I’ve lashed several clients who are avid swimmers. And I always get questions about swimming with eyelash extensions and the effect of salt & chlorine on their retention.
Surely, the last thing you want is to part with your fake lashes each time you go for a swim. If so, this article is for you.
Let’s dive right into it!
Can You Swim With Eyelash Extensions?
Absolutely! You can swim with eyelash extensions. You should avoid getting your lashes wet for 4 hours after they are applied for the glue to completely cure. After this waiting period, it is safe to get your eyelash extensions wet without them falling out.
If you dig up articles online, almost all the old posts will recommend you wait at least 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.
But that’s far from the truth!
Lash techs used to recommend such a long waiting period a while ago. The waiting period of 24 hours is old news and it no longer checks out.
With the drastic improvements that were made in eyelash glue formulation and the discovery of the “force curing” technique, 4 hours is now a waiting period that is more than enough.
What’s force curing?
It’s simply a process where your lash artist will actually apply moisture to your extensions at the end of your appointment.
“Moisture is crucial for the polymerization of lash glue. Eyelash extension 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, and alcohol, or other moisture.”
Therefore, as counter-intuitive as it sounds, you actually need to get your lash extensions wet for the glue to set and adhere properly.
But, too much of a good thing is a bad thing and too much moisture will prevent the proper curing process to take place instead. That’s why lash artists must gauge the proper amount of moisture perfectly.
Pro Tip: Want to know everything there is about lash adhesives? Explore our comprehensive lash glue guide here!
Swimming in Saltwater
Swimming in saltwater will cause your extensions to fall out faster. That’s because salt is abrasive and reacts adversely with the lash adhesive.
Salt is even more dangerous to the lifespan of eyelash extensions than oil-based cosmetics.
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 to detach and fall out prematurely.”
However, small amounts of salt don’t cause long-term damage 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 freshwater 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 damage.
Swimming in Chlorine
Chlorine is very harsh and can cause the lash adhesive to break down. While chlorine is an effective disinfectant for treating water just like salt, it can affect the retention of lash extensions with time. This will lead to your extensions falling out prematurely.
Chlorine ends up causing this because Cyanoacrylate-based glues have a tendency to 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 diving into 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.
Can I Swim in the Ocean With Eyelash Extensions?
Yes, you can swim in the ocean with eyelash extensions. To preserve their lifespan, you must use goggles to protect your extensions from salt and water pressure from the waves.
Water pressure from waves can negatively affect the retention of your lash extensions. 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.
Additionally, saltwater is very abrasive for the adhesive and will slowly cause it to degrade. This will make your lash extensions fall off much sooner than if you had stayed out of the water altogether.
So, how can you go swimming in the ocean safely?
Yes, you read that correctly. Wearing goggles will protect your lash extensions from saltwater and water pressure.
The key is finding goggles that are big enough so that your lashes won’t rub against them.
Also, don’t forget to cleanse your lashes when leaving the ocean.
Can I swim in a pool with eyelash extensions?
Yes, 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 or salt, which directly reacts with lash adhesives.
When in doubt, get yourself a pair of well-fitting goggles that don’t touch or obstruct your false lashes. Even more importantly, you must rinse the last extensions thoroughly after swimming to effectively remove all the chlorine or salt from them.
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.“
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 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:
- 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 to prevent rubbing harshly or tugging at the lash extensions. Otherwise, you may end up losing fake and natural lashes.
- 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 facecloths 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.
Are lash extensions waterproof?
Yes, synthetic lash extensions are waterproof. However, the adhesive is not resistant to all types of water. For example, saltwater and chlorinated water can damage the adhesive bond between your false lashes and natural lashes.
Does salt water ruin eyelash extensions?
Yes, salt water will cause poor retention over time because it’s abrasive and will slowly degrade the lash adhesive. However, occasional exposure won’t cause them to fall off right away.
Does chlorine ruin eyelash extensions?
Chlorine can damage the adhesive bond between your false lashes and natural lashes because it’s a strong disinfectant. It’s recommended to cleanse your lashes after swimming in chlorinated water.
Can mink lashes get wet?
No, unlike synthetic lashes, mink lashes cannot get wet. Water will cause the curl of the extension to relax and the lashes will become straight.
Do fake lashes come off in water?
Fake lashes don’t come off in water unless they are poorly made, the adhesive is not waterproof or there’s a solvent in the water such as salt or chlorine.
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 salt water, 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 residues from harming the extensions.
When you do so, choose the correct cleanser and follow a hassle-free method of cleansing to keep your extensions safe.
As lash technicians use different types of adhesives, you must specifically ask for details about them before leaving the salon. Also, follow their instructions on cleaning and drying your lash extensions.
I hope that this article helped to answer all your questions. If something is bugging you about this topic, feel free to leave a comment and I will get to it pronto.
- 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)
- 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)
- Polymer Database Staff. Polymer Properties Database: Cyanoacrylate Adhesives. Retrieved from https://polymerdatabase.com/Adhesives/Cyanoacrylate%20Adhesives.html (Accessed on 13-01-2021)
- 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)
- 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)
- Laura Martin (2020). How to Clean Eyelash Extensions. Retrieved from https://www.wikihow.com/Clean-Eyelash-Extensions (Accessed on 13-01-2021)
Interested in learning more about lash extensions?
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Eyelash Extension Adhesive 101: Everything You Should Know
How To Shower With Eyelash Extensions
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