How to Stop Cheap Jewelry From Turning Your Skin Green

Although accessory brands have (thankfully!) managed to make jewelry that looks expensive but costs almost nothing, much of the costume stuff still has a bad reputation for turning your skin—and itself—a pretty nasty shade of green. Unfortunately, metals like silver and copper oxidize quickly, and these are the materials you’re most likely to find in affordable accessories.

MORE: How to Distress Your Own Furniture Using Vinegar

There are two reasons why this happens: Either it’s a chemical reaction between the acid in your skin and the type metal making up the jewelry, or it’s a reaction between a substance on your skin—like moisturizer—and the jewelry. Throw in factors like excess sweat or wearing faux jewelry in the shower, and your skin’s guaranteed to take on a gross greenish tint.

The good news? There’s a super-simple way to combat green skin from jewelry: Apply a thin coat of clear nail polish to the part of the accessory that makes contact with your skin. Make sure it’s completely dry before wearing it, and then reapply every couple of weeks as the varnish starts to wear off. This creates a unnoticeable barrier between your skin and the metal, and will fix all of your faux jewelry drama!