Q&A: Why Does My Ring Turn My Finger Green?

It happens to us all. You find the cutest ring in the world in the 5 dollar bin. It’s everything you have ever wanted on your finger, and you already know the next 5 days of outfits you are going to wear it with. Except, when you take it off at the end of the day, it leaves a little something behind—a green mark on your finger!

It’s not gangrene, it’s not an allergic reaction…but it is annoying!

The short answer: there’s probably some copper mixed into the alloy of your ring. Copper reacts with sweat and lotion to create the green mark on your finger.

This actually isn’t necessarily a sign of cheap jewelry. Sterling silver contains copper, as well as some alloys of gold, so even the nice stuff could leave a mark. Silver also oxidizes, which can leave a darker “tarnished” color on your finger.

To avoid the green, make sure you don’t have too much lotion on your finger, and steer clear of humid environments if you can. And the best pro-tip we have ever heard of: when you buy a ring, put a small amount of clear nail polish on the underside! This creates a nice barrier to keep the green at bay!

On a side note: if your ring is tarnished from lotion or moisture, it’s easy to bring back its sparkle with safe ingredients you already have at home! We recommend a recipe like the one in this post from PrettyGossip.