Cleaning your lash extensions can be tricky in between appointments, especially given the age-old advice to not let your eyelashes get wet. We all know the struggle of endlessly combing through your eyelashes with a spoolie to ensure no nasties get stuck between the extensions and still feeling like your lashes have picked up some makeup and oil – especially after a night out!
Some of us may have even tried creating their own lash baths with soap, baby shampoo and other unsuitable products which can cause irritation. Enough is enough! We enlisted the help of lash extension experts, BELO Lash to help us discover what is the best way to clean eyelash extensions at home.
Why is it important to clean your eyelash extensions?
No doubt you will have seen horror-story videos floating around on Instagram and TikTok of eyelash extensions which are weighed down with huge build ups of dirt, oils, bacteria and eye makeup. These extreme cases of dirty lash extensions are not only unhygienic but harmful, and can cause conditions like blepharitis (swollen, itchy and uncomfortable eyelids). Blepharitis is not dangerous, but it’s pretty irritating and let’s be honest, it’s not a great look having beautiful long eyelash extensions on swollen eyelids.
Lash cleansing is a crucial part of every aftercare routine. It’s only natural that your eyelash extensions will collect dirt and oils – after all, the function of eyelashes is to keep things from getting into the eye. It’s when dirt and bacteria is allowed to build up that it becomes an issue.
Cleaning your eyelash extensions ensures that your lashes remain hygienic and beautiful by removing the build up of bacteria and oils along the lash line. Having clean lash extensions preserves the condition of your extensions, reduces the risk of irritation and the risk of developing unsightly conditions.
Also, the oil, eye makeup and dirt which naturally gets caught in the eyelashes weighs down the extensions and can even cause fans to clump together. Similar to stickies, if your eyelash extensions are clumping together due to dirt residue, you risk the extensions damaging the natural eyelashes.
What is the best way to clean lash extensions at home?
It couldn’t be simpler to clean your lash extensions at home when you use cleansers that are specifically designed for eyelash extensions, so you don’t have to be concerned about losing eyelashes when cleaning them. It may take a couple of tries to master the art of doing a lash bath at home but don’t worry, practice makes perfect!
Step 1: Apply the lash cleanser
Using the BELO Lash foaming cleanser, Lash Lather, apply one pump of the cleanser to the eye area (be sure to close your eyes!) and use a clean eye makeup brush or foam applicators to gently brush the shampoo through the lashes. Try not to wiggle the extensions when brushing through as this may disturb the adhesive. Instead, brush along the natural lashes to gently remove any nasties. The lash bath itself will do the heavy lifting.
Top tip: avoid using cotton buds to apply lash cleanser as the cotton fibres will become saturated quickly and shed, compounding the issue of debris getting caught in the lash extensions.
Step 2: Rinse out the eyelash extensions
Rinse through the lashes with a little water to remove any product residue (distilled water is even better). Then, comb through the lash extensions with a clean spoolie.
Top tip: using a pipette is a great way to control the amount of water you apply to the eyelash extensions.
Step 3: Dry your lovely, clean eyelash extensions!
Leave your lash extensions to dry naturally. Do not use a hair dryer as they are too powerful and could cause some extensions to come loose due to strain being placed on the adhesive bond.
Will lash shampoo affect my eyelash extension retention?
Yes, lash shampoo will positively impact the retention of your eyelash extensions!
Cleansing your lash extensions regularly using a professional lash cleanser enables you boost the retention of your sets between appointments. As the clean eyelash extensions and volume fans are not weighed down by extra gunk and dirt which can affect the adhesive bond, you’re more likely to retain your lash extensions for longer.
As the foam formula of Lash Lather is oil-free, the cleanser does not affect the adhesive bond between the extension and the natural lash. Foam is much more gentle on eyelash extensions than liquid cleansers which can weigh down the extensions and saturate the natural lashes. Foam cleansers are also preferable for use in the eye area as the formula minimises the amount of product which may end up in the eye.
You may notice that after cleaning your lash extensions, some may fall out. Don’t be alarmed, chances are those lashes have reached the point in the growth cycle in which eyelashes naturally fall out. Cleaning your eyelash extensions will ensure that these outgrown lash extensions do not clump together with eyelash extensions that aren’t ready to fall out yet and weigh those down.
What about using micellar water or baby shampoo to clean eyelash extensions?
As we previously mentioned, using products which are not designed to cleanse eyelash extensions for this purpose may cause irritation and can cause retention issues. Although products like baby shampoo are gentle in their intended purposes, using baby shampoo to clean lashes dehydrates the natural lashes and negatively impacts the adhesion between the extension and the eyelash.
Although micellar water is used widely to remove makeup from skin, it is wholly unsuitable to use as a lash cleanser. Micellar water contains oils which break down the cyanoacrylate in the eyelash adhesive, damaging the bond and your eyelash retention.
Cleansing your lash extensions at home doesn’t have to be scary!
We get it, you don’t want to lose any of your eyelash extensions and it’s pretty counterintuitive to apply shampoo on your eyelids! But doing regular lash baths at home is key to a good eyelash aftercare routine and retention. For more tips on eyelash extension retention, check out the BELO Lash blog.