Materials Guide

Materials Guide

Body Jewellery comes in a variety of materials. To help you with your purchase we have provided a short introduction to the materials used in Shop @ Tattooed Lady Body Jewellery.

 For information about the different types and sizes of body jewellery please read our body jewellery guide and sizing guide, or contact us for advice. 




Materials suitable for New and Healing Piercings


Titanium - This is a very un-reactive and corrosion resistant metal. When made into an alloy for Body Jewellery, titanium is bio-compatible and non-toxic so it does not cause allergic reactions, this is why it is also used in medical implants. It is strong and light weight, half the weight of surgical steel. Its natural colour is a silvery grey although in body jewellery use it is usually highly polished. It can also be anodised, which means the surface colour can be changed into a variety of attractive colours. This makes it very suitable for body jewellery and it can be used for a huge variety of different designs. It can also be PVD coated to make it Black or Gold coloured this is refered to as Black or Gold PVD Titanium. However we do not reccommend any type of coated jewellery for prolonged use in mouth piercings.


Bio-Plast/Bio-Flex/PTFE - This family of materials are all Bio-compatible plastics. Bio-plast and Bio-Flex are the most commonly used terms. PTFE is a white plastic which is very un-reactive and corrosion resistant, it is also very bio-compatible. This combined with its flexibility and light weight structure makes it ideal for body jewellery. All of this familly of materials are good for piercings which require more flexible jewellery. For example, a Bio-Plast labret stud in a lip or labret piercing can bend if the piercing were knocked and it is much kinder to teeth and gums than metal jewellery as it is soft and flexible. 

Both Titanium and Bio-Plast body jewellery can be autoclaved (steralised). This means they can be used for the initial piercing or in piercings that are still healing. We recommend that changing jewellery whilst the piercing is healing is done by a professional piercer or in a clean environment whilst wearing latex gloves.


Materials Suitable for Healed Piercings


316L Surgical Steel - Sometimes only referred to as Surgical Steel, this is a type of steel made specifically for use in the body. All of the surgical steel jewellery we sell is 316L grade. The 316L grade is a measure of purity and some body jewellery, especially imported jewellery, is not this grade. This means it could have a higher nickel content and cause an allergic reaction. This metal is strong and relatively heavy which makes it ideal for use in weights and stretchers to stretch (enlargen) the gauge of a piercing.


PVD Coated Steel - Surgical Steel can be PVD coated in order to make it black or gold coloured, this process is not just a thin surface layer but a chemical reaction. It is then referred to as Black or Gold PVD Steel. INJECTO™ body jewellery is surgical steel PVD coated with titanium and this means it can be used in healing piercings in the same way as solid titanium jewellery. This coating can be black or gold, and is referred to as Injecto™ Black PVD or Injecto™ Gold PVD. However we do not reccommend any type of coated jewellery for prolonged use in mouth piercings.


Acrylic -Also known as PMMA, acrylic is a type of plastic (polymer) which is bio-compatible and very inert. It is used to make a variety of body jewellery and add-on's such as flesh tunnels, plugs and screw on balls. It can be made with UV reactive colouring and can be cast with glitter and other additions inside. It is light weight and durable making it ideal for flesh plugs and flesh tunnels. Acylic is also an insulator which means it will not get cold in winter so it will be more comfortable to wear in the cold. 


Silicone -This is a very lightweight and flexible rubber material making it ideal for use in flesh tunnels as they can be squashed to be inserted into the piercing and will then spring back into shape. Silicone used in body jewellery is safe to wear in healed piercings and is unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. It should not be exposed to chemicals such as chlorine as these can cause damage to the material. If it is exposed to dirt or dust this may stick to the surface so when not being worn silicone jewellery should be kept dry and clean. Silicone can be cleaned in with warm soapy water and then rinsed well and dried naturally. It can be used with lubricants such as a water based intimate lubricant. Due to their flexibility silicone flesh tunnels can be worn comfortably under headwear/helmets and are also ideal for use during sports.


9ct and 18ct Gold - Pure gold is an element and is very unreactive and resistant to corrosion, it is also very easy to bend. 9ct and 18ct Gold are alloys of gold used in Jewellery and Body Jewellery as they are stronger and stiffer than pure gold. 9ct/18ct gold body jewellery can be used in healed piercings but it contains small amounts of other metals such as copper. This means it may cause allergic reactions in some people so for this reason it is not reccomended for use during the healing stage. The most common use of gold body jewellery is in the ears and nose although it is suitable for other piercings provided you have no sensitivity to the metal.


Sterling Silver - This is 925 Silver which means it is an alloy of silver. 925 parts in every 1000 are silver and the rest are usually copper and other metals. As with gold alloys this inclusion of other metals can cause allergic reaction. Silver and most silver alloys tarnish, which means they get dirty and change colour (due to oxides forming on the surface). Silver must be cleaned with a silver polish and then washed in warm soapy water, rinsed well and then dried. It should be cleaned very regularly. This means silver is really only suitable for use in well established ear piercings (usually the ear lobe) and for Jewellery. Sterling Silver can be used in combination with surgical steel to make body jewellery such as Navel / Belly bars, the section which goes through the piercing is made from surgical steel and the decorative design is made from silver and does not go in the piercing.


Organics & Natural Materials - These are organic materials such as wood, horn, bone and coral. Natural materials are naturally occuring stones such as Jade and quartz. These materials are mostly used in jewellery for stretched piercings such as the Stretched Earlobe. As they are natural and breathable materials they can reduce any odours produced by the body as a result of the stretching. They are also naturally beautiful and unique as pieces can vary slightly in shape, colour and pattern. These materials aare not suitable for sterelization and so can only be use in healed piercings. They should not be exposed to harsh chemicals or extremes of temperature. Cleaning should be carried out with warm water and mild soap. For wood and horn a light oil, or beeswax can be used to gently polish them. 

Please note this is only intended as a guide and further information is available on request.


General Information


Hygiene is of the utmost importance in  Body Jewellery and Body Piercing and we recommend that you clean your piercings and jewellery daily, either in the shower or by following the recommended aftercare for a new or healing piercing. Sharing jewellery could lead to infection from a variety of diseases. If you have any allergic reactions or adverse effects you should seek advice from a doctor immediately. NEVER share body jewellery with anyone else or wear used body jewellery or try to clean and re-sell any body jewellery that has been worn.


*All of our Titanium and Surgical Steel Body Jewellery is EU Nickel Directive Compliant. This means that the metal has less than 0.05% nickel content by mass.