WHY DOES JEWELRY TURN YOUR SKIN GREEN?


Have you ever noticed that your skin turns green when you wear certain types of jewelry? It's not just a coincidence; there's a scientific reason behind it. When certain metals come into contact with your skin, they can cause a chemical reaction. This is what causes the green discoloration on your skin. So, why does jewelry turn your skin green? Here's a look at the science behind it.


WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN YOUR SKIN TURNS GREEN? IS IT AN ALLERGY?


The greenish tint on your skin is a form of corrosion. It results from a chemical reaction between the metals in your jewelry and the acids found naturally in your skin. When these two substances come into contact, they create a new compound called verdigris. Verdigris is a greenish-blue substance that can be pretty harmful to your skin. It can cause skin irritation, rashes, and even skin cancer.


Allergic reactions to jewelry include redness, swelling, and itching. If you're not experiencing any of these symptoms but experience a green tinge on your skin, it's not an allergic reaction to the jewelry.


WHY DOES COPPER TURN MY SKIN GREEN?


Did you know that copper turns green when exposed to oxygen? The same thing happens if your skin comes in contact with copper.


There are two types of contact dermatitis, classified by exposure to the metal. The first is allergic contact dermatitis, which causes redness and itching around the area where metal contacts your skin. The other type, which is the one that gives a green tinge to the skin, is contact dermatitis. This skin reaction happens when you develop an itchy red rash without an allergic reaction.


Most metal in jewelry includes copper or nickel. When these two low-cost metals contact your skin, they cause a skin reaction to jewelry, either irritant dermatitis or an allergic reaction to the jewelry.


The good news is that some people don't experience any skin irritation at all from wearing jewelry with these metals, so some side effects are due to your sensitivity to the jewelry metal in question. The bad news is that if you react to the metal in copper jewelry, it only takes a few hours for the rash to start appearing, so you don't have much time before your skin turns green.


DO ALLOY METALS TURN SKIN GREEN?


It depends on the alloy combination, but most alloys include nickel and copper, which commonly cause skin discoloration spots—however, the prevention of skin discoloration is achievable by wearing rhodium-plated alloy jewelry. The rhodium plating is a protective barrier between your skin and the alloy combination.


DOES BRASS TURN SKINN GREEN?


Brass is a metal that turns skin green only if not coated correctly. Oxidation is an inevitable aspect of brass since it includes a mix of metals, such as copper and zinc. Unfortunately, many factors contribute to brass turning skin green, such as humidity, oily skin, and sweat.


Brass creating a green tinge on the skin can be prevented by wearing gold or rhodium-plated alloy jewelry. These protective metals protect the underlying brass and keep your skin looking beautiful and healthy.


DOES STERLING SILVER JEWELRY TURN SKIN GREEN?


Sterling silver is combined with alloyed metals to make it more durable. Jewelers use a mix of base metals (copper, brass, etc.) in this process. Is it an issue that the metal is not pure? Not in the least. This alloy mixture is certainly not a problem, given that sterling silver contains less than 8% copper content in total.
So, can 8% copper content in sterling silver cause skin to turn green? Yes, copper is a metal that turns skin green if not coated correctly. So, sterling silver turning your skin green sometimes happens, but it is rare.


Furthermore, several skin lotions and creams can produce skin discoloration. On hot days and during strenuous exercise, sweat will make you more prone to skin discoloration, especially if you wear your sterling silver jewelry 24 hours a day. This chemical reaction is why removing jewelry during high-intensity activities that cause excessive sweat is best.


DOES CHEAP JEWELRY CAUSE SKIN DISCOLORATION? WHY DOES FAKE GOLD TURN YOUR SKIN GREEN?


Several jewelry metals cause your skin to turn green. While some of these metals are less expensive materials, not all low-cost jewelry causes skin discoloration, and not all high-end jewelry is free from skin discoloration.


It all boils down to your chemical makeup and how your skin reacts to different jewelry metals. Yes, fake gold turns skin green because it contains a high amount of copper, nickel, or bronze. When the acid in your skin comes into contact with the metal, it causes a chemical reaction that turns the jewelry green. So, if you have sensitive skin, you may want to avoid wearing fake gold jewelry. On the other hand, real gold is made of pure gold and does not contain copper, nickel, or bronze, so it will not turn your skin green.


WILL ALUMINUM TURN YOUR SKIN GREEN?


Aluminum is a non-reactive metal. Aluminum won’t tarnish, cause skin irritation, or turn your skin green. If you notice that it is beginning to tarnish, it can only mean it has some mixed alloy metals within it.


WHAT TYPE OF METALS TURN SKIN GREEN?


Some metals that turn skin green include copper, brass, and bronze. When the jewelry is in contact with the sweat on your skin, the salt in the sweat will cause a chemical reaction with the metals listed above. This chemical reaction will create a greenish-black tarnish on your skin. If you have sensitive skin, this may also cause an allergic reaction.


WHAT TYPE OF JEWELRY WON'T TURN YOUR SKIN GREEN:


If you've ever worn uncoated jewelry made with copper, bronze, or brass, you may have noticed that your skin turns a greenish color after a while. This skin reaction results when the proteins in your skin form a green compound called copper sulfide. While this reaction is harmless, it can be pretty unsightly, especially if the green discoloration is on your hands or neck.


If you want to wear jewelry that won't turn your skin green, you should stick with pure metals such as gold or platinum. These metals don't react with proteins in the same way as copper, silver, and brass, so they won't cause any discoloration. However, even pure gold and platinum jewelry can cause skin irritation in some people, so it's always a good idea to do a patch test before wearing any new jewelry.


Rhodium is another metal that doesn't react with proteins, so it's a good choice for people prone to skin discoloration. Rhodium is more expensive than gold or platinum, but it may be worth the investment.


HOW TO PREVENT SKIN DISCOLORATION:


We all know that feeling when you finally find the perfect piece of jewelry, only to have it cause skin discoloration. It's the worst! But don't worry; we're here to help you avoid that dreaded outcome. There are a few things you can do to prevent skin discoloration from happening in the first place. 


HERE ARE A FEW TIPS:


  • Don't wear your jewelry all the time. Give your skin a break from time to time by taking off your jewelry. This will help to prevent any irritation or allergies from developing. Wearing jewelry all the time can also cause the metal to tarnish.


  • If you have to wear copper jewelry, coat it with a clear nail polish.This will create a barrier between your skin and the copper, preventing any discoloration. You can also try using a jewelry sealant or paint-on lacquer.


  • Choose jewelry made from hypoallergenic materials.This is especially important if you have sensitive skin. Some materials are more likely to cause an allergic reaction or skin irritation, so it's best to avoid them if possible. Look for jewelry made from surgical steel, titanium, or gold.


  • Get your jewelry plated. If you're really worried about skin discoloration, you can get your jewelry plated with a hypoallergenic metal. This will provide a barrier between your skin and the metal, preventing any irritation or allergies.


  • Avoid wearing jewelry on hot days. When your skin is sweaty, it's more likely to react with the metal in your jewelry, causing irritation and discoloration. 


  • Keep your jewelry clean. Dirty jewelry is more likely to cause skin irritation and discoloration. Make sure you clean your jewelry regularly with a mild soap and water solution.


  • Remove your jewelry before going in the pool or shower. chlorine and other chemicals can cause skin irritation, so removing your jewelry before coming into contact with them is best.


  • Remove all jewelry before cleaning, cooking, or engaging in any activity where you risk getting your jewelry dirty or wet.


  • Another way to prevent a green tinge on your skin is to wipe down contact areas. First, remove all jewelry to allow your skin to breathe. To fix skin turning green from jewelry, wipe down the irritated areas with non-acetone nail polish remover, makeup removal, or alcohol.


WRAPPING UP


You now know that some metals will turn your skin green, and others won't. You also know how to prevent this from happening by using clear nail polish or petroleum jelly barrier. If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at info@bonheurjewelry.com. Thanks for reading!