Do you love wearing jewellery but unfortunately, you have a skin allergy that cramps your style? Perhaps you have a grandmother who told you to wear real gold pieces instead of costume jewellery because they won't cause any flare ups.
Well, it turns out grandma is partially right because there are certain types of jewellery that are not good for sensitive skin.
However, that doesn't mean all costume jewellery is a no-no.
According to Trixie Khong, who owns costume jewellery labels By Invite Only and The Mindful Company, besides gold, there are other materials that those with sensitive skin can reach for. “Materials like copper, platinum, stainless steel and sterling silver are less likely to cause a reaction,” she explained.
And apparently, not all gold is safe, either. “Avoid white gold as it is often alloyed with nickel or cobalt that irritates the skin,” cautioned Khong.
Instead of ruling out costume jewellery altogether, it is more important to find out what exactly triggers your flare ups, she advised. “If the wearer is allergic to a particular metal, he or she should avoid wearing jewellery with that particular metal, even if it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients that irritate the skin.”
Here are some tips from Khong on how to live your best embellished life.
CAN PEOPLE WITH SENSITIVE SKIN WEAR COSTUME JEWELLERY?
Yes, they can. However, if the wearer is allergic to a particular metal (not to be confused with skin sensitivity), he or she should avoid wearing jewellery with that particular metal, even if it doesn’t contain any harmful ingredients that irritate the skin.
HOW WILL YOU KNOW WHAT MATERIAL YOU'RE SENSITIVE TO?
Sensitive skin are skin types that are prone to inflammatory adverse reactions. For example, eczema sufferers often experience flare ups during very cold or hot weather conditions. Nickel, lead and cadmium are often culprits of skin irritation, hence, they are not suitable for those with sensitive skin. To find out what material you're allergic to, a simple prick test can help.
WHAT PRECAUTIONS CAN YOU TAKE AGAINST SENSITIVITY TO MATERIALS?
Look out for nickel-free jewellery pieces as nickel is a common cause of sensitivity.
IS IT TRUE THAT THOSE WITH SENSITIVE SKIN CAN ONLY WEAR JEWELLERY MADE OF GOLD?
This is a myth. There are other materials that are less likely to cause a reaction, such as copper, platinum, stainless steel and sterling silver. Avoid white gold as it is often alloyed with nickel or cobalt that irritates the skin.
WHAT OTHER MYTHS ABOUT JEWELLERY SHOULD BE DEBUNKED?
Myth 1: Mixing and matching gold, silver or rose gold jewellery is a no-no.
Fact: Putting these three materials together is a great way to mix things up or build your stack.
Myth 2: Don’t wear solid gold and fashion costume jewellery together.
Fact: Mixing quality fashion jewellery with fine jewellery is a great way to accessorise and maximise every piece of jewellery you own – think of it as mixing luxury and high-street labels.
HOW BEST TO CARE FOR YOUR JEWELLERY?
Put on your jewellery last, after you've applied lotions, creams and perfume. And remember to remove them first before showering or going to bed. You should also store your jewellery away from direct sunlight and in a cool dry place.