How allergies work with eyelash extensions and why a patch test isn’t required
There is an ingredient found in all professional lash extension glue called cyanoacrylate, it is even found in sensitive glues. It is this ingredient that causes most reactions to lash extensions and is an irritant which should never come in to contact with the skin.
The other characteristic of cyanoacrylate is that allergies to it generally build up over time after repeated exposure. Therefore someone who has been having eyelash extensions for years is more likely to become allergic than someone who has only had them once.
The symptoms of an allergy to cyanoacrylate are generally swollen eyelids, itchiness & redness.
The problem with patch testing is that the old school method of simply applying a blob of the glue to the skin cannot be used as it shouldn’t touch the skin. And the other method of applying two or three false lashes to the eyes doesn’t really expose the client to enough of the product to test for a reaction. For this reason here at Lashed we instead ask all clients to let us know if they have ever reacted to extensions in the past and if they have (even mildly) unfortunately this means we cannot carry out the treatment. If you have never had eyelash extensions before or never had a reaction then it is highly unlikely, although not impossible, that you will have a reaction and if you do it is likely to be mild. That being said, we are of course happy to carry out the second type of patch test (where two or three lashes are applied) if a client would feel more secure, we just like to make sure the client is fully informed that it may not be an accurate reflection of allergy.
If you have had a reaction to extensions in the past you could instead try our Lash Lift and Tint as this does not contain the same Cyanoacrylate ingredient and we can patch test for this treatment more effectively as the product is able to be applied to the skin.
Rest assured in the 3 years we have been open, and the thousands of sets we have done, we have only had 2 clients with a reaction to eyelash extensions and both were mild & solved by professionally removing the lash extensions in the salon.
A final note on patch testing is to point out that most insurance companies require salons to follow their manufacturers guidelines on this. The company that provides our glue does not require a patch test and that is why we are able to proceed without one and still be insured. ALL manufacturers of tint & dye (for lashes, brows & hair) require a patch test at least 24hrs before the treatment so if a salon allows you to have a tinting treatment without a patch test they will not be insured for that treatment.