I’m the first one to admit that I’m a huge fan of costume jewelry. Sure, it’s not fancy, but it’s cheap and it’s great for trying out new trends. Every time I’m at Forever 21, I end up throwing a couple of necklaces and rings into my shopping bag at the last second. The only problem is that sometimes this cheap jewelry turns my skin green. I’ve trashed super cute jewelry just because it makes me look like I’m diseased.
So why does this happen? Jewelry turns your skin green when metals react with the acidity of your skin. It can also be caused by other substances on your skin, such as lotion. Most of the time, copper in jewelry is to blame. Acids on your skin (or in your lotion) cause the copper to corrode, which results in copper salts (which are a blue-green color). This is why your skin turns green.
Luckily, this process is completely harmless. The fact that my skin turns green usually doesn’t deter me from wearing my favorite costume jewelry. The only problem I have is that the green stains are frustratingly hard to remove. I discovered that the quickest and easiest way to remove the green residue it to use rubbing alcohol or makeup remover. If you want to prevent jewelry from turning your skin green, the easiest solution is to coat the jewelry with a layer of clear nail polish. This creates a barrier between the skin and metal, preventing the chemical reaction.
Image: Peace Love Shea