If you consider yourself a bit of a brow and lash guru I have some disturbing news for you. After the beauty industry has become increasingly concerned about the unregulated ingredients that are being included in lash and brow tinting formulas, beauticians now fear that the practice will be banned in the U.S. entirely and possibly around the world.
Sound crazy? Maybe not. According to Refinery29 lash and brow tinting has already been made illegal in California, with beauticians now prohibited from offering the treatments in their salons and the teaching of the treatments banned at all beauty schools.
In a statement from The California Board of Barbering and Cosmetology, it was noted that “the FDA has informed the Board that, currently, the additives used in lash/brow tints are not approved for use around the eye area.”
More specifically, coal tar has been recognised as the ingredient in question, the statement stating that it “represent[s] an acute, severe hazard to health with the possibility of permanent injury; i.e., impaired sight, including blindness.” BLINDNESS!
And the stories they quote are pretty disturbing. “A woman who used eyelash dye became blind in both eyes after suffering weeks of intense pain. This, and related eye injuries, influenced the decision by Congress to include in the [Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic] Act these provisions specifically addressing this safety concern,” the statement said.
It continued: “More recently…reported a 30-year-old woman with…severe contact dermatitis of her eyelids, conjunctivitis, and significant swelling of the periorbital regions after tinting her eyelashes and eyebrow with permanent eyelash dye.”
So if it’s so dangerous, why do brands continue to produce tinting products that contain coal tar? Basically it’s very difficult and more expensive for tints to be formulated without the dangerous ingredient and therefore companies are willing to risk the health of consumers to ensure that they keep the moolah coming in.
While coal tar lash and brow tinting is still legal in New Zealand, it definitely pays to avoid tints that contain the ingredient in question and look for a beautician who uses a formula with alternative ingredients (there are a few out there apparently). After all, perfect brows and lashes are not worth going blind for.