Allergic Reactions to Eyelash Extensions: All You Need to Know!

Allergic Reactions to Eyelash Extensions: All You Need to Know!

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Are you new to wearing eyelash extensions? If so, remember that your lash extensions should never be uncomfortable or painful.

Instead, they should make you feel empowered, confident, and beautiful right after you walk out of the salon. 

a young woman posing at the camera with close eyes to highlight her eyelash extensions

But did you know that some people get allergic reactions to eyelash extensions?

If this happens to you, there’s probably something wrong with their application. 

Though it rarely happens, anyone could develop an allergic reaction to the eyelash extension glue applied to attach the eyelash extensions. 

Before going through this lash procedure, it is essential to know the potential risks of an allergic reaction to eyelash extension glue and the symptoms to look for. 

This way, you can effectively communicate with your lash technician in case you experience them after your eyelash extension session. 

In this article, learn everything you need to know about the allergic reactions to eyelash glue — from causes, treatment, and duration to tips — in order to prevent allergic reactions to glue for eyelash extensions.

Disclaimer: All the information and other materials in this article are for educational purposes only and are not intended as substitutes for medical diagnosis, advice, or treatment. For any concerns or questions about a specific medical condition, always seek the help of a professional medical provider. 

Are you ready? Let’s start now!

When Does an Allergic Reaction to Eyelash Extensions Happen?

An allergic reaction happens when your immune system reacts to a foreign substance despite it being harmless and treats it as if it’s bacteria or virus. 

If this happens, your immune system releases antibodies and histamines that remain on alert for that specific allergen, which causes itchiness, swelling, and other signs of allergic reactions to expel the foreign substance. 

The most common type of allergies we know are pollen and nut allergies. But have you heard of eyelash extension allergy?

Yes, that’s also a thing! 

In most cases, allergic reactions to lash extensions are caused by the glue or adhesive used to attach the glue to natural eyelashes. 

Some of its ingredients may respond poorly to a small percentage of the population and cause allergic reactions. 

What Causes Allergic Reaction to Eyelash Extension Glue?

a close up image of an eyelash technician applying fake lashes to her client

Although you can never be sure which kind of allergy you might have, we have listed below the common culprits from lash adhesives that cause false eyelashes allergic reactions:

Cyanoacrylate

One of the main ingredients of lash glues is cyanoacrylate. This ingredient helps the lash extensions stay as long as possible. 

People with cyanoacrylate allergy should avoid getting eyelash extensions because there’s still no alternative ingredient.

Fortunately, cyanoacrylate allergy is a rare medical condition, according to the FDA. Only 1% of the population suffers from this type of allergy. 

Latex

Most of the time, people go to the lash salon without knowing that they are allergic to latex. 

Note that his type of allergy primarily builds over time. So a person especially acquires latex allergy when regularly exposed to the material. 

But the good news is that nothing can prevent anyone with a latex allergy from getting eyelash extensions because latex-free adhesives are now accessible.  

All you have to do is to look for a professional lash artist who uses latex-free lash glue for the eyelash extensions.

Then you can still enjoy having full, gorgeous eyelashes!

But know that latex-free glue can reduce the lifespan of your lash extensions by almost one week. 

Still, it’s better than not being able to get eyelash extensions.

Carbon Black

The pigment used in black lash adhesives is known as carbon black.

This ingredient helps to make the lash glue look dark so that when the eyelash extensions are applied, they blend well into the natural lash line. 

While black lash glue does a great job blending with the natural lash line, some people have sensitivities to carbon black.

If you are one of them, ask your lash tech to use a clear glue instead when applying your lash extensions.

A clear lash adhesive may only have about a five-week retention time and a slower drying time, but it is a must for people with sensitive eyes. 

Are Lash Extension Allergies Dangerous?

Thankfully, there has not been a single report of severe or deadly allergic reactions to glue for eyelash extensions. 

Still, the allergies the glue can cause may involve severe discomfort for those with it. If you experience this allergy, however, note that you should never pull out eyelash extensions yourself

Instead, contact your lash technician as soon as possible and let them remove your eyelash extensions. As soon as they are removed, they should relieve the allergy symptoms. 

Sadly, people with an allergy to lash extension glue will always experience allergic reactions. Hence, it’s best not to get eyelash extensions at all. 

an eyelash technician doing the eyelash extensions of her client

How to Tell if You Have Eyelash Extension Allergy Vs. Irritation

By now you might need clarifications between eyelash extension allergy and irritation. 

To make things clear, they are different. 

An allergic reaction is a response from the immune system, while an irritation is a reaction to an irritating substance. 

If you have an allergy, you can only use limited glue types. In contrast, irritations subside quickly and can be avoided. 

But because of the subtlety of the symptoms of both an allergy and irritation at first, it’s challenging to differentiate lash extension allergy vs irritation. 

Here’s a tip: The timeline of the reaction can significantly help you determine which one you got. 

Symptoms of Allergic Reactions 

Allergic reactions show right after you get your lashes done. But sometimes, it would take several hours or days to occur.

If you have an allergic reaction to false eyelashes, it usually lasts while the lash glue sits on your skin until even a few days after it dries. 

Moreover, you can acquire an allergic reaction after years of exposure to eyelash extensions. 

These are the common symptoms of an allergic reaction to lash extensions:

  • Irritation
  • Itchiness
  • Redness in the cornea 
  • Swelling
  • Tearing
  • Watery eyes 

Symptoms of Irritations 

Irritation, on the other hand, usually occurs among people who have sensitive skin. 

Compared to an allergy to eyelash extension glue, irritations occur during your eyelash extension’s curing period. 

You have higher chances of irritation as soon as the adhesive comes in contact with your skin or eyes.

This usually subsides on its own after the adhesive is completely cured, which only takes a couple of hours.

However, this could greatly depend on several factors, such as the adhesive’s drying time, the skill level of your lash tech, and the climate.

While irritation can easily be mistaken as an allergy, irritation has less swelling and is milder than the other. 

These are the usual symptoms of irritations to look for:

  • Irritating feeling 
  • Itchiness
  • Mild pain
  • Redness

To help you easily differentiate eyelash extension allergy vs. irritation, check out this side-by-side comparison:

EYELASH EXTENSION ALLERGYEYELASH EXTENSION IRRITATION
Can show up immediately or after 24 to 48 hours of applicationCan show up within minutes of application
Either occurs in one eye or both eyesCommonly occurs in one eye
Possibly lasts a few hours to a few daysDisappears within a day
Worsens with time if untreatedImproves hour after hour

How to Treat Eyelash Extension Allergic Reaction

If you’re experiencing allergic reactions after getting eyelash extensions, contact your lash technician as soon as possible.

Also, check out the following treatments you can do at home to relieve symptoms as you wait for your next lash extension removal appointment:

Cold Compress

Cooler temperatures help shrink blood vessels and minimize swelling and blood flow to relieve discomfort. 

There are different types of cold compresses; some are homemade while others can be bought at pharmacies or retail stores. You can use a washcloth soaked in cold water.

To do the cold compress method, you need to apply the cold compress on your affected eye area at least three to four times a day. If this is properly executed, it can help reduce swelling and pain.

Cortisone Cream

Cortisone cream treats skin conditions such as rash, dermatitis, insect bites, eczema, allergies, etc. 

Also, this cream can reduce the redness, itching, and swelling caused by allergic reactions or irritation from lash adhesives. 

So once you notice any discomfort, redness, or irritation after getting eyelash extensions, consult a dermatologist for a prescription of cortisone cream. 

Benadryl

Benadryl is an antihistamine that helps treat and prevent symptoms caused by allergic reactions, such as watery, itchy, and red eyes.

Though this won’t get rid of your allergy to the glue, it can still help minimize the symptoms and sensitivity to the chemicals involved in eyelash extension application. 

If you experience swelling, redness, or irritation on the eyelid after your lash appointment, Benadryl can be the best quick reliever for that. 

After using this product, you can determine whether you have an irritation or an allergy. 

You have eye irritation if the symptoms are gone after a few minutes. However, if the symptoms persist after two days, you’ve got allergic reactions to eyelash extensions. 

If that’s the case, ask your lash technician to remove them and seek medical help from your trusted health provider as soon as possible. 

Seek Medical Help

You can only do so much with home treatments. Once you think the situation is getting severe and no home treatment can cure your allergic reactions, seek medical help immediately. 

Professional health providers can offer you an accurate diagnosis and prescribe an appropriate treatment. 

Ultimately, this will save you from spending money treating complications. 

How to Prevent the Side Effects of Eyelash Extensions

Prevention is better than cure. So here are the best tips you need to know before getting eyelash extensions. 

Once you know all these, you can save yourself from experiencing the unwanted side effects of lash extensions.

  • Choose a certified lash technician trained to do eyelash extensions.
  • Ask your lash technician to discuss the ingredient list on the lash glue to know if they use products with allergens. 
  • Research the potential allergens or ingredients that you’re sensitive to. 
  • Do a lash glue patch test on your skin before you get a full set of eyelash extensions. 
  • Ask for an eyelash extension adhesive that is either natural or specifically formulated for sensitive eyes. 
  • Choose a lash technician that prioritizes good hygiene: putting on gloves, sanitizing, and thoroughly washing the hands. 
  • Make sure the lash salon is a well-ventilated room.
a close-up image of a woman with perfectly created eyelash extensions

Frequently Asked Questions

How common is an allergic reaction to eyelash extensions?

Fortunately, getting allergic reactions after lash extensions is extremely rare, but they do happen. 

The most common allergen found in lash adhesives is latex, to which only about 1% of the population is allergic. 

Will the allergic reactions to lash extensions subside?

Yes, it will. If your body is no longer exposed to the allergen, the allergy symptoms in your eyes will eventually go away.

Depending on how severe the allergic reaction is, a person may experience symptoms that last from a few hours to a few days.

Moreover, treatment can affect how long one may undergo such reactions to lash extensions. So it is best to ask professional health to treat your allergies. 

Nonetheless, most people who undergo allergic reactions have tolerated and treated the symptoms in no time without future issues. 

How long does an allergic reaction to eyelash extensions last?

If you have removed your eyelash extensions and stopped getting in contact with the allergen, the allergic reaction should naturally be gone after a few hours or a few days. 

Remember that they should only last for a few days. So if these allergic reactions don’t subside after some time, talk to your doctor as soon as possible. 

Should I still get a lash extension if I know I have an allergy?

As much as we want you to experience the benefits of eyelash extensions, you should not risk your health knowing that you are sensitive to them. 

However, you can get medical advice from your doctor to determine which allergen you are allergic to. Also, you may ask whether you can get lash extensions safely or not. 

Depending on your doctor’s suggestion, you can try other lash extension alternatives like lash lifts or tinting. 

Conclusion

Eyelash extension allergic reactions and irritation are rare, but it still happens. Sure, both can easily be treated, but neither one of these symptoms are fun.

To protect yourself from the allergic reactions that lash extensions may provide, the key is to research potential lash allergens, to be careful which lash adhesive to use, and to choose the right lash technician. 

Overall, getting a beautiful set of eyelash extensions is a popular and safe beauty treatment. 

As a consumer, knowing all the possible risks associated with eyelash extensions is still crucial for your safety and awareness before you achieve a fabulous lash set. 

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