Many of my clients worry that cleaning their eyelash extensions will make them fall out. But the opposite is true.
Neglecting your eye hygiene can damage your extensions and will lead to poor retention. One thing you need to do to keep your lash extensions in top condition is to keep them clean.
I’ll share a 5-step guide on how to clean eyelash extensions at home, so you can confidently take care of your pair.
I’ll also cover the best products to use when you want to clean your lashes.
Let’s dive in!
How To Clean Eyelash Extensions At Home (Step by Step)
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to clean your lash extensions. This tutorial will help you maintain your eyelash extensions’ quality from the moment they’re applied until your next session with your lash tech.
You can follow the instructions below and watch this quick and to-the-point video tutorial from Shanney Thich.
Step #1: Select The Right Tools & Cleanser
A lash brush, lash cleanser, and spoolie brush are three essentials for cleaning lash extensions at home.
Your fingers and usual cleanser won’t do. Using only your fingers makes it tricky to remove all the oil, dirt, dead skin, and eye makeup that build up on your natural lashes, and your usual cleanser could loosen extension fibers.
Here’s what to look for in a lash brush, cleanser, and spoolie brush.
What To Look For In A Lash Brush
Your lash brush should have lint-free, super-soft hair to gently brush away oil and dirt without catching on your extensions.
Please stay away from cotton pads or balls, as these have lint that can stick to your extensions, leave residue and pull them out.
What To Look For In A Cleanser
I recommend using a cleanser that’s specially formulated for cleaning extensions. Other options such as an oil-free makeup remover, lash shampoo or micellar water can get the job done but are no match when compared to a dedicated lash extension foam cleanser.
Don’t use cleansers that contain glycerin or oil. These ingredients can weaken your extension’s adhesive, increasing the risk that individual lash fibers will fall out too soon.
What To Look For In A Spoolie Brush
The third must-have for your extension-care kit is a spoolie brush – this is essentially a clean mascara wand.
There’s no need to scrub down your current mascara wand. You can buy squeaky clean spoolie brushes. You’ll even find two-in-one spoolie brushes with softer bristles on one end and harder bristles on the other.
Step #2: Remove All Makeup (Optional)
This step is only required if you have makeup in the first place. You want to remove all makeup from the non-lash parts of your face (like your foundation, lipstick, and blush) before you start cleaning your extensions.
To do that, use any oil-free makeup remover and gently rub your face in circular motions. Then, gently scoop water with your hands and wet your face to get rid of all that foam.
Then, remove your eye-makeup (mascara, eyeliner & eyeshadow. I’ve written a complete guide on how to wash your face with extensions here.
Step #3: Cleanse & Rinse Your Lash Extensions
You now have a clean makeup-free face to work with.
Ready? Right, this is what you need to do next:
- You’ll be concentrating on one eye at a time, so decide which eye you’ll start with and splash cool water onto its extensions.
- Put a little cleanser onto the tip of your lash brush, close your eyes tightly (or keep one eye open if you can wink), and gently work the cleanser through the length of your lashes. Move the brush in an up-and-down motion (never sideways!) from the inner to outer corners of your lash line, keeping your pressure light.
- Rinse the cleanser from your eye area and the lash brush.
- Repeat the process with your other eye.
Step #4: Dry Your Lash Extensions
There’s an art to properly drying extensions.
First, gently pat your extensions with a towel made from fabric that won’t snag or leave fibers behind on your lashes. Microfiber towels work well.
Your patting should absorb most of the water. You can then leave your extensions to air-dry.
However, letting your extensions dry on their own can create a slightly spiky effect. Another option is to dry them with a mini fan. You can buy nifty handheld fans specifically designed for drying eyelash extensions.
Get your extensions fully dry before moving on to the next step (brushing), as wet lashes are weaker and more likely to break.
Step #5: Brush Your Lash Extensions
Brushing is the final step of your extension-care routine. You’ll need your spoolie brush (or clean mascara brush) for this step.
Brush your lashes gently from just beyond your lash line downwards, right to the tips of the extensions. Use an up-and-down motion.
Then fan the extensions out. You want to avoid brushing too close to your lash line to stop you from loosening the bond between the extensions and your skin by mistake.
There are several benefits to brushing your extensions. You separate the lashes, make lashes all face the same way (to stop fibers from poking into your eyes), and remove any leftover specs of dust, dirt, and makeup.
What Soap Can I Use to Wash My Eyelash Extensions?
The safest soaps to use to clean eyelash extensions are:
- A specifically designed lash extension cleanser
- Baby shampoo
- An oil-free & alcohol-free cleanser
- Micellar water
Why should you opt for these options over regular soap?
Simply because you don’t want to strip away the delicate oils that naturally protect your lashes. Additionally, the glue used to adhere extensions to your natural lashes is very delicate. The wrong ingredients can degrade de bond over time. This will weaken the extensions and make them fall out faster.
Having said that, nothing beats an eyelash extension cleanser when it comes to lash retention. Don’t get me wrong, the other options are O.K. but I don’t recommend them anymore when there’s such a convenient and cheap alternative that’s just better. Make sure to read my selection of the best eyelash extension cleansers here.
Why You Should Clean Your Lash Extensions
Oil, dirt, dust, skin cells, dead skin, and makeup particles (if you wear makeup) land on your lashes throughout the day. It’s a natural process that happens whether or not you wear lash extensions.
If you don’t wash away these impurities, they build up at the base of your lashes. Over time this can cause eye sensitivities and infections, clog your lash follicles, and create an environment that attracts harmful lash mites that can make your natural lashes fall out.
So what’s the deal with extensions?
Well, you accumulate the impurities at a higher rate. A daily cleanse is mandatory to avoid any problems.
Keeping your extensions clean will also make them last longer. Taking proper care of your extensions can double their lifespan.
How often should you clean your lash extensions?
You should clean lash extensions daily. It is best to include it in your makeup routine. Having good lash hygiene is the key to maintaining eyelash extensions for a long time.
How to clean lash extensions without lash shampoo?
Add a few drops of eyelash extension cleanser onto a lash brush and gently rub the cleanser into your upper lashes using up-and-down motions.
Can I use Cetaphil to clean eyelash extensions?
Yes, you can. Cetaphil is a common oil-free makeup remover that can be used to clean eyelash extensions. Baby shampoos are a common alternative. A specifically formulated lash extension cleanser remains your best option for long-lasting extensions.
How to clean eyelash extensions with baby shampoo?
1. Put a drop of baby shampoo into a bowl and keep mixing with an eye brush until you have a nice foamy texture.
2. Use your soft brush with the baby shampoo to gently comb through each eyelash extension.
3. Once you are finished, use your fingers to slowly rinse off the baby shampoo from your eyelashes. Do not use cotton buds or any lint product!
4. Using a spoolie brush, brush off your eyelash extensions.
5. Lastly, you can allow them to air-dry or, if you have one, use an eyelash dryer machine to make things easier and quicker.
The Bottom Line
When you know the steps to take, it’s simple to clean your eyelash extensions at home. After a week or two, the process should come as naturally as brushing your teeth!
Clean your extensions every day or so and brush them daily, and you’ll not only make them look good for longer, but you’ll also keep your eyes healthy.
Make sure to use appropriate products that are suitable to clean lash extensions. I generally recommend a good lash cleanser. If you don’t have one on hand, you can get away with baby shampoo or an oil-free makeup remover for short periods of time.
Before letting you go, I just wanted to share a beautiful set I have done 😉 Isn’t she gorgeous?
– Asako 🙂
Additional Readings on DivineLashes.ca: If you want to up your lash maintenance game, make sure to read my articles on how to wash your face with lash extensions, how to take care of your extensions, and how to make your lashes last longer.