Perhaps you should think twice before jumping on the LED eyelash bandwagon, an ophthalmologist is warning.
The latest clubbing fad has people affixing LED strips above their eyes. Powered by a small battery tucked into the hair at the back of your head, the lights flash in different colours, as you move to the beat.
But several eye specialists are now highlighting possible health risks that could come from sticking the lights onto your eyelids.
With such close and constant exposure to UV rays from the lights, users risk developing cataracts and macular degeneration down the road, Naris Kitnarong, a specialist at Siriraj Hospital’s department of ophthalmology, was quoted by a Thai broadcaster as saying.
Cataracts involve the lens in the eye becoming cloudy, and macular degeneration is the deterioration of part of the eye’s retina. Both lead to the eventual loss of sight. It is unclear how much one would need to use the LED strips in order to raise their risk of such serious eye conditions.
On the cosmetic front, Kitnarong added that the LED strips would emit a low level of heat that could cause eye dryness, accelerating the development of wrinkles with regular use.
The eye specialist’s comments come as Thai authorities examined if the new clubbing fad needs a public health warning.
The police have so far decided to allow the sale of LED eyelashes in the country, as long as they come with accurate instructions on how to protect consumers, a spokesperson said.
One of the LED eyelash makers leading the pack now appears to be F.Lashes, which came to life in July after a successful Kickstarter campaign.
The makers have said on Facebook that the lights are “not blinding,” but noted in an FAQ that people with photosensitivity and who are prone to epileptic seizures should consult a doctor before trying them on.
And as with every sparkly fad, the unbranded imitators have hit the market just as quickly. Wholesale sites such as Alibaba already carry Chinese-made lookalikes that go for about $2 a piece.
One of them comes from Anpu, a Chinese whitelabel maker that already puts out LED shoes and illuminated fidget spinners by mass volume.
Others like Mooxury sell F.Lashes-knockoffs to the Western market on Amazon.
So even if you can take F.Lashes’ safety claims at face value, there are so many other similar products hitting the market that may not be as concerned with your health.
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