Magnetic Lashes: Are They Safe?

Magnetic lashes are marketed as easy to use and safe. But your eyes are important -- and delicate. Here's what you need to know about this cosmetic trend.

What Are They?

These reusable products are in well-known chain stores and online retailers. Their popularity surged in 2018, likely for one main reason: convenience.

Unlike old-fashioned extensions, which stick onto the eyelids with glue, magnetic eyelashes contain tiny magnets. These attach in two layers above and below your own upper lashes. You can remove them by gently peeling the layers apart.

As with anything you put on or in your body, there are potential risks.

Are They Safe?

The short answer appears to be yes. But there are a few things you should keep in mind.

The FDA requires that all false eyelashes and extensions -- and the glues used with them -- meet the organization’s rules for cosmetics. But the rules aren’t as strict as they are for a drug or medical device.

While the glues used with traditional false eyelashes can cause allergic reactions and irritation, magnetic lashes don’t use these glues. But you can still get allergies or infections if you don’t use them correctly and carefully.

Whether traditional or temporary magnetic, false eyelashes can be made of human hair or synthetic, human-made materials. Know that the quality can vary, as well.

As with other eyelash enhancements, you can still lose lashes when you remove magnetic lashes. They can break your natural lashes or cause them to grow in the wrong direction.

No matter which kind you buy, touching your eyes to put your lashes on can lead to eye infection. You might also get a stye on the eyelid.

Safety Tips

If you decide to go with magnetic lashes, keep the following things in mind:

  • Don’t share magnetic lashes with other people.
  • Keep the box for your lashes clean and closed.
  • Don’t store your magnetic lashes in very hot places.
  • If your eyes become irritated, stop using the lashes.
  • Don’t use them if you have an infection or the skin around your eye is irritated. Throw away any lashes that you used at about the time you got the infection or irritation.
  • Wash your hands before touching your eyelids.
  • Be careful not to touch or scratch your eyeball.
  • Don’t try to put your lashes on in a moving vehicle. Your hands may slip. That could cause injury or infection.
  • If you’re having an MRI, check with your doctor about whether it’s safe to wear your eyelashes that day.

Be sure to check with your doctor if you have any sort of bad reaction to an eyelash-enhancing product, whether extensions, magnetic eyelashes, or eyedrops.

WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Stephanie S. Gardner, MD on November 18, 2019

Sources

SOURCES:

American Journal of Roentgenology: “Magnetic Eyelashes: A New Source of MRI Artifacts.”

FDA: “Eye Cosmetic Safety,” “Latisse (bimatoprost ophthalmic) solution label.”

American Academy of Ophthalmology: “Eyelash Extension Facts and Safety.”

Ophthalmology Management: “The everyday cost of eyelash makeup.”

Consumer Reports: “Eyelash extensions can pose health risks.”

© 2019 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

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