Eyelash extensions are in right now, and for good reason. They look great and cut down on the time you have to spend doing your makeup. But are eyelash extensions safe?
The quick answer?
Yes, but they do pose a couple of risks.
Before getting eyelash extensions, we advise our eye care patients to do the following:
1. Chose a trusted professional
If applied incorrectly, the fibers from the eyelash extensions can point down and scratch the surface of your eye. Find an aesthetician or another professional with extensive experience with lash extensions. Read their reviews, and make sure that they have proper sanitation guidelines in place.
An important side note: if you wear glasses, it is important to ensure that the professional picks the right length so that they don’t hit your lenses.
2. Make sure you know what your lashes and glue are made of
The FDA does not regulate lash glue or extensions. Lashes are often made of synthetic materials which include nylon, silk, or mink fibers. A good number of individuals are allergic to mink fibers materials, which is why it is important to check with the salon to see what type of lashes they carry.
The ingredients in the glue can also cause an allergic reaction. If you are concerned that you might have an allergic reaction to either of these products, you can test it on your forearm. Reactions can occur up to 24 hours after contact with your skin.
3. Clean your lashes well
Ever gone a week without washing your hair? That same oil that coats your hair also coats your eyelashes. Artificial lashes can get dirty and trap dust, pollen and dead skin cells. Without regular washing, you are at risk for infections (including styes). Your salon professional will instruct you how to best care and wash your lashes, but we recommend washing them when you wash your face (ideally at least once per day).
Any beauty enhancement comes with risks, but eyelash extensions are relatively safe if you follow the guidelines above. Talk to your eye doctor if you have any additional questions or concerns.