If you haven’t heard of magnetic eyelashes, they’re an absolute game-changer. Instead of having to mess around with lash glue and crooked falsies, these lashes use magnetic technology for precise, mess-free applications (more on exactly how they work a little later). But if you have heard of magnetic eyelashes, you might be wondering if they’re safe to use, especially if you have a history of the sensitive skin around the eyes. Putting magnets near your eyes certainly sounds like it could have some adverse side effects, so we went straight to the source to find out for sure. To separate fact from fiction, ahead, a board-certified dermatologist and an optometrist explain whether or not magnetic eyelashes are safe for your eyes, eyelids, and eyelashes.
What are magnetic eyelashes?
Magnetic eyelashes are a type of false lashes that adhere to your natural lashes using magnet technology instead of glue.
Magnetic eyelashes come in two key product forms: magnetic strip lashes and magnetic eyeliner lashes. Magnetic strip lashes involve “sandwiching” your top natural lashes between two sets of false lashes that have tiny magnets to adhere to one another. Usually, each set of lashes has three very tiny (almost invisible) magnets on the top set of lashes, which adhere through your natural lashes to three oppositely charged magnets on the set of lashes that go just below your natural lashes.
Alternatively, a different type of magnetic lashes has been surging in popularity as of late and involves applying a magnetic eyeliner to your top lash line that the false lashes adhere to. If you normally wear eyeliner on your top lash line, this product tends to be a bit more natural-looking and less heavy on the eyes (since there are no magnets on the actual lashes, but rather, infused into the eyeliner).
Are magnetic eyelashes safe for your eyelid skin?
“There are a few things to consider when opting for magnetically adhered lashes,” says Dr. Alicia Zalka, a board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Surface Deep. For starters, she says to avoid magnetic eyelashes if you have a nickel allergy. “This type of allergy is not uncommon and causes rashes when the skin is exposed to certain objects that contain white metal, such as costume jewelry, metal buttons on jeans, metal wrist bands, bra closures, etc. The tiny magnets that adhere to the lashes are made of metal and may contain nickel. Hence, this metal touching sensitive eyelid skin could potentially lead to skin rash in allergic individuals.”
Nickel allergies aside, Dr. Zalka says you should also avoid magnetic eyelashes (of either form) if you have a history of sensitive skin (especially around the eyes) or eczema. “Be mindful of potential skin irritation which would be the same concern for other false eyelash options using glue”.
Also if you wear magnetic lashes, they must be removed when having certain types of medical imaging studies like MRIs. “Since these lashes are reusable, be sure to keep them clean and store them properly and do not share them with others,” says Dr. Zalka.
Are magnetic eyelashes safe for your natural lashes?
“Like any eyelash treatment that involves adhering extensions of any kind to the natural lashes, there is a risk that eyelashes can be traumatized or individually lost when the false lashes are removed,” says Dr. Zalka. With repeat use over time, you can cause eyelashes to become weakened, more brittle, and fall out with the removal of the lashes. Take the utmost care when removing your magnetic lashes, and remove them exactly as indicated by the instructions.
The good news though, Dr. Zalka finds magnetic lashes to be easier to remove than traditional lashes. “In my own use, I find that the magnetic lashes go on and off much more gently than those that are adhered with glue,” she says. Easier removal = less tugging on your natural lashes, which means your natural lashes are less likely to fall out when removing the magnetic lashes.
Are magnetic eyelashes safe for your eyes?
“I have not seen any risks of eye damage from magnetic eyelashes specifically”, says Dr. Zalka. “However, corneal abrasions can result if any type of tool or makeup inadvertently scratches the surface of the eyeball.”
Dr. Michelle Cruz, a California-based optometrist, echoes this sentiment. “There is a risk when you’re putting anything near your eyes, but magnetic lashes don’t carry any of their own risks,” she says. “The risks of magnetic eyelashes are the same as other false lashes and even mascara — you could have an adverse reaction to the adhesive formula or lashes themselves, which can cause eye irritation, a stye, or a rash on the skin around the eyes. But you pose these risks using any kind of eye makeup.”
The bottom line
Magnetic eyelashes are a trendy new way to get the falsies look without the hassle of glue — and for the most part, dermatologists and optometrists agree they’re safe for your eyes, eyelashes, and the skin around your eyes. That is, with a few exceptions of course. As with any new product, it’s best to do a patch test if you’re using magnetic lashes that adhere to magnetic-infused eyeliner. And avoid magnetic eyelashes altogether if you have a history of the sensitive skin around the eyes, nickel allergy, or eczema. If you have any specific medical concerns that aren’t mentioned on this list, your best bet is always to speak to your physician about whether or not magnetic eyelashes are safe for you.
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