Lash lifts should add something flattering to your lash line (hello, fluttery lashes!), not an angry red bump. But anytime you or someone else touches your eye area, you potentially increase your risk of developing a stye.
When you have a lash lift, you let someone’s hands get onto your lids and lashes. So, can a lash lift cause a stye?
Lash lifts done under unhygienic conditions can introduce bacteria to the eye area and potentially cause a stye. However, a lash lift alone does not increase the risk of developing a stye. Lash lifts do not cause styes when high hygiene standards are maintained.
I get why you might worry that you’ll leave the salon with something ugly developing under your beautiful lashes. But breathe easy. You have minimal risk of getting a stye after having a lash lift at a professional salon that takes cleanliness seriously.
I’ll give you the scoop on how lash lifts and styes are linked and how to avoid getting this eye condition during and after your procedure.
Can a Lash Lift Give You a Stye?
Okay, I’ll start by clearing this up: lash lifts don’t cause styes. Bacteria cause styes.1
When bacteria get close to your eyes, they can get trapped in a lash follicle (you can think of this as a lash-making factory on your eyelid) or an oil gland (an oil-making factory). Here, the bacteria cause an infection, triggering that zit-like bump and other stye symptoms such as:
- A swollen, tender, or red eyelid
- Light sensitivity
- A gritty feeling in the eye
- Crusting around the edge of the eyelid
Want to know more about styes? Get the facts in under 2 minutes.
You can get a stye whenever bacteria get to your eyelid, whether you’ve had a lash lift or not.
So, you’re wondering what lash lifts have to do with styes?
Here’s the connection: if you have your procedure done by someone who thinks hygiene is a waste of time, you up your chance of developing a stye.
Suppose the person doing your lash lift uses bacteria-contaminated tools or expired products. The bacteria can spread to your eyelid.
Or what if they don’t wash their hands before touching your lashes? Bacteria can get onto your eyelid.
Eek alert: A type of bacteria called Staphylococcus lives harmlessly on your skin and in your nose but can cause styes if it gets to your eyes – like if you wipe your nose and then rub your eyes.2
Does Anyone Have a Higher Risk of Styes?
Anyone can get a stye – and tons of people do.
You’re most likely to get a stye if you rub your eyes a lot or don’t take care of your contacts (like keeping them clean, replacing them when they expire, not sleeping in them, and washing your hands before inserting and removing them.)
Wear contacts? You might be curious whether you can have your lashes lifted. Here’s everything you want to know about getting a lash lift if you wear contacts.
Other factors that increase your stye risk include sleeping in your makeup, using expired makeup, skin conditions like rosacea, medical conditions such as diabetes, and chronic eyelid inflammation (blepharitis). Stress might also increase your risk if it gives you sleepless nights, lowers your immunity, or stops you from taking good care of yourself.3
Bad news: Once you’ve had a stye, your risk of getting one again increases.
How to Avoid Getting a Stye From a Lash Lift
You’ll minimize your risk of getting a stye from a lash lift by having the procedure done by a certified lash pro.
Hygiene management and sanitation are vital parts of all good lash lift courses. So, every trained, experienced, reputable lash tech knows how to keep their workstation, tools, products, and hands clean to prevent exposing you to nasty bacteria.
Ease your mind by checking out the salon and asking about its hygiene practices before making an appointment.
You’ll need to do something to keep the styes away after your lash lift: practice good eye-giene!
Here are 3 essential rules for keeping eyes stye-free.
Rule #1: Wash Your Eye Area Daily
Wait 24 hours after your lash lift (to let the results set properly), then cleanse your eye area. Every. Single. Day.
Moisten a cotton pad with a mild, oil-free cleanser like lash shampoo, oil-free micellar water, or diluted baby shampoo, and gently wipe the pad over your closed lid, eyebrow, and from lash root to tip.
A daily wash will stop dead skin cells, dirt, and makeup from building up on your lash line, cutting the chance that bacteria will get stuck in a follicle or oil gland and form a stye.
Rule #2: Wash Your Hands Before Touching Your Eyes
Make sure your hands are clean before you touch your eyes. Better yet, avoid touching your eyes if you can help it. Keeping your hands off your lashes will slash your stye risk and lessen the chance that you’ll mess up your lift and curl.
Rule #3: Don’t Use Expired Eye Makeup
Makeup that’s gone bad can become contaminated by bacteria – so keep mascara, eyeliner, and eyeshadow past their prime away from your eyes!
Tip: A strong immune system can stop bacteria from causing trouble. Boost yours by eating plenty of fruit and veggies, exercising regularly, sleeping enough, laughing often, and breathing deeply.
What to do if You Get a Stye After a Lash Lift
Suppose you do everything right and still get a stye. Oh no!
Luckily, they’re usually easy to treat and can even disappear without treatment after a few days.
If your stye sticks around, you can try these ideas to chase it away:
- Hold a warm compress (a clean facecloth soaked in warm water will do) against your closed eye for about 10 minutes a few times a day.
- Gently cleanse your eye area daily.
- Apply a saline solution to the stye.
See your doctor if your stye doesn’t look better after a few days, or if it drains lots of blood, your lid is very swollen, the redness and swelling spread around your eye, or your vision changes.
Can You Get a Lash Lift With a Stye?
Absolutely not. If you already have a stye, you should wait for the infection to be resolved before getting a lash lift or any other eyelash treatment.
Attempting a lash treatment while you have an existing infection is dangerous and any responsible lash artist would tell you to wait before proceeding with the treatment.
Whether you get a stye or not comes down to hygiene, not a lash lift. Lash techs who fall short on cleanliness can spread bacteria to your eyelids, increasing the chance you’ll grow a stye. However, pro lash techs with high hygiene standards won’t give you a stye while they lift your lashes.
The top way to prevent a stye is to keep bacteria away from your eyes. So, have your lash lift done by a lash tech who prioritizes hygiene. Plus, start your own good eye-giene habits now and keep them up whether you have lifted lashes or not.
- Rachael Link, MS, RD – medically reviewed by Sara N Frye, OD, MPH, FAAO (2022). What Causes a Stye? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/what-causes-a-stye (Accessed on 29 August 2022)
- James Roland – medically reviewed by Ann Marie Griff, OD (2019). Are Styes Contagious? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/eye-health/are-styes-contagious (Accessed on 29 August 2022)
- James Roland – medically reviewed by Ann Marie Griff, OD (2020). Is There a Connection Between Styes and Stress? Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/are-eye-styes-caused-by-stress (Accessed on 29 August 2022)