Whether you’re considering lash extensions for the first time or you’ve been getting them done for a while…

It is important to understand the possibilities of having an irritation or an allergic reaction.

Having an irritation is very different than being allergic to something. There are a few key distinctions between the two that we will discuss in this blog.

What is an Allergy?

An allergy is a hypersensitive response of the immune system to an allergen. These hypersensitive responses (allergies) can cause a variety of adverse reactions.

Occasionally, lash clients may be allergic to the adhesive itself OR to ingredients in the adhesive. Although a client may be allergic to the carbon black or another cyanoacrylate, these allergies are extremely rare.

Allergic reactions may result in red puffy eyes, swollen eyes, and/or itchiness. These symptoms may not appear immediately. Sometimes, it can take up to 3 days before you notice any type of reaction. 

If you start experiencing these symptoms, they may last until the adhesive is off of your eye completely. The reaction may continue to worsen for as long as the eye is exposed to the adhesive (or allergen). In fact, the more exposure that you have to a specific allergen, the reaction can progress over time.

If you feel that you’ve had a reaction to an adhesive, it is extremely important to notify us right away as well as consult with your physician as soon as possible.

If you have a Reaction:

  • Notify us immediately so we can schedule a Lash Removal as soon as possible.
  • Use a cold compress to soothe the area. 
  • Consult with your physician!

What is an Irritation?

Many of the symptoms associated with an irritation can mimic the symptoms of an allergic reaction.

So here’s how we’ll distinguish between the two –  An irritation gets better overtime while allergies worsen over time. 

Irritations usually occur when the fumes from the adhesive enter the eye due to poor pad placement, opening your eye during the service, or poor ventilation in the lash suite.

Gas molecules of cyanoacrylate can cause itchiness, red puffy eyes, and can affect the inside of your eye (the sclera,) causing it to become red and irritated.  If the redness/itchiness does not go away or at least significantly improve within 24 hours, then it may be an allergic reaction. 

It is also important to keep in mind that seasonal allergies can contribute to the symptoms.

If you are someone who suffers from seasonal allergies, make sure to inform the lash artist so we can take extra precautions and choose the right products for you! 

Another concern that may cause a minor irritation is the placement of the under-eye gel pads. If they move around during the service to the point that they also touch the sclera of the eye, it may cause some redness and soreness for a few days.

Clients who have watery eyes, seasonal allergies, or are talking during their appointment may experience eye pad movement. Sometimes this movement is so minimal that it’s unseen from the Lash Artist’s point of view. Therefore, it’s extremely important to let your Lash Artist know of any discomfort or concerns during your visit.

DID YOU KNOW: You can actually develop an allergy to lash adhesives even if you were not allergic to them in the past? 

We’ve all heard the claim that our bodies completely change every seven years. Well, this new cell generation can cause reactions to allergens that we never experienced before. Another common allergy game-changer is hormones. For example, pregnant women often experience allergy symptoms to all kinds of new allergens due to changing levels of estrogen.

This is why we recommend a Lash Consult if you’re planning to try extensions for the first time or if you’ve had a life/medical change.

During the Lash Consult, we can perform a patch test to see if you have any reactions to the adhesive.


Blog post by Lash Artist Danielle