Eye safety during hair removal

After reviewing the medical literature discussing hair removal products and eye injury (such as O’Grady 1989), I have included precautions about hair removal methods.


When getting laser hair removal:

Always wear opaque government-approved eye protection. You should not be able to see light coming in around the edges when you have the eye protectors on.

As a precaution, I recommend avoiding laser treatments close to the eyes, such as eyebrows.

See also Russell 1996 for more tips on laser eye safety.

There have been no documented cases of eye injury from laser hair removal devices at this time. However, the possibility exists (see Smith 1994 for a laser eye damage model). There have been reports of laser eye damage during other dermatological laser procedures:

Widder (1998): (laser skin resurfacing)
Trelles (2000): (laser blepharoplasty)
Spelsberg (2000): (laser skin resurfacing)


Microwave hair removal should never be performed on the face or near the eyes. There is medical documentation that microwave radiation can cause cataracts:

Roberts (1985): (overview of microwave eye damage)
Lipman (1988): (microwaves and cataracts)
Cutz (1989): (overview of microwave eye damage)

Other methods

When treating hair on the eyebrows or near the eyes:

  • Be careful with tweezers, razors, electrolysis probes, etc. which can scratch or pierce the cornea.
  • Do not use cream or powder depilatories.
  • Be very careful when using hair bleaches, hot wax, or topical anesthetics like EMLA.

External links

See also  Bader 1996 for more tips on laser eye safety.