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Beware of Exfoliating Scrubs and Other Eye Scratchers | Bard Optical

Beware of Exfoliating Scrubs and These Other Eye Scratchers

Hands washing with exfoliating scrubs

There are a ton of hygiene products on the market, with more being added every day.

Most of these products take advantage of the advanced research and technology we have in the 21st century.

But, be careful! There are a lot of products, parts, and chemicals used in common hygiene and beauty products that can be detrimental, and even dangerous, to your eyes.

Protect your eyes by keeping this product away from them…


What Are Microbeads?

Any product that uses microbeads is automatically at the top of the list of things you should not scrub your eyes with.

Microbeads are tiny bits of plastic that are designed to exfoliate debris from the pores of your skin.

These tiny pieces of plastic can wedge themselves behind your eyelids and scratch the clear surface of your eye called the cornea.

Since U.S. law now prohibits the use of microbeads in personal care products, and since technology in the skincare industry has improved greatly, other products have sought to replicate the effect of microbeads, which means that we still need to be careful about what products we put near our eyes.

According to the Academy of American Ophthalmology, products that can have a similar effect on your eye to microbeads are:

  1. Apricot scrubs with walnut shell powder
  2. Pumice stones
  3. Sugar
  4. Coffee grounds

All of these are active exfoliating ingredients used in everyday self-care products.

If the texture of the product you are using feels like sugar, or sand, it is generally unsafe to put on your eyes.


How To Tell If You Have a Corneal Abrasion

Symptoms of a corneal abrasion caused by microbeads include:

  • Feeling like you have sand in your eye
  • Light sensitivity
  • Redness and itchiness
  • Blurry vision or blurry spots
  • Tearing up


What You Should Do If Your Eye Is Scratchy

If you feel like you have a product stuck in your eye, you should immediately rinse your eye with saline eyewash or any contact lens solution.

Avoid using tap water, as it usually contains pathogens that can cause permanent eye damage.

If your symptoms persist after flushing your eye, seek immediate attention, as corneal abrasions can cause irreversible damage in as little as 24 hours.


What You Shouldn’t Do

Don’t rub your eyes.

As much as you might want to ease the discomfort, rubbing your eyes is the fastest way to push the debris into your cornea and cause a scratch.

When drying your face after rinsing your eye, pat yourself with a towel, do not rub. Even if the discomfort ceases after a rinse, there may be residual debris in your eye, and it is always better to be safe than sorry.

Prevent yourself from being in the situation of having a corneal abrasion by using personal care products that are free of microbeads, and their relatives.

And of course, ask your eye doctor to recommend the safest personal care products for use.

You may not ever think that the biggest danger to your eyesight would be your exfoliator, but by staying informed, you are staying safe.

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