Now, I know what you're thinking. "What the heck is glycol?" Well, glycols are a type of "moisture-retainer" or "moisture-attractor" commonly found in personal care products. They help keep our skin and hair hydrated by retaining moisture. Sounds harmless enough, right? Wrong. I'm actually surprised the lash industry hadn't heard about this sooner! It turns out that glycols, like propylene glycol and butylene glycol, are frequently utilized in beauty products as a means to retain moisture - think for just a minute why eyeliners and bottom mascara are frowned upon by your lash artist. Many say not to use them, but rarely explain why. Here are a few reasons to consider:
Breakdown of adhesive:
The glycols can weaken the adhesive bond between the eyelash extension and the natural lash, causing the extensions to de-bond sooner than they should. Maybe you've said to yourself: "I may need to see my lash artist sooner" or "I may need to schedule more time" . "why aren't they holding up?"
Glycols can also dry out the lashes, making them brittle and more prone to breakage. Translates to: "hmm, my lash artist mentioned my natural lashes looked a little weaker". If this is the case you may need to strengthen your natural lashes with a good growth serum and take a break from your eyeliner and bottom mascara - especially if they contain glycol.
Products containing glycols can leave behind a residue that accumulates on the lashes and may be difficult to remove, leading to clumping and other issues. Removals of grown out extensions can at times be tricky especially if there is build up around the bonding. Have you ever been a little tense when it comes to removals and thought: "ouch - I felt that". Could be products with glycol are wrapping around the bonding site making removals harder than they should be.
In some cases, glycols can cause irritation to the sensitive skin around the eyes, leading to redness, itching, and swelling. Perhaps you and your lash artist may have thought it was the glue when in actuality it is the glycol.
So, now what?
Well, first things first, check the ingredient list on your beauty products. If you see any glycols, consider using them sparingly and or accept the fact that due to your own choices you may have to see your lash stylist sooner than your usual 2-3 week appointment.
Here are several common beauty products that are used around or near the eyes that contain glycols:
Moisturizers: Facial moisturizers often contain glycols, such as propylene glycol or butylene glycol, to help retain moisture in the skin.
Eye creams: Similarly, eye creams may also contain glycols to help hydrate the delicate skin around the eyes.
Serums: Some facial serums, such as those containing vitamin C, may contain glycols to improve the absorption of the active ingredients.
Cleansers: Facial cleansers, including those specifically marketed for eye makeup removal, may contain glycols to help dissolve and remove makeup.
Mascara: Some mascaras may contain glycols to help keep the product from drying out and to improve the consistency of the formula.
Eyeliners: Similarly, eyeliners may contain glycols to improve the glide of the product and to prevent it from drying out.
It's important to note that not all beauty products contain glycols, and there are plenty of alternatives available that are free from these potentially harmful ingredients. When in doubt, always read the ingredient list before purchasing a product to ensure it's safe for use around the eyes and with eyelash extensions.