Ok Jewelry Lovers, it’s time to take a look at one of the most asked questions in jewelry history…
Why in the world does jewelry turn my skin green?!
Contrary to popular belief, this doesn’t happen just because the jewelry is cheap or of lower quality. There are several reasons why this the green plague (as we like to call it) happens and we are going to take a look at each one. We will also look at some great tricks that you can use to keep your jewelry shiny and skin nice and clean!
1. Sweat – When your skin touches metal it causes a reaction just like anything else you touch. When this happens, the metal in your jewelry begins to break down into microscopic fragments which in turn wear off onto your skin as you sweat. And voila, green skin.
2. Metallic abrasion – Makeup is our second culprit. When particles in your everyday makeup or skin products come in contact with your jewelry they form a chemical reaction. Sounds like science class right? When this happens greenish or black dust can form on the area close to the jewelry being worn.
3. Allergies – You may be so mildly allergic to a certain kind of metal, that the only symptom that happens is skin discoloration aka green plague! Fragments from the jewelry mix with the natural metals, minerals and chemicals of the body and turn green or blueish-green. Like we commented today on our Facebook wall, this is totally based on your individual body’s PH levels. Everyone is different!
4. Skin Care – Hand creams, lotions, perfume, hand sanitizer, dish soap and most liquid or cream products that we use on a daily basis play a huge part in our last explanation of green skin. The chemicals and minerals in these products can stay on your skin for up to 24 hours and will react with the alloy in the jewelry.
So now that you know some of the most common causes you can pin point what your triggers are. A big misconception like we mentioned before, is that sterling silver and gold won’t turn your skin green because of their high quality… wrong! Fine jewelry is made of the same metal bases as the rest and reacts with your skin the same exact way.
Let’s talk solutions! These are a few simple things you can try out to help you prevent getting green from your jewelry:
- Determine what your major problem pieces are. For me it’s a gorgeous sterling silver pendant I got for high school graduation, and a set of copper bangles I picked up traveling in Mexico. Without fail, when I wear either of these pieces, I get green skin so I make sure to wear them only on certain occasions and for short time spans.
- Take your jewelry off in the shower, bath, swimming pool, while doing the dishes or working out (basically any activity that has to do with liquids).
- Coat your jewelry with clear nail polish or some of our Skin Guard. Both of these will protect your skin in a quick and easy way!
- Keep your jewelry as clean as possible! This is the number one way to help prevent the green plague. Use silver polish, cleaning rags and keep your jewelry in felt or fabric lined boxes.