Do False Eyelashes Cause Damage? What You Need To Know

Reviewed by: Tracy Scott, Lash Expert

False eyelashes will instantly make your eyelashes look longer and fuller, and they come in a variety of lengths, styles, and materials. But can false eyelashes cause damage?

Do False Eyelashes Cause Damage

If used incorrectly, false lashes can cause issues such as damage to your natural lashes, allergies, eye infections, and eye injuries.

It’s therefore important to know how to apply and remove false lashes safely. Read on for further instructions.

Why Get False Eyelashes?

There is a range of reasons that someone might want to wear false eyelashes.

These could include:

Dramatic impact

Some people wear false lashes for special occasions. False lashes can create a very dramatic, head-turning look.

They can add more drama and impact to the eyes than eye makeup alone.

Some people prefer them to mascara

Some people don’t like the look and feel of mascara and prefer to wear false lashes instead.

They can even help to preserve natural lashes better than mascara, so long as they’re worn correctly.

To replace or fill out natural lashes

Sometimes false lashes are worn because a person’s natural eyelashes may have fallen out, due to illness or disease.

Or it may be that a person feels their natural lashes are too short or sparse, so wearing false lashes helps to fill them out.

All in all, wearing false lashes can help a person feel more confident and attractive.

Do False Eyelashes Cause Damage?

Do False Eyelashes Cause Damage

False eyelashes should not cause damage if they are applied and removed carefully. However, if you over-apply glue and pull the lashes off aggressively, then, yes, your natural eyelashes will be damaged.

Eyelash glue should be applied directly above the natural lashes. Avoid getting glue on your own eyelashes as this will cause damage when you remove the false ones.

After using, false eyelashes should be removed gently with the help of a makeup remover and a cotton swab.

Applying and removing false lashes correctly will ensure that none of your natural lashes are damaged and you should always avoid sleeping with false eyelashes to avoid infection.

So long as you apply and remove them correctly, wearing false eyelashes may even help to keep your natural lashes healthier than wearing mascara would.

Are Fake Eyelashes Bad For Your Eyes?

False eyelashes can be bad for your eyes as they do have the potential to cause eye problems. This is simply because any time you put a foreign object near your eyes, there is the risk of something going wrong.

The most common eye problems associated with wearing fake eyelashes are:

  • Eye infections
  • Allergic reactions
  • Eye injuries

Let’s take a look at these potential problems in greater detail.

Eye Infections

Eye infections can occur when harmful bacteria collect on the eyelash glue or on the lashes themselves. It is important to practice good hygiene when using false eyelashes.

If you store and reuse your false lashes, or drop them on a surface before applying, this can cause harmful bacteria to enter the eyes.

This can also happen if you forget to clean your eyelids after removing your fake lashes.

Always clean your false eyelashes thoroughly before storing and reusing them.

Sharing your false lashes with a friend can result in cross-contamination, which may lead to styes or conjunctivitis.

If you have eyelash extensions, make sure you keep these clean as well.

Allergic Reactions

Some people may have an allergic reaction to eyelash glue, or more rarely, the false eyelashes themselves.

Allergic reactions can cause stinging and burning sensations, as well as swelling or a rash. There may be mild irritation along the lash line.

More severe allergic reactions require a trip to the emergency room, to avoid loss of eyesight or other complications.

Eye Injuries

By putting any small foreign object near your eye, you are risking eye injury.

If the fake eyelashes scratch the surface of your eye or if a lump of eyelash glue falls into the eye, this could result in a corneal scratch or abrasion.

Always be careful when applying and removing false eyelashes, and don’t over-apply eyelash glue.

Signs Your Fake Eyelashes Are Causing Problems

Signs Your Fake Eyelashes Are Causing Problems

These are the signs you need to look out for when wearing fake eyelashes. If you get any of the following symptoms, stop wearing the lashes and see an eye doctor:

  • Pain
  • Soreness
  • Redness
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Fever
  • Discharge
  • Swelling
  • Blurred vision

How To Avoid Eye Problems Associated With False Eyelashes

The best way to avoid eye problems associated with wearing fake lashes is not to wear them all together or not to wear them for too long.

But if this isn’t realistic, the following steps will help to maintain good hygiene and eye safety:

1.     Avoiding eyelash glue that contains formaldehyde

Formaldehyde should be avoided where possible as it is a common cause of allergies related to wearing false lashes.

2.     Limiting the amount of glue used

Doing so reduces the risk of allergies, eyelash damage, and bits of glue falling into the eye and potentially scratching your cornea.

Latex-free glue is also advised if you have sensitive skin. Using magnetic false lashes is another option if you wish to avoid traditional eyelash glue.

3.     Avoiding wearing lashes with glitter or jewels

These are more likely to cause eye problems if bits of glitter or small jewels fall into the eye.

4.     Be very gentle when removing the lashes

Aggressively tugging them off can result in pulling out your natural lashes and even long-term damage to the eyelash follicle, which will prevent lashes from growing back.

5.     Maintain good hygiene

Try not to touch or rub your eyes when wearing fake lashes. Don’t share them with a friend and always clean them thoroughly with alcohol or eye makeup remover before storing and reusing them.

Always clean your eyelids after removing false lashes.

Can False Eyelashes Cause Headaches?

Wearing false lashes may trigger headaches, but it’s not so much the eyelashes themselves as the glue that fixes them in place.

The eyelash glue contains ingredients like formaldehyde which can cause allergic reactions. This can cause headaches for some people.

Signs of an allergic reaction can cause flu-like symptoms like exhaustion, a stuffy nose, and headaches. Other symptoms may include irritation of the eyes and nasal passages, dizziness, and difficulty breathing.

Always look for formaldehyde-free lash glue and try magnetic lashes if the glue is a real problem for you.

Can Fake Eyelashes Cause Dry Eyes?

Although they may look glamorous, wearing long, full fake eyelashes on a regular basis can cause problems for your eyes.

A study published in 2015 found that longer eyelashes can cause more air and dust to hit the eyes and cause them to dry out.

Scientists found that the optimal length for eyelashes is one-third of the width of the eye.

Any shorter or longer, and the eyelashes do not effectively protect the eye from dust or moisture evaporation.

They found that overly long lashes create a funnel effect, leading to more air and dust hitting the surface of the eye and causing it to dry out.

With this in mind, it may be best to wear long false eyelashes for special occasions only.

If you like to wear false lashes on a regular basis, it may be best to opt for more natural-looking ones to prevent your eyes from drying out.

Can Fake Eyelashes Cause Eye Twitching?

Eye twitching when wearing fake lashes is likely to be a secondary result of problems caused by wearing false lashes. The twitch may be caused by dry eyes or a piece of glue or a stray eyelash causing irritation.

Getting a twitch in your eye can be very annoying. Always be careful when applying and removing false lashes, and don’t overuse them if they cause your eyes to dry out.

Is Eyelash Glue Bad For You?

Eyelash glue should be used with caution as it can cause allergic reactions for some people. Always patch test a new eyelash glue before using it. Eyelash glue can also cause cornea damage and damage to natural lashes if not used correctly.

Some people may get a reaction to eyelash glue due to the ingredients used in it.

There are different types of eyelash glue: standard white glue that lasts for one or two days, and longer-lasting glue that is used for individual lashes.

The longer-lasting the glue, the stronger the chemicals are likely to be.

Applying eyelash glue correctly is important for the health of your eyes and eyelashes.

Eyelash glue should be applied just above the eyelashes and not on the eyelashes themselves.

Be careful not to get eyelash glue in your eyes when applying. Contact lens wearers should be careful not to get any glue on the contact lenses.

If you feel any burning when using eyelash glue, discontinue use immediately.

Always do a patch test a few days before using new eyelash glue.

Avoid any glues that contain formaldehyde and also consider avoiding latex-based glues if you have sensitive skin.

Be careful when removing false lashes so you do not pull out any of your natural lashes. Peel them off gently using makeup remover and a cotton swab.

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