The health and well-being of your eyesight go deeper than consistent screenings and Optometrist visits. In fact, you should always be aware of what you use in and around your eyes daily. Do you know what is in the eye makeup products you use? A product may be highly advertised and extremely popular, yet unsafe for your eyes. Each individual’s eyes are unique and vary in sensitivity. It is important to understand what can irritate and bother your eyes, especially as they age. Are certain beauty trends putting your eyes at risk?
Product expiration dates –
Like groceries, makeup products have a shelf life. Whether are using a product once a month or every day, the moment the packaging seal on the product is broken, the product is subject to contamination from air and bacteria. The bacteria accumulated in the eyeliners, eyeshadows, mascaras, and any other products you use around the eyes are then transferred to your eyes, which can put you at risk of infection. Microbiological and bacterial contaminations are most likely to be found in mascaras and eyeliners, and since these products often get the closest to our eyes, they are the largest threats to healthy eyesight.
In a study conducted on forty expired mascaras, “a high level of contamination with pathogenic microorganisms” were present. Pathogenic microorganisms are known to cause infectious diseases which have been found to result in more serious diagnoses. Depending on the brand, these products may last anywhere from three to six months. Be cautious of the expiration dates for the makeup brands you use and be sure to dispose of them when necessary!
Tight lining your eyes –
Tight lining your eyes is an eyeliner application method where the user draws the product along their waterline. Applying the insight you have already gained, the potential bacteria in our eye makeup products should trigger this a red flag. This technique can be dangerously close to the tear film in our eyes. One wrong move and you could have a corneal abrasion, or a scratched eye, causing serious discomfort and irritation. A healthy cornea is essential for clear vision; let’s not compromise the gift of sight for the appearance of darker lashes. Placing the liner outside the inner lash line gets the job done with a lower risk of harming the tear films in our eyes.
Eyelash extensions –
Eyelash extensions have become a very popular alternative to applying mascara on lashes every day. Although this technique may seem like a positive solution, considering the apparent use of expired eye makeup products, there are still numerous risks involved. The eyelash extension process is tedious; the stylist dips each individual false lash into glue, then attaches the false lash to a real lash, as close to the lash line as possible to ensure they blend with the natural lashes.
If the stylist uses too much glue or does not place the false lash correctly, glue can seep into clients’ eyes. As a result, clients have experienced “fuzzy” vision, redness, swelling, allergic reactions, abrasions, and infections. There have also been cases where the stylist accidentally pierces the eye with tweezers during the process. All of this could cause temporary or permanent vision issues, depending on the severity. Before diving into eyelash extensions, protect your eyes by researching a well-experienced technician who uses sterilized equipment. Trust me, your eyes will thank you for doing your homework!
Permanent makeup (micropigmentation) –
Permanent makeup is a surgical procedure that uses small needles to puncture the top layers of skin with pigmented granules, similar to tattoos, to achieve the desired makeup look. This technique is popular because users have the freedom to not worry about their makeup fading, running, or smudging as they go about their busy schedules.
Also, permanent makeup usually lasts between 3-5 years. Those seeking out this trend are generally willing to pay the higher costs because of its longevity. These long-lasting cosmetic tattoos save a significant amount of time during morning routines, which may be attractive to people who are not particularly fond of rising before the sun just to get ready.
A successful procedure is contingent on the training and experience of the practitioner. In recent years, the permanent makeup industry has grown faster than the need for practitioners can be met, resulting in inexperienced practitioners taking the risk to perform the procedure without full training. Since the most common permanent makeup enhancement is eyeliner, this procedure has the potential to seriously threaten the health and safety of our eyesight.
Clients may experience blurry vision as a result of the anesthesia, which is the first step in the process. The pigmented granules are considered foreign to the body, which means it is difficult to predict the outcome of the procedure. One of the largest risks is uncertainty; each body will react differently to foreign granules. The reaction could take place immediately following the procedure as a rash, or years later as an allergic reaction in the immune system.
It is important to take note of any changes in your eyesight or around your eyes and to consult a knowledgeable practitioner or doctor if you are unsure of a new symptom. Other reactions include painful keloids, granulomas, swelling, cracking, blistering, scarring, and peeling. In recent years, the number of reported reactions has reached more than 50, initiating investigations by the FDA.
If these brutal reactions and aren’t enough to worry you, there have been at least 10 cases of hepatitis transmission as a result of practitioners using unsterile equipment and needles. Although these are rare cases, it is just another reason to conduct extensive research before confirming the practitioner who will perform your procedure.
The key takeaway, knowledge is power! Always look into your products and procedures before using them. Practice safety when dealing with your vision; our eyes deserve the same amount of love and care as the rest of our body. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms from one of these potential risks, consult a doctor immediately.