August 28, 2017

Everywhere you look, brass body jewelry is kicking it. Piercing studios, online retailers, even Hobby Lobby, they’re all displaying gorgeous, antique brass. But is all of this brass safe to wear? Won’t it turn my skin green? Let’s find out.

picture of a woman wearing a brass necklace

Brass Is Not A Suitable Material To Wear In Initial, Fresh or Healing Piercings

Brass is an alloy, mix of metals, that contains zinc, nickel and copper. These metals may produce negative reactions in new or healing piercings. More specifically, zinc and nickel can cause irritations that may lead to allergic reactions in some individuals. Reactions to any kind of irritating metals can slow healing, damage tissue, cause swelling and even produce rashes in some people. Due to the zinc and nickel used to create brass, it is best worn in healed piercings.

picture of statue of liberty

Brass Jewelry Might Turn Parts Of You Into The Hulk

Did you know that the statue of liberty is actually copper? You’d never guess it after seeing its iconic green hue. This sea green color comes from the process of oxidation that copper undergoes when exposed to the elements like wind and water. Similar to the statue of liberty, brass body jewelry, when exposed to nature’s elements, will oxidize or turn green. This is a chemical reaction between the copper and natural elements. Just like lady liberty, parts of you may help turn copper green when worn on warm, moist or sweaty body parts like fingers. The heat and sweat jump starts the oxidization process, leading to that familiar green hue.

Many people can wear copper jewelry without it turning green. In order to prevent this, copper is commonly coated in several layers of PH neutral jewelry wax to prevent and reduce oxidization. Since there are variable amounts of copper in brass, it is essential to properly clean and care for your brass body jewelry to keep the hulk green contained.

picture of a tattooed man drinking a beer

There Are Ways To Wear Brass Safely

Brass can be worn safely in and through your body piercings. Look for high quality brass items. It is good to source your brass from a reputable retailer. When purchasing brass items, ask the seller about any details they might have on where they get their brass from and if it is coated in ph neutral jewelry wax. To prevent direct contact between your skin and brass, you can choose to wear brass body jewelry only through silicone tunnel. Wearing brass through a barrier can eliminate the possibility of irritation and oxidization. Clean, polish and refinish your brass on a regular basis to create a barrier between the brass and your skin and to prevent oxidization. Purchasing quality brass, using barriers like wax or silicone tunnel and keeping your brass clean and polished are three ways to enjoy wearing brass body jewelry safely.

picture of tattooed women in sunglasses

Practicing caution when it comes to brass body jewelry is essential for the health and safety of your body piercings. Remember that brass should not be worn in new or healing piercings, only healed piercings. Keeping a barrier between your piercing and the brass by using a silicone tunnel  gives you the gorgeous look of brass without compromising your piercings’ health. Without proper care, brass may oxidize due to the presence of copper in its metal makeup. Clean your brass properly to prevent the dreaded green stain. Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to go out and find that gorgeous brass piece you’re dying to wear!

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