The simple answer? Maybe. Gold is an allergen but it’s nickel that’s the real danger for those with contact dermatitis. Nickel isn’t just an allergen or a top allergen…nickel is frequently the number one most common allergen on published allergen lists. It is difficult to find metals without nickel in them — even if you use non-metal jewelry, pay attention to clasps and earring pieces. What helps is if the nickel is bonded extremely well, so that the chances of it rubbing off and causing a reaction are minimized. Because of how difficult it can be, and because hypoallergenic is who we are, we’re always on the lookout for jewelry for those with sensitive skin. We already work with Yciar Castillo for makeup, and were thrilled to learn that she launched a new jewelry line, with skin safety as something that she tries to prioritize!
My grandmother was a woman who loved to accessorize. Growing up, she used to show me her different pieces of jewelry and tell me the stories behind each piece. I was fascinated by every anecdote and the history and provenance of each item. This is where my love affair with jewelry began.
As I grew older, I began developing an interest in semi-precious stones. My cousins and I knew exactly what our birthstones were and the properties that came with each. So it was no surprise that when I decided to choose a hobby and study again, I chose to take a short course in metalsmithing and jewelrymaking.
Being a makeup artist by profession, I am very conscious of how skin can react to anything that it comes in contact with, from our skincare and cosmetic products, to the detergents we use on our clothing, the fabrics our clothes are made of, and the materials and metals used in the accessories we wear. When I started making my pieces, I was lucky a friend of mine helped me test my gold earrings and gave me a lot feedback. Another friend also brought my handmade silver earrings to a dermatologist who performed a nickel test with a special solution. Nickel is a metal that is found and used in a lot of costume jewellery. It is the most common cause of allergic contact dermatitis in adults. My jewelry tested negative for nickel. This gave me the assurance that my pieces are safe for many people with sensitive skin.
I love being creative and working with my hands. I started making jewelry as something to do part time, I post my pieces on Instagram and have called my jewelry Quinntas – after my son, Quinn.
For best results: if you think you might have contact dermatitis, ask your dermatologist for a patch test.
Yciar is a makeup artist and jewelry designer who’s all about family, adventure, and keeping it simple — her philosophy is “makeup does not have to be complicated.” Follow her on instagram to be inspired!