UV Eyelash Extensions Are a New Beauty Alternative, but Are They Safe?

The lash industry seems to finally be getting a long-awaited update, as a new type of treatment is taking over: UV and LED Lash Extensions, but how safe are they?

An alternative to traditional lash extensions, which rely on glue to stick an extension or fan to the natural lash, the method utilizes either an ultraviolet light (UV) or light-emitting diode (LED) to ‘cure’ glue, bonding the lashes together similar to gel nail systems.

While the new method seems like a dream come true for both lash lovers and their technician, promising quicker application time, less chance of lifting and even providing a potentially safer alternative for those with sensitive skin, the lack of research and knowledge around long-term exposure has some people questioning the treatments’ safety.

To find out more about the treatment from an expert, Newsweek spoke to veteran lash tech and founder of Boudoir Lashes, Asma Docrat, who offers LED lash services from her studio in London, England.

UV Lash Extension Application Eyelashes
Lash tech Asma Docrat applying lash extensions to a client’s natural lashes using LED light. UV and LED cured lash extensions are the latest treatment trend taking over the eyelash industry.


Docrat’s decision to offer the treatment stemmed from two reasons, as she shared: “I use an LED device myself because I needed something kinder to my health and my clients’ health.

“Also, it’s great for longevity during the summer months as retention with traditional eyelash adhesive can be poor due to humidity affecting how it cures. In summer, this can shock cure adhesive causing the lashes to shed prematurely.”

Whilst she asserts that a patch test is mandatory for every new client, Docrat believes the treatment serves as a safer bet for those with sensitive skin. She explained: “Due to the quick curing nature, the irritating fumes from traditional adhesive dissipate quicker, and the product doesn’t linger on the surrounding area. Because of this, people with sensitive skin could be good candidates for LED cured lashes.”

Lash designer and educator Rebekah Piccolo, based in Vancouver, Canada, isn’t so quick to jump on the treatment trend, as she explained, “I’ve used a diverse range of products, but I’ve never used UV [or LED] lash products and I personally am a bit turned off by the idea.

“My initial reaction when the treatments launched was confusion. The ingredients in both the regular and UV lash adhesives are quite similar. They both contain a few harmful ingredients but if not consumed or used in large dosages they are claimed to be ‘OK’ for human use.”

LED Lash Extension Before and After
Before and after of a full set of LED lash extensions by Asma Docrat for her client, Safaa Alban Lloyd. The technique uses LED lighting to cure the glue used to attach the extension to the…


When being cured, both adhesives release formaldehyde gases as part of the process, but Piccolo reassured: “You’re not around the adhesive long enough for it to affect your health.

“There’s not too much of a difference when it comes to the adhesives, but where my concern is, is with the actual light.”

Piccolo has done her due diligence, as she shared, “I have done as much research as I can on the topic, but I don’t think there’s enough data to give us results. They’ve not been around for too long, and I just don’t really trust the lights on the eye domain.”

Her biggest concern comes around potential damage to the eye caused by the lights, with overexposure putting clients at risk of irritation, as well as long term impacts.

“If the UV light or lamp isn’t used properly … for example not putting down protective pads on their client or if the light is at an improper angle, it could be pretty dangerous … I always say why fix something if it’s not broken?

“Our lash adhesives in our industry are so advanced and they’re working perfectly fine, if you find a tech that practices proper application and invests in a high-quality adhesive, you’re going to be fine.”

She continued, “I know there’s a lot of measures that you can take, and that it claims to be safe, but personally I’m not going to be using it on my clients in my salon until I’ve seen long term studies done.”

Above all, the two can agree that its important to do your research, as Docrat reminded us: “Not all devices are made the same so do your research and ensure that you see a trusted lash tech.”

Piccolo echoed her message, as she said: “I just advise people to go at their own risk and, if they do decide to try it, one time shouldn’t cause any harm. Just make sure that you go to a technician that is well qualified and has a good amount of experience with using the light.”