Darkeyes dwells on drops…I read that Collyre Bleu Eye Drops are used on models and celebrities to make the whites of the eyes whiter and that it also makes blue eyes bluer and gives a little sparkle to the eyes. I don’t think it is available in the US, and I couldn’t find the ingredients list for this product. I’m interested in buying this product but is it safe? Are there any negative long-term effects from using this product?
The Beauty Brains respond:
As you might infer from the spelling of “bleu,” Collyre Bleu Eye Drops come from France. According to their website, French women have been using these drops for years “to enhance the intensity of their eye color and their beauty.” In the rest of the world “make-up artists have kept this little beauty secret to themselves.” Well, apparently they weren’t very good at keeping secrets, because anyone can buy it now on the Internet.
The Wow effect
From what we can tell, it looks like the French company that owns the product is GSP (Groupe Services Pharmactifs Inc.) but the US distributor is a company called Verseo. According to Verseo’s website: “Blue Eye Drops increase the intensity of blue eyes and the whiteness of the cornea of all eye colors for instant WOW! effect.”
The site goes on to say that regardless of your eye color, Collyre Bleu Eye drops will…
- Make your eyes look clear and bright.
- Increase the appearance of alertness and awakeness.
- Enhance your eyes intensity for photos.
- Eliminate the appearance of redness due to any factors including tiredness, allergies and more.
- Eliminate yellow-ness in your sclera (white part of your eye) for bright white eyes.
The Red, White, and Bleu
The product makes two key claims: it makes eyes whiter and increases the intensity of eye color. Let’s look at whitening. First of all, we find it odd that the makers of the product claim that it affects the “whiteness of the cornea.” This wording implies that the cornea is the white part of your eye when in fact it’s not – it’s the covering of the iris and the lens. And the cornea is clear, it doesn’t have any color. (The iris is the colored part of the eye. The white part is called the sclera, just in case you’re keeping score. They did get it right in the final bullet we quoted above.) The fact that Verseo doesn’t seem to have a good grasp of eye anatomy doesn’t exactly inspire a lot of confidence in their ability to deliver a product that really works.
Eye whitening products, like Visine work by reducing the appearance of blood vessels in the eye. Visine contains tetrahydrozaline hydrochloride, a drug that constricts the blood vessels in the eye to reduce redness. Collyre drops don’t appear to contain any such drug actives. Here are the ingredients:
Aqua, Boric Acid, Chamomilla Recutita Extract, Anthemis Nobilis Extract, Malva Sylvestris Extract, Sodium Chloride, Sodium Borate, C142051
Based on reviewing Pubmed and various ophthalmologic sources, the only one of these ingredients that has any documented use in eye care is Boric acid. It’s used to irrigate the eye, to buffer pH buffer, and to preserve the product. While it could have some soothing effect, we could find no specific information that indicates it will whiten the sclera. Likewise, the botanical extracts used in the formula have no referenced functionality in eye care. The only other ingredient that could theoretically have a whitening effect is the last one, the blue dye (C142051). Blue/violet colors can cancel out yellow shades because they are opposite colors. A substrate can be whitened by counteracting yellow with a little blue. This is similar in principle to how fabric brighteners work. So, in theory, Collyre could be making the whites appear whiter by counteracting yellow. But that’s just our guess.
Don’t it make your brown eyes bleu
We can find no mention of any mechanism by which the intensity of the iris color can be increased via eye drops. So, we’re assuming that if the whitening effect described above really works, what’s happening is that these drops increase the appearance of the iris color by increasing the contrast between the white part of the eye. In other words, the iris color appears brighter and deeper against a nicely whitened background than it does compared to a dingy, yellow sclera. It seems that this kind of claim could easily be backed up with some research, but there’s no reference to any kind of studies on any of the websites we looked at.
Long term safety?
Finally, Darkeyes asked about the safety of this product for long-term use. We have no idea. On one hand, Boric acid is used in many other eye drop products on the market. On the other hand, according to Dr. Steven Pray of the School of Pharmacy at Southwestern Oklahoma State University, boric acid exposure in the eye should be limited because of potential toxicity.
The Beauty Brains bottom line
This may be a perfectly wonderful product, but unless Verseo can present some kind of data to substantiate that these drops are safe and effective, we’d stick with a proven eye-whitening drug like Visine.
Has anyone in the Beauty Brains community tried these drops? Leave a comment and share your experience. And let us know if you’ve seen any technical references to how and why this product really works.