Does Brass Turn Skin Green? Is it SAFE to Wear? (2024 Updated)

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With several metals used in making jewelry, you may find that some of them may turn your skin green. Skin discoloration from wearing certain types of jewelry is common. In this article, we will find out whether brass turns skin green.

Jewelry is one of the more luxurious investments we make throughout our lives. With several options to choose from, you may find that some have better features than others.

You may be new to brass jewelry, despite its long existence throughout history. Its resemblance to yellow gold has made it a favorite among many. Brass jewelry is also an affordable and durable alternative to gold. So, does brass turn skin green?

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Does brass jewelry turn skin green?

Quick Anwer: Yes. Brass jewelry does turn your skin green. Keep reading for more.

Brass jewelry consists of brass alloy, which consists of copper and zinc. The proportions of the two metals may vary, giving each piece of brass jewelry distinct characteristics.

Sometimes, jewelry makers who use brass may also add nickel and lead to the mixture for the added tensile strength of copper.

Many owners of brass jewelry have reported skin discoloration as one of the drawbacks of such jewelry.

Brass jewelry contains a specific amount of copper, which is responsible for turning skin green. Let us find out why brass jewelry turns skin green.


Metal abrasion

Often, the copper content in your brass jewelry mixes with perspired acids from your body, causing it to oxidize, forming the copper oxide.

Copper oxide is a type of copper salt that is green in color. It creates a green film on your jewelry, which leaves a green residue on your skin.

Another cause of metal abrasion is the chemical reaction between the jewelry and the cosmetics applied to your skin.

Modern-day cosmetic products, like perfumes and lotions, contain certain chemical substances that may combine with copper and cause it to oxidize. As a result, you are likely to have green skin.

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Brass jewelry is prone to corroding, especially if it has other metals mixed with the alloy.

Silver and nickel also discolor your skin too, turning your skin green after wearing them over time. Jewelry makers add more metal components to brass to make it more workable and increase its durability.

However, when you expose these metals to humid or moist conditions, they corrode and tarnish, changing their color, leaving a dark or green residue on your skin.


Does gold plated brass turn skin green?

Generally, gold adds sophistication and prestige to anything. The same goes for gold plating.

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Gold plating can be done on any metal, including brass, silver, or copper jewelry. It involves covering a piece of jewelry with a layer of another metal, in this case, gold metal.

Gold plating uses a direct electric current to partially dissolve the metals involved and create a chemical bond between them. The thickness of the plating determines the durability of the gold plated brass jewelry.

Before beginning the process of electroplating, you have to polish and clean the piece. Modern-day electroplating tends to involve a wide range of metals, even if all you can see is the gold.

For instance, you will need to use nickel to create a stronger bond between the gold plating and the brass when gold plating brass jewelry. The extra layer of metal added also improves the strength of the barrier, ensuring that the plating lasts for a longer time.

Often, gold plated jewelry lasts for about twelve months, depending on the frequency of wear. After the twelve months are up, the outer layer begins to chip and tarnish. Luckily, you may opt to re-plate to return your piece to its original luster. By re-plating, you can effectively hide the base metal and restore your piece of jewelry to its previous new and shiny appearance. Remember that thicker plating lasts longer than thinner ones.

Gold plating brass jewelry also works to prevent your skin from turning green. Once you cover brass jewelry with a coat of gold combined with another metal, you stop copper from oxidizing when it comes into contact with your skin.

However, once the gold plating starts to chip or tarnish to reveal the base metal, it will likely turn your skin green. The chemical reaction between the base metal and your body fluids or chemical substances from the cosmetics you apply on your skin will hasten the discoloration.


How to stop brass from turning skin green?

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  1. Apply clear nail polish

One of the easiest ways to combat brass jewelry that turns your skin green is by applying a thin coat of clear nail polish to it.

By doing this, you prevent the part of the jewelry that comes into contact with your skin from reacting.

Ensure the nail polish is completely dry before wearing it. However, you will have o keeper-applying it a couple of times a week once the varnish starts to wear off.


  1. Plating brass jewelry

Another effective way to prevent your skin from turning green is by gold plating or rhodium plating your piece of brass jewelry.

Gold plating involves using gold to cover the base metal, while rhodium plating consists of using the element rhodium.

Plating brass jewelry has a similar effect, like applying nail polish to jewelry, but it is more durable.

It also improves the appearance of the piece of jewelry by giving it an extra yellow hue of gold, in the case of gold plating, or silver-white color when rhodium plating.


  1. Maintain alkaline skin

When your skin turns green, it could be a sign of its acidic nature.

Using alkaline oils, like magnesium oil, maintains the alkalinity of your skin, preventing brass jewelry from oxidizing and turning your skin green.

Such oils do not create any residue, and they help with muscle relaxation and aches too.


  1. Keep dry skin

As discussed above, the copper content in brass jewelry oxidizes in humid and moist conditions.

As such, keeping your skin dry for as long as possible will prevent your jewelry from turning your skin green.

Avoid applying lotion, perfumes, or make-up products while you have your ring on. Similarly, remove your ring before swimming or showering.

It also helps if you clean your ring regularly to get rid of any build-up.


  1. Avoid cheap brass jewelry

Although the quality of your jewelry does not necessarily impact skin discoloration, wearing high-end brass jewelry will not turn your skin green.

Opt to purchase finished brass jewelry instead of its unfinished alternative.

They may cost more, but it is worth it since it will last longer, and it will not turn your skin green.



Brass jewelry is quite popular in the jewelry industry and for a good reason.

It has a yellow and gold-like hue, and it is also quite affordable. However, it is vital to remember that brass jewelry does turn skin green after wearing it a couple of times.

Luckily, you can easily avoid this by employing the tips described above.

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