rare but possible eye reactions, eyelash extension reactions

#28 Rare but possible Eye reactions - Part One

Unfortunately, eye reactions caused due to eyelash extensions, adhesive, eye pads etc, is a real thing and can happen at any time! The skin on the eyelid is the thinnest on any part of the body, which means it much more spectacle to chemicals. If a client has obvious veins, they may be more sensitive as their skin is thinner again.

The main ingredient used in eyelash extensions is in the adhesive, called cyanoacrylate. This ingredient can be received by the body as an irritant and a reaction can occur. This happens as the chemical monomers can settle on the skin causing long term irrigation. If a client has a cyanoacrylate reaction this means they are always will be allergic.

Symptoms of a reaction include:

  • Swelling
  • Itchy
  • Weeping eyes
  • Redness
  • Burning sensations
chemical conjunctivitis, toxic substance, severe pain, eyelash extensions

    Rare but possible Eye reactions

    Adhesive Reaction

    Cyanoacrylate is widely used in the medical industry from brain surgery to ocular surgery. It is highly unlikely that this ingredient is causing the reactions we are seeing in the lash industry. Current information indicates that the reactive ingredients are the stabilisers and pigment used. A repeat exposure to these elements may trigger a sensitisation and later if ignored, an allergic reaction.

    A sensitisation event can happen on the 1st exposure or the 5th or the 25th or more. The body usually displays no symptoms when sensitised - it is the next exposure that gets your attention: the reactionary event. Since we have no way to predict who or when someone might experience a sensitisation or allergic reaction.

    If you, or your clients are concerned or want to take more caution to reduce the risk of adhesive reaction, it is worth finding out ALL the ingredients in your lash glue and using one that has less chemicals. While all the ingredients must be declared in Australian products, many that are manufactured in Korea and China which don't disclose the full ingredients - as only a minimal amount is used. When we are dealing with chemicals and the eye, every drop counts! We have manufactured Clear Vision and are very transparent about all ingredients. 

    Eye Pads Reaction

    There are a number of different chemical hydrating ingredients in collagen gel eye pads that can raise skin sensitivities in your clients. Often it is impossible to know which ingredient is causing the reaction, however plant based extracts are more likely to cause allergies. For this reason we advise using collagen free gel pads to secure the lashes with minimal natural derivatives. If a client shows a reaction to this particular product its more than likely they will be sensitive to all man made collagen products. We have developed our Lash Cosy's for that very reason! Less ingredients to provide minimal irritation to clients. Make sure to visit our controversial post: water, glycerine, aloe and vitamin e don't make a gel pad.

    Chemical conjunctivitis

    Also known as Chemical Pinkeye, it is caused when fumes or chemicals are exposed to the eye. If you notice the client has symptoms of chemical conjunctivitis, flush the eye with running water immediately to remove the toxic chemical or liquid. If the irritation gets worse the client will need to seek medical advice

    Symptoms of serious chemical conjunctivitis caused by a toxic substance include:

    • Severe pain
    • Decreased vision
    • Redness
    • Large amounts of swelling

    Eye pad abrasion

    This is a physical (rubbing) injury from gel eye pads. With out a medical professional to diagnose, it will be hard to tell if this is in fact a result of chemical conjunctivitis. Serious but not necessarily harming to vision long term, unless the rubbing was to cause a scar over the cornea, this is unlikely as when our clients close their eyes they will roll back moving the cornea away from the gap in the eye as the body’s natural cornea protection from entering objects. This is called Bells Phenomenon, however there is a small number of the population that do not have this mechanism.

    Fume Irritation 

    During the eyelash extension application it is crucial that the clients eyes remain closed at all times. Fume irritation is as uncomfortable as it is painful to look at. If the client presents with red lines on their eyes from glue exposure they may feel a sandpaper (dry) feeling this is not something to be overly concerned with medically. Often referred to as ‘chemical burn’ which is an incorrect term as a burn is caused by heat.


    Prevention is key when using eye pads and fume irritation. It is your job as an eyelash extension therapist to ensure you are checking the lash line frequently to ensure the eye pads have not moved up to the clients eyes and their eyes have not opened. To keep tricky eye opening clients eyes sealed try placing a gel patch on the back of the clients eyes to weigh them down.

    If you are particularly having trouble with your eye pads staying put during your eyelash extension application, be sure to check out our lash cosy's which once stuck on, these beauties do not move! Until you remove them that is, which by the way - is pain free and gentle on the client.

    lash cosy, eyelash eye pad, foam eye pad, eye pad, eyelash extension eye pad, pain free eye pad, low irritation eye pad

    Read more in Part Two - Contraindications where we cover topics including; medical tape, seasonal allergies, rosacea and more! 

    Leave a comment

    Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.