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Important Care Guidelines for Wearing Pearls

Oils and acids from your skin, as well as beauty products and environmental chemicals, can dull the beauty of your pearls over time. Because these gems are soft and fragile, they are also particulalrly vulnerable to scratching and other surface damage. Knowing how to take care of pearl jewelry can preserve its beauty.

Avoid Chemicals

Because they are a natural, organic material, pearls don't stand up well to exposure to chemicals. Never wear your pearl jewelry while cleaning your house, as common household cleansers will damage the delicate surface of the gems.

Don't Cook in Pearls

It's also a good idea to take off your pearls when you're cooking. Acids like lemon juice and vinegar will eat into the nacre, or irridescent outer layer, of the pearls. Grease and heat can permanently stain their surface as well.

Aviod Dry Heat

Pearls are formed in water, and if they become too dry, they are damaged. Dry heat, like that from a hair dryer or curling iron, can actually cause brown spots and even cracking. If you use heat to style your hair, always complete your beauty regimen before putting on your pearl jewelry.

Don't Bathe or Swim with Pearls

Too much moisture can also damage your pearl jewelry. Water can damage the stringing material in a pearl strand, leading to breakage. Chemicals in shampoo and soap can dull the pearls' luster. The chlorine in swimming pools can also cause pitting in the surface of the pearls.

Store Pearls Separately

Because they are so soft, pearls are easily scratched by other items in your jewelry box. Even better, keep pearl pieces in separate lined boxes.