Lash Glue and Allergic Reactions


Did you know, medical professionals use glues with Cyanoacrylate to glue skin together in some cases instead of using stitches.

So what is cyanoacrylate?

Cyanoacrylate is a part of the fast, strong-acting adhesives family. For example;

- Lash Glue

- Crazy Glue

- Carpentry Glue

- Super Glue

Besides the word being a complete mouthful, the definition is:

"The acryl groups in the resin rapidly polymerize in the presence of water to form long, strong chains. They have some minor toxicity."

Basically. The cyanoacrylate in the glue will cure in the presence of moisture. Any sort of exposure to any normal levels of humidity in the air will cause the skin of the adhesive to start setting within seconds. Therefore, all super glues, lash glues and many other glues have a small or large percentage of Cyanoacrylate in its makeup.

You will find that some lash adhesives have different quantities of the same ingredients and some you will find have some added ingredients or chemicals. Some companies glue is thicker, and some companies are thinner. Some have faster or slower drying times.

Although, the basic structure is all the same!

If your client is allergic to cyanoacrylate your client may experience red raw eyes, itching and bumps along their lash line within 24-48 hours after having the lash extensions applied. Unfortunately for those clients, they are not a good candidate for lash extensions. You could always recommend a lash lift and tint as an alternative.



What is Formaldehyde?

Formaldehyde is a colorless, pungent smelling gas that is highly flammable. It is found in trees, vegetation, fruits and vegetables. Formaldehyde is found in many products such as MDF timber, building products, desks, books, skin care, perfume and many other products.

Fun Fact: Our body and animals actually produce very small amounts of Formaldehyde to help synthesize amino acids.

In the 1970's awareness was raised about the dangers of formaldehyde in our homes due to the significant risk of respiratory damage from the urea foam insulation.

Formaldehyde vapors can produce short-term symptoms such as;

- headaches

- itchy or burning eyes

- nose bleeds

- joint pains

- disorientation

- fatigue

- mental confusion etc.

NOW! I know all this sounds very scary, for both the lash technician and lash client.

The Australian National Industrial Chemicals Notification and Assessment Scheme who regulate our industry for harmful chemicals has assessed all formaldehyde products. It is concluded that any product with traces of formaldehyde, that has a low percentage of 0.02%, is safe to use.

When making lash glue, cyanoacrylate as the main ingredient. It's important to note that in order to ensure all the other ingredients and chemicals bond well together we need to add formaldehyde.

It is also important to note that even though the amount of formaldehyde in your adhesive is very low, once the lash glue bottle is opened and the glue is exposed to moisture, your glue will start to produce more formaldehyde resulting in a stronger smell. This is why as lash technicians we should be throwing our glue out after 4-6 weeks.

It is noted by the regulations board of Australia that a small quantity of formaldehyde is safe to be in our products. This is why it’s not a legal requirement to be listed on the ingredients. (Please search your glue regulations in your country if you do not reside in Australia).

Using a different brand of glue will unlikely make a difference to a client who has had an allergic reaction previously. This is because all glues have some form of Cyanoacrylate and Formaldehyde and regardless of the strength and amount it will likely still cause a reaction.

Borboleta's Ultimate Lash Glue

Dry time: 1-2 seconds
Viscosity: Low-medium
Flexibility: Medium

Intended for: Experienced lashers, Classic or volume technique
Retention: Up to 5 weeks
Ideal Temperature: 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit
Ideal Humidity: 40-60% RH (Relative humidity)

Borboleta's No.5 Lash Glue

Dry Time: 1-2 seconds
Viscosity: Medium
Flexibility: High

Intended for: Experienced lashers, classic or volume technique
Retention: Up to 5 weeks
Ideal Temperature: 68-72 degrees Fahrenheit
Ideal Humidity Level: 40-60% RH (Relative humidity)

This is a clear example of two amazing glues having the same identical ingredients. Although, the quantities of each product would vary between the glues.

Our Immune System and Histamine

You might have been pampering yourself with glamorous lash extensions for the past ten years then one day you have woken up with puffy, itchy eyes and can't open them. This is an allergic reaction caused by a chemical in your immune system called histamine. Your body uses histamine to help protect your body’s cells against any foreign bodies.

Swelling of the eyes is generally caused by an increase of fluid and white blood cells to the affected area. Swelling is a normal reaction to protect the eyes from any further damage. Think of your immune system like a bodyguard and swelling will stop any more bad guys from getting to you.

Once you have grown intolerant to something, your body with behave more and more dramatic every time it comes in contact with what it is fighting off. I would advise your clients to not attempt to wear lash extensions if they have had or do have an allergic reaction.

You should advise and preform a patch test on all new clients.

If your client has had an allergic reaction please advise them to seek medical attention immediately.

We hope that this blog was helpful and if you have any questions please email us on


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