Cosmetic contact lenses
General Optical Council Promoting good eye care, protecting the public
Cosmetic contact lenses: a buyer's guide

Planos WEBWe have produced a new leaflet ‘Buying cosmetic contact lenses’ aimed at public and patient representative groups, and members of the public. The leaflet, which is also endorsed by the BCLA, has two key messages:

  • Only buy them from a legal source. You can risk serious damage to your eyes if you don’t.
  • The GOC will take action against unregistered retailers selling these lenses illegally.

Cosmetic lenses – also known as plano or zero-powered lenses – are often used to change the appearance of the eye in fashion, fancy dress or films.

Under the Opticians Act, they can only be sold where a registered optometrist, dispensing optician or medical practitioner is on the premises. We are aware that outlets such as novelty shops, market stalls and hairdressers are selling them, and are investigating alleged breaches of the Act.

We will be exhibiting at the Trading Standards Institute (TSI) conference 21-23 June to answer trading standards officers’ questions about illegal sales, and to distribute copies of the leaflet. We will also be at the Citizens Advice conference later in the year.

‘Buying cosmetic contact lenses’ is available online and you can order hard copies free of charge by email from Simon Grier, or by phoning 020 7580 3898, option 4.

Next story

eBulletin June 2011

1. Update on enhanced CET

2. Cosmetic contact lenses

3. Feedback on registrants' survey

4. Getting to know... Nick Rumney

5. News in brief