Understanding Cyanoacrylate Adhesives - TheLashChickPro

Understanding Cyanoacrylate Adhesives

Cyanoacrylate adhesives are so temperamental, and it is very important to understand why they behave the way the do so that your application goes smoothly.
Know your environment and your product for proper application!


Moisture & Humidity

Cyanoacrylate adhesives LOVE moisture! Cyanoacrylate adhesives work best in 30-50% humidity. Running a humidifier or facial steamer during lash application will increase your humidity levels within your environment. If your humidity is too high, your adhesive will polymerize too quickly and get gooey, stringy and thick. A dehumidifier may be necessary in high humidity environments. 

Too high moisture can lead to shock polymerization. Shock polmerization can occur when moisture is too high and the outside of the cyanoacrylate adhesive cures before the inside cures which can lead to irritation as the fumes/vapors from the adhesive slowly escape when moisture is present.  

For example: When a client is taking a shower and they experience a burning sensation or when they cry, this is most likely caused from the adhesive not curing properly before you sent them home or shock polymerization has occurred.

Know your environment and monitor it regularly for best results when using a cyanoacrylate adhesive.

 TIP: Keep a humidity/temp reader in the room you are working to make sure you are aware of your humidity and temperature levels.


Moisture helps to polymerize (harden) the adhesive. Polymerization is the curing of the acrylates. Once your adhesive is polymerized/hardened from the inside out, not just dry on the outside, there will be less (if any) irritation; no vapors/fumes and happier clients. Misting over your clients' eyes periodically, and once your lash application is complete, will help to cure/polymerize the adhesive. Do not over saturate! You do not want to see beads of moisture on your clients' lashes, you want to hold the mister about 8-10 inches from the lash line, swaying back and forth over the lashes for about 10 seconds. This allows the moisture to encourage polymerization from the inside out, NOT the inside in (shock polymerization), and properly polymerizes/cures the adhesive. Misting with a nano mister also feels amazing! We encourage our clients to purchase a nano mister to use at home or while traveling for a refreshing pick me up to hydrate the skin.

We love our NEW Mist Ch'ic Nano Mister





 Leave Blooming to the Flowers! Using too much adhesive while applying extensions can lead to blooming, or a white residue; which is also the result of an improper bond. Not only is this unattractive, it is unsafe, uncomfortable and a no, no. Slowly dip your extension into the adhesive and pull upwards slowly, this will coat the base of the extension with just the right amount of adhesive needed to create a perfect bond. (You should not see adhesive- but, it will be there!)

DO NOT pull upwards quickly, creating a bead of adhesive at the base of extension, this is too much adhesive. DO NOT swipe off the backside of your extension onto your eye pad or tape, this will remove adhesive from the base of the extension and you will not be able to create a proper bond, leading to lifting of the base. Plus, swiping adhesive on the eye protection can cause irritation to your client as it sits on the pad emitting fumes/vapors.

Little is more with cyanoacrylate adhesives!! Know your product!!!

Blooming of cyanoacrylate adhesives

(picture of too much adhesive which led to blooming and was also glued to the skin- not our client)


Since polymerization occurs with moisture, do not refrigerate your adhesive. Doing so can disrupt the molecules and create polymerization within the bottle of adhesive. 


Life is Short


Cyanoacrylate adhesives have a very short lifespan of about 6 weeks once opened and about 6 months unopened. Once opened and there is an introduction of air and moisture, they can slowly develop low amounts of formaldehyde. Plus, the chemical properties lose their bonding strength after about 6 weeks. This being said, it is very important to store your adhesive at room temperature and keep the lid tightly closed after each use. 

It is important to date your adhesive when you receive it and when you open it.

Date 6 weeks from opening and reorder at 4 weeks to avoid expiration of your product leading to irritation of your clients' eyes. Just because your bottle is not empty does not mean you should keep using it, doing so is unsafe and will eventually cause irritation to both you and your client. A chemical reaction between H20, air and the acrylates form over time and low amounts of formaldehyde can develop within your adhesive, even if the product is manufactured formaldehyde/preservative free. This can lead to excessive fumes/vapors and irritation which can cause tearing eyes, burning and sensitivity to the mucous membranes of the nose. 






1 comment

i was getting lash extensions for almost a year before i began having an allergic reaction. Trust me when i say the reactions get WORSE each time. Severely swollen eye lids and under eyes…I had to make an emergency eye doctor appointment in fear of my eyes being swollen shut. They prescribed neomycin polymyxn B sulfates ointment which actually almost immediately made the swelling go down. I tried the sensitive glue which is pointless…same base ingredient and they last half the time of regular glue. The day someone figures out an alternative for me I will be the happiest bit$% in the WORLD!

Chloe Hardy

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