Allergies? - Let's treat them

Allergies? - Let's treat them

Lash allergies get worse with more exposure to the adhesive.  This can make identifying an allergy a little bit tricky, because the first reaction may be mild and mirror an irritation.  On the other hand, it can also be a gentle lead to identifying an allergy and putting a stop to lash application long before the allergy gets out of hand.  There are many times, however, that an allergy goes unnoticed and develops into something extreme.*

These situations can be pretty miserable and clients will obviously call their lash artist for immediate help! What do you do?!

First and foremost, stay calm.  Gaining a little bit of knowledge and understanding allergies will help you best care for your clients and keep them comfortable.


  1. Have them take a Benadryl to help alleviate some of the swelling and itchiness.
  2. Remove the client’s lashes as soon as possible.
  3. In the meantime, tell your client to use a saline or sterilized foam wash (specifically designed for lashes and eyelids).  Both of these will help cool the eyelids and make them feel more comfortable.
  4. Tell them to go to a doctor if swelling and symptoms persist after 48 hours of removing lashes. The doctor will ask to see the MSDS for the adhesive to know what ingredients are in the adhesive.  It’s best practice to either have this on hand or know what ingredients are in the adhesive. Remember, typically clients are allergic to cyanoacrylate in the adhesive - tell the doctor that.

After allergies have developed, lash artists should discontinue applying lashes on those clients.  The most important thing you can do as a lash artist is to stay educated.  This will help you remain calm and best know how to help your clients. Let me know if you have any other questions.


Megan (Borboleta Chemist)

  • DYK?
  • Jennifer Champion


Check this out! Megan the chemist from Borboleta explains hydroquinone:

Just like you don’t want m&m’s not to melt in your hand but in your mouth, our glue dries on your lashes not in your bottle.  This is due to a chemical called hydroquinone and this is how it works. Hydroquinone, pronounced hydro-queen-own or hydro-quin-own is an organic compound found in many facial and skin care products.  It is also found in three of Borby’s adhesives.  So what does it do?  In short, it helps the adhesive last longer by controlling the reaction in the bottle.  Cyanoacrylate is the main ingredient in lash adhesive, and it undergoes a chain reaction called polymerization when exposed to moisture (you can read more about that here).  Moisture is necessary for the adhesive to cure and explains why we use the nano mister.  Although moisture is necessary for the adhesive to “dry,” if it gets inside the adhesive bottle the adhesive will polymerize (or cure) inside the bottle.  This could ruin a whole bottle.  We try to prevent that from happening, but with moisture in the air it’s almost impossible to prevent completely.  This is where hydroquinone comes into play.  Hydroquinone is able to quench or stop the reaction inside the bottle.

The curing process creates free radicals. These are very reactive and way too small to see with your eyes or even a microscope. Free radicals are like that one high energy child running around touching everything in their path.  They cannot be stopped until they have touched everything in the house.  In this case free radicals cause the chain reaction (or polymerization) to keep going until there is no more cyanoacrylate left.  You don’t want this to happen inside the bottle of adhesive or you will have a bottle full of sticky, dry adhesive.  Hydroquinone is called a free radical scavenger or antioxidant (antioxidants are also in blueberries, but that’s not the kind I’m talking about, but it works the same way).  Antioxidants are like the perfect toy your child needs to relax and stop the chaos.  

Hydroquinone finds the free radicals that will cure the adhesive and stops the polymerization or curing process.  This helps control the reaction in the bottle and make it so the adhesive can last longer in the container.  We use it in small amounts.  Although it is allowed by the United States in products at concentrations up to 4% by weight, our adhesives contain much less. Our adhesives contain less than or equal to 0.5% by weight.  Our Maximum adhesive doesn't actually contain any hydroquinone, because it is for our most sensitive clients.

Let me know if you have any questions about hydroquinone, the antioxidant.  We want all of your questions to be answered, so you can be the most informed lash artist on the market.  Now I’m off to go eat some of those yummy antioxidant blueberries I was talking about.



Source: Mcintire, J. M., Jr, T. H. W., and Co, E. K. Patent US3527841 - Alpha-cyanoacrylate adhesive compositions. Google Books.



Just like flexibility is an important part of fitness, flexibility is a vital part of lash extensions. Nobody wants to feel like they have bricks hanging off their eyelids. It’s important to perfect your technique to achieve flexibility, something taught in our lash classes; but technique alone is not enough.  The proper adhesive or blend of adhesives is absolutely key to achieve the perfect lash application.  

Clients want natural movement and flexibility in their lashes to achieve a sort of effortless look.  Our adhesives contain a little ingredient called poly(methyl methacrylate) or PMMA for short.  PMMA provides elasticity to the adhesive.  Lash adhesives need to have just the right amount of PMMA, so lashes maintain great retention while holding natural flexibility.  

Lash artists can probably tell which adhesives contain more PMMA than others just based on how flexible the lashes are.  While all of our lashes have great flexibility, the Ultimate Adhesive is known for its flexibility.  As always though, lashing is an art and each experience is so unique.  Lash artists can find what works best for them and their clients, which many times means mixing two adhesives together for a new combination. 

How do ya’ll achieve maximum flexibility on your clients?  


Megan (Borboleta Chemist)

Want the low down on your glue?

Want the low down on your glue?

Straight from the chemist at Borboleta:


Similar to this, everything is simply better at Borboleta when adhesives are shaken, not stirred.  Adhesives are made with an exact recipe to make them work just right.  As adhesives sit, some of their ingredients will separate, much like my chex mix example.  Chemicals separate due to different densities; the heavier chemicals will sit at the bottom of the bottle, while the lighter ones float to the top.    

Before lashing it’s important to shake the adhesive for two minutes to mix the chemicals and give you the perfect ratio of ingredients in each drop.  


It’s hard to evenly mix the adhesive if it’s not at room temperature.  Chemicals straight out of the freezer or fridge are more solidified and resist movement.  You can warm the adhesive for a few seconds in your hand, but it’s best to take the adhesive out of the fridge or freezer with ample time for it to reach room temperature before use.  Do NOT heat the adhesive to get it to room temperature.


It’s best practice to shake the adhesive right before use and to only dispense one drop of adhesive on your jade stone at a time.  This will help you not waste adhesive, since you can’t (shouldn’t) put the adhesive back in the bottle. It will also help the adhesive stay fresh since exposure to moisture in the air starts the curing process.  Depending on how long you are lashing, it’s a good idea to give the bottle a quick shake before each additional drop.  


Megan (Borby Chemist)