Skip to Content

Are eye color changing drops safe?

Having beautiful colored eyes is a desire for many people around the world. While some are blessed with naturally stunning eye colors like deep blue, green, or hazel, others wish they could change their natural brown or dark eyes to a more vibrant hue. Recently, eye color changing drops have become popular among those looking to alter their natural eye color without invasive procedures. But are these over-the-counter drops safe to use?

How do eye color changing drops work?

Eye color changing drops, also known as brightocular drops or iris color changing drops, are formulated with prostaglandin analogs that work by expanding the melanin pigments in the iris. This expansion leads to a richer pigmentation and thus a more brilliant color in the eyes.

Here’s a quick breakdown of how these over-the-counter drops can change your eye color:

  • The active ingredient in the drops, prostaglandin analogs, enter through the pores and fibres of the iris.
  • The analogs interact with the melanin pigment and cause the melanin granules to expand in size.
  • The expansion of the melanin deepens the color and creates a brighter, more vibrant iris.
  • Results are temporary, lasting about 1-3 months before the effect wears off.

Are the drops safe?

While eye color changing drops seem like a quick and easy way to change your look, there are some safety concerns to consider.

Potential risks and side effects

Here are some of the possible risks and side effects of using over-the-counter eye color changing drops:

Risks and Side Effects Description
Iris darkening In addition to changing eye color, the drops may permanently darken the iris overall by stimulating increased melanin production.
Inflammation The drops may cause inflammation in the eye, seen as redness, itching, pain or blurry vision.
Increased eye pressure There are concerns that the drops may increase intraocular eye pressure, which can damage the optic nerve over time.
Allergic reactions Some users may experience allergic reactions to the drops, ranging from mild itching to severe swelling of the eyes and face.
Ineffective results The drops may not produce the desired results for some users, especially those with very dark brown irises.
Permanent changes In addition to semi-permanent color change, the drops may permanently affect iris structure and function.

These potential side effects make it clear that eye color changing drops are not risk-free cosmetic products. Using them requires accepting possible adverse reactions in the eyes.

Are the drops approved?

Currently, no eye color changing drops have been approved by the FDA for safety and efficacy. The products available online are not regulated and may contain inconsistent concentrations of active ingredients.

Some key points about the approval status of these drops:

  • No over-the-counter eye color changing drops have FDA approval.
  • The drops are listed as “for cosmetic use only”, meaning they are not approved as medical eye treatments.
  • Without regulation, the products may contain different percentages of prostaglandin analogs.
  • The lack of oversight means proper safety standards and quality control cannot be ensured.

The FDA does approve certain prescription eyedrops containing prostaglandin analogs, like Latanoprost and Bimatoprost. However, these are approved for medical purposes like glaucoma treatment and not for cosmetic eye color change.

What do the experts say?

Most ophthalmologists strongly recommend against using over-the-counter eye color changing drops due to safety concerns.

Here’s a summary of expert opinions on these unregulated products:

  • The American Academy of Ophthalmology cautions against using drops to lighten eye color, citing concerns about effects like inflammation and permanent iris darkening.
  • The American Optometric Association does not recommend cosmetic contact lenses or drops that alter natural eye color.
  • Experts warn that prostaglandin analogs at inconsistent strengths may increase risks of side effects in the eyes.
  • Ophthalmologists emphasize that attempting to change eye color carries unnecessary risk for the delicate eye tissue and structures.
  • There are no long-term clinical studies on the safety of prolonged use of over-the-counter eye color changing drops.

Based on the unknown risks and lack of regulation, most eye doctors recommend avoiding these drops entirely.

Are there safer alternatives?

If you’re set on changing your eye color temporarily, there are a couple safer options than drops available.

Colored contacts

Color contact lenses provide a way to change eye color without chemicals or medication. Popular options include:

  • Cosmetic contacts – These are designed to alter eye color dramatically while still allowing natural vision.
  • Enhancement contacts – These make subtle color changes, ideal for enhancing your natural eye hue.
  • Opaque contacts – These block out natural eye color for a major change.

Contacts must be properly fitted and prescribed by an optometrist. Reputable brands like Acuvue or AirOptix are safe when worn according to directions. Contacts can provide eye color change daily, but still pose some risks like infection or contact irritation if misused.

Natural methods

You can also use cosmetic and dietary changes to naturally enhance eye hue, including:

  • Eye makeup like vibrant colored eyeliners or smokey shadows.
  • Dietary supplements like lutein and zeaxanthin for brighter yellow tones.
  • Reducing alcohol consumption and quitting smoking for whiter sclera.
  • Increasing vitamin A intake through carrots or sweet potatoes.

While results will be more subtle, natural enhancement is safer long-term for eye health.

The bottom line

Trying over-the-counter eye color changing drops involves considerable risk to the delicate tissues in and around the eye. With no FDA approval and warnings from medical professionals against use, these products cannot be considered safe means to alter eye color temporarily.

To avoid harming your vision and overall eye health, it’s best to steer clear of these unregulated drops. Anyone hoping to change their eye color is better off using colored contacts or natural enhancement methods instead.