Lash extensions make it easy for you to wake up with full, long lashes day after day. Although extensions save you from having to layer on mascara to get similar lash-flattering results, they do need a little upkeep to stay looking their fluttery best.
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 4-step guide on how to clean eyelash extensions at home, so you can confidently take care of your pair.
How To Clean Eyelash Extensions At Home (Step by Step)
Here’s a step-by-step guide for maintaining 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 can stick to your extensions and pull them out.
What To Look For In A Cleanser
Check labels to find a cleanser that’s specially formulated for cleaning extensions and removing eye makeup. Other options are oil-free makeup remover, gentle cleansers, lash shampoo, micellar water, or distilled water.
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.
Fun Fact: Did you know that commonly available oils can be used to remove eyelash extensions at home?
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: Clean & Rinse Your Lash Extensions
Remove all makeup from the non-lash parts of your face (like your foundation, lipstick, and blush) before you start cleaning your extensions.
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 tiny circles from the inner to outer corners of your lash line, keeping your pressure light.
- Rinse the cleanser from your eye area and lash brush.
- Repeat the process with your other eye.
Step #3: 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 #4: 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.
How To Clean Lash Extensions At Home FAQs
Wondering how often you should clean your lash extensions or why you should care for them? I’ve got the answers.
How Often Should You Clean Your Lash Extensions At Home?
You should clean lash extensions daily. It is best to include it in your makeup routine. Having a good lash hygiene is the key to maintain eyelash extensions for a long time.
How Long After the Appointment Can You Clean Your Eyelash Extensions?
Getting into the routine of regularly cleaning your lash extensions is a must-do for extension maintenance. However, you need to wait 24 hours after having lash extensions put in before cleaning them. If your stylist cured them during the appointment, you only need to wait 4 hours before getting your lash extensions wet. Curing the lashes will solidify the lash extension bond.
For the first 4 hours after application, keep water away from your extensions; this means no showers, no swimming, and no saunas. Getting your newly applied lashes wet can stop them from adhering to your skin properly, increasing their chance of falling out too soon.
After 48 hours, clean your extensions regularly. Clean them every day if you’re active, have oily skin, or wear eye makeup.
Brush your extensions daily in addition to cleaning them a few times a week.
Why Is It Important To Clean Your Lash Extensions At Home?
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.
Signs you might have an eye infection include red, swollen, itchy eyelids. If you experience these symptoms, see an ophthalmologist.
Keeping your extensions clean will also make them last longer. Taking proper care of your extensions can double their lifespan.
Can You Wear Mascara With Lash Extensions?
I suggest you don’t wear mascara with extensions because some formulations (especially waterproof mascara) can weaken your extensions’ adhesive.
Another reason to skip mascara is to avoid having to wipe your lashes with mascara-removing products that might damage your extensions. Besides, you shouldn’t need to add anything to your luscious lash extensions!
If you must, you can wear mascara with classic lash extensions but avoid using it on volume lashes.
Can I Use Cetaphil to Clean Eyelash Extensions
Yes you can. Cetaphil is a common oil-free makeup remover than can be used to clean eyelash extensions. Baby shampoos are a common alternative.
Can I Wash My Eyelash Extensions After 24 Hours
Yes, waiting 24 hours after your appointment is the general norm. However, most lash stylists will now use a method to cure your eyelash extensions during the appointment. If that’s the case, you can start washing your lashes much sooner, as soon as 4 hours.
How to Clean Eyelash Extensions in Shower
You can clean eyelash extensions in the shower. Avoid strong water pressure aimed directly at your natural eyelashes. To do so, it is best to have your back facing the water and gently trickle water down your face.
After the shower, gently dab the water from your eyelashes or simply let the lashes air dry.
How to Clean Eyelash Extensions at Home With Baby Shampoo
Baby shampoo is a great oil-free tool to have in your arsenal to clean your lashes regularly. It is especially useful for sensitive skin and it is gentle for the lash adhesive.
- Put a drop of baby shampoo into a bowl and keep mixing with an eye brush until you have a nice foamy texture.
- Use your soft brush with the baby shampoo to gently comb through each eyelash extension.
- Once you are finished, use your fingers to slowly rinse of the baby shampoo from your eyelashes. Do not use cotton buds or any lint product!
- Using a spoolie brush, brush off your eyelash extensions.
- Lastly, you can allow them to air-dry or, if you have one, use an eyelash dryer machine to make things easier and quicker.
Cleaning Lash Extensions at Home – Key Takeaways
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, baby shampoo, or an oil-free makeup remover.
Before letting you go, I just wanted to share a beautiful set I have done 😉 Isn’t she gorgeous?
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