Beware of Toxic Eyelash Dyes

Thinking about drawing some attention to your eyes but hate the thought of dealing with messy mascaras that clump and run?

You may have considered applying a permanent tint or dye to your lashes. It’s certainly easier than running to the powder-room every hour for a touchup. But, is this cosmetic procedure worth it, and is it even safe?

A professional eyelash tinting job will run you anywhere from $20 to $40 depending on the salon and results will generally last between one and three months. The procedure involves applying a layer of dye to the lash with a thin comb and clients have the option of choosing any shade from a more modest basic brown to the boldly dramatic “blue-black.” After ten minutes the dye is set and you’ve got a set of lashes Elizabeth Taylor herself would envy.

But is this procedure that applies a chemical dye so very close to the naked eye safe? If you ask the FDA, the answer would be a resounding no. Currently, there are no color additives approved by the FDA for the use of eyelash tinting and dyeing. Yet that doesn’t stop salons from offering this potentially toxic service.

Most eyelash dyes contain coal tar, which according to the FDA, poses a “severe hazard to health with the possibility of permanent injury.” The “permanent injury” here refers to the threat of vision impairment or even blindness.

But since eyelash dyes aren’t approved in the U.S., many salons receive their product from other countries including Austria, England and Germany, where eyelash tinting is a common procedure.

While not everyone will suffer a reaction from applying this toxic chemical so close to their delicate eye, those that do risk permanent injury, not to mention, a severe amount of pain.

In 2011, a 26-year-old English woman feared she would permanently lose her vision when her eyes had to be glued shut after the procedure. Within minutes of the application her eyes turned red and began tearing.

eyelashWithin a few hours she feared she would lose her vision when the eyes swelled to such an extent that high doses of antihistamines and steroids were barely able to bring the swelling down. After 14 days of pain and fear she did slowly regain her vision but could easily have been left with permanent vision-loss.

Professionals warn that eyelash dyeing can be extremely dangerous as the skin around the eyelid is very thin and the conjunctiva surrounding the eye readily absorbs chemicals. The bottom line, avoid dyeing your lashes at all costs. To really take care of your health, try switching to organic mascara. Hey, why stop there? Switch all your beauty products to organic, your whole body will thank you.

-The Alternative Daily


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