You’ve seen them. Maybe it’s your friend with those lashes that just go on for miles, or your favorite movie star that the paparazzi can never seem to catch without their eyes looking flawless. Want know their secret? They are wearing fake lashes! While gluing individual synthetic lashes onto your natural lashes may give you the oh-so-glamorous look you’re going for, there are serious safety concerns to consider before “going under the glue.”
The biggest risk involved with eyelash extensions is an allergic reaction to the chemicals used in the adhesive. Most adhesives are formaldehyde-based which can cause allergic reactions with symptoms including itching, swelling, or redness of the eye lid. Just ask Broadway star Kristin Chenoweth about her eyelash extension escapade. During an interview with Anderson Cooper in 2012, Chenoweth talked about her unfortunate experience with eyelash extensions and referred to formaldehyde as “dead people’s juice” and declared “no amount of beauty is worth it!”
We all know swollen, itchy eyes can weaken our vision, but there are other side effects associated with eyelash extensions that can truly impair our eye sight. Two of the more serious complications are conjunctivitis and keratitis. Conjunctivitis, a fancy name for pink eye, is the inflammation of the outermost layer of the eye and the inner surface of the eyelid. Extensions can cause conjunctivitis when bacteria or fungi get trapped by fake lashes. Keratitis occurs when the eye’s cornea becomes inflamed. People with keratitis often experience moderate to intense pain, a scratching sensation while blinking and impaired eye sight. Sounds kind of scary, huh?
Our advice at Prevent Blindness Texas is to pass on the idea of extensions all together! Stick to mascara and use it safely! The American Academy of Ophthalmology shared an insightful article from Consumer Reports about mascara safety:
- Wash your hands before applying mascara
- Replace your mascara every 3 months
- Never borrow or share mascara
- Don’t add water to dried out mascara
For additional tips on how to use mascara safely click here!