Every woman wants eyelashes with tons of volume and length. But, most of us aren’t born with the goods—we’re lucky if we can find a descent mascara to give us a tiny bit of thickness. Enter our saving grace (or so we like to think): falsies. For the last 18 months, eyelash extensions and false lashes have been the hottest beauty accessories.
The appearance of false lashes and eyelash extensions might be appealing at first, but there are dangers associated with these quick-fixes. To help us discover the truth about falsies, we asked top cosmetic dermatologist, Dr. Rosemarie Ingleton to weigh in.
VIBE Vixen: What are some of the dangers associated with false eyelashes?
Dr. Ingleton: The main thing that I see in my practice is people are inadvertently pulling their real lashes out when it’s time to remove the fake ones. I’m not seeing any infections, but that’s always a possibility when you are doing anything in a non-sterile manner. You can also get eyelid dermatitis, which is an allergic reaction to the adhesive that’s being used to put on the lashes.
Is there a safe way to go about getting the false lashes?
Just like you scrutinize the cleanliness of the place you get your nail done, you should look at the technician who is going to apply your lashes. Make sure they have clean hands. Also, you don’t want to have them using utensils that were used on other people.
Worse case scenario, what should someone do if they discover they have an eye infection from the lashes?
Have the lashes removed right away. Then you should go to the dermatologist or the eye doctor because that infection in the eyelid can become very bad very quickly based on the way the tissue is in that part of the body.
Can false lashes help your natural lashes become thicker and healthier?
That is not true; I wish that would happen [laughs]. Lashes have a natural life cycle; they grow, they shed, they grow just like the hairs on our head. There’s really nothing that you’re doing by applying this extra lash that is going to do anything about the growth rate of the hair shaft. I don’t think it’s going to make any difference.
If a woman decides against false lashes, what are some ways to help their natural lashes become thicker and healthier?
You can first give the appearance of them looking thicker by using makeup products, mascaras and eyelash conditioners. Then there’s Latisse, which is the only prescription product available to actually grow lashes longer, thicker, and darker. Latisse will give you the look you would have if you had fake lashes attached.
I know a lot of brands advertise that these solutions will make your lashes grow in 10 days or 20 days. How do you know which ones to trust?
It’s best to trust the ones that have gone through the rigorous testing. The FDA is very stringent when they are testing products and for them to give an approval on something is a big deal. It has to really show that it does in fact do what it claims to do. Latisse has a medication that was used for Glaucoma and they coincidentally realized it made lashes grow longer and thicker so they started using it for lashes.