Beezin is a new trend. It involves spreading Bert’s Bee Balm chapstick to the upper and lower eyelids. In comparison to other, more dangerous trends, it’s not bad. In most cases, it isn’t permanently harmful. That doesn’t mean it’s safe.
What is it? Bert’s Bee Balm is basically chapstick. It uses strong peppermint oil and beeswax. It can be ordered on-line but is also available in some retail stores. It’s really great for the lips…but not for the eyes.
Why is it a problem? The skin on the upper and lower eyelids is different from other parts of the face. It absorbs things faster, and that includes the peppermint oil. The sensation may seem euphoric to some. That’s because it is an extreme irritant and may set off hormones to counter the pain. It would be along the lines of a runner’s high.
Some also use it to stay alert. There’s something to the theory as peppermint essential oil is often recommended in aromatherapy to help maintain alertness. However, the aromatherapy technique does not involve direct skin application without a carrier oil and it absolutely does not include eye applications.
What sort of problems? If the user is lucky it will only involve a little redness of the eyelids. However, it frequently causes chemical induced conjunctivitis…pink eye. This is painful and can make using the eyes very difficult. There is also a chance that it will get into the eye and burn the cornea. In the worst cases it could cause loss of sight in the affected eye.
What else could happen? While this isn’t mentioned in the beezin articles I’ve seen, there is a chance that this could be fatal. Not to the person doing it, but to any infant that person might decide to hold. Peppermint oil can cause fatal breathing problems in children under one and if it is strong enough to damage the skin and eyes, it could easily be strong enough to harm a child.
As fads go, this isn’t a truly bad one. It isn’t likely to cause car accidents (unless it does blind the driver). It isn’t going to make someone unable to function. It shouldn’t damage major organs. That doesn’t make it a good idea.
If you are currently following this trend or have children that do, you may want to pay attention to this article and the links in it. The potential damage to eyesight is enough to make it worth your while.