You would be hard-pressed to find someone who doesn’t prefer to wear luxury jewelry brands like Cartier. However, costume jewelry is handy for many people who want to try out new trends or don’t have the money for expensive jewelry. One of the annoying issues with this cheap jewelry is that it can turn some people’s skin green.
Why Does Skin Turn Green From Jewelry?
When you removed your beloved ring, did you ever see a green band and wonder whether you had an infection on your finger? Your skin turning green is not an issue with your body; instead, it results from your ring going through a chemical reaction called oxidation. You would probably have noticed that the “green skin” effect mostly happens when you wear your copper jewelry.
Many rings are made of copper because it is an inexpensive lookalike of gold. The thing about copper is that the metal reacts with either the product on your fingers or just your fingers themselves. This reaction (called oxidation) would cause the copper to begin to form copper oxide, which is mostly green.
Copper oxide is to copper what rust is to iron; however, copper oxide is more resilient than rust. The new layer of copper usually sticks to the metal than rust which easily flakes away from iron. However, as you sweat through your day, the copper oxide begins to wash on your skin, leaving a green mark.
Copper oxide isn’t found only on jewelry made with copper; copper alloys such as brass and bronze can also cause your skin to become green. Also, rose gold– which is gold alloyed with copper– can become oxidized and cause you to have green skin. So, you can rest assured that your skin turning green is not caused by an issue with your body but with your jewelry.
Does Green Skin From Jewelry Go Away?
The green skin caused by jewelry does eventually goes away. In most cases, the stain can be gone in a few hours; however, it depends on how long you’ve been wearing the jewelry.
One thing you must not do when you notice this green skin is to panic or think of it as a copper allergy. It is more accurate to consider it as debris from the copper left on your skin. You should only start to get concerned about copper allergy if you develop an itch or a rash after wearing copper.
How to Remove Jewelry Stain From Skin
If jewelry stain causes your skin to turn green, you can decide to wait it out, and it’ll eventually go off. However, it can be quite awkward to have certain parts of your skin green, especially if you’re wearing the jewelry in an obvious part of your body. There are a few simple ways to get your jewelry stain off your skin.
Wash With Soap and Water
You can easily use soap and water to eliminate the green stain on your skin. You only need to wash that particular spot thoroughly. You might need to scrub it with a sponge to remove the stain.
Clean With Alcohol
Alcohol or methylated spirit is an alternative to removing jewelry stains from your skin. This method is the best for stains that don’t seem to be coming off when you use soap and water. For this method, you should soak a piece of cotton wool in alcohol and use it to clean the affected area.
How to Stop Jewelry From Turning Skin Green
Cleaning your skin of awkward jewelry stains is possible with simple solutions. However, there are steps you can take to prevent jewelry from turning your skin green in the first place.
1. Wash Jewelry Regularly
The oxidation of copper doesn’t happen overnight, and it’s mostly the result of a lack of care for your jewelry. To prevent the jewelry from turning green, you should clean it regularly as this would stop it from staining your skin. If you undertake this jewelry cleaning once a week, you can be sure that you won’t have to fight with green skin later.
2. Coat the Jewelry
You can also protect the jewelry from oxidation by painting it with a clear coat. You don’t need to coat every part of the jewelry; instead, coating only the parts of the jewelry that comes in direct contact with your skin is all that’s necessary. You can use a metal coat like this one; an affordable option is to use regular nail polish to get the job done.
3. Keep Your Skin Dry When You Wear The Jewelry
Oxidation is majorly caused by your jewelry reacting to being exposed to air and water. To prevent this, you should take practical steps to avoid your jewelry getting wet when you wear it.
Truly, it’s almost impossible to completely rule out the possibility of your jewelry coming in contact with sweat. However, there are other ways that some people needlessly expose their jewelry to moisture that you can prevent. For instance, don’t wear your jewelry when you’re about to swim or shower, and don’t wear your rings when you want to wash your hand.
4. Use Jewelry That Doesn’t Contain Copper
Whenever you see jewelry turning green, copper is the prime suspect. Whether it’s pure copper used to make jewelry or copper used as an alloy, the result of exposure to air and water turns it green. Many people use these copper products because they look beautiful, resemble gold, and are cheap.
However, if you find the green skin issue a nuisance, you should consider buying jewelry made from another material. Other inexpensive metals are used in jewelry, like stainless steel or silver. If you want something that has the appearance of gold, you can opt for gold-plated jewelry.
5. Wear Only Rhodium-Plated Sterling Silver
Sterling silver contains 92.5% silver and 7.5% of other metals, which in some cases is copper. The presence of copper in sterling silver makes it prone to oxidation and coloring your skin green or black. To prevent this, some manufacturers plate the jewelry with rhodium.
Rhodium plating acts as a shield that protects the jewelry from being affected by the elements. Also, your jewelry would get some extra shine when the layer of rhodium is added.
6. Store Jewelry in a Dry Environment
How you store your jewelry is important to keep it from causing your skin to become green. Moisture plays a huge role in making the jewelry turn your skin green, so you should always keep your jewelry in a dry place at the end of the day. First, you should ensure that the jewelry isn’t wet before you keep it away.
Next, you should keep it where it won’t come in contact with water or other fluids. Also, you shouldn’t store it in containers like plastic bags that can generate heat. You can add some chalk into whatever container you decide to store the jewelry as a type of absorbent for whatever humidity might be present in the atmosphere.
Read More: How to Clean Oxidized Metal Jewelry