How to Prevent Eyelash Extension Allergic Reactions

July 15, 2020 by The Lash Professional. 

As a professional lash artist, your clients will come to you looking for advice and knowledge on lashes. While it is important to never give clients medical advice of any kind, you should stay educated on these topics.

This means having an answer when a client asks about an allergic reaction to eyelash extension glue or seeks advice on eyelash extension allergic reaction treatment options. When a reaction occurs, it will raise concerns for your client. 

Common client questions about eyelash extension irritation include:

  • Why is my lash line so itchy?
  • How do you help swollen eyelids after eyelash extensions?
  • Why do I get an allergic reaction to eyelash extensions?
  • Will an allergic reaction to eyelash extensions go away on its own?

In this guide to eyelash extension allergic reactions, we’ll address these topics and more. That way, you can pass your knowledge along to your clients to keep them informed and safe.

Eyelash Extension Allergy vs. Irritation: What’s the Difference?

While an allergic reaction to eyelash extension glue is quite uncommon, it can still occur. Dealing with a client experiencing an eyelash extension allergic reaction can be one of the worst parts of being a lash artist. Having to inform the client that they will need a removal is unpleasant.

It’s important to know the signs of an allergic reaction to eyelash extensions and to be able to differentiate between an eyelash extension allergy and irritation. This will help you make the best judgment call to ensure your client’s safety.

While clients will often associate any sort of reaction as an allergic reaction to eyelash extensions, they are more than likely actually experiencing an irritation. While some of the warning signs between an eyelash extension allergy and an irritation may be similar, there are a few key differences.

*Quick Lash Tip: Always ask new clients to sign a waiver and release form prior to starting the service. This waiver should indicate the risks that are involved with lash extensions.

Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction to Eyelash Extensions

Reactions to lash extensions are rare and can show up in different forms. The most common include:

  • Swollen eyes/eyelids
  • Redness of the cornea
  • Itchiness or discomfort around the eye area

These symptoms are likely to show up within the first 48 hours post-application. While an eyelash extension reaction that results in irritation will subside, an allergic reaction worsens overtime.

Reactions are likely to become increasingly worse and more dramatic the more the client is exposed to the allergen.

Symptoms of an Irritation to Eyelash Extensions

While irritations can have similar signs to allergies, they are often less severe and subside after the adhesive is cured. This occurs typically within the first 24 hours post-application. Often even just hours after.

Irritations can cause:

It is often the body’s reaction to the fumes being released from the adhesive as it cures. These irritations are likely to subside quickly and become milder as time goes on.

Irritations may also occur when a client is experiencing seasonal allergies or if their eyes tend to be more sensitive in general.

Can You Be Allergic to Eyelash Glue?

When a client is experiencing an allergic reaction to their lash extensions, it is most often because they are allergic to cyanoacrylate. It is the base ingredient that is found in all lash adhesives. It is this key ingredient that solidifies when curing.

This creates a strong bond between the natural lash and extension. Unfortunately, it can not be left out of the adhesive. If the reaction is an actual allergy, the symptoms they are experiencing will not subside until the adhesive is completely removed from the lashes.

*Quick Lash Tip: Sensitive adhesives still contain this ingredient but in smaller doses. It is a great option for clients that have easily irritated eyes.

Treating an Eyelash Extension Allergic Reaction

As with any other chemical or substance, a client can develop an allergic reaction to eyelash extension glue at any point in time. Even if they have been exposed to it before, with no prior reactions, as with other allergies, symptoms can become stronger and more severe over time, especially if the individual is continually exposed to the allergen after the initial reaction.

Therefore, if the initial reaction has not completely subsided in 24-48 hours post application, do not leave the lash extensions on or continue to re-expose the client to the allergen. Doing fills every couple of weeks will likely only worsen the problem over time.

Eyelash Extension Allergic Reaction Treatment

If your client is experiencing a true eyelash extension allergy, it is advised that your client take an antihistamine. This is a good course of action for clients wondering how to help swollen eyelids after eyelash extensions. Also, the lash extensions should be removed as soon as possible.

Because most adhesives have the same base ingredient in them, clients who have experienced a true allergic reaction in the past are likely to again.

A client who experiences mild irritation might ask about an eyelash glue irritation remedy. There is no magic solution. However, there are some things that you can do to help minimize these reactions if they want to try lashes again.

Tips for Treating an Allergic Reaction

    Here are some helpful tips that you can try to help minimize reactions and irritations during and after the lash application:

    • Do a patch test or use a sensitive adhesive.
    • Lash in a well-ventilated room and use a fan to disperse fumes away from the eyes.
    • Ditch the primer and pre-cleanse lashes with a saline solution instead.
    • Skip the lash pads & use medical tape instead.
    • Use less glue (less glue = fewer fumes and faster curing time).
    • Try hypoallergenic lash extensions
    • Use a nano mister (for quicker curing).
    • Explain aftercare to clients and the importance of keeping lashes clean.

    No matter how many adjustments you make to minimize eyelash extension allergic reactions, there is a possibility that your client could still have an eyelash extension reaction. If they do, it is likely going to continue and worsen over time. It would be best to remove their lash extensions as soon as possible.

    If they are experiencing only mild irritations post-application and prefer to keep their lashes on for a day or two to see if the irritation will subside, be sure to check back with them in 24-48 hours to make sure the symptoms have passed.

    Learn How to Create Lash Looks for Sensitive Eyes

    It is important to stay educated and knowledgeable. Be able to recognize the warning signs of eyelash extension allergic reactions. In turn, this keeps your clients safe.

    However, you should never give your clients any medical advice. If they are experiencing a severe reaction or have any health concerns that may make them more susceptible to reactions, it is recommended that they consult with a healthcare professional. As much as we want to help our clients deal with these issues, sometimes it is out of our control.

    Want to learn more about handling sensitive skin during the eyelash extension application process? The Lash Professional offers extensive training classes that can teach you how to apply eyelash extensions and extra precautions you can take to protect your client’s eyes. We’ll cover how to quickly respond to reactions and avoid them altogether more in-depth during these courses.