Material info & care instructions

Materials

Ask & Embla loves you and the environment.

Inspired by all energies of this Earth, we believe that it is our duty to minimize the footprints we leave on this land. While we are aware that our journey towards sustainability will be demanding, we are deeply devoted to taking the best paths for our business, customers and most importantly, our home.

Whenever possible, we make every effort to use sustainable and ecologically responsible materials while continuing to deliver the highest standards of material safety.

Read on to learn important information about the materials we use and how to properly care for your jewelry.

Relevant material certifications are also available upon request.

Acrylic

A type of lightweight plastic that can be clear or coloured. To keep your acrylic jewelry clean, simply wash with soap and water and wipe dry.

Can be autoclaved: No
Suitable for wearers with nickel sensitivity
Suitable for healed piercings only
Not recommended for use while stretching or upsizing

Eco brass

ECO BRASS® is a lead-free brass alloy that is mainly composed of copper. With lush warm hues, brass is an affordable alternative to gold. All raw brass will tarnish as it ages, creating a patina that is unique to each piece – if this is not a look you want, you may upkeep the clean look of new brass by polishing your piece with a jewelry polishing cloth. Be sure to dry your jewelry thoroughly if it gets in contact with water as raw brass can retain water spots, leaving undesirable white stains.

Some of our brass pieces are sealed with a coating in order to prevent tarnishing – you can refer to the product description for each piece to identify its coating.

Can be autoclaved: No
Not suitable for people with nickel sensitivity
Suitable for healed piercings only
Not recommended for use while stretching or upsizing

Glass

A man-made material that can be clear or coloured. Its smooth and non-porous surface makes it suitable for wear with healing piercings. Please be very careful to avoid knocking or dropping the jewelry as glass is brittle by nature and can be damaged by strong sudden impacts. To keep your jewelry clean, simply wash with soap and water.

Can be autoclaved: Yes
May be used while stretching or upsizing

Silicone

A flexible and lightweight material that is comfortable to wear. To clean your silicone jewelry, simply wash with soap and water.

Can be autoclaved: Yes
Suitable for people with metal sensitivity
Suitable for healed piercings only
Not recommended for use while stretching or upsizing

Stone

Made by Mother Nature, and honed by us. Stones come in a variety of colours and weights and can be used as an accent or as the base material of a piece. As with all natural materials, minor variations (such as variances in colour intensity, translucency, grain pattern and striations) should be expected, but these differences also make each piece unique. It is best to avoid hard knocks as some stones are brittle. To care for your jewelry, simply wash with soap and water.

Can be autoclaved: No
Suitable for people with metal sensitivity
Suitable for healed piercings only
Not recommended for use while stretching or upsizing

Wood

Wood is a porous and organic material and requires extra care. Avoid getting your jewelry wet as excessive moisture will cause the material to expand and shrink, creating irreversible damage. It is best to remove your wood jewelry while taking baths and showers, and when swimming.

In order to avoid bacteria and dead skin build-up, wipe your jewelry with a dry, lint-free cloth at least once a week. To keep your wooden jewelry supple, polish it using a few drops of jojoba oil (but not too much!) and a clean cotton cloth once every 3 months.

Different types of wood have different colours and weights and are treated with different finishings. We do our best to use only ethical and sustainable wood for our jewelry. As with every tree, each piece of wooden jewelry is unique.

Can be autoclaved: No
Suitable for people with metal sensitivity, but note that some people may experience sensitivity to certain types of woods
Suitable for healed piercings only
Not recommended for use while stretching or upsizing

Stainless steel

The 2 main types of steel used in body jewelry are 316L stainless steel and 316LVM implant-grade steel. Both are suitable for use as initial jewelry for fresh piercings. To clean stainless steel jewelry, simply wipe it down with a cotton cloth or wash with warm water and soap.

Steel jewelry is often plated or coated to give it different colours. In order to extend the life of the plating or coating, try to avoid scratching the surface of your jewelry and keep it away from perfumes and lotions. To clean coated or plated jewelry, gently wash with soap and water and pat dry with a soft cotton cloth.

Can be autoclaved: Yes
Contains nickel, not suitable for people with nickel sensitivity
Suitable for use in fresh piercings (if uncoated/plated)

Titanium

A lightweight metal that is well-tolerated by most people. Titanium is the most commonly used material for jewelry that is made for fresh piercings and can be anodized in different colours without affecting its safety. To clean titanium jewelry, simply wipe it down with a cotton cloth or wash with warm water and soap.

Titanium can also be PVD-coated in colours which cannot be achieved by anodizing. In order to extend the life of the plating or coating, try to avoid scratching the surface of your jewelry and keep it away from perfumes and lotions. To clean coated or plated jewelry, gently wash with soap and water and pat dry with a soft cotton cloth.

Can be autoclaved: Yes
Suitable for people with nickel sensitivity
Suitable for use in fresh piercings (if uncoated)

Sterling silver (925 silver)

Pure silver is extremely soft and not suitable for daily wear, so it is often alloyed with other metals to improve its durability. Sterling silver contains 92.5% silver, and it is the highest grade of silver that is used in body jewelry. Silver in any grade will tarnish over time as it interacts with gases in the air. To reduce the rate of tarnishing, avoid getting silver jewelry in contact with lotions or perfumes, and remove it before showering or swimming. For regular cleaning, buff your jewelry with a clean, lint-free cotton cloth once a week.

Can be autoclaved: No
Suitable for people with nickel sensitivity
Suitable for use in healed piercings only
Not recommended for use as initial jewelry for fresh piercings

14K gold, 18K gold

Gold typically comes in 3 different karats: 24K, 18K, 14K. 24K gold is 100% pure gold, and not recommended for use in body jewelry as it is not very durable. In order to increase its durability, gold is alloyed with other metals (including nickel). 18K gold is 75% gold, and 14K gold is 58.3% gold.

18K and 14K gold commonly come in 3 colours: yellow, rose, and white. These gold alloys contain different amounts of other metals which give them their colour. Although 18K gold and 14K gold are both suitable for everyday wear, care must be taken while wearing gold jewelry as they can be scratched or dented. To clean gold jewelry, wash with soap and warm water. Once every few months, use a jewelry polishing cloth to help with polishing and restoring shine to your gold jewelry.

Can be autoclaved: Yes
May not be suitable for people with nickel sensitivity
Suitable for use as initial jewelry for fresh piercings

Platings & coatings

Often, a piece of jewelry will be plated or coated in order to change its colour or enhance its durability. The thickness of platings and coatings varies from approximately 0.3 microns (0.0003 millimeters) up to approximately 20 microns.

In order to extend the life of the plating or coating, try to avoid scratching the surface of your jewelry and keep it away from perfumes and lotions. To clean coated or plated jewelry, gently wash with water and soap, and pat dry with a soft cotton cloth.

Electroplating

Electroplating is carried out by soaking the base material in a solution of the coating material and passing an electric current through it. This is the process used to apply gold or rhodium plating over other metals like steel or titanium. In order for a jewelry item to be classified as “gold plated”, the gold layer must have a thickness of at least 0.5 microns.

Examples of platings: 14K yellow gold, 14K rose gold, 14K white gold, 18K yellow gold, 18K rose gold, silver, rhodium

PVD coating

Physical vapour deposition (PVD) is carried out in a vacuum in which the coating material is vaporized and then deposited as a solid thin film on the base material. PVD coating is done to achieve different colours, including gold, but it is not used for real gold plating. PVD coating is generally hardier than real gold electroplating and more long-lasting, but PVD-coated jewelry is not recommended for wear in fresh piercings.

Examples of PVD coatings: gold, rose gold, black

E-coating

Electrophoretic coating (e-coating) is a combination of electroplating and enamelling. In this process, acrylic or ceramic particles are electrically plated onto the surface of a material, then the piece is baked in an oven or kiln to cure the coating. Ceramic e-coatings are extremely durable and resistant to scratches but can still chip if the jewelry is dropped or knocked against hard surfaces.

Examples of e-coatings: ceramic (titanium carbide)

Finishings

Finishing treatments are often applied to the surface of a piece to produce a certain aesthetic. Finishings can be applied in various ways, including anodizing, polishing, open flame heating and brushing.

Anodizing

Some materials like titanium can be given different colours through an electrolytic finishing process called anodizing. In this process, the jewelry is immersed in a solution and an electric current is passed through it, causing the surface of the material to oxidize. The longer the current is applied, the thicker the layer of oxidation will be. Depending on the thickness of the oxidized layer, different wavelengths of light are refracted so different colours can be achieved. Because anodized finishings are made of the base material itself, they are fairly permanent and do not affect the safety of the metal. However, they can be stripped off or worn out over time, exposing the original color of the metal.

Enamelling

In this process, powdered glass is applied to the surface of a material and baked, forming a smooth and shiny coating.

Wood finishings

Wooden jewelry can be finished with either surface sealers or penetrating oils.

Surface sealers

A surface sealer, also known as a film finish, remains on the surface of wood and can be layered for additional protection. To minimize the risk of skin reactions, we only use body-safe wood sealers for our plugs and tunnels.

Surface sealers: Carnauba wax, beeswax

Penetrating oils

Penetrating oils soak down into the wood and stay absorbed. They provide less protection for the material and leave a more natural-looking finish. There are 2 types of finishing oils: drying and non-drying. Drying oils react with oxygen to cure and polymerize, whereas non-drying oils will stay wet and rub off over time, making them more like a temporary treatment than a true finish. Non-drying oils will require re-application once in a while. To reduce the risk of skin reactions, we use only body-safe oils and avoid oils that are known allergens.

Drying oils: Tung oil

Non-drying oils: Jojoba oil, vitamin E oil

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