Are Those Fake Eyelashes Worth Your Eye Health?

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERALast May, when Kim Kardashian married Kanye West, she capitalized on a unique opportunity—to promote her own brand of products. Immediately after the wedding photos were released, Kardashian Beauty Individual Eyelashes increased in sales by a whopping 48 percent.  Just $13 for a set of full, rich eyelashes? Yes, please!

It sounds like a bargain, but don’t be fooled. Although you may look like a diva on Facebook, you might be causing yourself some serious eye problems. A new study suggests that wearing fake eyelashes might cause more air and dust to hit the eyes and can dry them out. The proper length of eyelashes all have to do with proportions. Scientists have analyzed the eyelashes of 22 mammals and discovered that eyelashes should be about one-third the width of the eye to effectively protect against dust and moisture evaporation.

Guillermo Amador, PhD candidate in the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech was part of a research team under the direction of Assistant Professor David Hu. Amador said, “When eyelashes are shorter than the one-third ratio, they have only a slight effect on the [air]flow. Their effect is more pronounced as they lengthen up until one-third. After that, they start funneling air and dust particles into the eye.”

Creating  models out of aluminum dishes, acrylic plates and mesh, the research team studied  how different lengths of eyelashes affected airflow and evaporation. The team’s findings were quite simple: as lashes increase in length, they create a cylinder which channels air and molecules toward the eye and increases evaporation. An increase in foreign particles can cause increased risk of eye infection, and swifter evaporation increases the likelihood of dry eye syndrome.

Not all fake eyelashes are bad, though. If you cannot grow eyelashes, it would not necessarily be harmful to wear fake eyelashes, if they are the correct length and proportion, because they could actually help protect the eyes and reduce dry eye (Source: (Source: Economic Times).

For those of you who wear mascara to provide an illusion of longer lashes, be sure to take care when applying and removing eye makeup as well. You can damage your eyes or cause an eye infection quite easily, so follow these tips:

  • remove eye makeup each night before sleeping
  • replace your eye makeup regularly
  • throw away eye products that are cracked, damaged or could scratch your delicate cornea


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