Lash Extensions Allergy: Why It Happens & How to Treat It

By PMUHub Editorial Team| Last updated on March 15, 2023
lash extensions allergy
⏱️ 5 min read

You got a beautiful pair of fluttery lashes just a few days ago, and are starting to notice your eyes getting red or swollen. This can only mean one thing – you’re experiencing an allergic reaction to eyelash extensions.

Although uncomfortable, a lash extensions allergy can be easily treated. So, let’s take a look at why lash extension allergies happen, what symptoms to expect, and how to treat them.

First Off, Can You Be Allergic to Eyelash Extensions?

Yes, but we’ll elaborate on that.

An allergic reaction to eyelash extensions occurs when the immune system starts to attack foreign bodies called allergens.

These foreign bodies are not the lash extensions themselves, but rather the lash adhesive used during the procedure, which acts as a bonding agent between the natural eyelash and the extension.

Why Are Some People Allergic to Eyelash Glue?

The main component of most lash extension adhesives is cyanoacrylate or super glue, mixed with other compounds like thickening, coloring, and stabilizing agents.

During the lash extension curing process, the adhesive – or, to be exact, the cyanoacrylate found in the adhesive – reacts to hydrogen particles by solidifying and absorbing moisture.

And since the eyes are the most humid part of the body, an allergic reaction may occur. The symptoms may manifest similarly to those of seasonal allergies like itchiness, redness, dryness, and swelling.

Another common allergy-causing ingredient in lash adhesives is carbon black – a dye that gives a dark, black color to the lash glue. However, allergic reactions to this particular element are really rare and can be avoided by using clear lash glue.

In most cases, an allergic reaction to eyelash extension glue is not considered a serious issue and is only experienced by a small percentage of people. Symptoms will typically subside once the eyelash extensions are removed.


It is important to remember that if you’ve previously experienced an allergic reaction to eyelash glue, it might happen again since our bodies keep a memory of the allergy once developed.

Lash technicians might also develop a lash extension allergy as a result of frequent exposure to lash extension adhesive fumes.

What Are the Symptoms of a Lash Extensions Allergy?

The signs of a lash extensions allergy may vary from person to person. The most common allergic reaction to eyelash glue symptoms are:

  • Redness
  • Itchiness
  • Irritation
  • Swelling
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Headaches

Keep in mind that most cyanoacrylate-based reactions take several days to show up. But when lash extension allergies do occur, they manifest as a combination of several symptoms happening all at once.

An allergic reaction to lash extensions won’t stop until you stop the cause altogether.

That’s why the first step to eliminating the reaction is removing the allergen as soon as possible, preferably by booking a professional lash extension removal appointment.

Itchy, red eyelids may also be a sign of other lash extension-related issues such as blepharitis or even lash mites. If your symptoms remain even after lash extension removal, it is important to contact your doctor or see an ophthalmologist.

How to Prevent Allergic Reactions as a Lash Tech

If your clients have reactive or allergy-prone skin, the best and safest thing to do before the appointment is to perform a patch test.

To minimize the potential risk of your clients developing a lash extensions allergy, here are some tried and true products that can be used during lashing:

Eyelash Extension Allergy Free Glue

Avoiding allergies and irritations like red or bloodshot eyes is easier when using the right products.

Sensitive lash extension glues contain a much smaller amount of cyanoacrylate than regular adhesives. They may not be the fastest drying or longest retention glues but they are made specifically for people with sensitive eyes.

If your client is sensitive to the black dye found in lash adhesives, switch to a clear lash glue instead.

Anti Allergy Gel

To prevent developing an allergic reaction to eyelash glue, you can place an open jar of anti-allergy gel on your workstation during treatment.

Anti-allergy gels capture lash adhesive fumes before they reach the eyes and nostrils, as well as airborne chemicals like formaldehyde and other volatile organic compounds.

Many lash technicians have reported experiencing less stinging, sneezing, and headaches after lashing all day and all thanks to specialized anti-allergy gels.

Allergy Relief Nasal Spray

If your clients have sensitive eyes that oftentimes get watery, you can use an allergy relief nasal spray to relieve their symptoms and prevent them from developing an allergic reaction to lash extension adhesive.

All you need to do is to spray a bit of your nasal spray onto a clean, disposable lipstick brush applicator and dab it on the skin around the eyes, before and after the lashing process.

@michelbeauty Learned this trick from @delilahrosalezz This is my Second time trying and it works 👏🏾 #lashextensions #lashallergy #lashallergies ♬ origineel geluid - Musicsongsfy

Eyelash Extension Allergic Reaction Remedies

If you’ve gotten your lash extensions and start to experience allergy-like symptoms there are a few simple things that you can do to relieve the symptoms and stop them from getting worse:

Book a Professional Lash Extension Removal

If you developed a lash extensions allergy, it’ll go from bad to worse until the lash adhesive is completely removed from your eyes. So, the best thing to do in this scenario is to book a professional lash extension removal.

If you want to remove your lash extensions at home, read our step-by-step guide here.

Use a Cold Compress

A cold compress can help alleviate minor discomfort and reduce swelling – it will not, however, magically fix other allergic reaction symptoms.

It is recommended to take this step after removing your lash extensions since cold compresses can affect the retention and general look of your lashes.

Last But Not Least – Consult With a Doctor

If you’re experiencing more severe symptoms or extreme swelling, it is important to go see a physician or ophthalmologist. They will most probably prescribe eye drops, ointments and oral antihistamines to reduce your discomfort.

lash extensions allergy consult with a doctor
Image source: Freepik

In Conclusion

A lash extensions allergy can occur as a result of lash adhesive ingredients and fumes.

If you have sensitive skin or are experiencing food-related or seasonal allergies, this means that you might be susceptible to developing an allergic reaction to lash extension adhesive as well.

In that case, consult with an experienced lash tech before booking your treatment, and make sure they use a clear, hypoallergenic adhesive.

Cover image source: Freepik



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