While it's exciting to experiment with different makeup trends, it's crucial to prioritise the health and safety of our eyes. Our expert ophthalmologist Rupal Morjaria strongly advise against false lashes and waterline eyeliner … and here’s why.
False lashes have become increasingly popular; however, they can pose risks if not used correctly or with proper care:
Bacterial Infections: When false lashes are not cleaned regularly, bacteria, dirt, and debris can accumulate . These contaminants can transfer to your eyes, leading to infections such as conjunctivitis. Symptoms include redness, swelling, itching, and discharge. In severe cases, an untreated infection can cause further complications and potentially affect your vision.
Allergic Reactions: False lashes are often made from synthetic materials and can lead to itchiness. The glue used may also contain chemicals that can cause irritation or allergic reactions.
Lid Inflammation: Lashes can harbour bacteria and other microorganisms that can cause inflammation of the eyelids and lead to blepharitis. You may also notice the formation of crusts or scales around the base of your lashes.
Damage to Natural Lashes: Neglecting to clean fake lashes can affect the health of your own natural ones. Accumulated dirt, oils and makeup residue can make them brittle and weak; over time leading to lash breakage or even permanent damage.
To avoid these issues and maintain eye health while wearing false lashes, it is important to keep them clean. Here are some tips for proper lash hygiene:
Remove Lashes Carefully: Be gentle to avoid damaging your natural lashes. Use an oil-based makeup remover or micellar water to dissolve the adhesive and loosen them before carefully peeling them off.
Cleanse Regularly: After removing, clean your lashes thoroughly to remove any residue. Gently wipe them with a cotton pad soaked in oil-free makeup remover or a gentle cleansing solution. Avoid using harsh chemicals that may irritate your eyes.
Never Share Lashes: Sharing with others increases the risk of bacterial or fungal infections.
Proper Storage: Store your cleaned lashes in a dry case to prevent dust, dirt and bacteria from accumulating on them. Avoid using mascara or other eye products directly on the false lashes to keep them clean and extend their lifespan.
Instead of relying on fakes, consider using mascara to achieve longer, fuller-looking lashes. Look for one that is hypoallergenic and ophthalmologist-tested to minimise the risk of adverse reactions. Additionally, using an eyelash curler can help lift and enhance your natural lashes.
Applying eyeliner to the waterline, the area between the lash line and the eye itself, is a popular technique to create a defined or dramatic look. However, it's essential to exercise caution when using eyeliner in this sensitive area:
Risk of Infections: The waterline is close to the tear ducts and mucous membranes, making it more susceptible to bacterial contamination. Applying eyeliner here increases the chances of transferring bacteria into the eye, potentially leading to infections like conjunctivitis or styes.
Irritation and Discomfort: Eyeliners often contain pigments and preservatives that may irritate and cause itching or a gritty feeling.
Potential Damage to the Tear Film: The tear film is a thin layer that covers the surface of the eye, protecting it from dryness and foreign particles. Applying eyeliner to the waterline can disrupt the tear film, leading to dry eye symptoms and potential discomfort.
My advice is to apply your liner on the lash line, just above the roots of the lashes. This technique can still enhance the appearance of your eyes without compromising their health. Additionally, choose ones that are ophthalmologist-tested and labelled as safe for use around the eyes.
Remember, if you experience any signs of eye irritation, discomfort or infection it is advisable to consult with an eye care professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.