Adhesive allergies and a lack of proper understanding of why they occur is an increasing problem in the lash extension industry. Both parties, lash artists and clients, are often frustrated and perplexed when a client that has never had a reaction before starts having sensitivities. The bottom-line is that lash allergies get worse the more exposure the client has to adhesive.
Every adhesive currently on the market produces a chemical reaction in the bonding process that can irritate eyes. Therefore, each adhesive has a different fume level. Some people will have a bigger reaction to stronger glue. If they’ve had a reaction to acrylic nails in the past, they will also react to lash adhesives.
As your body realizes over time that something foreign is being applied to the lash line, your immune system kicks in and creates a compound called histamine.
Histamines are basically the evil sister to antihistamines. (You know, those ones that help you feel good during allergy season!) From itching to swelling, histamines being released is what to blame on your puffy eye.
What to Do In Case of Reaction
Sadly, once you have an allergic reaction to adhesives and eyelash extensions, you’ll be hard-pressed to find someone else to lash you. We’ve included some quick tips to remember if you or your client develops a reaction.
- Benadryl: At the first sign of irritation, instruct clients to take a Benadryl before bed. This will help reduce swelling and itchiness by morning.
- Switch Adhesives: Different adhesives have different levels of fumes. Although it requires more fills for the client, our Silver Sensitive adhesive is a great option for people who have had a slight reaction in the past or overall sensitivity.
- If the reaction is more severe: Remove clients eyelashes after 24 hours. Once adhesive has cured fully, most clients will no longer have the itchy feeling or additional irritation. If itching and swelling persists after 24 hours, remove lashes.
- 24-48 hour after: If the client has an allergic reaction, coconut oil is a great way to soak off the lashes and soothe the skin around the eyes.
- After 48 hours: If swelling and itching persist after 48 hours, instruct the client to see a doctor. Their doctor will most likely ask to see the ingredient list for the adhesive. To stay ahead of this, you can a get a copy from us! Bella Lash provides SDS for our products for salon owners to keep onsite in case of emergency. (To obtain a copy, email firstname.lastname@example.org)
After your client has developed an allergy to lash extensions, you should stop applying extensions. Unfortunately, once they have a reaction, they will always have a reaction. Although it may feel sad to part ways with these clients, it is in the best interest of your business and their health. They will ultimately understand that you are just trying to keep them healthy, beautiful and happy. (Plus, no one looks their best with puffy, swollen, red and itchy eyes).