Woman with green red eyes due to irritation and having green cornea

Allergic Reaction and Irritation in Eyelash Extension

Beauty enhancement nowadays is becoming profoundly instrumental in boosting one’s confidence, be it in women or men. These advancements and discoveries have impacted lives tremendously making the beauty enhancement industry as one of the behemoths whose growth can no longer be impeded.

And because the eyes are key features to illustrate beauty, there’s no stopping for eyelash extensions in climbing to the top of the bucket lists of women, men, and many beauty enthusiasts. Indeed, eyelash extensions make the eyes and the states imposing and captivating that many women have sworn their everyday lives to live not without their eyelash extensions. The kind of beauty and grace it adds to the eyes is just not the kind one wants to miss.


Here comes the other side of the coin- the not so beautiful and even be the ugly side of all of these. Every glow comes with a dim background and no happy ending was ever told without going through the foreboding chapters.

Just like anything, beauty enhancement has its own disadvantages and truth be told, eyelash extension is not all fun and beauty. The possibility of your lash clients to experience allergic reactions or irritation during or after the eyelash extension application is always lurking and can happen anytime to anyone especially when the necessary precautions or the right products were ignored.


Before diving into pinpointing what triggers allergic reaction and irritation in eyelash extension application, there’s a need to emphasize the difference between these two, first.

While an allergic reaction or simply, an allergy is the hypersensitive response of the body’s immune system to an allergen (a foreign substance that may or may not pose harm to the body), an irritation is a reaction to an irritating chemical or substance.

An additional note, an allergic reaction in eyelash extension application can occur immediately and can last as long as the skin is in contact with the allergen while irritation can occur when the lash extension glue is curing and subsides thereafter.


As a lash artist, it is important to determine the root cause of any discomfort your lash client is experiencing or may experience. This way you will be able to assess better and provide more effective solutions and remedies.

An allergic reaction during an eyelash extension application is caused, in most cases, by the lash extension glue itself or the ingredients it is made of. Though extremely rare, some people are allergic to cyanoacrylate, the main ingredient for most glues. Other ingredients that may cause allergic reactions include carbon black dye, hydroquinone (sometimes listed as 1,4-dihydroxybenzene), latex, and formaldehyde.

On the other hand, irritation can be caused by quite a few reasons. One is the glue fume creeping into the eyes. Another culprit could be the placement of the under-eye gel pads. Redness and pain in the eyes may occur if the gel pad is not secured enough and moves around too much during the service to the point it touches the sclera of the eye. And often, these pad movements are so minimal that they go unnoticed by lash technicians. Lastly, irritation can also occur when the placement of false lashes is incorrect- when these lashes touch the eyelids.


Sometimes, lash clients do not immediately report any discomfort or initial indications of allergy and irritation they feel because one, they think it’s normal and two, they think they can handle it. This is exactly why you, as the lash professional, should look out for these early signs or symptoms of allergic reactions and irritation so these problems can be acted on early, fast, and effectively.

Symptoms of allergic reactions from lash glue may vary from one person to another but these are the most common:

  1.     Swelling and itchy eyelids.
  2.     Redness of the cornea
  3.     Itching and feeling of discomfort in the area around the eyes
  4.     Worst cases will develop a runny nose, sore throat, and headache.

For irritation, these are the symptoms to look out for:

  1.     Watery eyes
  2.     Redness
  3.     Itchiness


Yes. The old adage “Prevention is better than cure” should not be just a post-it quote for your desktop computer wallpaper. Every lash artist should embody and live by this rule. Knowing you could have done something to prevent the problem but did nothing is much worse than the problem itself.

So what could you do to prevent your lash clients from having allergic reactions and irritation out of the eyelash extensions you applied?

  1. Don’t do it. If you know that your lash client is allergic to any of the lash extension products that you use, decline to give the service even if the client insists. Your client’s safety is your utmost priority. 
  2. Always do patch-tests to all of your lash client prior applications. You never know whether your new client has allergies to the lash products you use and whether your old client has developed one. Better safe than sorry.
  3. Check the ingredients and only use quality and trusted lash products and lash extension glues that are specifically formulated for clients with sensitive eyes.
  4. Provide proper ventilation in your lash studio. Do not sulk yourself and your client in glue fumes for the entire application process. The faster the fumes dissipate, the lesser the chance your client gets irritated. 
  5. Instruct your clients to remain their eyes shut throughout the whole process.
  6. Ensure correct placement of gel pad and false lashes. Practice the proper placements.
  7. Use a nano mister or a bonder to speed up drying of lash glue. In speeding up the curing time of the lash glue, you are also eliminating the chances of getting the fumes inside the eyes of your client. A good lash glue accelerator and bonder speeds up the drying time of the lash glue without compromising the quality of the eyelash extension retention. This is why bonders are perfectly paired with sensitive glues with slower drying time.

Getting an eyelash extension is the most sought-after solution to have fuller, fabulous lashes. But like any other beauty regimen and treatment, precaution should always be upheld because the safety of your client is your responsibility. After all, there’s nothing so beautiful about long eyelash curls with blood red eyes under them.

Yes, nothing or no one should be able to hinder you from getting the beauty enhancement that you believe you need in order to feel good about yourself and to have that confidence you so long deserve. However, in doing so and in getting these treatments, safety should still come first before beauty.

Happy and safe lashing, queens!

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