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Female Eye with Extreme Long False Eyelashes. Eyelash Extensions. Makeup, Cosmetics, Beauty. Close up, Macro

Are Eyelash Extensions the Right Choice for You? Explore Your Options for Full, Thick, Luxurious Lashes

Luscious eyelashes can make you feel feminine, flirty, and fun. They accentuate and frame your eyes, making your eyes stand out, and accentuating your natural beauty. For many of us, seeking the confidence-boost of thick, long, dark eyelashes makes us turn to eyelash extensions. 

Unfortunately, eyelash extensions can have some medical, financial, and maintenance drawbacks. Let’s explore why eyelash extensions might not be the best choice for your gorgeous lashes — and why you might want to seek an effective, safe alternative treatment to help you grow fuller, longer, and more luxurious natural lashes instead.

The Damaging Effects of Eyelash Extensions

While there’s no denying that fake lashes — whether you choose mink, silk, or synthetic fibres — can create a bold and beautiful statement, it’s important to keep in mind that this routine procedure has some risks and drawbacks:

1. Allergic Reactions

Unfortunately, allergic reactions are a fairly common side effect of eyelash extensions. This is because extensions require an adhesive, which often contains ingredients that can cause allergic reactions. In fact, agencies like the FDA have issued warnings about eyelash extension adhesives —counselling consumers to carefully check ingredients of eyelash glue before using.

According to Consumer Reports, eyelash extension glue often contains formaldehyde, a known carcinogen. Here are some other potentially-harmful ingredients to be aware of that may show up in your eyelash extension adhesive:

  • Latex
  • Cellulose gum
  • Benzoic acid
  • Cyanoacrylates

Because of the irritation caused by the ingredients in the glue, ophthalmologists have reported disturbing trend of extension-users with irritated, red, and itchy eyes.

2. Time & Money

Let’s face it: the cost of continually seeking eyelash extension treatments definitely adds up over time. For one thing, eyelash extensions have to be created custom for each individual’s eye shape. This means that the price for just one session can easily vary from around $120 to $300. Because eyelash extensions have to be reapplied every six to eight weeks (though some opt for every three to four weeks to keep lashes looking lush), this means a regular cost commitment that adds up considerably over the course of a year.

But it’s not just the money — it’s also the time. With eyelash extensions, a technician painstakingly applies a fake lash to each of your natural lashes. This procedure is by nature very time-intensive, and the application of a full set of lashes can take up to three hours. With everything else you have going on in your life — not to mention other beauty treatments like haircuts and manicures — the time spent getting eyelash extensions can quickly become a burden.

3. Infections & Medical Conditions

In addition to allergic reactions, eye and vision experts warn that eyelash extensions can cause infections and medical conditions. These infections can be the result of unsanitary or unhygienic conditions at the salon, or can be the result of injuries experienced during application. In some cases, dirt, debris, or bacteria can get trapped underneath the adhesive, creating a recipe for an infection.

Here’s what to look out for:

  • Styes. Any build-up of debris and oil under the adhesive can block oil glands — leading to painful and alarming-looking styes.
  • Chemical conjunctivitis. Exposure to some of the chemicals in eyelash adhesive can irritate the eyes to the extent that you develop chemical conjunctivitis — also known as pink eye.
  • Blephartis. Known as an inflammation of the eyelid, blephartis causes red, crusty, blistered, and irritated skin — and is often attributed to eyelash extensions.
  • Dry eye. When dirt, oil, or debris are trapped by adhesives — or when your eye becomes inflamed for any reason — it’s possible to develop dry eye, which leads to further discomfort.

4. Damage to Natural Eyelashes

Many people who use eyelash extensions for expended periods of time report that their natural eyelashes are sparser, shorter, and stubbier when they eventually stop seeking extensions. Though this isn’t the case for everyone, damage to natural eyelashes can really hurt your self-confidence and keep you dependent on expensive treatments. How do extensions cause damage?

  • Infections. As discussed, infections that result from extensions can cause damage to the hair follicle resulting in loss of natural hair.
  • Clumping. In the hands of an inexperienced technician, multiple eyelashes can become glued together — which results in clumping and breakage.
  • Irritation & rubbing. If you have an allergic reaction to eyelash adhesive, the itching and rubbing can contribute to eyelashes breaking off at alarming rates.
  • Traction alopecia. Because each fake lash is glued to an individual real lash, this can exert tension on the natural lash. Over time, this can lead to something called traction alopecia, where the natural lash is lost due to repeated tension, friction, and traction.

5. High Maintenance

Eyelash extensions are a fairly high-maintenance procedure that requires you to significantly alter your existing beauty routine. For one, during the first 24 hours after having extensions applied, you will be told not to get your eyelashes wet as this will weaken the adhesive. From then on, you have to be especially careful with the products you use on your face and around your eyes.

Generally, mascara is not recommended because it can cause breakage during removal. You will have to use face cleansers and eyeliners that are specifically designed for eyelash extensions so that you don’t impact the adhesive. In addition, you have to comb your eyelashes daily to prevent tangling. Eyelash extensions can even affect your sleep — experts recommend that people with eyelash extensions sleep on their back and sides as opposed to the stomach to prevent breakage. 

The Alternative: Longer, Fuller, More Luscious Natural Eyelashes

Clearly, eyelash extensions may not be the best choice for those who want natural, low-maintenance, and long-lasting luscious eyelashes. For those who seek a more natural way to enhance their eyelashes, Latisse® may be the perfect solution. Latisse® is a prescription medication that helps create longer, thicker, and darker eyelashes.

With a prescription from a doctor, you can start the easy process of using Latisse® at home: simply apply eye-drops at the base of the eyelashes and at the eyelid margin of your eyes. Over time, this safe and effective medication will lead to the longer, more luscious, and natural-looking eyelashes that you’re looking for. 

Latisse® Treatments at Ageless Living Cold Lake

At Ageless Living, we offer superior aesthetic services that help men and women boost their confidence and embrace their most beautiful selves. By offering Latisse® eyelash treatments, we hope to help you achieve the long, bold, and gorgeous eyelashes you seek — without all the time, maintenance, and side effects of eyelash extensions. Want to learn more? Please contact us today.

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Megan Nicholls

Megan graduated with honours in 2011 from Georgian College, Ontario, as a practical nurse. She has completed extensive training and certification in the fields of dermatology and aesthetic medicine. Megan specializes in BOTOX® and filler injections, medical-grade skincare, assessment and treatment of varicose and spider veins, and the application of light and energy-based technologies, to name a few. She is qualified as a Certified Management Professional, and a Certified Aesthetic Consultant and is currently undertaking a Master's Degree in Business Administration. Megan serves as our Director of Operations, where she leads our team with the vision of providing unrivalled products and services while utilizing the concepts of the "Improving Your Business Through a Culture of Health" program from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health.