Can Eyelash Glue Hurt Your Eyes? Important Facts

False eyelashes can really make a difference to your look but you should always be aware of the risks involved in wearing fake eyelashes and using eyelash glue. For example, can eyelash glue hurt your eyes?

bottles of eyelash glue in front of a woman lying down.

In short, eyelash glue can hurt your eyes if it contains toxic or noxious ingredients or if you’re prone to sensitivity and allergies. Glue can also be damaging if you don’t follow proper care of either your eyes or your falsies.

What Is Eyelash Glue?

Eyelash glue is the adhesive that can be used to attach false eyelashes to your natural lashes.

Eyelash glues will have different formulas, depending on what brand they are. That said, you can generally expect most eyelash glue to contain the same active ingredient.

This is the chemical bonding agent cyanoacrylate. It is commonly used in the beauty industry thanks to its fast-drying properties and stickiness.

Ideally, you’d try out different eyelash glues in order to see which works best for you. You should always patch test your eyelash glue before use, so as to be sure that you won’t experience any irritation.

The skin around your eyes is very delicate. It is, therefore, more likely to be sensitive, so it’s always worth being more cautious with substances that you’re going to use around the eyes.

Do not use any at-home alternatives for eyelash glue. If you’re concerned about whether or not eyelash glue can hurt your eyes, then you can always seek out alternatives.

Can Eyelash Glue Hurt Your Eyes?

Eyelash glue can hurt your eyes. Eyelash glue tends to contain chemicals, which may cause either abrasions or more severe damage to the cornea. This is the outer protective layer of your eyes and might elicit an allergic reaction.

If eyelash glue gets in your eyes, then it may scratch or damage the cornea. If not properly treated, this may even cause scarring.

Should you have concerns that you have got eyelash glue in your eyes, you should seek immediate medical assistance.

The fumes given off by eyelash glue can also cause effects like itching, burning, and sensitivities to your eyes, too.

This is more likely if you use eyelash glues that contain formaldehyde. This is a noxious chemical that is also used industrially and has been linked to cancer.

You should therefore take care to avoid eyelash glues that contain formaldehyde. Also steer clear of other substances including latex, benzoic acids, lead, parabens, and ammonia.

All of these are known to cause irritation, redness, and swelling in the skin, which may exacerbate inflammation around the eyes, too.

How To Prevent Eyelash Glue From Damaging Your Eyes

woman holding up a fake lash and applying eyelash glue

There are a few ways to mitigate or avoid any potential harm from eyelash glue:

Do your research

Avoid any eyelash glue that contains ingredients like formaldehyde, ammonia, lead, and certain parabens.

These are all chemicals linked to sensitivity, irritation, and soreness of the skin. They may cause serious damage to your eyes if you accidentally get eyelash glue in them.

Only use the necessary glue

Keep the amount of eyelash glue that you use to the minimum amount required. \

You should also be as gentle as possible when applying your lashes, to ensure that you don’t risk smudging any of the glue into your eyes themselves.

It may take practice to find a balance between an amount of eyelash glue that will ensure your lashes stick as they should, and an amount of glue that won’t cause damage.

It’s worth taking the time to establish this so that you don’t risk using too much eyelash glue and causing potential harm.

Don’t share your eyelashes

In the same way that you should avoid sharing your eye make-up, you should also avoid sharing your false eyelashes and eyelash glue with your besties.

It might seem like a harmless activity at the time, but sharing products that you use around your eyes might actually cause some damage in the long run.

Clean your natural lashes and lids

Once you have removed your false eyelashes – taking care to be as gentle as possible – you want to thoroughly cleanse both your natural lashes, your eyelids, and your false eyelashes.

Doing so will preserve the health of your natural lashes, extend the life of your false lashes, and reduce the risk of eye infection from the lash adhesive.

What To Do If You Get Eyelash Glue In Your Eye?

If you experience any of the following symptoms, you may have accidentally gotten eyelash glue in your eyes:

  1. Redness or a rash on the eyelid or skin around the eyes
  2. Inflammation, swelling, and soreness of the eyelid or skin around the eyes
  3. Light sensitivity
  4. Blurred vision
  5. Puss or other discharge weeping from the eyes
  6. A heightened temperature or fever

In this instance, you should consult a physician immediately, so as to receive the proper medical treatment.

In the meantime, you should aim to flush your eyes with cool, clean water for around five to ten minutes.

You can also apply a cool compress to soothe itchy or irritated eyes if it feels like they are inflamed or burning.

If you think that you have accidentally used eyelash glue in place of eye drops, you should seek immediate medical assistance.

If your eyelids become glued together, do not force or pry them open without the guidance of a trained medical professional.

What Are The Risks Of Wearing Fake Eyelashes?

Woman applying eyelash glue to a fake eyelash.

Fake eyelashes are fabulous. They elevate your look, adding drama and elegance to a more dressed-up make-up design, but can also help you to feel more confident overall.

However, there are certain risks to wearing fake eyelashes, such as the following:

Eye infections

We all have natural lashes for a reason. They help to trap the particles of dirt and debris that naturally occurs in our surroundings, ensuring that these don’t enter the eyes.

They also keep sweat and rain out, and can manage airflow into the eyes, ensuring that you’re at less risk of losing essential moisture.

However, when bacteria accumulate on false eyelashes and around the areas where the glue is applied, you are at higher risk of eye infections.

You’re also more likely to experience an eye infection if you forget to clean both your fake lashes and your natural lashes and eyelids after wearing falsies, and if you share either your eyelash glue or lashes with your friends.

This might result in either a stye or conjunctivitis.

Allergic reactions

As detailed above, certain eyelash glues contain nasty chemical compounds including ammonia and formaldehyde.

 As well as being linked to cancer, these substances can cause serious allergic reactions, which may result in stinging, swelling, and soreness around the eyelid and skin.

Damage to natural lashes

Whether or not fake eyelashes cause damage to natural lashes is hotly contested.

However, it is likely that you may sustain some damage to your natural lashes if you consistently wear fake eyelashes.

In the worst instances, you might experience traction alopecia or eyelash loss as a result of constant wear of fake eyelashes and the use of eyelash adhesive.

Lashes will grow back as part of their natural cycle, but this can take up to two months to take place.

Alternatives To Eyelash Glue

Magnetic eyelashes

The beauty industry never sleeps, and magnetic eyelashes are a fantastic alternative to glue-based false eyelashes.

These have small magnets in the fake eyelashes that are designed to attract each other.

These lashes slot in alongside your natural lashes, providing a fuss-free alternative to falsies that rely on eyelash glue.

Eyelash extensions

If you’re such a fan of fake eyelashes that you’d happily wear them every day, it’s probably worth considering investing in extensions.

You’ll see a qualified eyelash technician who can answer any questions that you may have and customize your lashes according to your preference.

They last for a while, and you won’t have to rely on pesky glue in order to achieve lash drama.

If you only want to darken your natural lashes, and aren’t bothered about adding body or length to your natural lashes, then you can always opt for a lash tint instead.

Self-adhesive eyelashes

Yes, self-adhesive eyelashes are much like falsies, in that they rely on glue in order to stick to your eyelids. However, this glue is pre-applied to self-adhesive eyelashes, usually as a tacky strip.

 You just line this up with your natural lash line, and away you go.

There’s no messing around with eyelash adhesive, but you are still exposing your lids and lashes to a sticky formula.

If you’re concerned about whether or not this might cause a reaction, it’s probably worth choosing another alternative to eyelash glue.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Is Eyelash Glue Safe For Eyelids?

Eyelash glue is an adhesive and does contain strong chemicals that give it its stickiness. It is safe to use on your eyelids, but you should aim to use as little as possible, and avoid getting eyelash glue in your eyes.

How Do You Know If You’re Allergic To Eyelash Glue?

If you experience pain, redness, swelling, itchiness, and a burning or painful sensation around your eyes and eyelids, you may be allergic to eyelash glue. You should always conduct a patch test prior to using eyelash adhesive near your eyes.

How Do You Stop Eye Irritation From Lash Glue?

Seek medical attention if you think eyelash glue has caused harm to your eyes. You may be prescribed topical hydrocortisone cream, antihistamines, and eye drops. You can soothe eye and eyelid irritation with regular eye baths and the use of a cool compress.