Xiong Gaowu
A customer looks on as Xiong Gaowu, a 62-year old street barber cleans his eye using the straight razor in Chengdu, Sichuan province, China REUTERS/Tyrone Siu TPX

A Chinese street barber's amazing "eyeball-shaving" skills are making the buzz on social media. A video showing the barber scraping a razor along the inside of his customer's eyelid has surfaced online.

Xiong Gaowu, who owns a roadside shop in Chengdu, the capital of the southwestern province of Sichuan, uses an old Chinese technique to scrape off the dirt and dust trapped between the skin and the eyeball. He has been providing this service to his customers for over 40 years.

Although the name suggests it is "eyeball-shaving", the treatment does not mean to have one's eyeball shaved off. Instead, the barber uses a sharp razor to gently sweep on the edges of one's eyelids.

"You should be gentle, very, very gentle," the 62-year-old barber told Reuters.

Gaowu said that he had learned this technique in the 1980s. He serves up to eight customers a week, charging 80 yuan ($12, £9.00) a shave.

"It was difficult at the beginning, but it became a piece of cake afterwards," he was quoted as saying.

Customers say they trust Gaowu's skill with the blade.

"No, it's not dangerous," 68-year-old Zhang Tian told Reuters. "My eyes feel refreshed after shaving and I feel comfortable."

According to Qu Chao, an ophthalmologist at a hospital in Chengdu, this technique helps unblock moisturizing sebaceous glands along the rim of the eyelid.

"Patients will feel their eyes are dry and uncomfortable when the glands are blocked," she said. "When he is shaving, it is most likely that he is shaving the openings of these glands."

However, there is also a risk of infection if the equipment which Gaowu uses, is not sterilized, Chao said.

"If he can properly sterilize the tools that he uses, I can still see there is a space for this technique to survive."

While many customers stated that their eyes felt better after the shave, many onlookers winced when they saw Gaowu using his razor into the eyes of his customers.

"I am afraid to do it," said 27-year-old He Yiting, who was watching Gaowu use his skills.