Dear Budget Fashionista: How can I stop jewelry from turning my skin green? I love wearing costume jewelry but usually after one or two wears it turns my skin green — or the piece tarnishes.
Is there anything I can do to keep this from happening?
Why jewelry turns your skin green
We all know how it feels to wear a gorgeous piece of jewelry, only to slip it off at the end of the day and discover that unsightly green mark of shame. Fortunately, it’s not uncommon. It’s fairly easy to solve the problem, too.
First, know that any lotion, hand cream or perfume can react with jewelry metals, such as copper, brass, pewter and silver. Even acidic sweat can cause it to happen.
The reason is pretty scientific — salty compounds form on the skin when acids sweat or product come into contact with the metal. Or, the metal simply oxidizes and tarnishes.
You will usually notice these issues with lower-end pieces. According to Jane Becker, founder of JB Jewels, “Most of the costume jewelry is dipped in and gold- and silver-colored paints to make them look shiny. Eventually these coatings wear off, staining your clothes and skin.”
There’s no harm in the greenish stain. It’s not dangerous, but it may come with some irritation if your skin is very sensitive.
Removing green skin stains
You can remove green skin stains with makeup remover or rubbing alcohol. Simply apply your preferred solution to a cotton ball and rub off the stain.
4 ways to prevent jewelry from turning skin green
1. Clear nail polish
You can prevent the jewelry from causing marks on your skin with one of the simplest items in your beauty arsenal: clear nail polish. According to Becker, “If you brush the back or the parts that touch your skin…this will help.”
2. Use jewelry skin guard
If the nail polish solution isn’t official enough for you, try jewelry skin guard. You can find it on Amazon.
Note that I’ve never used this type of formula. To me, it looks like repackaged nail polish, only more expensive.
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3. Avoid water and soap
According to Business Insider, another solution for avoiding green skin is to avoid water and soap while wearing jewelry. That means:
- Remove your jewelry when you’re washing your hands or exposing your skin to water. Avoid using soap while that ring is on your finger — this will slow the oxidation process and prevent stains.
- Always remove jewelry when swimming or working out.
- You might even skip jewelry when it’s humid.
- Dry hands thoroughly before putting on your jewelry again.
4. Anti-tarnishing cloths
Keep some anti-tarnishing cloths handy. If it looks like your non-precious metals are in the early stages of oxidation, wiping them down gently can help. Storing these pieces in plastic bags may also slow the process.
You can find anti-tarnishing cloths on Amazon for less than $10.