Eyelash extensions are an investment – both in terms of your money and your time, so like any investment, you want to get the most out of it! To prolong the lifespan of your gorgeous new eyelash extensions, cleaning them correctly and regularly is essential. Lash techs notice a real difference come refill time between those who have washed their lashes – and those who haven’t. Those who clean them have so many more extensions left!
However, knowing exactly how to clean them is not easy if you’re new to having your lashes done. If you do it incorrectly, you risk causing much more harm than good – and that’s the last thing you want! So if you’re wondering how to wash your lash extensions to make them last longer and avoid losing extra lashes, read on for our simple guide.
How to clean lash extensions using cleanser
Follow our step-by-step process and you can’t go wrong:
- Remove eye make-up. Use an oil-free makeup remover to gently remove the makeup on and around your eyes, avoiding the lashes. Our foaming cleanser is suitable for removing eye make-up as well as cleaning lashes, making it a very savvy purchase.
- Remove your foundation Many foundation removers are oil-based or contain at least some oil. Feel free to use your preferred cleanser but do take care to keep all product well away from the eyes.
- Wet your lashes. Use cool or lukewarm, not hot water to wet your lashes – splash the water on with your hands if you like, or soak an eyelash cleansing brush in water and dab gently onto your lashes.
- Apply cleanser. Next, dispense some foam lash cleanser onto your brush. An eyelash cleansing brush makes the best choice as the fibres can get in between the lashes.
- Wash those lashes. Work the cleanser in gently, moving the brush softly up and down as well as sweeping across the lashes. Concentrate on the base of the lash extensions as this is where oil and dead skin cells accumulate. Repeat this part of the process until your eyes feel clean and refreshed. Do not rub.
- Rinse, rinse and rinse!Next, rinse your eyes off with cool / lukewarm clean water, so that all the cleanser along with any excess dirt and makeup are removed from the area and your lashes. Use your hands to splash the water on, or rinse out the brush you have used and use it to dab water on until all traces of product are removed.
- Dry. Blot your lashes and eye area with soft paper tissue. Again – no rubbing!
- Dry some more…If you have classic lashes then they will likely be dry just from blotting with tissue, so you can skip to step 9. Russian Volume extensions hold more water and will need a quick blow with a cool, low setting on a hairdryer. A small handheld fan can do the job as well.
- Brush those lashes out. Now your lashes are clean and dry but they need brushing back into shape, especially if you have volume extensions as the fans may close a little during washing. Using a lash wand / spoolie brush, comb them through gently, following the shape of the curl, and fanning them back out to their full and fluffy former glory.
How often should I clean my lash extensions?
For best results, we recommend washing your lashes twice a day, morning and evening. Tie it in with your usual skin cleansing / make-up removing routine and it will soon become second nature.
Tips on cleaning your lash extensions
DO use the same brush for steps 3), 4) and 5) – if you like! Just make sure it is clean each time.
DON’T use an oil-based cleanser anywhere near your eyes, or one that contains oil or glycerin /glycols. Same goes for pure natural oils such as coconut oil.
DON’T use cotton wool buds, balls or pads anywhere near your eyes as fluff can get caught in your lashes and become very difficult to remove. They can also snag on your lashes and pull them out - cloths and make-up remover wipes can do this too.
DON’T pump foam cleanser straight onto a client’s eye area - it will make them jump!
DON’T rub when cleaning or drying your lashes, just dab gently.
DON’T brush lashes while they’re wet.
DON’T worry if you notice a couple of lashes coming loose while cleaning them. It’s normal to shed 2-5 natural lashes per eye per day – you just might notice it happening more when you wash them.
DO wash, rinse and dry one eye at a time from start to finish, keeping it closed throughout.
DO ask your lash technician to give you a lash wand for the maintenance of your extensions between sessions.
DO wash your lashes after going swimming, getting sweaty in the gym or after a good cry! Tears, sweat and chlorine can damage and loosen the lash adhesive.
DO wash your lashes before your infill appointment. Wash the top and lower lid as well to remove all oil and makeup so that no traces remain that might interfere with the treatment. Not only will your lash tech love you, but you’ll also love the extra time they spend doing your lashes because they’re not having to waste time cleaning them first!
What can happen if lashes aren’t cleaned properly?
The reason nature gave us eyelashes is to trap dust, dirt and other small particles so they don’t get into our eyes. If you don’t clean lashes regularly, natural oils, dead skin cells and make-up can build up around the base of your lashes, particularly when you have extensions as there is a gap of a couple of millimetres where it can accumulate at the base of your lashes between your eyeIid and where the extension is attached. This build-up can start to break down the lash glue, or get in between the extension and the natural lash, ultimately causing the extensions to fall out more quickly.
A common issue that arises from improper eyelash hygiene is Blepharitis. This is a condition people suffer from when they don’t take proper care of their eyelids, and in this case as an example, don’t wash their lashes properly. It is essentially eyelid inflammation that can become incredibly irritating and uncomfortable.
It’s caused by dead skin cells not being flushed away properly and building up on your eyelids, causing inflammation and itchiness. Once this condition sets in, it’s all downhill from there. Lash mites, the key causes of the inflammation, live on the skin and eat the dead skin and dirt that resides there. Soon you’ll end up with very unattractive, sore, and red-looking eyes.
You’ll also start fidgeting with your lashes, even when you’re in bed sleeping, and that’s when they start to come out. So, cleaning them is vital.
Can I wet my eyelash extensions?
You have probably gathered by now that, yes, it is ok to wet your lash extensions! It is a very common misconception though, so you’d be forgiven for thinking you had to keep your eyelashes dry at all times. You may have been advised by your lash technician not to get your lashes wet for a time period after having your lashes done, or at least to avoid saunas and pool in that time frame, and many misinterpret this to mean they’re not waterproof.
However, properly applied and cured professional eyelash extensions are very waterproof and cleaning them with water is not just safe – it’s essential. You just need to make sure you do it the right way.
You may also like to read: How to take care of your eyelash extensions?