EYES WIDE PETRIFIED
What do frogs and your eye makeup have in common? If you guessed Formaldehyde, you get a gold star!
AMY GALLANT SULLIVAN
Think back to your high school days in biology class… You may recall that revolting image of a glass-jarred petrified frog, frozen in the glowing-green-toxic goo. Now imagine that the very same putrid-smelling proteus-conservator is doubling as the chemical preserving agent in your cosmetics.
Now let's assume your eye makeup is laced with formaldehyde. Imagine your eyelids gelled with the same toxic-green-goo as the frog… Do you think that it would elicit a similar reaction as our unlucky amphibian? Perhaps, petrified eyelids?
According to Harvard research, mainstream cosmetic products, such as mascara, eye shadow, eyeliner & eye makeup remover typically contain preservatives to prevent microbial growth. The concentrations approved for consumer use are toxic to human ocular surface & adnexal cells.*
Sometimes preservatives are important to prevent bacterial & fungal contamination in cosmetics and hygiene products. But beware. Common preservatives used in makeup & beauty products frequently include formaldehyde, as well as formaldehyde-donating preservatives.
Bottom Line: Formaldehyde is not eye-friendly — in eye makeup it can cause irritation, dryeye, inflammation & dermatitis
* Chen X, Sullivan DA, Sullivan AG, Kam WR, Liu Y. Toxicity of cosmetic preservatives on human ocular surface and adnexal cells. Exp Eye Res. 2018 May;170:188-197. doi: 10.1016/j.exer.2018.02.020. Epub 2018 Feb 24. PMID: 29486163.