It happens to many of us, you find the perfect jewel that you love and wear all day/night but then it leaves a mark and you are left wondering why your jewel has left your skin a different colour + what actually causes the effect in the first place.
It may have been a ring that leaves a stain around your finger or a necklace that can leave a dark ring around your neck, all are completely natural and normal effects.
Many will associate poor or low-quality jewels with this effect, but this is not the case, a variety of materials can cause this to happen regardless of their quality. Often Copper is the culprit, but many can also experience this with the silver present in Sterling Silver and used as an alloy in a lot of gold jewellery.
Copper often causes a green stain on skin whereas silver will cause a dark green or black tone.
Why does this happen to me?
It is due to a chemical reaction between metal and oxygen combined with your skin.
Jewels can react with a certain skin type depending on your pH levels, often jewellery oxidises when it comes into contact with sweat glands.
Other factors that may bring on the reaction is certain skin products such as lotions and perfumes, humidity levels of where we live, natural oils and sweat as well as our diets.
What can I do to prevent it?
To help prevent the green/black reaction we recommend ensuring your skin is as dry as possible, jewellery is kept clean as well as wiped before and after use and finally to help re-seal, simply paint a thin coat of clear varnish over the band!
By using nail varnish, it will create a barrier between the jewels and your skin, hopefully minimising the risk of discolouration.
How do I remove the stain from my skin?
If your jewels have caused a reaction that you have not been able to prevent, sometimes the stain can seem tough to remove. We have a few steps we recommend following:
- Choose a cleansing product that you know your skin will not react too, to prevent any further reactions. A regular facial cleanser and water should do the trick!
- If the dark stain persists, an oil (vegetable oil or olive oil) or mild dish soap with a warm washcloth may work better. Please test a small patch first in case the cleansing agent is too harsh.
- Do not saturate the wash cloth, remove the stain in small sections and do not scrub excessively. By gently dabbing or wiping over the affected area your stain will remove easily.
- Pat the area dry with a soft hand towel and examine whether there is still evidence of the stain there. In the unlikely case that the stain is still there it may indicate an allergic reaction the metal and it is best to contact your GP for further help.
- Once removed, apply a light lotion to ensure the affected area does not become dry or irritated.
- Polish or wipe over your jewellery to remove any tarnish the stain may have caused to the jewels itself rather than just your skin.