Can I let you in on a secret? Eyelash extensions make me feel like a Disney princess who’s pure and gentle spirit entices delicate, mascara-free butterflies to live on my face.
Eyelash extensions are like a secret cosmetic code: Whether I’ve just woken up, gone for a swim, exercised for an hour, or lived through a terrifying 24-hour stomach flu, it’s incredible how my eyes pop and how quickly I can get ready.
Lash extensions work their fluttery magic but removing eyelash extensions is no picnic. Of course, you could just ride it out until they all fall on their own. But having done that and having too many tragic pictures to show for it, I can understand if you don’t want to walk around for weeks with scattered clumps and uneven lashes. So, what do you do?
Figure out the best approach to removing eyelash extension. And to do that, you need to know about; the removal products, the risks involved, and the best way to avoid any damage to your natural lashes.
Let’s get started!
The Best Way To Removing Eyelash Extensions
You should always consult a professional to remove your eyelash extensions for your eyes’ safety and the general well-being of your natural lashes.
“Any remover or chemical product that you use around the eye area should be applied by a trained professional,” Andra Ciulei Marin, the artistic director and owner of Courtney Akai Lash Boutique in NYC, says. “The remover contains chemicals that break down the adhesive and should be applied by someone who has undergone sufficient training.”
Basically, you don’t want to purchase a questionable chemical solution online and try it yourself. It’s not worth the risk of irritation, burning, or injury because you can’t predict how it will interact with the glue on your eyelashes. Additionally, removing the eyelash extensions is a quick and painless process worth the trip.
Removing Eyelash Extensions at Home
If you’re set on removing your own extensions, you should know a few things. “The first thing people need to do is make sure they have the correct product to remove the extensions,” says Marin.
According to Marin, oils such as castor and coconut, oil-based makeup removers, and mascaras (packed with oils and waxes) tend to weaken the adhesive’s bond and reduce the life of your extensions. This is precisely your goal when removing eyelash extensions on your own.
Now to successfully remove your eyelash extensions at home, follow these steps:
- Wash Your Face
Wash your face as you typically would. To avoid damaging your lashes and pulling them, avoid rubbing the region around your eyes. This step aims to remove any dirt, makeup, mascara, or oil that could potentially interfere with the process.
- Steam Your Face
Fill a bowl with hot water and place your head over it, ensuring the steam does not come into contact with your eyes. Drape a towel over your head to lock in the steam. Marin says the heat will open up your pores and help loosen the glue from your lash line.
“I recommend steaming for no longer than five minutes,” she says. “You don’t want to overdo it because it can cause redness and irritation.”
- Warm Oil
You can use a store-bought oil or make your own by mixing olive oil, coconut oil, and vitamin E. You can also use castor oil, readily available at any store.
The key is ensuring the oil is warm but not hot. Test it by dabbing a bit on your wrist—it should feel warm to the touch but not cause any discomfort. Remember, you are dealing with a susceptible area.
- Soak Cotton Pads
Once the oil is at the correct temperature, soak two cotton pads and then place them over your eyes.
“The warmth of the oil will help break down the glue, making it easier to remove the extensions,” says Marin.
Leave the cotton pads on for about five to seven minutes. Use the oily pad to clean your top lash line gently, then let the oil stay on your extensions for another five minutes.
- Check for Extension Movement
After five to ten minutes, gently press down on the extensions to see if they move. If they do, they are ready to be removed.
- Remove the Eyelash Extension
Repeatedly lightly brush your lash line with the same cotton pad. A few eyelash extensions should start to fall out and settle in the cotton pad.
If you find that the extensions are not budging, soak the cotton pads in oil for another five minutes and try again. This is not a one-minute process, so be patient.
Note: Do not try to pull the extensions off with your fingers—this will not only be painful but can also damage your natural lashes.
- Repeat the Process
Once you’ve removed all the extensions, soak a new cotton pad in oil and gently clean your lash line. This will help remove any residual glue. Rinse your face with lukewarm water and apply a hydrating eye cream.
The Risks of Removing Eyelash Extensions at Home
While removing your eyelash extensions may save you a few bucks, it’s not worth the risk. Let’s face it: Your eyes are delicate, and the skin around them is even more so. Before attempting to remove your extensions, weigh the risks.
Let’s take an in-depth look at a few of them.
Damaging Your Natural Lashes
“The main concern with removing lash extensions at home is that you could potentially damage your natural lashes,” says Marin.
When removing eyelash extensions, most people make the common mistake of pulling or rubbing them firmly. This may tear the natural lashes because it forcibly separates the lash extensions.
It could take several months for your natural eyelashes to regrow to their previous length and thickness once they have been harmed. In these circumstances, purchasing a lash serum to hasten the growth of the natural lashes may be worthwhile.
It can be challenging to keep your eyes closed while removing eyelash extensions on your own. During the removal process, you could accidentally spill products into your eye if you don’t have a steady hand.
As a result, you could end up with bacteria in the eye, which can lead to an infection. If you experience pain, redness, swelling, or discharge from your eye after removing your lash extensions, seek medical attention immediately.
“You could also have an allergic reaction to the ingredients in the glue, which can lead to redness, swelling, and itchiness,” explains Marin. “Some products used to remove lash extensions, such as acetone, can cause allergic reactions to some people.” These reactions have similar symptoms to bacterial and fungal infections, and you should not ignore them
If you have never used a product before removing your lash extensions, do a patch test on your skin first to check for allergies.
Another risk of removing your lash extensions is that you could accidentally scratch your eye, resulting in corneal abrasion.
“A corneal abrasion is a scratch on the surface of the eye,” says Dr. Sabine Hazan, an ophthalmologist at Wills Eye Hospital. “It can be caused by something as simple as rubbing your eye too hard.”
Corneal abrasions are usually not severe and will heal on their own within a few days. However, if you experience severe pain, redness, or sensitivity to light, you should see a doctor immediately.
Quick Tips for Removing Eyelash Extension on Your Own
Here are a few quick tips to help you remove your eyelash extensions safely at home:
- Be gentle– it’s essential to be gentle when removing lash extensions because you don’t want to damage your natural lashes. Do not rub or tug on your lashes, as this can damage them.
- Use oil– one of the best ways to remove lash extensions is by using oil. This will help break down the glue and make it easier to remove the extensions. Start from the outer corner- it’s essential to remove lash extensions from the outer corner of the eye and work your way in. This will help to avoid any irritation.
- Take your time– don’t rush when removing your lash extensions. It would be best if you were patient to avoid any accidents.
- Rinse your face after the process– once you have removed all the lash extensions, rinse your face with clean water to remove any residue or trapped lashes.
- Don’t Re-use the Extensions- eyelash extensions are expensive, so you may be tempted to re-use them. However, it’s not recommended as this is unhygienic and could lead to infections or other problems.
Do not use a professional eyelash extension remover (gel or cream remover) on your own. These products are only used by licensed or certified estheticians, as they can cause severe damage to your eyes.
Removing your eyelash extensions can be risky, so it’s essential to be careful. If you’re not confident in your ability to remove them safely, it’s best to visit a professional. Removing eyelash extensions by a professional will take approximately 15 minutes and cost between $20 and $40.