Our eyebrows and eyelashes aren’t just there for decoration.
They’re not even just there for helping us make different facial expressions or to make our eyes stand out. They’re actually the first line of defense our eyes have against airborne contaminants and other hazards.
How Eyelashes Protect Our Eyes
It might seem weird to think of eyelashes as anything but decorative, and while they certainly are beautiful, they’re also doing a lot of work to keep dust, debris, and dirt in the air from reaching our eyes.
When we close our eyes, our eyelashes form an impenetrable barrier against these irritants. They’re also highly sensitive, triggering a blinking reflex when touched so that an incoming foreign object won’t get closer to the eye itself. That’s why it can be so hard to keep your eyes open while applying eye makeup!
Our eyelashes are just the right length and thickness to keep dust out of our eyes and help them to not dry out too quickly. Wearing false lashes can actually throw off these important functions, increasing the risk of dry eye and dust exposure.
Some people may have allergic reactions to the false lashes or even get an eye infection. Cosmetic solutions like eyelash extensions also carry the risk of temporary or permanent loss of eyelashes.
The Function of Eyebrows
Because eyelashes are so close to the surface of our eyes, it’s easy to see how they protect them, but eyebrows are much farther away. What can they really do? In fact, eyebrows help to channel liquid away from our eyes and down the sides of our faces, whether that’s sweat or raindrops or something else.
The angle the individual hairs grow and the arching shape of the brows are all part of this.
Just as cosmetically enhancing our eyelashes can interfere with their protective function, overplucking our eyebrows can make them worse at their job. That’s why we hope the trend of bold, thick eyebrows is here to stay!
This post originally appeared on Vision Source.