With the advent of online video streaming and the growing popularity of YouTube makeup artists and online makeup tutorials, applying flawless makeup in the comfort of your own home has become more easily accessible to the average Jane.
Eyelash extensions, in particular, have recently experienced a resurgence in the past couple of years. The promise of having long, luscious lashes upon awakening without spending extra time and energy sounds very alluring, however, eyelash extensions can cause harm to eye health (lids and lashes included).
Even when adhered to the natural lash properly, the glue used to attach eyelash extensions to natural lashes has been known to cause ocular irritation like eyelid swelling and conjunctivitis. Allergic reactions to the glue and/or solvent have also been observed in some people. The weight of eyelash extensions and glue will also weigh down the natural lash and cause permanent thinning of your natural eyelashes.
Caring for eyelash extensions and removing eye makeup while wearing eyelash extensions is a delicate and difficult process. Although wearing mascara with eyelash extensions is not recommended, many women ignore this recommendation and continue to wear mascara. This practice becomes problematic, as the mascara is difficult to remove from the natural lashes without causing damage to the eyelash extensions. As a result, many women either: a) do a poor job of removing their mascara or b) skip the mascara removal process altogether! At this point, the lashes become a breeding ground for bacteria and demodex mites.
Eyelash extension glue attracting makeup and debris along the lid margin and lash line.
Leftover makeup and demodex infestation
The old adage, “Beauty is pain,” certainly applies in this scenario. Bacteria, mites, and stray makeup stuck on the lashes will also cause ocular irritation and damage to the meibomian glands. The meibomian glands store and secrete oil, protecting the tear film and the eyes. Like pores on the face, these glands can become clogged or blocked. If they remain blocked for a long period of time, the glands begin to deteriorate and cease to produce meibum (oil). This results in Meibomian Gland Dysfunction and leads to Dry Eye Disease.
Those who suffer from moderate to severe Meibomian Gland Dysfunction often experience extreme dryness and have difficulty wearing contact lenses for any period of time.
Oil-free, non-waterproof makeup and makeup remover specially formulated for use with eyelash extensions must be used to prevent damage and dissolution of the glue attaching the lash extension to the natural lashes. Oil-based makeup removers tend to dissolve the glue adhering the lashes together.
- For Eyelash Extensions: We Love Eyes – “Tea Tree Eyelid and Eyelash Foaming Cleanser” gentle but effective makeup remover
- False lashes and makeup (those who do not wear eyelash extensions): Combination of We Love Eyes – “Tea Tree Eyelid and Eyelash Makeup Remover Oil” & “Tea Tree Eyelid and Eyelash Foaming Cleanser”
- For Eyelash Extensions: Avenova (Novabay, Prescription only, Eye Doctor’s offices) – Anti-inflammatory & anti-microbial maintenance for eyelash extensions
- For Blepharitis: Ocusoft Lid Scrub Plus Platinum Foam (OCuSOFT, Eye Doctor’s offices) – to clean off oil, debris, pollen and other contaminants on eyelashes
- For Demodex: Cliradex (Biotissue, Eye Doctor’s offices) – All natural, preservative-free lid, lash and facial cleanser with anti-inflammatory & anti-microbial properties
To grow naturally longer lashes:
- Latisse (Allergan, Prescription only)
- Zoria (OCuSOFT, Eye Doctor’s offices)
If you indulge in eyelash extensions or frequently don false eyelashes, see your friendly neighborhood eye doctor or give us a call today at 713-838-2020 to schedule an appointment for a tailored lid and lash hygiene regimen that suits your lifestyle and needs.
|About the Author Dr. Erica Ngo, O.D. is an optometrist fascinated by dry eye disease, ocular surface disease, and digital eye health. Dr. Erica Ngo is passionate about protecting and preserving eye health with a focus on aesthetics, makeup, and fashion. On her free time she enjoys latin dancing, food, travelling, and playing with her fluffy companion. She lives in Houston and is always looking for ways to explore and give back to her community.|
|About the Editor Dr. Bridgitte Shen Lee is an optometrist and the co-founder of Vision Optique. She is passionate about helping people see better and live better lives, and inspiring other eye care professionals. Dr. Shen Lee writes and lectures on the topics of Digital Eye Health, Dry Eye Disease, Health Care Social Media, and Aesthetic Optometry. She also enjoys raising her young daughters to be global citizens and volunteering her time and talent at schools and in the Houston community.|