Batting an extended eyelash: safe or dangerous?

Batting an extended eyelash: safe or dangerous?

Instead of relying only on mascara, an increasing number of women are getting eyelash extensions to achieve the look of luxurious, voluminous lashes. But is this burgeoning beauty trend safe?

There are three varieties of eyelash extensions: synthetic, silk and mink. Most are applied fiber-by-fiber to the eyelid using a specially formulated, semi-permanent glue. One application session can take up to two hours. The false lashes typically last up to one month.

The American Academy of Ophthalmology says the procedure is safe if the extensions are applied by an experienced aesthetician using safe chemicals. There are risks, including infection of the cornea or eyelid, swollen eyelids, and temporary or permanent loss of natural eyelashes. In 2012, actress Kristin Chenoweth highlighted the dangers of the procedure when she appeared on a late night show wearing sunglasses. She had swollen eyelids from an eyelash application gone wrong. She said she’d suffered an allergic reaction to a chemical in the glue.

If you understand the risks and want to undergo the procedure, the American Academy of Ophthalmology suggests three precautions.

First, ensure the aesthetician is certified and working at a practice with a solid reputation. Websites like Yelp and recommendations from friends and family are good ways to find reputable businesses.

Second, check to make sure the aesthetician properly washes his or her hands for at least 20 seconds before beginning to apply the lashes.

Third, ask to see the ingredients list on the glue, and dab a little on your wrist to make sure you don’t have an allergic reaction. If you’re satisfied, get ready to take your flirting game to a new level.

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