It is a common belief among women that beauty is pain. The four examples below are beauty trends that can be more than painful. The damage they cause can be irreversible, to your eyes and the surrounding skin. Read on to learn safe alternatives to these four dangerous trends.
1. Eyelash Extensions
As the primary defense against foreign objects entering the eye, eyelashes play an important role in eye health.
In theory, longer eyelashes seem like a better defense for the eyes. However, the chemicals used in the application of the extensions can cause allergic reactions and infections, and some may experience the loss of their natural eyelashes.
Prolonged exposure to the chemicals used to apply the lashes can lead directly to corneal scarring.
Alternative: The main ingredient that gives optometrists pause is formaldehyde. When looking for a salon, it is important to find one that does not use chemicals containing formaldehyde and that follows proper sanitation measures.
2. Eyebrow Laser Hair Removal
Even when proper eye protection is worn, eyebrow laser hair removal is much too dangerous. It all comes down to the way a laser works. When the wavelengths destroy the hair follicle, they emit energy to surrounding tissues. The wavelengths can penetrate the surrounding tissues, including the eyelid, and cause permanent ocular damage and pain.
Alternative: Waxing and plucking are two common alternatives when it comes to taking care of pesky eyebrow hairs. Even though they are not a permanent solution, they don't carry the risks associated with laser hair removal and can be done in the privacy of your own home.
3. Eyebrow Threading
While gentler on skin than waxing or plucking, eyebrow threading carries with it its own risks.
As most states don't require threaders to have a cosmetology degree, concerns have been raised about the cleanliness of threading stations and the tools used. When the same thread is used for multiple clients, staph and other infections can be easily spread.
Alternative: You don't have to avoid threading altogether, but you do have to be sure to pick a salon that takes hygiene seriously. Threaders should change threads, sanitize their stations and any tools, and wash hands between clients.
4. Hydrocortisone Cream to Relieve Eye Puffiness
Creams and other topicals containing hydrocortisone have been touted as the go-to treatment for red, puffy eyes.
Hydrocortisone is a steroid that is used to treat skin irritations and allergic reactions. In many cases, applying cream containing hydrocortisone on eye bags will work, but that doesn't mean it is safe.
Prolonged use of steroids can damage the adrenal gland, and the treatment can actually backfire, causing permanently enlarged vessels near the eyes and other irreversible changes.
Alternative: Cold compresses work much the same as hydrocortisone creams. They cause the vessels to shrink, reducing the appearance of red, puffy eyes. It is important to address the root cause of the issue, whether that is lack of sleep, dehydration, stress, or allergies.