Patch Tests and their importance

When we hear the word patch test some of us are guilty of thinking what a hassle they are.

Who can blame you though?

Having to go out of your way to visit the salon for a blob of tint to be put behind the back of your ear or a couple of extensions applied to your own lashes.

Unfortunately even if you know you aren’t allergic or sensitive to anything a patch test is still required 24-48 hours before some treatments. 

From a beauty therapist point of view, the patch test is something that simply just needs to be done, client safety comes first.

The human body is an amazing thing and is changing all of the time, without us even knowing.

So many things can affect us, stress, new medication, even the use of a new product can sometimes change us. Therefore, even if you’ve had a treatment before if it was a certain amount of time ago or your life has changed in the mean time, you need a new patch test.

There are 2 ways in which therapists train to do a patch test for eyelash extensions.

Firstly, is a test behind the ear, which doesn’t give the truest and most accurate test.

In the glue is a product called ‘cyanoacrylate’ this is what makes the extension stick to the natural eyelash.

In faster drying glues, mainly used in Volume lashes, there is a much higher percentage of cyanoacrylate, generally this is what you would be allergic to. Some glues are suitable for sensitive skins, but it will still contain some cyanoacrylate, just in a much smaller dosage.

We aim in the application of a full set, as best as we can, to not allow the glue to touch the skin during the treatment, due to it being an irritant. This is why I feel that doing a patch test behind the ear will almost certainly cause irritation to the skin, showing as a possible reaction, even though it probably isn’t.

Secondly, I always like to see the lashes before a full set, do a thorough consultation, find out what style you would like and what you are having the lashes for etc.

I will always ask you to arrive with no eye make up on so that I can attach a couple of small eyelash extensions to the outer lashes on each of your eyes. This will give you exposure to the eyelashes and the glue.

However, when you have a full set applied you may still have irritation or a reaction even if the patch test showed up as negative.

This is because a full set give you much more exposure to the glue. However, application of a few lash extensions to your natural lashes gives you the truest and most accurate test. Often a full set can feel different if you’ve never had extensions before, so take some time to get used to them.

Below shows a photo of a lady who had a severe allergic reaction to a product. Please note that I did not take this photo.

If you ever felt you were having any troubles after a patch test or with the full set you have had applied, please let me know immediately and I will try to get them off for you as quickly as possible, if safe to do so.

During the full set or infill I will not talk, this encourages you to relax and for your eye to remain as still as possible.

This prevents two things from happening.

It will minimise your eyes from moving, watering and flickering, meaning that we minimise the adhesive fumes from getting to the eyeball itself. If any fumes get to the eyeball you may suffer from redness, irritation and a sore eyeball, this is also known as a ‘chemical burn’ and can be quite uncomfortable.

It will also minimise the eye pads from moving. The eye pads are there to hold down your lower lashes so that the top lashes don’t get stuck to them. If you talk during your treatment, this can move them into your eye causing discomfort to your eyeball or move them off of the lower lashes sticking your top and bottom lashes together. 

If you have any questions about patch testing or would like a patch test done, please don’t hesitate to contact me, I will be happy to help!