DOPL Alert: Unlicensed Eyelash and Eyebrow Extension providers pose consumer, health risks

June 9, 2016

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – Francine A. Giani, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Commerce announced today that the Utah Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing (DOPL) is warning the public about possible health risks associated with using unlicensed providers for eyelash and eyebrow extensions that require lash-by-lash application. The demand for the popular cosmetic procedure has exploded over social media, and investigators say so has the appearance of unlicensed providers who claim they are “certified” pitching their services. Between January 2015 and May 2016, DOPL investigators have issued 67 Citations for unlicensed eyelash and eyebrow applications. While some providers have taken classes to become “certified”, this type of cosmetic procedure requires a Utah cosmetology or estheticians license issued by the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing.

“While eyelash and brow extensions are popular trends on Facebook and Instagram, don’t let fashion distract you from using a licensed provider in a clean environment,” cautioned Francine A. Giani, “Young people especially need to watch for red flags such as low prices and unsanitary conditions where these eye-related services are provided.”

Eyelash and brow extensions are applied through single synthetic fibers glued one-by-one to natural eyelashes with formaldehyde-based adhesives or other biologic glues. There are health concerns when an unlicensed person applies the eye products in an unsanitary environment (such as a home) or near airborne dust such as from nail salon services. The adhesives may also cause allergic reactions as can the solvents used to remove the extensions.

“What is concerning about unlicensed eyelash procedures is that many consumers may assume they are harmless and without health risk,” stated Mark Steinagel, Director of the Division of Occupational and Professional Licensing, “Consumers should carefully research who is providing these services with DOPL, make sure they are licensed, have the correct training and check the facility before signing up for these services.”

If you are seeking these cosmetic services, here are some tips to make sure you protect your eyes and your wallet;

Tips for Consumers seeking Eyelash or Brow Extensions

  1. Are they a licensed cosmetologist or esthetician? – Ask them to show you their state issued DOPL license. Certified is not the same as a state issued license for cosmetology or esthetics.
  2. Where are they providing the service? – Are they applying the product in a salon? In a home? How professional is the environment?
  3. How clean is the sanitation? – Where are they applying the product? Is it near nail services that add dust to the air and could impact your eyes? Is it being done in a dedicated esthetician area free from airborne particles?
  4. You get what you pay for – Consumers should carefully research providers of these cosmetic services and understand that a low price may mean additional risks on behalf of the consumer.

To verify a license or file a complaint, log on to the Division of Occupational and Professional
Licensing’s website at or call (801) 530-6626.

Link to official document