When the Covid-19 hit the globe, unfortunately, lash salons around the world were forced to close the salons to follow the health and safety procedures. Fast forward the darkest 3 months of the beauty service industry, as many countries and states start to ease their social distancing rules, many salons have decided to re-open their doors.
Last few weeks, we have received this question from all over the world: Can I use the lash extension glue I opened before the lockdown?
This brought us a good topic to discuss: how long does lash glue and other lash supplies last?
Take time to read this post and go through your lash supply cabinet. This is a great time to update your old inventory with the freshest supplies so you can give yourself and your lash clients a fresh restart.
How long does eyelash glue last?
I know it can be confusing when different lash extension supply brands say different expiry dates! But at BL, as a manufacturer of lash glues for the last 15+ years, we’ve set our standard expiration date for lash extension glue to be as follows:
3-6 months (unopened)
1 month (once opened)
The reason we can only give this wide span of ‘3-6 months’ is that the shelf-life of your lash glue massively depends on three factors:
1) When the glue is manufactured
2) When the glue is opened for the first time
3) How it's stored
Deciding factors for shelf-life of lash extension adhesive
Factor 1. When the glue is manufactured
The manufacture date is arguably one of the most important indicators of the freshness of the lash adhesive.
And here is why:
You know Cyanoacrylate (the main ingredient of lash glue) reacts to even the tiny amount of humidity in the air and it starts to get dry? That’s what happens to any lash extension glue from the moment of its production.
When a lash glue is manufactured and bottled, they are inevitably exposed to air and start deteriorating(=hardening=drying). This deterioration of the lash glue is ongoing ‘in-progress’ stage from the second the lash glue is bottled because you can not stop air from entering into the bottle.
You might think, why don’t you put lash glue in an air-tight container to make it last longer then? Well, we tried! But what we found out is that lash extension glue has a tendency to release a certain type of gas once formulated- when this gas gets built up and expands in an air-tight bottle, it ends up the bottle getting exploded. That’s why any lash extension glue must be kept in an air-flowing bottle.
This happens in an airtight lash glue container:
Currently, the best material available for a lash glue bottle is one called PE- a breathable plastic that allows the minimum amount of airflow into the lash glue bottle. It prevents the bottle from getting exploded.
However, because PE still allows air to enter into the bottle, the adhesive is always in the ‘hardening-in-progress’ stage and keeps on deteriorating even if it has never been opened or used.
From our experience, if the glue was kept in the optimal glue-care condition, 6 months is the maximum period of time the unopened adhesive shows its best quality.
If the storage condition isn’t ideal, the expiration date for unopened glue can get as short as 3 months. Also, take note that the sensitive glues have a tendency to expire faster than normal glues.
That’s why knowing the manufacture date of your lash glue is important and purchasing “fresh out of batch” glue is crucial to the quality of your glue.
Most of the lash brands do not directly indicate the production or expiration date in the product packaging. It is usually marked with a batch code or a lot number.
What is a lot number?
The lot number allows manufacturers or suppliers to identify the batch in which the product was produced. Manufacturers keep the track of the date and place of manufacture of the batch with its lot number. If you want to know the manufacture date of your lash glue, you should contact the supplier with this number.
Where can I find this number?
The lot number or batch code is usually printed directly on the bottom of the container or somewhere near it; you can also try to find it on the product packaging.
Example of a lot number on BL Glue:
What do I do if my newly purchased glue works funny?
The best way is to contact the supplier with the lot number to find out the date and batch of the manufacture of your glue. Sometimes if a supplier has a slow-selling cycle, it means the glue may have been sitting in the warehouse for a very long time and already lost its best quality.
At BL, we manufacture more than 15 types of eyelash extension adhesives designed for different types of climates, skill levels, techniques, and client types. We only produce the minimum amount of glue per batch to ensure the freshness and the best quality of lash extension glue get delivered to you.
Our tip: Do not over-buy!
As tempting as they are, buy one get one free discount for lash glue might not be suitable for you. As we mentioned earlier, lash extension glue can expire within 3-6 months even if it has never been opened. Once opened, you have 1 month to use the glue.
Typically with a 10ml lash glue, you can do about 200 classic sets. With a 5ml bottle, 100 sets.
If you don’t do this many sets per month, buy 3ml size lash glue with 120 glue drops like BL Ultra Plus Glue 3g instead which you can do about 60 sets within a month of ‘after-opened-expiration-clock’.
Factor 2. When a product is opened for the first time
Once a product is opened and exposed to air, it will start to lose its quality much rapidly. Your lash glue will expire more or less in 1 month: The sensitive adhesive can expire faster than regular lash extension glues.
It is very important to keep track of when you first open your product. Use a sharpie to write down the opened date on the back of the package.
Also, keep the appropriate temperature and humidity of your room and pay attention to the storage methods to prolong the expiration date.
Tips: how to use the glue properly during the lash extension application
- When dispensing a glue drop, do not make direct contact to the surface of jade stone or glue ring
- Burp the adhesive bottle
- Wipe the glue nozzle with a piece of paper immediately after use.
- ALWAYS close the lid tightly instead
Read more: How to properly care for your lash glue
Factor 3. How it’s stored
No matter what brand lash glue you’re using, keeping it a consistent humidity and temperature is important. To prolong the shelf-life of your lash glue, follow this tip.
Tips: How to store eyelash extension adhesives correctly
- Write down the purchase date, open date, and name of the glue.
- Keep out of direct sunlight and keep it in a cool and darkroom.
- Please keep silica gel inside the bag with glues.
- Unless your room temperature is below -50°C or above 60°C, we don't recommend storing the glue in a refrigerator. If you must keep the glue in a fridge, take the glue out for at least 2-3 hours before use.
- You may keep the glue in a refrigerator if the glue is unopened and if your refrigerator has a constant temperature. (Otherwise, it gets frozen-defrost and affects the quality)
- Do not keep your glue in a freezer.
When to Replace Your Lash Glue
You should thoroughly observe the state of the product to evaluate whether it's still good to use. Here are some signs that you should change out your glue bottle.
- The glue is dried from inside of the bottle and doesn’t come out
- The glue is very stringy
Generally speaking, when the glue shows the change of consistency, performance, or separation of ingredients, it is time for you to open a new lash adhesive.
The shelf-life of other lash extension supplies
Eyelash extensions are made of PBT, the material itself doesn't expire, but over time, the lash curls can lose its shape. In our warehouse, we keep our eyelash extensions up to 6 months only; to provide the most precise lash curls.
To prevent the curls from relaxing, keep your lashes in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or humidity.
Under-eye gel pads
Gel patches can last 2 years unopened, once opened, use immediately.
Lash Primer contains alcohol, which makes it to last up to 3 years unopened, use within 12 months once opened.
Eyelash Extension Glue Remover
Cream type: Unopened 2 years, once opened 6 months.
Liquid or Gel type: Unopened 1 year, once opened 6 months.
Lash Extension Sealer
Lash extension sealer can last 2 years unopened. Once opened 12 months
Makeup Remover & Lash Cleanser
Makeup Remover can last 2 years unopened, 12 months once opened.
Lash Shampoo can last 3 years unopened, 12 months once opened.
Lash Growth Serums
Lash growth serum can last 3 years unopened, once opened 6~12 months.
Mascara, and Eyeliner
Mascara and Eyeliner can last 1-year unopened, only 6 months once opened.
If you are regularly using your lash extension friendly mascara, you should replace it every six months. The risk of bacterial contamination low in mascara is low due to very little water in it. However, you should still be careful with any product applied around the eye area. The issue is that dirt, oil, and bacteria can easily expand around your eyes and find it's way onto your mascara wand.
A liquid liner lasts around four to six months as it is another product susceptible to bacteria contamination. Throw it out if you've had an eye infection, notice any changes to texture, color, smell or once it dries out. Pencil eyeliners can last up to two years and should be sharpened regularly and keep the cap closed tightly.
Reasons NOT TO USE Expired Lash Supplies
Using an expired product a day or two after the expiration date is unlikely to make much difference. But the further you get from the expiration date, the more likely you are to harm your skin.
Expired cosmetic products pose Two key risks:
Dangerous skin reactions: Ingredients change and break down over time, altering the way your cleanser works. Some ingredients become weaker, whereas others become stronger, creating a chemically unbalanced product.
You may end up with painful skin reactions, particularly if you have sensitive skin. And if you depend on your product to treat common complexion concerns—such as acne or flaky patches—these might get worse as your product loses potency.
Dangerous bacteria and fungi: Over time, your cosmetic bottles become a breeding ground for microbes. If your cosmetic is expired, you increase your risk of a number of skin infections, particularly staph.
Keep track of your lash supply
Our lash aftercare products have a Period After Opening (PAO) symbol - as shown in the image below- which serves as a guideline for when you should throw out a product after you've opened it.
PAO symbol looks like this:
The symbol combines the letter 'M,' which stands for month, and a number before the letter 'M', which stands for the number of months, i.e., '6M' means that once you've opened a product, you should stop using this product after six months.
This information is often on the box, so once you've thrown it, you won't remember the expiry date. Even if it is on the container itself, once you've started using it, you likely won't remember exactly when you first opened it.
The solution is to use a Sharpie to indicate the date opened on the bottom or back of the product container.
Have any questions? Feel free to contact us!
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