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Understanding an Allergic Reaction to Eyelash Glue

Posted by Bridget Reed on 03 November, 2022

Understanding an Allergic Reaction to Eyelash Glue

The world of beauty, skincare, and makeup products has become vast and varied through the years. Countless active ingredients in those products, most of which the general population doesn’t look too closely at, come into contact with our skin daily. Because of this, it comes as no surprise that allergic reactions to these ingredients are pretty common.

The skin on the face can come in many types that will react to products differently depending on your type. One product might dry out oily skin on one individual while causing a breakout on another. Where normal skin might not blink against the introduction of a new skincare ingredient, sensitive skin might struggle with a surge of hives for the next week.

You may have come across these issues over the years, and you may have found tried-and-true solutions to an allergic reaction or learned to avoid the products that cause them altogether. However, while most of these breakouts will likely arise on the face, you may still be unprepared for a reaction in the most sensitive of areas — the eyes.

Most facial products like moisturizers, facial cleansers, or makeup bases are meant to be used in places other than your eyes because your peepers are sensitive. One other product that can cause you trouble is eyelash glue. This product that goes about as close to your eye as possible could easily cause unwanted turmoil amidst the ease of your makeup routine for a few reasons.

If you’re an avid lash wearer that deals with lash glue on the regular, keep scrolling to learn what could be a potential cause for an allergic reaction to eyelash glue and how to combat the issue or avoid it before it happens.

How Does Eyelash Glue Work?

Applying your lash glue and falsies is probably second nature to you. As with most products we use every day, our ole’ reliables, we don’t usually think twice about them as we get glam. They’ve never failed us before, so why worry? 

Lashes are a special case here, especially if you’re using long-wear extensions and not temporary falsies and glue (although this can still cause issues if you’re not properly caring for them). While you (hopefully) clean off your facial makeup each and every night as part of your nighttime ritual, long-wear extensions will remain. 

When the lash bond is sticking around for longer than temporary lashes, it’s important to know what exactly is in contact with your skin. Let’s discuss both temporary lash glue and semi-permanent glue to understand what ingredients are living amidst your lashes.

Temporary Glue

Temporary glue is used to apply temporary lashes (the lashes you put on and take off each day). This glue is applied to the long band of a temporary lash and is placed above the upper lash line to blend into your natural lashes. The glue is usually comprised of some adhesive component, solvents, surfactants, and ammonium hydroxide

Those words might sound big and scary, but each lash glue varies, and the above ingredients are not generally considered toxic in the proper context. Ammonium hydroxide is even considered safe for use in food by FDA

This particular combo of ingredients makes the glue easily removable or dissolvable, so it’s simple for everyday use. Where you have to be careful is the placement of the lash. While the glue isn’t toxic to the eyelid, most things will irritate the eye itself, so be careful not to let the glue fall into your actual eye.

Traditional Semi-Permanent Glue

Traditional semi-permanent glue usually lasts six to eight weeks and is applied to each individual lash underneath the natural lash line. This type of lash usually adheres with a cyanoacrylate adhesive. 

You might know this as a shared ingredient with super glue or crazy glue. It’s important to understand that in liquid form (like these other glues), cyanoacrylate can be an irritant to skin and eyes; when dry, the ingredient becomes inert — so it generally isn’t harmful anymore.

In semi-permanent lash glue, this adhesive provides an incredibly fast-drying and long-lasting option for lashes. When the adhesive interacts with moisture (in the air), it acts to bond surfaces, and while it isn’t toxic to the eye in its dried state, it can form solid lumps that could be irritating to the eyes if not addressed. 

This is why it’s so vital to have the proper knowledge of applying false lashes or have them applied by a trained lash technician to avoid these potential snafus. 

What Makes Lashify’s Whisper Light Bond™ Different? 

Well, first off, Whisper Light is only intended to hold our Gossamers® in place — no other lashes. But the differences don’t stop there. 

We formulated our bond with biotin and without cyanoacrylates or formaldehydes. Plus, it was developed in an ISO-approved cosmetics manufacturing facility. This means the manufacturing, storage, and shipping practices have been inspected by a third party and were found to be in line with Good Manufacturing Practices.

Signs and Symptoms of an Allergic Reaction to Lash Glue

When dealing with eyelash glue, there are a few ways a problem could present itself. Most of the time, lash lovers might experience mild irritation and not a severe allergic reaction — but allergic reactions are possible.

So what are the signs of an allergic reaction to lash glue? 

When the eye is irritated by the application of lash glue, it will most likely present itself as redness in the sclera (the white outer layer of the eye) accompanied by stinging, itching, or a burning sensation. When the eye itself is reacting and not the skin around it, you may be having a slight reaction to the fumes of the adhesive. It’s worth giving yourself a break to make sure it’s only a mild reaction.

When you’re having an allergic reaction to the glue itself, this will look more like a change in the eyelid that appears on both lids sometime 24-48 hours after application. The eyelids will become red, puffy, and swollen, stemming from where the lashes were applied, and may be accompanied by the flaking of the surrounding skin. 

Think you can tell the difference now? If so, you’re probably still wondering what any level-headed lash enthusiast would be wondering right about now: how do I combat a reaction if I have one? We knew you’d ask that, so keep scrolling to find the answer.

Remedies and Resolution for Allergic Reactions to Eyelash Glue

How do you remedy an allergic reaction to lash glue? We’re not in the habit of introducing a problem without a solution, so you’ll be happy to learn that the most common remedy to a lash glue allergy is quite simple.

Most often, time heals all. The symptoms of an allergic reaction like this often resolve themselves in a few days. However, if the problem persists, here are a few more viable solutions.

Contacting a dermatologist or physician is always a solid option. Professional help up front can alleviate your trouble before it has the chance to get worse. 

When lash glue is the cause of your problem, you may have the initial reaction to remove your false lashes entirely. If it’s the culprit, just get rid of it, right? But be careful not to act too quickly here. As mentioned above, the main ingredient in semi-permanent lash glue becomes inert or inactive once it’s dried down. Though it may have caused your problem, it may not actually be perpetuating it. 

Taking even more products to remove the false lashes might have a counteractive result and end up irritating the reaction even further. We recommend consulting a professional first and foremost if your problems persist past a few days. Better safe than sorry!

Happy, Healthy, and Beautiful

Of course, we love all things lashes here at Lashify®. Our goal is always to inform and empower when it comes to taking control of your lash routine, and we hope that while sometimes the dirty details of your lashes might be overwhelming, you feel large and in charge at the end of the day.

Allergic reactions and irritation of the eye are no joke. Something that starts as a small inconvenience can quickly turn into a larger issue if left untreated. The best way to take action to treat something like this is to know what you’re up against. That’s why we compiled this one-stop shop for easy access.

Now the next time you take to your lash extension application, you know exactly what’s going on beneath the surface and all the dos and don’ts of how to apply. And if you ever feel stuck or unsure of your next move, don’t hesitate to visit us for the very best in lash advice!


Is Eyelash Glue Toxic? | Poison Control 

Questions and Answers about Ammonium Hydroxide Use in Food Production | International Food Information Council Foundation 

Eyelash extension allergic reactions: What to know | Medical News Today 

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