Patch Test for Eyelash Extensions 101: What to Do & How

By Emily M.| Last updated on August 15, 2023
patch test for eyelash extensions
⏱️ 5 min read

Nothing can ruin a business like a dissatisfied client. One mistake can cost a lot, which means that lash techs need to be ultra-careful and make no room for errors.

One way to avoid an appointment going wrong is to do a patch test for eyelash extensions. That’s easier said than done, especially if you’re just starting out.

But don’t worry. We’re here to explain exactly what a lash extensions patch test is, how you can do it, and what next steps you need to take if a client does end up having a reaction.

Let’s get right into it!

What Is a Patch Test for Eyelash Extensions?

A patch test is a process or mini-procedure in which you apply something in a small quantity to check whether it’s going to cause a reaction.

For example, when you buy a new facial serum, you should put a little bit of it behind your ear before exposing your entire face to it. If the patch you tested on isn’t showing any signs of a reaction – you’re good to go!

In terms of lash extensions, the process is identical, but perhaps even more important as the eyes are a super-sensitive area. There are different methods with which you can approach the test and we’ll cover them below.

@beautybox01 ✨Patch tests are required 48 hours before getting brow laminations, lash lifts and tints and brow tints to ensure that the products we use react well with your skin! Lash extension patch tests are optional and up to your discretion whether you would like one or not depending on your skin✨ #lash #patchtest #lashextensions #beauty #trending ♬ original sound - BeautyBox

Do I Have to Do an Eyelash Glue Patch Test EVERY Time?

You’re not obligated to do a patch test, but you should do it anyway.

There are no legal or other ramifications for skipping the test. However, if your client does end up having an allergic reaction, there’s no one else to blame but the person who worked on their lashes (and, unfortunately, that’s you).

The best way to approach this is to always offer a patch test to the client. Let them know that there is a possibility of a reaction to the adhesive, and explain the test and your methods to them and let them decide.

This is especially important if this person is coming to you for the first time.

If the client doesn’t want a test, but you want to be extra careful, you can have them sign a document stating that they were made aware of the potential risks but willingly refused to get the test done. That way, even if something happens, you are in no way liable.


Image source: Instagram @paisleysbeautyroom

How Is a Lash Extension Patch Test Done

There are several methods you can employ here. They differ in terms of where you put the small amount of glue that you want to test, but other than that, the rest is the same.

Here’s a list of spots you can test your lash adhesive:

  • Behind the client’s ear. This one is the most popular since it’s not visible.
  • On their wrist. Also pretty popular, but keep in mind that the skin is thicker there.
  • On the outer corners of the eye. This one is not recommended since the eyes are very sensitive and you don’t want to see a reaction.

After you place a drop of glue, cover it with something to ensure nothing interferes with the test. You can use medical bandages that tattoo artists use, but waterproof band-aids will do just fine too.

After that, have the client wait at least 24h. This means that you’ll need to plan ahead and let them know that they’ll need to come in and do this a day before the actual appointment.

It’s best you tell them as soon as they make the appointment so you can schedule both visits right away.

How to Recognize an Eyelash Extension Patch Test Reaction?

Anything that’s left behind by that test droplet is an indication of a reaction. The skin should be completely clear.

Of course, since the skin was covered with a bandage for so long, some faint redness is to be expected. But if that redness is stronger exactly on the spot where the glue was – it’s a reaction.

But besides the reaction you can see with the naked eye, ask your client if they’ve experienced any of the following while the adhesive was on their skin:

  • Itching,
  • Burning,
  • Stinging,
  • Swelling.

If none of these showed up, you’re good to go. Your client is conclusively not going to have a negative reaction to the adhesive.

PRO TIP

Let your clients know which symptoms to look for before you do the test. That way, they can let you know as soon as they notice something, and both of you can either prepare or cancel the appointment ahead of time.

What Do I Do If My Client Has a Reaction?

When you put the adhesive on their skin for the first time, tell them that they need to wash it off immediately when they notice anything wrong.

If your client experiences any of the symptoms we just talked about in the last section, you obviously can’t proceed with the appointment. The ideal solution would be to go through the same process again but with a different adhesive.

Understandably, some techs (especially beginners) won’t have too many products in their arsenal.

Start out with at least 2 different options, so you don’t have to turn down a client because their lash extensions patch test showed a reaction to 1 glue – test a different formula and see.

Here are some lash adhesives that work well on clients with sensitive eyes:

Final Thoughts on Why You Should Always Patch Test for Eyelash Extensions

Conducting a patch test for eyelash extensions is a good way to ensure your client’s safety while also ensuring that you won’t get into trouble if a reaction does happen.

You can do a test by leaving a drop of adhesive on the customer’s skin for 24h and checking for a reaction. If the skin is clear, you’re clear to proceed with the appointment!

All in all, a patch test won’t cost you too much extra time, but could end up saving you a lot of trouble in the long run – so test your new clients.

Cover image source: Freepik

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