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| Sasha Ryan

Why You Should Never Use Baby Shampoo to Cleanse Eyelashes

Could baby shampoo be contributing to eye allergies and irritations? Optometrists are beginning to think so. Here's why.

For decades, optometrists have been recommending diluted baby shampoo for cleansing the eyelid for the purpose of treating the eye condition blepharitis

While never suggested for daily eye hygiene by optometrists,   it has become a commonly held belief in the lash industry that a mixture of diluted baby shampoo and bicarbonate soda is a suitable eyelid cleanser for every day use by eyelash extension clients. 
It is now coming to light that the ingredients in baby shampoo are in fact not suitable around the eye at all. 
Optometrist Dr. Tanya Gill (www.weloveeyesxo.com) recently researched the safety profile of Johnson & Johnson Baby Shampoo via www.ewg.org, a resource which ranks the safety of cosmetic ingredients on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being highly hazardous.  What she discovered is concerning. 
Example of Anterior Blepharitis (image courtesy of Google)
Anterior Blepharitis (source: Google)
Four of the ingredients in the baby shampoo rated for Allergies, Irritations and Organ/Immunotoxicity, with the Fragrance component rating as high as an 8
Further to this, Dr. Jennifer Lyerly of Eyedolatry states that, "The issue with baby shampoo is that the detergents and preservatives found within can actually promote skin irritation."
So while we as Lash Stylists believe we are fighting the good fight against eye allergies and irritations by recommending diluted baby shampoo for daily use, we may in fact be contributing to them. 
If you're noticing dry, flakey skin on the lid of a client who uses a baby shampoo mixture for lash cleansing, this could be caused by it's drying ingredients.  The broken, raw skin may make your client more susceptible to becoming sensitized to eyelash extension adhesive upon exposure.  
There are now many products available through lash suppliers which are safer and more mild for the every day cleansing of lashes.  These have been specifically formulated for use in conjunction with eyelash extensions. 
In the case of suspected inflammation/blepharitis, you should always refer your client to a medical professional. 
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