earrings coming in contact with your skin. Note that the coated layers of nail polish are effective in limiting irritants like sweat and body heat from interacting with the jewelry, resulting in irritation of the skin.
This is a temporary solution, however, and you’d have to reapply more coats of the polish after some wear.
Besides clear nail polish, you could also create a barrier by applying Vaseline or coconut oil on the ear before wearing the jewelry. These could be applied to the jewelry too, but you’d want to treat the earrings with hydrogen peroxide first before you coat them with Vaseline. No peroxide treatment is needed for coconut oil treatment – just dip it in the oil for a few seconds before you wear it.
Other things you could do include:
Wear ear cuffs to avoid the discomfort and pain from the earrings posts, the screwbacks, or even the clip-ons.
2.Invest in more hypoallergenic jewelry
Although the jewelry is fake, it can be hypoallergenic. Essentially, this means that the jewelry in question contains a very low content of materials that would elicit allergic reactions.
For starters, this kind of jewelry is free of nickel, and it’s categorized as hypoallergenic.
Some of the hypoallergenic metals used in fake jewelry include nickel-free stainless steel and surgical-grade stainless steel, and even tungsten.
3.Get your piercings done at a reputable piercing studio.
If you want to get a new piercing and you cannot afford piercing rings or earrings made of medical-grade titanium or 19k yellow gold, we recommend getting the piercing in a professional environment where a professional piercer will not just use the best of sterile and sealed surgical stainless steel piercing needles but also rings/ earrings.
The piercing gun to be used should be well-maintained, and the part that touches your skin not be used on other customers.
4.Invest in good quality hypoallergenic jewelry
Your skin-safe hypoallergenic jewelry doesn’t have to be made of 14k/18k gold or sterling silver; it could be plated with a thick layer of metal like gold or rhodium, as long as the rest of the components are nickel-free, and even if they are not, you should have the jewelry re-plated frequently or you could replace them.
5.Avoid all kinds of jewelry containing nickel.
When it comes to wearing fake jewelry for persons with sensitive ears or skin, the most important thing you could do is to avoid jewelry with nickel.
The jewelry might look great, but if it has nickel, you should avoid it completely.
Bear in mind that although nickel is commonly used in costume jewelry because it is cheap, durable, and boasts an excellent finish, it is bad for sensitive or problematic skin, and it will cause irritation soon after you start wearing that jewelry.
The irritation often results from the high reactivity of nickel, which means that a nickel salt is formed when the metal comes in contact with water.
So, in areas of your body where a lot of water/ sweat collects, say ear piercings or rings, nickel erodes at a very high speed, and the resulting salt mixture will irritate your skin.
If you cannot afford expensive jewelry, look for safer alternatives for nickel jewelry. These alternatives are often palladium alloys that contain no copper or nickel and are very safe on your skin.
The best part is that palladium is hypoallergenic, just as platinum, but it’s much cheaper. This is also the reason why most jewelers are now opting for palladium rather than a nickel for alloying.
6.Get the plated jewelry replated regularly
Often, rhodium plated jewelry like white gold would have to be replated after some time between 6 months to 2 years, depending on how often you wear it and how well cared for the jewelry is.
This principle could also be applied to fake jewelry because this jewelry is often plated.
Gold plating using 18k gold or rhodium plating ensures that the base metal which may have allergens is coated and away from your sensitive skin.
The new gold plated or rhodium plated layer will not last forever, but it will keep your skin safe from irritants for a few more months.
7.Take a break
Accessorizing may be important to you, but you need to give your ears and fingers a break if you have sensitive skin, especially with new irritation.
No earring design or stylish look is worth subjecting yourself to pain.
Essentially, you should get more of the good stuff if you have sensitive skin, but this is not an option that we can all afford, hence the tips above.
Also, you should understand your body and your sensitivities to be able to buy options that are safe for you.
Tiger is a fashion&jewelry lover. He is also a fashion jewelry manufacturer that help thousands of small business to grow and also do business with some big fashion jewelry brands. He is a truly metal expert and he will share some information you are looking for.