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Published Wednesday, October 4, 2023

Why Some Jewelry Turns Your Skin Green & How to Avoid It

Why Does Some Jewelry Turn Your Skin Green?

Have you ever removed a piece of jewelry to find your skin has turned green? What’s going on? Is that normal? Don’t panic! Today we’re gonna talk about why some jewelry turns your skin green, and what you can do to avoid it.

The Science Behind the Green

First up, let's get to the root of the mystery. This greenish patina on your skin is a result of oxidation. Imagine this: When certain alloys meet moisture, different chemicals, or even just the air around us, they undergo a chemical reaction. It's the same reason some metals rust or turn that recognizable green shade. If you've ever spotted a green penny or marveled at the Statue of Liberty's unique hue, it's all down to oxidation!

image of green penny

Although this might look odd, the good news is that this green residue is harmless. A splash of soap and water, and voila! It's gone. But let's face it: most of us would rather skip the green stage entirely.

Which Metals Are The Culprits?

Now, you might be thinking this only happens with "cheap" metals. Well, it's not quite that simple. The green effect isn't just about the price tag, but rather the elements that make up the metal alloy. Some known offenders include nickel (a common allergen), brass, copper, and even certain gold and silver pieces, depending on their alloy composition.

Oxidation is particularly typical for metals like copper, brass, rhodium, and pure silver. They can tarnish without any skin contact at all, which is why they occasionally need a good clean and polish.

What Speeds Up The Greening?

  • Moisture: Water, be it from swimming, sweating, or showering.
  • Acidic Chemicals: Found in many day-to-day products.
  • Abrasive Materials: They can wear down protective coatings on your jewelry.

Interestingly, our body's PH levels can also play a role in this oxidation process.

How To Dodge The Green Drama?

For a start, if you're not into surprises, you might want to stick to metals that won't give you the green. These include stainless steel, titanium, niobium, cobalt chrome, palladium, and platinum. A tip: stainless steel, titanium, and niobium are ace for piercings.

But hey, if you're crushing on copper, brass, or silver jewelry, don't fret! Here's what you can do:

  • Avoid moisture: No swimming or showering with the jewelry on, and keep them away from sweaty activities.
  • Store smart: Keep your jewelry in a cool, dry place, and always pat them dry if they get wet.
  • Stay clear of chemicals: That includes lotions, makeup, hair products, and sanitizers.
  • Polish and pamper: Keep an eye out for tarnishing, and either give your pieces a gentle polish or take them to a pro.

For those rocking brass or copper weights, silicone eyelets (earskins) can be your best friend. These nifty, lightweight barriers, available in clear, neutral, or vibrant shades, can save your lobes from jewelry that's prone to oxidizing. Just make sure to get the right size to accommodate your hanging shapes!

One More Thing: The Nail Polish Hack

Stumbled upon the nail polish tip online? Before you start slathering your jewelry in clear polish, consider this: not all nail polishes are made equal. Some might have chemicals that could harm your jewelry or irritate your skin. Plus, as any nail polish aficionado knows, chipping is inevitable. So, it's not a forever fix!

There you have it—a complete guide on the green mystery and how to avoid it. If you're ever in doubt or just curious about body jewelry, remember to swing by or reach out to us. And, as always, don't forget to follow us on all our socials @Bodyartforms. Catch you later!