Baby’s Got BAK!

Baby’s got BAK. Or so they say, Drs. Rachna Murthy & Jonathan Roos of FaceRestoration in London …

Benzalkonium chloride (BAK) is the most commonly used preservative in eye cosmetics. Preservatives in cosmetics are necessary, but the type of preservative used should be considered. BAK is a preservative & antimicrobial agent widely known among eyecare professionals as an ingredient that causes insult to the ocular surface. BAK is authorized by the European Union for use in cosmetic products at maximum concentrations of 0.1% (1 mg/ ml) — this concentration is 20,000 times greater than that found to be toxic to human corneal, conjunctival & meibomian gland epithelial cells in vitro Consumers need to be aware that some cosmetics may have multiple adverse effects on the ocular surface, and can exacerbate or promote the development of ocular surface and adnexal disease.

Eye care professionals need to be more aware of the cosmetics that their patients use, as they can not only impact their eye health, but the diagnosis, treatment, or management of their disease. The TFOS Lifestyle Report: Impact of cosmetics on the ocular surface … addressed the use of eye cosmetics & procedures and how they represent a lifestyle challenge that may exacerbate or promote the development of ocular surface disease. The Report may be viewed here:

Look forward to sharing more of “The Story”!


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