Copper & Bronze Jewelry FAQ

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Will copper or bronze jewelry turn my skin green?

The short answer is it depends on your body chemistry. There is no way to predict how your skin will react. The green mark that occurs when wearing copper jewelry is known as an oxidation reaction. The copper reacts with oxygen in the air, your sweat and skin oils creating a green layer of copper carbonate on your skin. When in contact with other chemicals, such as soaps, lotions and makeup, copper can turn green or bluish-green, and stain the skin in the process.

The reaction varies according to an individual’s body chemistry, both in how long it takes for the green discoloration to form and in how pronounced the color becomes.  Some people experience no discoloration.  The discoloration is completely harmless and is readily washed off with soap and water.  If not washed off, it is normally absorbed by the body overnight. 

What can I do to prevent it?

Keeping your jewelry clean will help in the prevention of oxidation turning your skin green. Take off your copper jewelry every night. Wipe your jewelry with a clean soft cloth when you remove it. Doing this will clean any body oils or sweat off your jewelry. The cleaner you keep your copper jewelry the less likely your skin will discolor from oxidation.