I always tell my clients that the best best way to ensure long-lasting eyelash extensions is by cleaning them daily. But then, I almost always get asked:
“What are the best eyelash extension cleansers? Do you have any recommendations?”
So I decided it’s about time a write a guide on which products are safe for your lashes (and which ones you should absolutely avoid).
In a rush? Here are my top picks:
This oil-free and non-irritating formula makes it one of the best lash extension shampoos on the market. I regularly give it to my clients in their complimentary aftercare kit.
Founded by a fellow lash artist, this oil-free, pH-balanced, and gentle formula helps extend the life of your eyelash extensions by removing dirt and makeup from your lash line.
The Lash Collection
This premium all-in-one formulation is ideal for lash extension wearers who have sensitivities. Also founded by a lash tech, the formulation is free of oils, soap, and parabens.
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What Are the Best Cleansers for Eyelash Extensions?
1. Best Overall: Stacy Lash Shampoo
The Stacy Lash cleanser has been my go-to recommendation for quite some time now. It’s a water-based cleanser that will remove all oils and dirt from your lashes without weakening the lash glue.
The ingredients are:
- Distilled Water
- Decyl Glucoside
- Sodium Cocoyl Glutamate
- Sodium Lauryl Glucose Carboxylate
- Lauryl Glucoside
- Citric Acid
- Sodium Gluconate
- Sodium Benzoate
Now, makes this product so great for eyelash extensions? All the things it doesn’t have!
It doesn’t have any oils, sulfate, color paraben, or fragrance.
Also, what’s quite nice and rarely offered is a very generous size. You can choose between the 50 ml size or the huge gallon. If you’re an occasional lash extension wearer, the gallon might be overkill. But if you wear lashes all year long like most of my regular clients, then the gallon is very economical.
Finally, I find the pump bottle the most convenient way to dispense a lash cleanser. And the little lash brush that comes with it is the cherry on the cake.
2. Best Professional: Prolong Lash Shampoo
I love the Prolong Lash cleanser because it was created by Tini, a lash artist with salons based in Australia. You could say I’m a little biased, but when a lash tech releases a product, her reputation is at stake. And after reading the ingredient list and giving this one a spin, I just love it.
The ingredients are:
- Rosa Centifolia Flower Water (Rose)
- Aqua (Water)
- Lauryl Betaine
- Acrylate Methacrylate Copolymer / Beheneth-25
- Phenethylated Alcohol
- Sodium PCA
- Vitis Vinifera Seed Extract (Grape)
As you can see, it’s oil-free, paraben-free, glycerol-free, sulfate-free, and glycerine-free.
Yes, it’s a little more expensive than the Stacy Lash cleanser, but it’s also double the size (100 ml vs 50 ml).
3. Best for Sensitive Eyes: The Lash Collection All-in-One Cleansing Foam
For my clients with sensitivities, I’ve been recommending the All-in-One cleansing foam from The Lash Collection for years now. It’s a very gentle oil/soap/fragrance/paraben-free formula that doesn’t sting or burn the eyes.
I actually buy several products from this company for my lash salons and I know Sarah Pennington (the founder) is adamant to bring only the highest quality products to market.
Also, what’s unique about this cleanser is that you can also use it to clean your entire face (thus the name all-in-one!). So if you’re usually rushed with time, this is a great addition to your routine.
What Is an Eyelash Extension Cleanser & Why You Need One?
An eyelash extension cleanser (also called lash shampoo) is specifically designed to cleanse your lashes without weakening or damaging the adhesive or the extensions themselves.
But what’s so special about them? Can’t I use any regular soap or cleanser?
Not quite. Unfortunately, several ingredients contained in popular cleansers are harmful to your eyelash extensions and regular usage would lead directly to poor retention land. Certain ingredients such as oils would break the adhesive bond and make your extensions fall out rather quickly.
How to Choose a Lash Extension Cleanser
The most important things to look for before using a product are:
- Ingredients: This is your number one concern. The list is quite extensive, but in general, you want to avoid anything that has oils, fragrances, or glycine.
- Dispense method: I prefer to work with a foaming cleanser over a gel or cream one. I find the foam ones ideal because you can easily spread them on a brush and then apply them to the lash line. The lash brush is the perfect tool to use here.
- Sting / Buring: The last thing I want to feel is a strong stinging or burning sensation when I’m peacefully cleansing my lashes. I’ve tried numerous brands and you would be surprised how terrible some of them are.
- Price: It goes without saying that price is a consideration especially if you are on top of your lash game with a daily cleanse. In my experience, they range from $10 to $30 for a 50 ml bottle.
- Size: The smallest size I’ve purchased (50 ml) doesn’t last all that long. Try to go for 100 ml or more.
Which Cleansers to Avoid With Lash Extensions?
Here are a couple of examples of popular cleansers you should avoid if you wear lash extensions. Don’t get me wrong, they are not bad products, just not with extensions.
- Palmer’s Skin Therapy
- Neutrogena Cleansing Oil
- Johnson’s baby oil
- Clinique makeup remover
- The Ordinary Mini Squalane Cleanser
I could go on forever honestly. That just shows how picky you have to be to maintain your fluffy friends!
How often should I use a lash extension cleanser?
Cleanse your eyelashes once per day. Including this important step in your bedtime routine is ideal for a makeup-free night of sleep.
Can I use a regular face cleanser with lash extensions?
No. They are usually not as gentle since they are designed to remove all face makeup. You need a gentle formula for the eyes only.
Do I need to use a lash extension brush?
You don’t necessarily need to use a lash brush – your fingers could do the trick. Having said that, a good lash brush ensures a more even distribution and a more gentle application.
Can I use baby shampoo on my lash line?
No, baby shampoo is not made to be used on the eyelids and can leave residue on your extensions.
The Bottom Line
For my clients who want the best all-around cleanser for the price, I like the Stacy Lash Shampoo. I actually give out a small bottle for free of this cleanser for every client who books a first-time full set. The bulk option (the 1-gallon size) makes this very convenient for me.
For clients who don’t mind spending a little more for premium products, both the Prolong Lash Shampoo and The Lash Collection All-in-One Cleansing Foam have offered exceptional retention. I trust these two brands founded by fellow lash artists.
– Asako 🙂