Beauty salons are reopening — hooray! But there’s still a pandemic going on — boo. Whether you’re trying to stay home as much as possible or simply can’t on your stylist’s calendar, you’re likely waiting longer and longer between beauty treatments. You can address your roots with spray-on color, your bangs with a headband, but what about those eyelash extensions? It’s probably time to learn the intricacies of cleaning eyelash extensions at home. And that’s no easy task, particularly if your lash artist is using top-quality glue (like Loreta’s eyelash adhesives).
Ready to get started? Here are the top FAQs on caring for and cleaning eyelash extensions at home.
Can you get eyelash extensions wet?
It’s a common misconception that you can’t get your lash extensions wet. First, it is true that you shouldn’t get false strip lashes wet. But your lash extensions are a different thing. The real rule is that you need to avoid water on those lashes only for the first 24 hours. That day of dryness allows your adhesive to dry properly, so your lashes remain strong. After that, you can get them wet, just like natural lashes. So, go ahead and wash your face and take a shower. Heck, you could even go swimming.
Why should you clean your lash extensions?
Keeping your lash extensions clean prolongs their life, saves you time and money, but — most importantly — protects your eye health. Poor lash hygiene can lead to blepharitis, lash mites, or oil buildup. Blepharitis can happen when you don’t properly wash away dead skin cells and they get into your eye. You’ll see this develop as inflammation, irritation, and redness. Those symptoms will worsen without treatment.
Lash mites aren’t bad in themselves, and they’re normally cleaned away by regular washing. If you don’t wash your lash extensions daily, they can multiply and cause irritation to the eye and eyelid. That itchy feeling that results can have you touching and rubbing your eyes — which ultimately causes you lashes to fall out.
Finally, regular cleaning of your lash extensions prevents the buildup of facial oils. Excessive oil buildup is another reason why your extensions might fall out prematurely.
Cleaning eyelash extensions at home
If you have eyelash extensions, add this four-step routine to your daily beauty regimen for longer-lasting, more beautiful lashes.
1. Remove makeup
Use an oil-free makeup remover to clean all beauty products from your skin. A gentle foam cleanser that you can use on your skin, lashes, and eyelids is your best choice. Avoid using cotton balls or pads, as these can leave cotton fibers on your lashes.
2. Wash with cold water
Use cold water to reduce any risk of melting your lashes or glue. Using a lash-extension shampoo and a lash brush, work the shampoo into a lather in your hands. Apply the lather to your lashes in upward motions and repeat until they feel clean. Don’t forget to lather both sides and your lower lashes, too — since your lower lashes come in contact with your extensions when you blink and close your eyes.
3. Rinse and dry
Rinse the shampoo off with cold water until all of the lather has gone. Gently pat or dab them dry with a soft kitchen towel that won’t leave lint behind. Avoid rubbing them dry. You can also try the cold setting on a hairdryer to expedite this.
The drying step is important. If you leave your lashes to dry naturally, the water droplets could weigh down your extensions and cause them to lose their shape.
4. Brush those lashes
To keep your lashes curled and perfectly styles, brush them gently upward using a clean, dry eyelash wand. You might need to twirl your hand while brushing the lashes — that helps separate each one.
6 more ways to make your extensions last longer
- Avoid oil-based products, including foundation, eyeliner, and face wash. Oil breaks down eyelash glue and causes your extensions to fall out quicker.
- Eyeliner can be a terrible culprit, since the application and removel stresses your lash line and leads to breakages. Your extensions look fabulous on their own, so skip the liner!
- Sleep on your back if you can, so your face isn’t resting on your pillow where your eyelashes will rub.
- Don’t brush lashes too frequently. Resist the urge to brush lash extensions throughout the day to keep them separate.
- Ask for lighter lashes. Heavier, fuller lashes don’t last as long as lighter ones.
- Don’t use waterproof mascara — actually don’t use mascara, period. Your extensions have enough volume and length that you don’t need mascara. If you must wear it, do not reach for a waterproof formula. Waterproof mascara is harder to remove. You may end up rubbing and tugging, which puts stress on your extensions.
Cleaning eyelash extensions properly is your best strategy for prolonging their life. You’ll also keep you eyes healthier and save money, by way of less frequent fill appointments.