With so many different materials around, it’s sometimes difficult to choose the right jewelry. You’ve probably heard about body-safe materials and the importance of choosing them for your body jewelry. It’s crucial that you pick jewelry made of materials that are safe for you to wear. Meaning: materials which don’t cause allergic reactions, infections or other problems.
It’s well-known which materials are body-safe and frequently used for body jewelry: surgical steel, titanium, bio-plastic, and more. However, it’s also important to know when it’s crucial that you wear jewelry made of these materials and when it’s ok to wear other materials. There are certain types of jewelry or parts of jewelry that can safely be made of other materials without compromising your health. This way, even if you are sensitive, you will be able to wear hybrid and composite jewelry pieces made of several materials.
When to Use Safe Materials
Using body jewelry made of body-safe materials is crucial for numerous things, first and foremost, your health. Certain materials are not suitable to be worn as piercing jewelry because they can cause allergic reactions and infections. Of course, it’s important to note here that a material known to cause allergies can still be worn by you if you are not allergic. However, for initial piercings and most piercing jewelry types, using safe materials (surgical steel, titanium) is the best way to go.
What about hybrid jewelry made of several types of materials? Are they ok to wear? The answer will depend on several factors, one of them being your allergic reactions. As a rule of thumb, however, it’s ok to wear composite jewelry made of different materials as long as the “unsafe” material doesn’t go through your piercing and/or it doesn’t touch your skin.
In practice, it means that the part of the jewelry (barbell, captive bead ring, etc.) inserted into the piercing must be made of a body safe material. It’s best to use popular body jewelry materials, such as surgical steel (not stainless steel!) or titanium. Surgical steel is probably the most popular material used for body piercing and it offers numerous advantages. It’s reasonably prices, smooth, durable and easy to clean.
Titanium is another highly-recommended material. It’s hypoallergenic, very strong but light and it can be anodized to make a wide variety of colors (blue, purple, rainbow, etc.) Titanium and surgical steel are ideal for initial piercings and can be used for all types of piercing jewelry.
Some other materials are also good to use. Bio-plastic, for example, is a very flexible and it’s a good choice for initial piercings, particularly facial piercings. Gold is also a good (safe) material, but it’s not recommended for initial piercings and its downside is a high price.
When to Use “Unsafe” Materials
Generally speaking, unsafe materials should never be used for body jewelry. However, it’s still possible to wear jewelry partially made of these materials as long as the material doesn’t go through the piercing hole and as long as it doesn’t touch your body.
A good example of this are various gems and other ornaments worn on the balls of straight or circular barbells. These materials can add color and beauty to jewelry without compromising health because they don’t come in touch with the piercing itself. Same can be said for various chains, pendants and other ornaments made to highlight different body jewelry styles.
One of the most popular materials of this type is Sterling Silver. It’s very beautiful and soft, so it’s suitable for making many elaborate designs and unique patterns. However, Sterling Silver should not be inserted in any part of the body so any jewelry containing this material should have a basis (shaft) made of surgical steel or titanium.