Eyelashes are one of the most understated yet commanding facial features. Without saying a word, eyelashes help people notice you by drawing attention to your eyes. And thick, long lashes have long been related to youth and beauty.
Women spend millions of dollars per year on mascara, false eyelashes, and lash extensions.
But, your eyelashes have a very important function and artificially tweaking them in pursuit of more beauty can interfere with their purpose.
Your Lashes Keep Your Eyes Safe
Your eyes are susceptible to fungal, viral, bacterial, and other types of infections. Your first line of defense is your tear duct system which provides a coating of oil, water, and a thin layer of mucus. This system keeps your cornea and eyelids lubricated and help remove unfamiliar particles.
To further protect your eyes, your eyelashes are the next line of defense. Your eyelashes act as sensors causing your eyes to blink when objects get too close. However, their primary function is to protect your eyes from small particles such as sand, dust, and other debris from entering and harming your eyes.
The Natural Length of Your Lashes Are Designed to Protect Your Eyes
Of course, eyelashes are not unique to humans. To control the rate of evaporation on the cornea surface and airflow, protect from debris — all mammals have wet eyes and need eyelashes too.
Risk of Using False Eyelashes and Lash Extensions
If your lash extensions are too long they can cause your eyes to dry out and attract debris. The dryness happens because the extended lashes are obstructing the flow of the tears. But, that’s not the only risk of using false eyelashes and lash extensions.
If the glue used to secure the lashes to your eyes and the solvent to remove the lashes contain harmful chemical such as formaldehyde, these solutions can cause an allergic reaction, irritation, and in some cases eye blindness.
Repeated use of artificial lashes can cause your real lashes to become thin or damaged, thus creating a vicious cycle of ongoing use. If the damage causes your lash hair to fall out due to excessive tension placed on the hair shaft, the growth of your lash hair follicles can slow down or even stop production of hair.
Is Mascara Totally Safe?
Although less expensive than having a professional apply false eyelashes, mascara isn’t without risk either. Some mascaras contain a high percentage of heavy metal contamination. These heavy metals include lead, beryllium, thallium, cadmium, and the most frightening of all; arsenic.
A study in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science revealed that another consideration is bacterial contamination.
Prescription Lash Growth and Thickener
In 2008, the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Latisse as a treatment for hypotrichosis, a condition in which no hair grows on your eyelid. Since its debut, those who have lost their eyelashes due to chemotherapy and other medical treatments have found Latisse to be helpful. However, women who feel their eyelashes have thinned due to age have also experienced desired results with Latisse.
While vanity isn’t the motive for everyone who desires longer eyelashes, it’s still worth stating — safety before beauty. To reduce your eyes’ exposure to toxic chemicals that are found in drug store and department store mascara, consider a natural brand of mascara that can be found at stores such as Whole Foods.
Your eyes are one of the most precious and delicate features of your body. Whether you’re seeking longer lashes, needing an eye exam, etc., not seeking the assistance of a highly skilled professional in that area is not recommended.