As your top eyelash experts in Las Vegas and Henderson, providing eyelash extensions to help you achieve a dramatic, makeup or natural look, we at Cherry Lash receive a lot of common questions. Perhaps the single most common, especially from those who have not had lash extensions installed in the past: How do lashes stick to my eyes?
The important terms to know here are adhesives and glue, interchangeable ways of describing a few different products that help bind lash extensions to your natural eyelashes. The base chemical used in the majority of these products is known as cyanoacrylate – let’s break down some important information on this element, plus some alternative options available and when you should consider them.
When it comes to the adhesive used most often, the eyelash extension world owes a debt of gratitude to what was actually an accidental scientific discovery. Back in 1951, two chemists were attempting to do an experiment involving this element related to light refraction, but quickly realized they had stumbled onto a new form of adhesive.
Today, cyanoacrylate remains the most common product used for eyelash adhesive needs. It does not dry, but rather cures in the presence of moisture – as it’s exposed to moisture, its molecules slow down and form polymer chains, which are extremely strong and tough to break. Cyanoacrylate can be mixed with several different additives to change its thickness, holding power, and the fumes that are released from it.
A few important areas to consider in terms of safety around cyanoacrylate, which has a few misconceptions attached to it:
- Formaldehyde: While it’s true that formaldehyde is used to produce cyanoacrylate, there’s a misconception regarding its continued presence. Formaldehyde gas is present during manufacturing, but dissipates completely before the process is finished and cannot be found, even in trace amounts, in the final product.
- Medical grade: Cyanoacrylate is considered a medical grade product, a loose categorization. It’s made under very strict manufacturing conditions, and in a few specific types.
- Safety: While formaldehyde is not a risk like some people think it is, cyanoacrylate may still release certain mildly harmful fumes or chemicals. Speak to your trained lash artist about a proper ventilation system and ensuring you’re safe here.
There are alternatives to cyanoacrylate – here they are, plus some situations where you might use them:
- Sensitive adhesive: Some people might have a reaction to certain adhesive formats. In these cases, sensitive versions that use lower cyanoacrylate fumes can be used to prevent irritation for people with dry or sensitive eyes. These are not for people with a true allergy to cyanoacrylate, though – your lash artist can suggest alternatives here if so.
- Clear adhesives: A cyanoacrylate base with some differing additional properties, excluding carbon black.
- Latex-free adhesives: Some cyanoacrylate adhesives will have latex, but there are options that do not if you’re allergic to it.