How to avoid copper jewelry turning the skin green

Updated November 21, 2016

Copper jewellery is widely available, as copper is a fairly inexpensive metal that can easily be formed into bracelets, rings, necklaces and other fashionable items. However, copper leaves a green residue when it oxidises, according to Newton Ask a Scientist. Chemicals in soaps, lotions and other skincare products, along with the natural acids released as we sweat, can cause copper jewellery to oxidise and leave green marks on our skin.

Apply a small drop of nail polish to your skin and allow it to dry. If no allergic reaction appears, proceed to Step 2.

Coat the inside (any area that touches your skin) of the copper jewellery with a layer of clear nail polish.

Allow nail polish to dry before wearing jewellery.


Green or black discolouration on your skin caused by oxidisation can be removed with soap and water, according to


The nail polish barrier will wear off over time. Reapply if the discolouration reappears.

Things You'll Need

  • Clear nail polish
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