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Currently, in its fifth series, the ever-popular Apple Watch continues to be one of the most sought-after pieces of technology for consumers all over the world. This isn’t surprising, of course: As with any product synonymous with the Apple name, the tech giant’s take on the smartwatch sold over 22.5 million units in 2018 alone (that’s more than half of all smartwatch sales in 2018).
Coming in all shapes, sizes, and colors to match any wrist size or personal style imaginable, the many varieties of the Apple Watch also come in at all sorts of different price points to fit within your budget. No matter if you’re a runner with a record to beat, a businessperson who’s constantly on the move, or simply a smartwatch fan with an Apple preference, the Apple Watch surely has an option that will suit your lifestyle.
Unless, that is, you suffer from sensitive skin. It’s one demographic that the Apple Watch designers never could’ve anticipated, but one that deserves to be able to use the product regardless. It all comes down to the Apple Watch bands. That’s where these watch bands for sensitive skin come in.
Skin Problems Related to Apple Watch Bands
In truth, there are all sorts of different explanations for why your Apple Watch is irritating your skin. This is mainly what makes it so hard for Apple to address the problem in the first place: There’s no one culprit, but infinitely many.
Our skin is a complex thing, with each new purchaser of an Apple Watch harboring the potential for the discovery of a new way for the watch to irritate their skin.
With this being said, there is a trio of problems that you could consider the greatest common factors for skin problems related to Apple Watch bands: Sweat, friction, and nickel allergies. Across the plethora of issues customers have raised in their online reviews of the Apple Watch, these are the three that come up the most often.
Why do these three issues cause rashes, and what exactly can be done about them to stop the rashes from happening?
When you wear an Apple Watch — or any watch, really — on your wrist for hours and hours each day, there’s bound to be some sweat that forms between the bottom of the smartwatch and the surface of your skin. It’s inevitable, especially in the warmer summer months.
The moisture that makes up the sweat is a problem of its own and is more than capable of causing a rash all by itself. But, coupled with the sodium that makes up the other part of sweat, you have a recipe for irritation.
You see, sweat is primarily comprised of salt, which then dries and deposits into the skin and causes itchiness. It’s not like this issue is specific to the Apple Watch, though — It’s really no different from the kind of phenomenon you might see with a bracelet or other form of jewelry worn on the wrist.
Friction is a cause for irritation that is often tied to sweat (but doesn’t exactly need sweat to irritate your skin). Wearing the Apple Watch on your wrist, especially if you wear your smartwatch especially tight, means that an object is going to be rubbing up against your skin for a good chunk of your waking hours each day.
As time goes on, this is bound to take a toll on that area of skin your Apple Watch is touching.
Additionally, these Apple Watch bands are made of synthetic polymers — it isn’t a natural material, which means that your skin has an increased likelihood of an adverse reaction to it.
Combine this friction with the aforementioned sweat and you’re even more likely to see a rash form: when the friction of the bands rubs against the dried sweat deposits, you’re going to be dealing with an even greater risk of skin problems.
Then, of course, there’s those who suffer from an allergy to nickel. Apple made a point to put material between the nickel on the smartwatch and the user’s skin by placing something that almost resembles a glass lens underneath the Apple Watch, but some users still experience an allergic reaction to the nickel regardless.
To combat this, some Apple Watch owners have taken the time to paint a few layers of clear nail polish on the parts of the smartwatch that touch their skin to add an extra form of protection. Others use a small piece of clear plastic wrap between the bottom of the Apple Watch and the user’s skin for that added security.
Naturally, these barriers are going to interfere with the Apple Watch’s ability to monitor your heart rate — it seems users are willing to sacrifice this feature if it means they’ll get some relief.
What Are The Best Apple Watch Bands For Sensitive Skin?
No matter what the reasoning behind your skin problems related to your Apple Watch band — whether it be sweat, friction, a nickel allergy, or something else completely — the absolute best solution is to get rid of the Apple Watch band entirely and replace it with one that is hypoallergenic.
Thankfully, the answers to the question “How can I avoid a rash from my Apple Watch?” are a lot more stylish than they might sound.
Four of the most popular options are leather watch bands, breathable sport bands, synthetic watch bands, and titanium watch bands, and all come in stylish options that don’t distract from the style or the class of the Apple Watch itself.
If anything, it’s a real two birds, one stone scenario: You’re adding an extra form of personalization to your Apple Watch and making it more uniquely your own while also ridding your smartwatch of the potential to give your sensitive skin trouble.
So which of these four options are for you?:
Leather Apple Watch bands are not only incredibly classy, but they’re also more form-fitting and, as a result, are much more comfortable than the standard Apple Watch band.
The fact that leather is a natural material — most often coming from cowhide — means that it’s hypoallergenic. Plus, the leather band’s buckle is typically made of a much higher-quality metal than nickel, which eliminates the need to worry about any potential allergic reactions.
WFEAGL’s Leather Bands are quite popular with users on Amazon. We recommend this band if leather is your preferred route.
Sport bands are the perfect solution for Apple Watch users who pride themselves on being active.
Working out with the smartwatch on means you’re utilizing all sorts of interesting and helpful features with the Apple Watch’s fitness tracking software, but it also means there’s going to be quite a bit of sweat (and quite a bit of risk of skin problems as a result).
Sport bands allow the wearer to continue to work out with the smartwatch while providing more breathability than the standard Apple Watch band.
These waterproof Sport Bands are the best option available on Amazon. These breathable, silicone sport bands come in various colors and are designed for those with active lifestyles.
For those wanting to stick to the traditional Apple Watch look and not deviate too much from the smartwatch bands that come equipped with the product right out of the box, it is worth looking into hypoallergenic synthetic bands.
These synthetics are specially-designed to avoid any sort of irritation or allergic reaction by sticking to materials the manufacturer knows won’t cause any problems.
Tobfit Silicone Bands are the top-tier offering on Amazon. You will get the best deal with this offering since it comes in a pack of 4, high-quality silicone bands with the colors of your choice.
One of the pricier solutions to the problem at hand (no pun intended) is a titanium or stainless steel Apple Watch band.
Mimicking the look of a standard (and more expensive) luxury wristwatch, titanium and stainless steel bands are naturally hypoallergenic — much like the leather bands — because they’re made from real materials that come from the earth.
No nickel allergies here: metal bands are going to class up your Apple Watch while also alleviating you from the risk of skin problems related to the Apple Watch band.
iiteeology’s Solid Stainless Steel Band looks and feels the best compared to the competition on Amazon. Plus, they still offer the same kinds of customization options as the synthetic and sports bands. It’s a win-win.
When all is said and done, if your Apple Watch band is causing irritation, you really have two options:
- Take the steps to keep the underside of the Apple Watch clean and sweat-free while adding an extra layer of protection between the bottom of the smartwatch and the top of the skin.
- Purchase hypoallergenic watch bands for sensitive skin to eliminate the possibility of skin problems completely.
Whichever option you choose, two things are certain: Your skin will be thanking you and your Apple Watch will feel much more useful without any of those irritants getting in the way anymore.
To learn more about the health benefits of Smartwatches, check out our Top 5 Useful Smartwatch Features.