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Answering Question on Formaldehyde in Lash Adhesives

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Recently we were asked a question, and the question was this, I watched YouTube and wanted to know, does the lash glue you use have formaldehyde in it? An interesting question and one we honestly didn’t fully consider as we have been focused on the quality, use and health concerns of our nail products.

Formaldehyde does sound like a scary thing and not something I really want going into my body (unless maybe I’m dead, lol!). However, upon careful inspection and extensive research on the matter, this is what we found. Pretty much all top of the line lash extenders like Minky, Xtreme lashes, etc uses ethyl-2 in it. In fact I couldn’t find any of the top line manufactures who didn’t use ethyl-2 in their glue. Ethyl-2 (ECA) is made by the condensation of formaldehyde with ethyl cyanoacetate, see Wikipedia here. Now formaldehyde is dangerous to the body but it must be in certain amounts. The human body and all primates naturally have .1 millimolar (which is similar to parts per million (PPM) without getting into math) naturally (whoops looks like I already have formaldehyde in me). The FDA recommends no more than .2 PPM ECA exposure.

Xtreme Lashes and other top brands have levels of ECA so low they are almost undetectable by FDA standards. To compare, Elmer’s School glue has 30 times the amount of formaldehyde in it, and Gerber Baby Wash has 100 times the amount of formaldehyde as top quality lash glues. Here is a quote from Xtreme Lashes on their website, “Our adhesives are made using the same properties and ingredients found in medical-grade adhesives. Medical-grade adhesives are used by surgeons to close wounds without stitches, a practice called suture-less wound closure. Additionally, FlexFusion Adhesive with Rapid Cure Technology, our #1 selling medical-grade cyanoacrylate adhesive, was created in a US-based FDA registered facility that specializes in medical adhesives”. The article goes on to say the following, “A completely “formaldehyde-free” cyanoacrylate adhesive does not exist. Ultra-low amounts of formaldehyde naturally occur as the adhesive degrades over time. The formaldehyde level in Xtreme Lashes FlexFusion® Adhesive with Rapid Cure Technology® has not been measurable as it is below the lowest detectable level of lab tests (HPLC/UV) that measure formaldehyde.”

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Here is a quote directly form the FDA website, “Formaldehyde is also produced naturally in the human body. It is essential for the production of some basic biological materials, such as certain amino acids. Amino acids are necessary for important life processes as they are the building blocks of proteins in the body. Formaldehyde is also found in the environment”. Furthermore Wikipedia states the following, “Formaldehyde does not accumulate in the environment, because it is broken down within a few hours by sunlight or by bacteria present in soil or water. Humans metabolize formaldehyde quickly, so it does not accumulate, converting it to formic acid in the body.”

We performed a search on YouTube on “formaldehyde in lash glue” and this is what we found. Most of these video are sensational, they are video bloggers who talk about makeup as a topic or other “better glues”. The funny thing is we’ve never heard of these “better” glue products and when I search for product ingredients on these “recommended products” I can’t find them listed out and that is a real problem. My suspicion is companies like VegaLash may be behind some of the fears out there as we’ve heard them saying lash extensions are not good for you but not providing enough evidence behind their reasoning. Do get us wrong, we also like VegaLash and even recommend some of their products but they should avoid scare tactics in marketing.

One video we ran into seemed to be a ligate complaint about a lash glue a woman was using (not one of ours). She was having some type of reaction to the glue she was using in attaching a whole piece lash set her friend had put on her. First, please do not have a friend attach your lashes, it should be a trained licensed cosmetology professional. Second, use quality products. Third, some people do have reactions to various products. 5% of people who use lash glue may experience a reaction. In those cases, don’t use the product again. However I will state people have reactions to everything, some people can’t eat nuts, some shellfish and the list goes on. It is estimated by the Asthma and Allergy Foundation and FARE that 50 million people in the U.S. have some type of food, skin or airborne allergy. Lastly, if you have a lash glue you must absolutely use and you believe it is better than the product we have then by all means bring it in and we will see if we can use it on you. In house we currently use the highest quality Minky Lashes.

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The truth is we have chemicals all around us, the cosmetics we wear, the perfumes, the cleaning agents, even the clothes we wear. The question is what levels are you being exposed to it. Remember to think about the amount of glue actually being used to attach eyelashes, it’s incredibly small, one small bottle the size of your thumb will attach thousands of lashes. We find no issue in top eyelash adhesives at all and am personally more concerned with environmental issues such as aluminum in deodorants or fluoride in hygiene products but that my friend is another story all together…

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