Last month, a CNN article reported that a Minnesota woman lost part of her vision, presumably as a result of using cosmetic products which contained higher amounts of mercury than expected. Scientists have long understood that higher exposure to the toxic chemical can facilitate mercury poisoning, but they were unaware of its potential implications on vision and optical health as related components of the poisoning. Ashley Brissette, MD, ophthalmologist at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, says that it is important to remember that mercury contained in products bought over the counter may facilitate blindness because the cosmetic industry is unregulated; as a reminder, many products are manufactured in countries other than in the United States, which have looser product security regulations about their ingredients. Additionally, mercury is a chemical that can enter the body through various avenues; mercury can be inhaled, ingested, or absorbed through the skin, and can affect many areas of the body by getting into a person’s bloodstream. Although the FDA has approved limited amounts of mercury for usage in cosmetic products, the best advice Dr, Brissette can offer is to simply avoid usage of cosmetic products containing mercury entirely for best practice. Mercury is most often found in skin lightening or anti-aging products.