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Ocular Cosmetics

Public Safety Problem or Harmless Products?

Janetos, Timothy M. M.D., M.B.A.*; Thyparampil, Preeti M.D.*

Ophthalmic Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery: May/June 2019 - Volume 35 - Issue 3 - p 294–295
doi: 10.1097/IOP.0000000000001337

Purpose: This perspective explores the safety profile of ocular cosmetics and explores the role ophthalmologists can play in mitigating potential ocular harm from unsafe products.

Methods: N/A.

Results: Cosmetics and personal care products represent a large industry that is currently unregulated in any meaningful way. Products intended for use around the eyes carry a risk of serious side effects including contact dermatitis and bacterial infection. Currently, legislation has been proposed to change regulation to provide more meaningful oversight of cosmetics.

Conclusions: Ophthalmologists are often the first to recognize patterns in harmful products intended for use around the eye and can help mitigate potential future ocular harm by reporting adverse events to the Food and Drug Administration and by advocating for cosmetic regulation change.

Cosmetics intended for use around the eyes are currently unregulated and have the potential to cause serious harm; ophthalmologists can play a key role in advocating for change and removing unsafe products from the market.

*Department of Ophthalmology, McGaw Medical Center of Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Accepted for publication January 17, 2019.

The authors have no financial or conflicts of interest to disclose.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Timothy M. Janetos, M.D., MBA, 645 North Michigan Avenue, Suite 440 Chicago, IL 60611. E-mail:

© 2019 by The American Society of Ophthalmic Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Inc., All rights reserved.