By: Martha Garcia | Published: May 10th, 2013
Eyelash extensions are a fashion trend that has lasted for decades, beloved by women for brightening faces and making them appear more youthful. However, a new report indicates that false eyelashes may actually increase the risk of allergic reactions or serious eye infections.
A according to Consumer Reports, eyelash extensions may pose a significant risk to your health.
Eyelash extensions are synthetic fibers that are affixed to the eye lid with an adhesive. The report found many of the adhesives and the solvents used to remove the material may cause allergic reactions and eye infections.
Some women experience irritation or swelling from the glue, causing them to rub or pull at the false lashes. Some of the glues used to adhere the products contain formaldehyde, a known carcinogen with far reaching health concerns of its own.
Health professionals warn that irritation can occur from a number of sources, either from direct contact from the false lashes or sensitivity to the different substances used to adhere them to the lashes.
In addition to the risk of allergic reactions from eye lash extensions, irritation and rubbing of the false lashes can cause bacterial or fungal infections to the eye, according to Consumer Reports. Many women have reported experiencing an irritation to the cornea, some contracted keratitis and conjunctivitis in their eyes, just from using false eyelashes.
Health officials indicate the reason eye infections are so prevalent among false eyelash users is because the synthetic fibers can trap dirt and bacteria in the lashes or onto the eyelid, causing irritation and ultimately infection.
False eyelashes were first marketed in the United States in the 1960s and have been a fashion staple ever since. The beauty product has become more popular through the years with the help of celebrities who have used false eyelashes to enhance their glamour look, encouraging women around the world to do the same.
Consumer Reports also detailed eyelash extensions, along with false eyelashes, can pose a risk of alopecia, or hair loss. Repeated use may result in hair loss or thinning of the natural eyelashes damaging the hair shaft and ceasing hair production. This causes women to feel self confident about their natural eyelashes making them use the fake products even more.
In recent years, the false eyelash trend seems to have hit new highs of popularity, reaching more than $42 million in sales last year in drug stores alone, a 12 percent increase from the previous year.
While the fashion trend gains momentum, more officials continue to become concerned about the lasting health effects and recommend using mascara to enhance eyelashes instead.
Consumer Reports is an independent consumer watchdog group dedicated to providing consumers with a source of unbiased information regarding commercial products. The organization accepts no outside advertising or free samples and is recognized as one of the leading consumer advocacy groups in the nation.