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The Best Lash Extension Glue for Sensitive Eyes: The Myth of Low Fume Lash Glue

‘What's the best lash extension glue for sensitive eyes?’ If we had a dollar for every time we've been asked that, we'd be blogging live from a beach in the Bahamas – trust us! The fact of the matter is that, while we can give you some advice on which of our glues has the least cyanoacrylate, we can't tell you with our hands on our hearts that low cyanoacrylate will be the end of your clients' sensitivity issues. Here's why. 

What Causes Glue Fumes?

Cyanoacrylate is the main ingredient in any lash extension glue you buy – it's basically what makes the glue stick, so we can all agree that it serves a purpose when it comes to lash extension retention.

Each lash extension glue will have a different amount of cyanoacrylate – the more cyanoacrylate, the less stabilizer, and the faster your lash glue will dry. This being the case, you might think that for clients who are sensitive, simply using a more gradually drying glue will help. Does it, though?

a collection of lash extension supplies

Lash Extension Glue With Low Fumes

Less cyanoacrylate = fewer issues, right? Not really.

Less cyanoacrylate might mean that the fumes are less irritating in the first instance, but because it's the cyanoacrylate that reacts with the moisture in the air, when we have less cyanoacrylate, we have a glue that dries more gradually.

This is a win if you're not used to placing lashes super fast, but it does mean that those fumes are hanging around for longer, so you're not really avoiding issues where sensitivity is concerned.

London Lash Satin Bond Glue

Lash Extension Glue with High Fumes

If less cyanoacrylate = longer lasting fumes, then more cyanoacrylate = short fume times, so problem solved, right? Well, not exactly.

Yes, a higher concentration of cyanoacrylate will mean that your glue is drying more quickly so the fumes aren't hanging around for as long, but it also means that they're more concentrated in the first instance.

It's a bit like running 5 100m sprints vs a 500m race – you'll still be tired when you're done. 


So, what can you do? Well, as with most things, prevention is better than cure. Assess the specific type(s) of sensitivity that you or your client are experiencing from lash extension glue and go from there.

eyelash extension glue being put into an airtight container

Respiratory Sensitivity

The likelihood is that this won't really be too much of an issue for your clients as it'll be your airways that are closer to the glue fumes. The good news is that this is super easy to deal with.

First and foremost, wear a mask while you're working to prevent you from breathing in the fumes anywhere near as much.Ensure that your workspace is well ventilated. If you don’t have windows that open, check out the Glamcor Flow – this will keep you and your client safer from those glue fumes, and won’t affect your glue’s drying time in the same way that having a window open can (oh, hello humidity and temperature fluctuations!).

Lastly, use a jade stone instead of a glue ring. Glue rings are undeniably convenient, but they bring the glue closer to your airways, they're less economically and environmentally friendly, and they keep your glue at a more constant temperature, which means that it will work better.

mini cooli lash fan

Red Eyes After Eyelash Extensions

Nope, red eyes after eyelash extensions is not supposed to happen, not part-and-parcel of having lashes, and not a necessary evil. It's easily done, but it's so unbelievably avoidable.

Let's take a step back though, and think about why eyes would go red in the first place – understanding a problem is the first step to solving it, after all. If your client's eyes are frequently red after a treatment it is—most often—due to a chemical burn, which is a result of the glue fumes getting into the eyes.

It's not due to them being sensitive to the glue, it can and will happen to anyone if the fumes are allowed to interact with the mucus membranes in the eye. It's a defence mechanism, basically. 

SIDE NOTE: we said 'most often' in there because sometimes redness in the eyes is caused by the eyepatch or the tape being used to hold down the bottom lashes rubs against the eye causing bruising on the eye. This can also lead to the eye fluttering, which in turn can lead to chemical burns, but that aside, it's uncomfortable and lasts for longer than a chemical burn. Always make sure your eyepatches and tape aren't too close to the waterline, and adjust them as necessary. 

For some really great tips (if we do say so ourselves) on how to avoid chemical burns, take a look at this blog post.

Allergic Reaction to Lash Extension Glue

This is probably something Lash Techs fear the most but honestly, they're pretty rare. What they're not though, is avoidable. Allergic reactions to lash extension glue are the body building up a resistance to the cyanoacrylate. It's a cumulative allergy which can build up over time, which is why long-time clients are more likely to experience a reaction than someone having lash extensions for the first time.

Unfortunately, regardless of how fumey or not your glue is, once someone is allergic they will always be allergic to the lash glue, and each subsequent reaction will be worse than the last. Using a glue with lower fumes, even one labelled as 'sensitive' might make the reaction less intense on the first use, but it'll build back up. Ultimately, if a client has an allergy to the glue, don't do lashes for them.


    In short, while you could consider a glue with less cyanoacrylate to be 'sensitive', owing to many different factors, it could be that you're either having the same impact as you would with any other glue, but could also be prolonging your clients' misery. To help lock in fumes after a lash set, apply a little dab of Superbonder lash sealant along the glue bonds to cure the glue. The faster the glue cures, the better for your client, and to cure it with Superbonder lash sealant means that you're not having to use a glue that's too fast for you to be able to achieve great lash retention.

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