USING MASCARA THE WRONG WAY CAN CAUSE EYE INJURIES AND INFECTIONS - EVEN BLINDNESS.
The most serious risk from mascara is scratching your eye with the mascara wand, then getting an infection from germs on the wand. To use mascara safely, follow these rules:
- Never apply mascara in a car, bus, plane or any other moving vehicle. It's easy to scratch your eye if you hit a bump or come to a sudden stop.
- If mascara gets dried up, don't add water or - even worse - (yuck) spit into it to moisten it. This can add germs that may grow and cause an infection.
- As mascara gets old, it is more likely to have germs growing in it. Throw it out after three months.
- Don't share mascara - not even with your best friend. You might be sharing germs that way.
- Remove all mascara, and any other make-up, before you go to bed. Bits of mascara can flake into your eyes and cause an infection.
IT'S FINE TO USE HAIR DYES ON YOUR EYEBROWS AND EYELASHES. AFTER ALL, THEY'RE HAIR, TOO.
Never use hair dyes on the eyebrows and eyelashes. Doing this can cause blindness. There are approved, safe colors for mascara and eyebrow pencils, but no hair dyes are approved for tinting or dyeing the eyebrows or eyelashes.
TATTOOS USED TO BE PERMANENT, BUT NOW LASERS ARE AN EASY, RELIABLE WAY TO ERASE THEM.
Lasers have made it easier to lighten tattoos, but it's not as easy or as reliable as many people think. Lightening a tattoo generally takes several treatments and can be expensive. How well it works depends on the tattoo. Many tattoos can be lightened until they are much less noticeable, but usually a trace of the tattoo remains.
Also, some tattoo colors are harder to remove than others. Laser treatments can turn some tattoos darker instead of lighter, or change them to a different color. The same goes for "permanent makeup," which is a kind of tattoo. It depends on what ingredients went into the tattoo ink to produce the color.
But it can be hard to find out what's in tattoo inks because they usually don't have ingredients listed on the label. Very often, even the tattooist doesn't know what's in the tattoo ink because the company that made it considers the formula "proprietary" (pro-pry-uh-tar-ee). That means it's a trade secret.
"CRUELTY FREE" OR "NOT TESTED IN ANIMALS" MEANS THAT NO ANIMAL TESTING WAS DONE ON THE PRODUCT AND ITS INGREDIENTS.
Even if a product never was tested in animals, there's a very good chance its ingredients were. A company might call its products "cruelty free" because it isn't doing any animal testing on these ingredients now, although the ingredients may have been tested on animals in the past. In some cases, "no new animal testing" might be a more accurate claim.
IF A PRODUCT IS LABELED "ALL NATURAL" OR "ORGANIC," IT'S PROBABLY HYPOALLERGENIC.
Remember, poison ivy is all natural, too! But you probably don't want it on your skin. It is very possible to have an allergic reaction, or other irritation, from products labeled "all natural" or "organic." For example, lanolin, from sheep's wool, is a common natural ingredient in some moisturizers that sometimes causes allergic reactions.
EVEN IF A PRODUCT IS LABELED "HYPOALLERGENIC," IT MAY CONTAIN SUBSTANCES THAT CAN CAUSE ALLERGIC REACTIONS.
After all, people are individuals. And there's no telling what any individual may be allergic to. According to the cosmetic industry, "hypoallergenic" means "less likely to cause an allergic reaction." But dermatologists - and consumers who have allergies - know that the word "hypoallergenic" on the label is no guarantee against an allergic reaction.
CHOOSING PRODUCTS WITH THE CLAIM "DERMATOLOGIST TESTED" IS A WAY TO AVOID AN ALLERGIC REACTION OR OTHER SKIN IRRITATION.
"Dermatologist tested" doesn't really tell you much, does it? It leaves you wondering about things like:
- Did the dermatologist work for the manufacturer?
- How many people was the product tested on?
- How long did the testing last?
- What were the results of the testing?