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How to Clean Eyelash Extensions in Under 5 Minutes

Eyelash extensions are a longer solution and replacement for having to put on falsies every day. However, lash extensions also have a larger price tag than false lashes and need to be cared for.

With eye makeup, washing your face, and the day-to-day wear your face experiences, continue reading to learn how to clean eyelash extensions at home.

How to Clean Eyelash Extensions

Example of attaching eyelashes

Before jumping into the cleaning process, remember to let your lash extensions cure for at least 48 hours before cleaning. If you don’t, you might disrupt the extensions and loosen or accidentally remove them.

If you are wearing makeup, the first step is to remove any eye makeup gently. You will want to use a gentle cleanser and tissues to remove makeup from your eyes, as to avoid potentially damaging your extensions.

Next, wet your lash extensions with clean water. Avoid harsh cleansers, as any oil or alcohol-based cleansers, can ruin the glue holding your lashes together.

Then, take a small amount of lash shampoo and use a lash brush to apply the shampoo. Carefully rinse your lash extensions with more water and pat your lashes with a lint-free towel.

You can use a clean mascara wand to sweep the lashes upward to maintain a nice curl.

When You Should Clean Lash Extensions

The frequency that you have to clean your eyelash extensions depends on a few factors, including your skin type and lifestyle.

If you have oily skin or use makeup every day, you will want to clean your lash extensions more frequently.

Adjusting eyelash extensions

Also, if you live a more active life, such as going to the gym or swimming every day, you will want to clean your lashes more regularly as well.

If you do not fit either criterion, then you should be okay to clean your eyelash extensions every three to four days.

Why You Should Clean Your Lash Extensions

Maintaining your lash extensions by cleaning them helps to make them last longer. Cleaning your lashes can also help to prevent eye issues. If you wear eye makeup, cleaning your lash extensions is critical.

Keep in mind that you won’t see dirt on your lash extensions either. The lash line is prone to trap dirt easily, as well as dead skin and makeup residue. Unlike natural lashes, lash extensions aren’t designed to keep debris out of the eyes.

What Happens If You Don’t Clean Your Lashes?

Our natural lash line is meant to protect our eyes from dirt and other debris.

So, extensions are attached to our natural lashes, which can disrupt this process because of the tiny gap between the artificial extensions and our eyelids.

If you do not clean your lashes, this debris can cause a number of issues with the eyes. This can cause itchiness, inflammation, soreness, and even blepharitis, which is a type of infection that causes inflammation.

Dirty eyelashes can lead to other health issues

Bacteria can easily get trapped and begin to spread if you don’t clean your lashes as well. Additional bacteria growth can result in Demodex, which is a type of parasitic mite.

Symptoms for these conditions can appear as common allergic reactions and shouldn’t be neglected.

Some symptoms of blepharitis to look for include:

  • White flakes
  • Burning sensation
  • Redness
  • Dryness of the eyes
  • Watery eyes

How to Care for Eyelash Extensions

Avoid Using Eyeliner or Mascara

Wearing lash extensions means you will be a bit more limited in terms of what eye makeup you should and shouldn’t wear.

Wearing mascara especially can make cleaning lash extensions difficult.

Mascara and eyeliner can encourage bacteria growth as well

If you prefer to wear mascara, however, at least avoid waterproof mascara. Waterproof mascara is difficult to remove with lash extensions because you shouldn’t use oil-based makeup removers on your extensions.

Use an Oil-free Makeup Remover

When you go to clean eyelash extensions, avoid makeup removers with glycerin or any type of oil in them. Using cleansers with oils in them will break down the lash glue faster.

You should also consider switching to oil-free products entirely, including your shampoo and conditioner, eye creams, facial sprays, and so on.

Any products that contain oils can break down the lash glue, even if they are not directly applied to the eyelashes.

You will also want to avoid cleansers with alcohol in them. Alcohol-based cleansers can lead to dryness and irritate your extensions.

Don’t Use Cotton Pads on Your Eyes

Only use your hands and a mascara wand to clean lash extensions, as they are gentler on both artificial and natural lash lines. The cotton fibers can also latch onto the lash line and snag or remove your lash extensions.

Makeup remover wipes often aren’t a great idea either, as most are made with some form of cotton material.

It’s recommended to use tissues to remove makeup as a replacement for makeup remover tools.

Use Silk Pillowcases

Silk pillowcases protect lashes, hair and skin

Silk pillowcases aren’t only great for your hair, but also for your lash extensions! Similar to how cotton pads can tug at your eyelash extensions, normal cotton and polyester pillowcases can do the same thing.

Replacing them with a set of silk or satin pillowcases prevents this, and is actually a better option for your skin and hair as well!

Apply a Protective Coating

After cleaning your lashes, it’s highly recommended to use a conditioning serum. This is especially helpful whether you have extensions or not, but also for when you’re between lash extension appointments.

Similar to when you clean your lashes, apply a protective coating serum with a clean brush with even, smooth movements to ensure full coverage.

Avoid Streaming Water on Your Eyelash Extensions

While you do need to clean eyelash extensions, avoid drenching your face underneath the showerhead. The pressure of the streaming water can ruin your lashes and cause them to fall off sooner.

What Can I Use to Clean Lash Extensions?

While it may seem impossible to find a great lash cleaner due to the “no oil or alcohol-based products” rule, do not fret! There are other options that work just as well.

Foaming Cleanser

Foaming cleansers are often water-based and gentle enough to not disrupt your extensions, but experts recommend watering down your foaming cleanser before use.

Mineral-based Products

Mineral cleansers are a great alternative to oil-based cleansers because they work just as well without being as harsh. Almost every makeup brand has released a mineral-based cleanser at one time or another, so you can find one for your skin easily!

Eyelash Extension Cleanser

Wash your extensions carefully and without harsh cleansers

Also known as lash shampoos, one of your best options is to invest in eyelash extension cleaning products. They are the best option because the top formulas avoid oils, parabens, sulfates, and a multitude of other chemicals that shouldn’t touch your extensions.

These also often come in foam cleanser forms and are specifically designed to avoid creating inflammation and irritation.

What Not to Do

Do Not Use Cleansing Waters or Baby Shampoo

Cleansing waters, such as micellar water, can break down the glue holding your eyelash extensions in place. Baby shampoos, while being gentle on the skin, are not great options for lash extensions either.

Baby shampoo often contains oils as well, resulting in the same issue as cleansing waters.

Do Not Use Cleaning Sponges or Cotton Pads

Sponges and clothes can be too harsh on lash extensions and lash adhesive

When cleaning your eyelash extensions, avoid using cleaning tools such as these. Cleaning brushes and cotton pads have the tendency to rip off lash extensions from the lash line.

Do Not Brush Your Lashes When Wet

Similar to the hair on the rest of your body, lashes are susceptible when wet. It’s best to wait for your lashes to dry, or gently dab a tissue on them to absorb water before brushing.

How Long Do Eyelash Extensions Last?

With the proper care and regular cleaning, your extensions can last anywhere between six and eight weeks. However, this depends on what type of lashes you pay for and your natural lash shedding cycle.

The three types of extensions you can choose from include mink, silk, and synthetic. However, regardless of which type you choose, how frequently your lashes shed is what truly depends on how long your extensions will last.

Key Takeaways

Eyelash extensions can be an expensive beauty investment, so of course, you will want to take care of them. To give a quick snapshot of what you should use to clean your eyelash extensions:

  • Mineral-based cleansers
  • Lash cleanser
  • Spoolie or clean mascara brush
  • Tissues
  • Lash serum

With this short list of supplies, you can ensure a long life for your extensions and even your bare lashes.

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