When it comes to jewelry, you oftentimes get what you pay for. The cheaper the price tag tends to mean the cheaper the material. But not all of us can afford the fancy price tags of 24-carat gold. For individuals with sensitive skin, the concern doesn’t lie in the price tag as much as it does in the quality. 

While inexpensive jewelry is more financially affordable the cost it can have on our skin is too high of a cost to carry. What might seem like a great buy can quickly turn into a skin irritant and outbreak in next to no time. Suddenly, that wasn’t money saved. It was money wasted.

So how can you find jewelry for the right price when you have sensitive skin? It can be broken down into two easy steps.

One, know that skin sensitivity is actually more of a skin reaction. That means the first step to finding the right jewelry for you is to learn what you are allergic to and what metals you aren’t allergic to. Since each person's skin is different, test each metal on your own skin and don’t go by what others tell you. Your friend or family member's reaction might be much different from your own.

The second step is to look up those metals and find the price that’s right for you. There is low-cost jewelry made of quality metals, like sterling silver and low-carat gold, that will still look great and help you avoid any reaction. 

Here are some other things to keep an eye out for in order to find jewelry when you have sensitive skin.

Avoid costume jewelry

Costume jewelry is best left avoided. When it’s Halloween season or time for a costume party, it’s financially responsible to pick up convenient jewelry for the occasion. Especially if you only plan on wearing these pieces once or twice a year. But as tempting as it is, most costume jewelry made of metal tends to turn color and cause a reaction on many skin types. You can expect greenish-brown discoloring on the skin underneath the jewelry. You’ve likely seen this where rings were, but this can be much more visible on the wrist and neckline.

Be cautious with your ears

When it comes to your ears, you can never be too careful. Once you learn what metals you aren’t allergic or sensitive to, stick to quality earrings. Fake earrings on pierced ears, especially newly pierced ears, can cause concern rather quickly. Unlike other jewelry that remains on top of the skin, any type of piercing with irritating jewelry can cause inflammation and, later, an infection.

Double-check your silvers

Not all silver alloys are created equal. A silver alloy simply means that it’s a metal mixture. Silver is an element and should not be confused with being pure. An easy way to determine quality silver if you have sensitive skin, on any piece of jewelry, is to look for a numbered stamp on the piece that tends to be very small. On rings, they are on the inside. The best silvers usually are sterling silver and fine silver. This Cuban chain is a great example of quality silvers.

Avoid nickel and copper

Two cheap metals are nickel and copper. They can cause a mark on your skin once you take off whatever it is you’ve worn, and is quick to cause a rash on places like the chest, wrist, ankle, and torso. These are common metals that people are allergic to.

Don’t wear jewelry while you work out

When you have sensitive skin, it’s a good rule of thumb to not wear jewelry while you work out. However, you can usually find out which jewelry is better through this simple faux-pas. Quality jewelry should still be avoided, but it’s uncommon for it to cause too much of a reaction even with sweat. However, poor-quality jewelry will break out in a rash or cause redness where it has been worn. 

Go to a jeweler

If you have any trouble finding jewelry for your sensitive skin, find a jeweler you can trust and shop in person. Online stores can lie and say jewelry is silver or gold even when it’s only coated in it (and technically they can get away with it, as your skin suffers the consequence). However, a jeweler has a reputation to protect and will carry more options that you can see in person. While shopping you can try things on, ask for a certificate of authenticity, and always keep a receipt so you can return your jewelry, in the event of a bad reaction.

If you are eager to try a new brand or metal it’s best to try it through a source that will let you return it, and keep lotions or medications on hand in the event of a severe reaction. As you shop for jewelry for your sensitive skin, online or in person, the best thing you can do is stick to what you already know.