Jewelry for stretched piercings
a) For stretching
You have read about how to safely stretch your own piercings in the article on this website. Also you now know that acrylic jewelry is bad for you, and that you shouldn’t stretch your piercings with it. Now we’re going to talk about which types and materials of jewelry are actually safe for stretching and to keep in your stretched piercings.
The materials I always recommend during stretching are
b) Once the stretched piercings are healed
Brass jewelry or ear weights are trending. These are pretty and gold in color. Brass is an alloy of zinc and copper. Because of the presence of copper this material is discouraged to wear long term in your piercings.
Silicone is suitable for healed piercings. But there are different manufacturers of silicone jewelry… to be sure there aren’t any toxic materials in the silicone of your jewelry you should go with known brands such as Kaos Softwear. LBut: silicone will stick to your skin. Kaos Softwear informs well about this. Make sure you insert the jewellery with a lubricant (be it oil or water based lube) or under water, in the shower for instance. Do this to prevent one part of your skin te be stretched thinner than another part. Be careful when wearing this material.
Polymer clay, or fimo is even more dangerous than acrylics. This type of clay secretes chlorine, always, chlorine is dangerous to all lifeforms. It causes necrosis, which is the dying of your skin. It’s still discouraged when worn through trusted eyelets.
Then we have the so called organics. Organics are materials form natural origin such as wood, horn, bone, fossils, antlers, stone…
Wood: Teak and Rose Wood are not recommended because these are too soft, difficult to work on and thus to create a smooth finish and too porous for safe long term wear because they can harbor bacteria in the microscopic holes and tears.
A couple of good woods are:
- Olive wood
- Pink Ivory
- Coconut Wood
- Zebra wood
- Bloodwood (but some have a reaction to this one though)
There are many more types of wood, most important is that it’s a strong hardwood and that the finish is smooth and the flare not too sharp.
Pink Ivory is often confused with Bloodwood.
The design of wood jewelry, and other organic jewelry is important. They have to have a smooth finish and nice shine and a flare that is not too sharp. Because wood can stick to your skin it’s very important that they are well polished and never coated with any lacquer, or other material. Wood is not suitable for stretching.
Inlays in wood jewelry is okay but if you find different kinds of wood glued together it’s not because the glue can cause sever allergic reactions, no matter how little glue was used.
Dyed or painted wood is also bad because they can contain chemicals that can be harmful when in contact with your skin.
Most common organics are horn and bone. Horn is keratine, just like your fingers and nails and bone is calcium. bone is hollow and quite small. plugs of bone are therefor hollow and glued shut. For bigger sizes bone plugs you best look for antler plugs. These are shed every year so no animals were killed in the making of this type of jewelry, no need to feel guilty when wearing them. Antler is a little grey in color. Other products for bone jewelry in bigger sizes can be made of fossilized walrus tusks or walrus baculum or penisbone. These are large, hard, strong and durable but a little more expensive.
Horn, bone, ivory and other materials alike are not made from animals that were killed for the making of jewelry. The horn, bone, ivory and such are either a byproduct of food production or they have been dead for over a thousand years.
So there is no reason to feel guilty when wearing this type of jewelry. Also, these materials are almost always from Polynesia where this type of jewelry are traditional and the manufacturing of it has been feeding families for generations.
Fossils and fossilized materials such as ivory. This is the most common type of fossil. Mostly it’s fossilized mammoth teeth but it could also be from elephant, mastodon, wild bore, hippopotamus or elk.
Amber is also a kind of fossil. It’s fossilized tree sap. If you’ve seen Jurassic Park, you probably know the materials already a little. It’s good for winter time because it gets warm to the touch. Aslo many products are sold as if they were amber but really they are acrylic or glass.
Shell, such as Paua shell. This is made from abalone. It’s very thin. Paua shell is from a small mollusk. Oyster shells are yellow or black on one side and pearly white on the other.
Fossils such as ammonite, kynoid fossils and dinosaur bones are older than a million years and petrified and turned to stone by now.
Different types of stone:
Agate is most common. It exists in many colors. It can be polished and keeps it’s smoothness. In the old days it was used to model leather and metals. Red Agate is also called Cornelian.
Jasper is more difficult to polish but it comes in many colors.
Quartz is hard and clear, is comes in many colors too such as clear, pink, smokey, whiskey color…
Obsidian is vulcanic glass, so natural glass really.
Sometimes stone is heated to create other colors.
Something you see often is that glass is sold as if it was stone. Most common is Turquoise. Real turquoise is green and stained. What often is sold as turquoise is colored Howlite. Real turquoise is expensive and only available in small pieces.
Also sold as Obsidian is actual man made glass. Obsidian may very well be glass but it’s natural glass that is stained.
Stones painted green are often sold as Jade or Aventurine. Real Jade is pricy, darker or stained.
Opalite or opal stone is not an actual stone but colored glass.
Goldstone is also glass.
Always look at the finish and design when purchasing your jewelry. Pay attention to it’s smoothness and the flare. When a pair is very much alike it’s more costly. The shine and reflection on the stone also makes it more pricy.
Labradorite for example is cheap in grey, glassy and dull colored. If the color is darker and has many different color shines it often is also much more expensive.
Malachite is a stone that is bad in contact witht he skin because it holds a great amout of copper. This is why it is often used as an inlay in jewelry. But most Malachite sadly are fake. Malachite is also very heavy.
Glass is hypoallergenic, autoclavable and easy to clean. It’s super smooth and also availabla in half sizes which makes it an ideal material for stretching. Glass is cheap and available in many different colors and styles such as tunnels and eyelets and plugs and spirals… You can read more about glass in my article on hypoallergenic materials.