Eyelash Extensions & Single Use Falsies Are Breeding Ground For Bacteria & Fungi

Image: Aliaksandr Barouski / Shutterstock.com

In the age of Instagram models and ‘so-called’ e-girls who beam celestial rays of beauty that peasants like us can never comprehend, long and voluminous lashes have become “the dream”. 

Image: Pinterest

Or at least a trend that’s taken the entire internet by the storm. Much like TikTok sans the dancing and the heavy involvement of XMMs. 

The eyes are the windows to the soul and having unnaturally – and abnormally – long lashes is equivalent to having an expensive set of silk curtains. It’s aesthetically pleasing, expensive, painstakingly high maintenance, and for some, a mandatory piece of decorative furniture. I mean, accessory.

It’s really not that difficult. For as low as $5 for a box of six pairs, you can achieve the ‘I just came out of a 3-hour rave at Zouk’ look!

Hot…

For 2008.

While others take it up a notch, it’s a money-making industry and even I am guilty of scrambling out of Sephora with $45 worth of damage and an even larger sense of existential dread.

There are also those who seek the seemingly permanent method of getting lash extensions that range from $60 to the hundreds. For 2% of the cost of a human kidney, you get a rack of natural-looking lashes for the Instagram clout. 

Image: Giphy

Little Did You Know… 

Unbeknownst to the mainstream crowd are the serious implications that these “temporary fixes” may cause, and this we all can attest to. 

According to experts, people often disregard the fact that they are applying foreign substances and objects near their eyes.

Why?

Because we’re all slaves to vanity, that’s why. The consequences are very much overlooked. We’re talking about allergic reactions, infections, irritations, dry eyes, and the loss of real eyelashes.

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These flutter bugs are thicker than your bowl of oatmeal and longer than the distance between Khatib and Yio Chu Kang – and that is an alarming threat to your natural lashes’ actual functionality.

The fan-like structure allows more air to make contact with the ocular surface which increases evaporation. As a result, dry eyes and bacteria become common. 

“Bacteria is a concern with lash extensions, especially with Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus), the most common type of bacteria to live on eyelashes,” explains Crystal Chan, an optometrist at Rideau Optometric in the United States, for an interview with the Ottawacitizen

 “The waste produced by S. aureus is toxic to the eye and causes inflammation of the lid margins. Lash extensions themselves also harbour extra bacteria, increasing the risk of lid infections like styes and eye infections like bacterial conjunctivitis, commonly known as pink eye.”

Just when you thought you’ve heard the last of it, here’s a quote from another expert, Dr Deepinder Dhaliwal, a professor of ophthalmology at the University of Pittsburgh’s School of Medicine. “The irritation can be caused by the lashes themselves or hypersensitivity to substances used to attach them,” she said. 

That’s right, folks. It’s the glue, blame the glue.

You see, some glues contain a highly toxic chemicals called, Formaldeyhde, fancy terms for your eyes’ Kryptonite. The fumes of the said chemicals can cause severe irritation to the eyes and the skin. It’s even been linked to cancer.

Image: meme-arsenal.com

“Allergic reactions can be mild; ranging from burning and stinging sensations to swelling and even contact dermatitis,” said American board-certified Dermatologist, Dr Lana Kashlan to CNA.

“Bacteria and fungi, which thrive in Singapore’s warm and humid tropical weather, can also be trapped under the glue and cause infection, swelling, redness, discomfort and even pain around the eyes.”

Image: Meme Generator

Now What? 

Well, we’re not entirely discouraging you from dawning a pair. You do you! But it is important that we make it a habit to check the labels of the products that we use. Research is also vital when it comes to aesthetic procedures like these. 

Unless, of course, you’re into the nasty. You do you!