Trying out a beauty DIY is risky business. I'll admit that most of my trust issues stem from the fact that, regardless of what Pinterest "hacks" say, it's actually a really f*cking bad idea to put toothpaste on your pimples. (Turns out, the teeth-whitening ingredients can actually really irritate your skin.) Similarly, in a video first spotted by Allure, a vlogger can be seen applying a homemade petroleum-jelly-based mix to her eyes as makeshift mascara. While her hustle is seriously impressive, we couldn't help but become everyone's mom and wonder: is it safe to put that ointment so close to your eyes?
We reached out to Rachel Nazarian, M.D., F.A.A.D. of NYC's Schweiger Dermatology Group, to understand the safety — or lack thereof — of this viral lash-plumping procedure. First off, Dr. Nazarian has a few opinions on the ingredient itself, saying, "Petroleum jelly is a tried and true product to lock in moisture and to act as a skin barrier. It is generally great for sensitive skin."
However, she wasn't so jazzed about the idea of someone putting it so close to their eyelashes. Since petroleum jelly works well as a moisture barrier, "it may cause blocking of the delicate glands and pores around [the area]." According to Dr. Nazarian, clogging those spots can lead to inflammation "and potentially the development of styes."
And although it's common to see makeup artists using toothbrushes to unclump models' mascara in a pinch backstage at photo shoots or runway shows, repeated use of that process isn't ideal. "While most toothbrushes tend to be as stiff, or even less stiff, than most mascara brushes, there are many more bristles on a toothbrush than a mascara brush," Dr. Nazarian said. She added that if you used this hack every day, "Over time, you'd notice less and less eyelashes from the trauma."
The professional's final recommendation? "Although it's tempting to use this beauty hack to save time and money, you're probably better off saving your lashes and buying traditional mascara." And with an endless supply of stellar mascaras dropping every day, that's hardly a chore!