Beauty

TikTokers Are Curling Their Eyelashes With a Blow Dryer, But Is It Safe?

Heated eyelash curlers have been a hotly debated beauty gadget (at least here at Allure) for nearly a decade. Back in 2013, we wondered whether or not you actually need one; in 2021, we’re firmly pro. But the TikTok community, as users of the platform are wont to do, has decided it’s found a better solution to getting long-lasting curl: using a blow-dryer to give your eyelashes a full-on blowout. 

On November 10, TikTok user @sophiamasterson posted a 42-second video demonstrating how she curls her eyelashes with a blow-dryer in order to achieve a fluttery, voluminous finish. The whole process is an arduous affair: Before heating her lashes up, she wets them with some water. Then, she says she reaches for the blow-dryer and puts it on “the cool” heat setting, blow-drying them upwards. She repeats the blow-drying technique once more after coating her lashes with an eyelash primer. After applying a coat of L’Oréal Paris’s Telescopic Mascara in Carbon Black, she goes in for a third round of blow-drying her eyelashes. Once again, she adds another coat of her mascara to her lashes, then drys them for the fourth time.

Despite the fact that the TikTok user says in the video that “[the technique] saves me a lot of time, effort, and product,” an ophthalmologist and a dermatologist we spoke to caution against trying this TikTok hack at home. “Even though she’s using the ‘cool’ setting on the blow-dryer there’s still potential for damage to your eyes and eyelids,” says Ashley Brissette, M.D., an ophthalmologist at Weill Cornell Medicine and clinical spokesperson for the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “This could cause significant dryness and even corneal abrasions, which can cause infection, pain, and even loss of vision.” 

New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Dendy Engelman, M.D., agrees, and adds that “if hot air is used, the eyelids or lashes could even get burned.”  

With that in mind, both Brissette and Engelman advise using heated eyelash curlers instead. “The heated [eyelash curlers] have safety settings that don’t go beyond a specific temperature and (when used with caution) can give you the same lifted eyelash effect but in a safer way,” Brissette explains.

Lesson learned? Blow-dryers should only be drying hair and nothing else. Oh, and that TikTok hacks should be taken with a grain of salt. 

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