About Jewelry Metals
There are a variety of metals used for jewelry making, some are fantastic quality with very little risk of an allergic reaction occurring, but others are not recommended for regular wear!
Kiki Lee Studio works to source the highest quality materials for making jewelry that is not only gorgeous and fun, but also comfortable and safe! Read more about our metal preferences here!
What does Hypoallergenic Mean?
Well, for starters, this is kind of a deceptive term.
Hypoallergenic really just means "unlikely to cause a reaction." The term itself, however, carries no weight in the medical world, nor does it have any real regulations.
For instance, stainless steel is considered a hypoallergenic metal; however, there are many individuals who are sensitive to it!
What is the safest metal to wear?
Though most people are going to answer this question with "Surgical Stainless Steel" that's actually not necessarily true.
Due to its name, people often think Surgical Stainless Steel (316L) is considered safe to be inside the body, however its actually just safe to be used within surgery (think tools, like a scalpel).
There are; however, 3 metals that are considered the safest to use; Titanium, Niobium, and Platinum. These three metals are strong and highly pure, and do not corrode or discolor easily.
Kiki Lee Studio uses Grade 1 Titanium for most styles.
Metals to avoid completely for pierced jewelry
White Gold- as it generally contains nickel to enhance its whiteness and strength.
Brass- this is because it is an alloy of zinc and copper. It will almost always cause discoloration, and can cause irritation to some
Gunmetal- it may be pretty, but it is an alloy of copper, zinc, and bronze and is not generally considered hypoallergenic.
Stainless Steel (304L)- it can contain up to 13% nickel which is much higher than most alloys.
Kiki Lee Studio does use Stainless Steel for a handful of styles at this time, anything featuring a Ball Post or Ear Wire is stainless steel. We have personally wear-tested the stainless steel findings we have, and can say they are comfortable for all day wear. If you experience severe metal allergies, please stick to our styles that use Titanium!
Please take care to look at the Materials & Care section under each listing to see what material the post is!
What's the deal with Nickel?
Nickel is a white metal that’s commonly used in alloys to add strength and color to other metals.
Almost 15% of individuals are allergic to nickel, so when a metal is marked hypoallergenic, it is considered to be devoid of nickel and safe to wear. Because of this, many people use the words hypoallergenic and nickel-free interchangeably.
What about gold & silver?
Anything above 14k Gold is safe to wear for most people.
That being said, generally most gold and silver jewelry are actually another metal or alloy that is plated in the gold or silver. This exterior layer of plating can wear off or chip away easily in most cases, revealing whatever may be beneath.
Most plated jewelry does not use safe metals beneath the gold or silver, so this could cause an issue in the long run.
There is the option to go with gold or silver filled jewelry. Filled jewelry will definitely hold up much longer as that exterior layer is thicker. But this option tends to cost a lot more, making it not so budget friendly.
What Does Kiki Lee Studio Use?
For a vast majority of our styles since January 2021, we use Grade 1 Titanium posts. This is a highly pure grade of Titanium in which less than 1% of the population has the potential to be allergic to!
For our specialty style posts and hoops, we are currently using a variety of Surgical Stainless Steel, Stainless Steel, Silver Plating, and Gold Plating. There is a section tab under every listing detailing which material is used for each style of earring, but if your ever unsure just reach out!
We have personally tested all of the materials we use for comfort and longevity. For folks with extra sensitive skin, we recommend sticking to the Titanium Post styles, as they will give the best result.
As we continue to learn, grow, and find new material sources, we will work towards changing all of our materials to titanium or platinum!