Can You Go Swimming with Eyelash Extensions? Myths Debunked!

Woman swimming with eyelash extensions

Love swimming? Samesies! Most of us like to take a long dip in the pool every once in a while. Come summer, it’s hard to beat scorching afternoons without a cooling swim. But what if you wear lash extensions. Can you go swimming with eyelash extensions?

You can swim with eyelash extensions. We recommended that you avoid getting your lashes wet for 4 hours after your appointment for the glue to completely cure. After this waiting period, it is safe to get your eyelash extensions wet without them falling out.

This article will resolve all your questions about swimming with lash extensions. While chlorine and saltwater do affect the retentiveness of lash extensions, rest assured because there are ways to pop off for a hearty swim without damaging your precious new lashes. You’ll also find out how to keep your false eyelashes clean and dry ahead.

Let’s dive right into it!

Can You Get Eyelash Extensions Wet?

You can get your eyelashes wet and you should clean them regularly. Washing your eyelash extensions gently with a safe shampoo cleanser is recommended for maintaining healthy and beautiful lash extensions.

A poor lash hygiene can lead to more serious problems such as eyelash mites.

Check out our article on how to avoid lash mites here.

Do You Need to Wait 24 To 48 Hours Before Getting Lash Extensions Wet

You do not need to wait 24h to 48h before getting eyelash extensions wet. A waiting period of 4 hours is sufficient for the glue to completely cure and bond the extension to your natural lash.

If you dig up articles online, almost all the old posts will recommend you to wait at least for a day before getting your lash extensions wet. Some even go to the extent of telling you to wait 48 to 72 hours before wetting them. You aren’t allowed to wash or even cry with this rule in place.

But that’s far from the truth!

Lash techs used to recommend such a long waiting period as lash adhesives were made differently a few years ago. The waiting period of 24 hours is old news and it no longer checks out. Going back a hundred years ago,

Serena Owen wore false eyelashes in the movie ‘Intolerance’ with the help of a toxic adhesive made of spirit gum. This example only illustrates how far we come from as an industry.

In the recent past, adhesives have undergone several improvements. One of the significant evolutions is in the bonding time of the glue. Once upon a time, glue needed a great deal of time to set, and any type of interaction with moisture often led to the weakening of this bond.

Times have changed now and ten years from now you might even be able to take a dive immediately after getting your lashes done. Who knows, you might not even need adhesives in another two decades to affix false lashes onto natural ones.

Water is not actually so bad for fake lashes. In fact, moisture is crucial for the polymerization of lash glue. To make it clearer, lash glue is a resin made from ethyl or methyl cyanoacrylate (CA) that creates long chains between natural and false lashes when it comes into contact with hydroxides like water, alcohol, or other moisture. 

Before you derive any quick conclusions on lash glues, it’s best to go through our complete guide on adhesives with the latest information here.

Can You Swimming In The Ocean With Eyelash Extensions

Woman swimming in the ocean

You can go swimming in the ocean with eyelash extensions. Instead of wearing mascara or strip lashes, you can opt for false eyelashes that will keep you looking permanently gorgeous.

However, there are two elements in an Ocean that can negatively impact your lash extension retention: salt and water pressure from waves.

Salt And Eyelash Extension Retention

There’s no doubt that lash glue reacts adversely with salt, whether or not you got the false lashes done a day or a week before. In fact, it’s even more dangerous to the lifespan of eyelash extensions than oil-based cosmetics.

Do you know table salt can un-stick fingers glued together by superglue (another cyanoacrylate)? Just like that, saltwater can impact the bond created by the glue between your natural and false lashes. This works because salt absorbs moisture that’s used to set the glue in the first place.

When you spend a long time in seawater, salt can slowly disintegrate the glue at a chemical level causing your fake lashes tend to detach and fall out prematurely. However, small amounts of salt don’t cause long-term damages to lash extensions because salt is typically secreted by the human body via perspiration anyway.

If you are planning a day at the beach, make sure you always have a bottle of fresh water around to rinse your lashes after a swim. Then make sure to thoroughly cleanse your extensions with lash shampoo or lash cleanser whenever you are finished swimming for the day.

You can also start wearing goggles when going for underwater adventures. But, make sure you don’t wear goggles that are too tight, or else it might crimp, crinkle, or bend the extensions, further leading to damages.

Water Pressure And Eyelash Extension Retention

Water pressure from waves can negatively affect the retentiveness. High water pressure will create friction on your extensions very much like rubbing your eyes would do. Over time, your extensions will fall off prematurely.

Truth be told, it’s not just the ocean that you need to be wary of. As a matter of fact, high-pressure showers are also a cause for concern for those who wear fake eyelashes. Letting the shower stream fall directly on the lash extensions with high force will reduce its longevity in the due course of time.
Showering with your eyelash extensions is fine. Just make sure the water pressure is not exaggerated.

The best solution to avoid high pressure is goggles. This is also crucial for those who prefer underwater swimming.

Can You Go Swimming In The Pool With Eyelash Extensions

Woman swimming in the pool on a pink bird

You can go swimming in the pool with eyelash extensions unless you got your lash extensions done less than 4 hours ago. That being said, soaking in the swimming pool for hours on end isn’t recommended if you want the false lashes to last a long time.

Water in most swimming pools is treated with chlorine, which directly reacts with lash adhesives. Although chlorine is known for removing bacteria from water, over chlorinated pools are extremely harmful to the whole body. It can change the color of dyed hair to green and even trigger asthma.

Moreover, natural skin and hair too become damaged by this type of treated water. Chlorine makes the skin flaky and itchy by drying away the moisture. When it comes to hair extensions, excessive exposure to chlorine can lead to knots or frizzy and matted hair. Chlorinated water is awfully harsh on natural fibers and everything attached to it like lash extensions also ends up suffering.

When in doubt, get yourself a pair of well-fitting goggles that don’t choke or obstruct your false lashes. Even more importantly, you must rinse the last extensions thoroughly after swimming to effectively remove all the chlorine from them.

Chlorine And Eyelash Extension Retention

While chlorine is an effective disinfectant for treating water just like salt, it can affect the retention of lash extensions with time. If you regularly soak in chlorinated water or pools, your fake lashes will fall off quicker than ever because it disintegrates the bond on natural lashes created by lash adhesives.

Chlorine ends up causing this because Cyanoacrylate-based glues have a tendency of descaling in small quantities when exposed to chlorine and with time, eyelash extensions may un-stick from the natural lashes. The result: you have to go for a refill after every swim!

Although taking a dive in the swimming pool once in a while won’t damage your lashes right away, doing so recurrently will cause your extensions to fall out earlier than usual.

How To Clean Eyelash Extensions After A Swim

In the points above, I’ve stressed how important it is to clean your fake lashes after you take a swim, regardless of whether it’s in the ocean or the swimming pool. This is crucial because cleansing helps to remove solvents like salt or chlorine on your eyelashes before it reacts with the lash glue used to set your extensions.

Apart from getting salt and chlorine out of your lashes, daily cleansing is necessary when you regularly swim, wear makeup, or have oily skin. If you don’t have a daily cleaning routine, there are high chances your lashes will fall off prematurely or you may suffer from lash mites.

So, how exactly do you clean eyelash extensions? Is it just a basic rinse?

Keep on reading for detailed instructions or check out our Youtube Video!


To clean your eyelash extensions, make sure to pick up an oil-free cleanser that’s specifically made for lash extensions. This is because generic cleansers often come with glycols or emollients that adversely impact the adhesive used on your extensions. Also, keep in mind to look for cleansers with the same pH value as your tears (6.5 to 7.6).

Once you’ve selected the cleanser, you can apply it in any of the following two ways as it suits your routine.

  • Combine the cleanser with distilled water in a foaming bottle. Then, run the foam over the eyes and eyelids. Take a soft makeup brush and gently run the foam up and down the eyes and make sure you coat the lashes. Finally, instead of splashing or shooting water directly on the face, let the freshwater run down the face for rinsing away the cleanser.
  • If you don’t have a foaming bottle, the second way is to take a few drops of cleanser in the palm of your clean hand and swirl it with a soft makeup brush to foam it up. Next, brush the foam onto the lash extensions in a slow back and forth motions. After you’re done, rinse away with water until you get every last drop of the foam off.

How To Dry Eyelash Extensions After They Get Wet

Once you’re done cleaning salt, chlorine, or any other residue from lash extensions, the next step is to dry your lashes. There are 2 ways to dry eyelash extensions:

  1. Patting your face gently with a lint-free towel. Place the towel underneath the lashes to remove the excess water. You should avoid running over the eye area so as to prevent rubbing harshly or tugging at the lash extensions. Otherwise, you may end up losing fake and natural lashes.
  2. Blow-drying on a cool-low setting. You should also avoid hot air and switch to a blower that emanates cold air. While doing so, gently brush your eyelashes using the spoolie or mascara wand. This will help you open up the extensions, and prevent them from clumping together. Don’t skip this step as it’s essential to bring them back into style.

Things to Avoid When Having Wet Eyelash Extensions

  • Don’t use spray toners, moisturizers, creams, generic shampoos, or conditioners around false lashes.
  • Avoid using makeup pads, cotton buds, sponges, and face cloths to clean false lashes.
  • Never apply pressure directly on lash extensions when cleaning them.
  • Keep away from generic cleansers or vet the ingredients in products before using them on lash extensions.
  • It’s best to steer clear of overly drying solutions such as alcohol-based cleansers.
  • Try to stop using sunscreen around the eyes, especially if it contains oils and glycols.

Final Thoughts

Getting eyelash extensions is a way to accent your eyes. Instead of limiting your opportunities, it adds to your fun and frolic. That being said, when you’re going swimming, always remember to protect your eyes and lashes with proper care.

Whether it’s the ocean or the pool, you mustn’t stay underwater for too long as well. That’s because both chlorine and salt are known to damage the bond created by lash glue to hold natural and fake eyelashes together. When you spend a long time soaked in chlorinated or saltwater, they can lead to premature loss of your extensions.

The most important thing to keep in mind is to clean your lashes right after the swim. This will help you remove chlorine, salt and other residue from harming the extensions. When you do so, choose the correct cleanser and follow a hassle-free method of cleansing such that it keeps your extensions safe.

As lash technicians use different types of adhesives, you must specifically ask for details about it before leaving the salon. Also, follow their instructions on cleaning and drying your lash extensions.
That’s all there’s to know about swimming with lash extensions.

I hope that this article helped to answer all your questions. If there’s something bugging you about this topic, feel free to leave a comment and I will get to it pronto.

Stay beautiful!

References

  1. Jennifer Wright (2015). A True History of False Eyelashes. Retrieved from https://www.racked.com/2015/10/7/9457395/a-history-of-false-eyelashes (Accessed on 13-01-2021)
  2. Fadzly Hanaffi (2019). You Can Actually Un-stick Your Superglued Fingers With Salt. Retrieved from https://worldofbuzz.com/you-can-actually-un-stick-your-superglued-fingers-with-salt (Accessed on 13-01-2021)
  3. Polymer Database Staff. Polymer Properties Database: Cyanoacrylate Adhesives. Retrieved from https://polymerdatabase.com/Adhesives/Cyanoacrylate%20Adhesives.html (Accessed on 13-01-2021)
  4. Mark B. Abelson, MD; Ira J. Udell, MD; Judith H. Weston (1981). Normal Human Tear pH by Direct Measurement. Retrieved from https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamaophthalmology/article-abstract/633700 (Accessed on 13-01-2021)
  5. Yasemin Saplakoglu (2018) What Does Chlorine Really Do To Your Body? Retrieved from https://www.livescience.com/62801-how-chlorine-affects-skin-hair-eyes.html (Accessed on 13-01-2021)
  6. Laura Martin (2020). How to Clean Eyelash Extensions. Retrieved from https://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Eyelash-Extensions (Accessed on 13-01-2021)


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