A new trend has reared its head in the fashion industry these days, modifying an unexpected area of the body — your eyes. Ads for eye lash extensions and lash boosters are popping up everywhere and it can be hard to resist the allure of having long, luxurious lashes. Before taking the plunge, please consider the cautions optometrists have about this style trend.

Phoenix Eye Care If you are considering eye lash extensions, there is one MAJOR factor that should be considered non-negotiable:  Using a trained, experienced professional housed in a sanitary facility. Having work done in such a vulnerable area of the body can result in disaster if bacteria enters the equation or your consultant is unsure of the process. He or she should be using sterilized tools in a clean setting. Be sure to ask about the type of glue to be used in the process and  steer clear of those using formaldehyde, low quality glues, or industrial glue products. Glue should be pharmaceutical grade, designed for this specific use and used sparingly so lashes don’t clump together unnaturally.

After selecting your extension technician, there are a few other issues to consider. Most people will find eye lash extensions to be a fairly benign style accessory, with some very notable exceptions. Eye lash extensions are generally synthetic products, but some on the market are made from animal products such as horsehair or mink. This can present a problem to people with animal allergies but should generally be avoided by any user due to the potential for a reaction. Also consider that the glue used in the application process may be another potential allergy source.

An additional risk of having eye lash extensions is that they can be rubbed free of the graft to your natural lash. If you are someone with a tendency to rub your eyes or are a face sleeper, extensions may not last very long for you and can rub off into your eye. This may lead to irritation, infection, or even scratches to the surface of your eye.

In general, proper application of a quality eye lash extension is safe. Given the extreme cost of the initial process and the need for frequent touch-ups, optometrists and plastic surgeons alike may steer you toward a more economical and longer lasting solution such as a lash growth product, which will lengthen and fortify your own lashes.

Photo credit: ashley rose, / Foter / CC BY-NC-ND