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Many people want full, dramatic eyelashes, so it is not surprising that a recent trend in the beauty industry is the application of eyelash extensions. Eyelash extensions are usually done by aestheticians or technicians in a spa or a salon. These extensions are made from either synthetic fiber such as nylon, or natural fibers such as silk or mink, and the eyelash extension strands are secured to the base of a person’s own lashes with an adhesive. The extensions will fall out with the person’s natural lashes and therefore usually last between 1-2 months. While these lashes can be applied and worn safely, there are currently no regulations in Canada regarding who can apply eyelash extensions or the products that are used. Some of the complications during application can include injury from sharp tweezers coming into contact with the eye area, or an allergic reaction or chemical burn from the adhesive coming into contact with the eyelid skin or the surface of the eye. Most adhesives are based on cyanoacrylate compounds which can contain small amounts of toxic formaldehyde.
False lashes can also damage the oil glands along our eyelid margins which can reduce the volume of tears and lead to dry eye issues. The false eyelashes also add weight to the natural lashes, and can cause temporary or permanent madarosis (loss of lashes).
When choosing where to go to have your eyelashes applied, we recommend reviewing the technician’s certification and prior experience and ensuring they are performing the procedure in a sanitary and reputable environment with clean hands and instruments. It is also recommended to check the ingredients in the adhesive before use to limit your exposure to toxic ingredients.
Cleaning your eyelash extensions are extremely important to maintain the health of your natural lashes and eyelids. Use a gentle, oil-free lash cleanser along the lash line with a soft brush. Regularly brush your lashes to remove any debris collected in the lashes and to prevent tangling.
Remember that eyelash extensions require maintenance, and its crucial to follow the aftercare instructions provided by your technician. If you ever experience any discomfort or have concerns about your extensions, consult with an optometrist for guidance. Proper care can help you enjoy your beautiful lash extensions without risking damage to your natural lashes or eye health