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3 Ways False Eyelashes Can Damage Your Eyes and Real Lashes


Falsies or false eyelashes are nothing new. However, with the support of many vloggers, instagram users and celeb-partnered lines, many folks are leaving behind their mascara to glue on strips and individual lash extensions. In fact in 2012, drugstores reported a 12% increase in falsie sales.

Falsies provide a flawlessly long lashes within minutes (hours if you’re a newbie doing it on your own). But is there a downside?

Hair Loss

Consistent application of falsies have been known to cause traction alopecia. This is the same condition attributed to the loss of edges from poorly installed hair extensions and braids. Additionally, when you remove the falsies, your natural eyelashes are also removed in the process.

Allergic Reactions

The glue used for eyelash extensions tends to be the primary culprit when it comes to undesirable side effects. Some of the brands of glues used are formaldehyde-based (yeah, the same stuff they embalm cadavers with and a known carcinogen) and can cause serious allergic reactions. Contact dermatitis anyone? The FDA previously came down on Brazilian Blow-out treatments for emitting formaldehyde. Let’s be real, if you don’t want it on the hair on your head, would you risk putting the chemical near your eyes?


False eyelashes have been known to trap dirt and infection-causing bacteria. Infection of the cornea (conjunctivitis) and eyelid are both side-effects of this beauty trend. Fun fact: Mother nature ensured that you have the perfect length of eyelashes. A new study discovered between 22 mammal species eyelash length is always 1/3 the width of the eye in length. This length is ideal to prevent eye dryness. Anything longer than this ratio, promotes the collection of dust particles in the eye according to researcher, Guillermo Amador:

“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.”

However, sometimes you might really want to go for the gusto for an event and falsies are the way to go to top off your look. Here’s a few tips to help guide you how to safely use them:

  1. Don’t sleep in your lashes.
  2. Be mindful of how much glue/adhesive you apply to the lashes.
  3. Avoid lashes with glitter or gems or any of the eyelash bling trends.
  4. Don’t use formaldehyde-based adhesives
  5. Go to a licensed esthetician for application.

Do you wear falsies? Have you experienced any complications? Share below!

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6 years ago

A really useful article, thanks.

6 years ago

I only use falsies for special events or the occasional outing where I just want a little glam. I do not wear them everyday and the thought of doing so makes me cringe seeing there are many folks who do that. Definitely don’t sleep with them on, and use a remover to get the glue and mascara off your eyes. If you must re use them, make sure you always clean off the glue, some lashes can be used 6-8+ times if taken care of properly. As long as you do all that your eyes will be fine. 🙂

6 years ago

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