The dangers of eyelash procedures | Health Smart


Beauty trends are always changing, even if the laws regulating them haven’t.

YORK, Pa. — Having lush lashes has long been considered a beauty trend, but many of the procedures that can give you them, come with a risk.   

- Advertisement -

Experts say you have to be your own advocate to stay safe.  

“The lash perm is probably out of all the trends right now, my biggest concern,” said Dr. Leslie O’Dell of Medical Optometry of America.  

That’s because lash lifts, as they’re also called, along with lash tints, use many chemicals including ammonia and hydrogen peroxide.  

Summer Thomas of “Lashed out by Summer” has been performing lash lifts and tints since they entered the market, years ago.  

“These are chemicals that are going on our eye, you want somebody that understands what they are doing.  It should definitely be performed by a professional who has training and certifications and licensing,” Thomas said.  

But it’s more than that.  

“Lash health is very important.  Anytime we see a client we’re always evaluating what their eye looks like,” Thomas said.  

She will even turn someone away if they aren’t a good candidate. Still, she admits the procedures could cause allergies, dry eye, redness and even a chemical reaction.  

“Things get in the eye, but I’m right there to help fix the situation, put some saline in, wash it out right away, I know what to do to help you through this procedure to make sure you have a great experience,” she said. Summer’s clients have had just that.  

However, an eye doctor who heard that FOX43 was working on this story, sent us this cautionary tale, writing quote:

“A patient came to me in excruciating pain, light sensitivity, and severely decreased vision. The aesthetician doing the eyelash tinting used a drop to prepare her eye for the procedure and ended up removing 50% of the outer layer cornea and even some over the white part of her eye. We had to do an amniotic membrane to cover and heal the wound.  Had she not, she likely could have had decreased vision permanently or been susceptible to further damage in the future.” said Dr. Mark Schaeffer, OD.

He also sent us this photo.  As a guide, everything you see that is green is missing tissue that was caused by the lash tint procedure.  

Thomas says it’s vital to do your research on a provider before giving any beauty treatment a try.  

“Please look at before and after pictures, look at reviews on social media and even referrals.  Personal referrals are a wonderful place to start with these things,” Thomas said.

Finding a reputable place is definitely important, but Dr. O’Dell still urges caution and this bit of advice: “If there is a reaction of any kind, instead of always going to the urgent care, even if you don’t have an eye care doctor in the time of need, most eye care providers have urgent hours, and so calling an eye doctor in the time of need, I think we would really be able to help,” Dr. O’Dell says.


Dr. O’Dell believes the biggest problem is that the last cosmetic-focused bill passed into law was back in 1938. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act of 1938 has been amended many times since then to address pharmaceutical and food regulation. It went from 19 pages to 692, but the cosmetics-specific section of the bill is still only one and a half pages long.  

For a closer look at the entire bill, click here.

Download the FOX43 app here.


- Advertisement -