Optometrist reveals the three popular makeup products she would never use and why

Screengrabs from Dr Alexa Hecht's TikTok video on makeup products that can be damaging for the eyes
An optometrist has revealed the three popular products she would never use on and around her eyes. Photo credit: @dr.alexahecht / TikTok

An optometrist has revealed the three popular products she would never use on and around her eyes, warning others to proceed with caution before dabbling in the beauty trends. 

Dr Alexa Hecht, an eye doctor at the optometrist Bayview Vision in Toronto, Canada, has amassed almost 50,000 followers on TikTok for her educational and informative videos about eye health, common eye conditions and taking care of your vision. 

In a clip that has since garnered over 2.3 million views and 171,000 likes, Dr Hecht shared the three beauty products or processes she would avoid out of fear of damaging her eyes. 

First up, the healthcare professional strongly warned against both lash tints and lash lifts, beauty treatments that have become increasingly popular in recent years. In a nutshell, a lash lift is essentially a perm for the eyelashes designed to lift and curl the fine hairs for added length and fullness, while a lash tint involves applying a semi-permanent dye to the eyelashes to enhance their appearance. 

"Both of these procedures use very toxic chemicals including ammonium which is toxic to the tissues in the eye and can cause serious infection if it enters the eye - also, it just looks so uncomfortable," Dr Hecht explained. 

Secondly, the optometrist said she would avoid wearing waterproof mascara every day, citing the "forever chemicals" in the formula that can lead to dry eyes and irritation.

"Some of these chemicals can actually cause your eyelashes to become more brittle and even break off," she added. 

Lastly, Dr Hecht warned against frequent use of glittery eye-shadows, noting the glitter in the formula can cause tiny scratches or abrasions on the surface of the eye.

"Glitter can cause tiny little scratches on the front surface of the eye, causing irritation and infection," she said. 

More than a thousand viewers have since flocked to the comments to express their shock and concern, with many sharing that they're guilty of using all three - sometimes all at once. Others lamented the advice, arguing that they're partial to the products. 

"Me watching this while having a lash lift and waterproof mascara," one joked, with a second adding: "You know what they say, beauty is pain."

"I did a lash lift once - the tech went to the break room to eat while it developed and I was in so much pain and thought I'd be blind when she came back," a third weighed in, while a fourth wrote: "My cornea got scratched with eye-safe glitter so be careful if you do it."

"I was considering a lash lift and the one thing I was super worried about was safety. So thank you," said another. 

In a video shared on Thursday, Dr Hecht also advised her viewers to think twice before applying eyeliner to the upper and lower waterlines: a makeup technique commonly referred to as tightlining and waterlining. The trick is usually performed to enhance the eyes or create a smoky look, with the eyeliner sitting on the inner rim of the eye behind the lash line. 

"We have glands that are called meibomian glands that produce oil into our tears and sit directly where you apply that eyeliner," she explained. "These glands are important because they produce the top layer of your tears and prevent your tears from evaporating off of your eye and your eye from drying out.

"If you do this, you're not only preventing the glands from working properly, but you actually risk permanently damaging these glands and increasing your chances of things like dry eye disease and infection, and even sties. 

"Try to apply the eyeliner just below the waterline if you want that similar look."