There's a bit of confusion surrounding which earring posts are best. There are some people who advocate that stainless steel is the only way to go, however it's actually not quite that simple. 

Hypoallergenic and stainless steel earring posts are both designed to be gentle on sensitive ears, but they have some differences:

1. Material:
• Hypoallergenic Earring Posts: “Hypoallergenic” typically means the earring posts are made from materials less likely to cause allergic reactions. This can include various metals like surgical stainless steel, titanium, niobium, or even plastic. The key is that they are less likely to trigger allergies.

• Stainless Steel Earring Posts: Stainless steel is a specific metal alloy known for its durability and corrosion resistance. While it is generally considered hypoallergenic, some people may still be sensitive to certain types of stainless steel.

There can also be different compositions of Stainless Steel which I expand on below. 

2. Composition:
• Hypoallergenic posts can be made from various materials, so their composition may vary.
• Stainless steel earring posts are made primarily of stainless steel, which is an alloy of iron, chromium, and sometimes other elements.

Stainless Steel generally comes in Surgical (316) which is our preference where possible at Kit & Co. and 304 Stainless Steel. 

Due to the inclusion of molybdenum Stainless Steel 316 has a greater resistance to corrosion especially in environments with chlorides like saltwater. 

Typically 304 Stainless Steel is more affordable than 316 due to the higher nickle content. 

3. Allergenic Potential:
• Hypoallergenic posts are designed to minimize allergenic potential, making them suitable for people with sensitive skin or nickel allergies.
• Stainless steel 316 is usually low in nickel content, which is a common allergen, but not entirely nickel-free. Some individuals with severe nickel allergies may still react to stainless steel.

4. Durability:
• Stainless steel is highly durable and resistant to tarnish and corrosion, making it a popular choice for jewelry that needs to withstand daily wear and exposure to moisture.
• Hypoallergenic posts’ durability may vary depending on the specific material used, so it’s essential to consider the material when assessing their longevity.

5. Price

Hypoallergenic jewellery findings are generally slightly cheaper than Stainless Steel. 

In summary, both hypoallergenic and stainless steel earring posts are intended to be gentle on sensitive ears, but hypoallergenic posts can be made from various materials, while stainless steel is a specific metal alloy.

Stainless steel is generally hypoallergenic, but its suitability can vary from person to person, whereas hypoallergenic posts aim to minimize allergenic potential using various materials.

Unfortunately most customers aren't completely 

Our suggestion is to follow one of thee options: 

- Choose Stainless Steel and let customers with nickel allergies know that there is a slight risk of irritation. 

- Stick solely with Hypo-allergenic posts which are most likely to be comfortable on most ears, but less durable if worn swimming in chlorinated pools, and will discolour more quickly. 

- Offer a mix of both, and label your earring cards clearly. This can be confusing to both yourself and your customer however. 

Just remember, you're not going to please everyone, and most customers are happy to test and try out a new earring maker and will likely walk away happy with their purchase. 

August 28, 2023 — Catherine Carmady

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