A Complete Guide: How to Clean Eyelash Extensions
How to clean eyelash extensions - the safe way
Having lash extensions make you look fantastic. BUT what many lash fans don't realize is that if they don't clean their lashes properly, there could soon face all kind of eye health issues.
Dirty lashes are more susceptible to allergic reactions and eye irritations such as red-eye, blepharitis, and even Demodex!
That's why in this article, we gather all the necessary information to enact principle eye care, minimize the likelihood of catching any eye disorder, discuss the benefits of choosing the right professional lash cleanser.
Can eyelash extensions cause Blepharitis?
Nature's intention of having our eyelashes are to catch any dust & debris we may come in contact with, so our eyes are safe.
During the procedure of eyelash extension, when your lash technician adds a strand of eyelash extensions to your natural lashes, she doesn't apply it directly on your skin but 1-2 mm away from your lash line (applying lash glue directly to the skin can cause burns or glue allergy).
Over time, this gap between the lash line and lash extensions can collect excess oil from the skin, makeup debris, and dirt which will make your eyelash line more responsive to bacterial growth.
That's why cleaning your lashes and eyelids regularly with a lash extension cleanser will prevent bacterial growth, and therefore, minimizing the likelihood of developing blepharitis.
What is blepharitis?
One of the most common eye disorders related to eyelash extension is blepharitis. Before delving deeper into the treatments for blepharitis, it's essential to understand some basic key points about the condition.
Blepharitis usually is associated with an overgrowth of bacteria that live along the base of the eyelashes.
Over time, these bacterias multiply and create a structure called biofilm. If your eyelashes are not cleaned properly, soon this biofilm becomes a toxic environment — like the plaque that forms on your teeth!
Then, these little guys- parasitic eyelash mites called Demodex who love to feed on the biofilm, can be overgrown in your eyelashes which causes the painful eyelids inflammation.
Demodex in action:
Bacterias in the biofilm also produce substances called exotoxins that worsening the inflammation of oil-secreting glands in the eyelids. That results in a swollen eyelid and also causes (and worsens) dry eye discomfort.
Symptoms of Blepharitis
Symptoms of the Blepharitis can impact both the anterior inside and the posterior portions of the eyelid. The anterior part is the front edge, where eyelashes join up with the eyelid. The posterior is the inner edge where the eyelid meets up with the eyeball.
Take note that symptoms of blepharitis are often more noticeable in the mornings, so check your eyes as soon as you wake up in the mornings.
Primary symptoms of blepharitis are:
· Red eyes
· Irritated and watery eyes
· Itchy eyelids
· Burning or stinging eyes
· Flaking and crusting at the base of the eyelashes
· A gritty feeling in the eyes
· The sensation of having a foreign object in the eye
If the flaking or crusting and the symptoms seem concentrated especially around the lower eyelid, these are the best indications that you may have blepharitis.
Treatments for Blepharitis
Treatment of blepharitis should begin with a visit to your eye doctor to determine the cause of your eyelid inflammation. Your doctor will examine your eyes and eyelids to evaluate whether you have blepharitis and decide which type of treatment is most appropriate in your case.
Typically, blepharitis treatment includes:
- eyelid scrubs
- in-office procedure
- medicated eye drops or ointments.
Scientific Fact Reference:
Dr.Harry Getting, All About Vision
How to clean eyelash extensions?
When it comes to lash extensions, the number one thing you need to know is how to clean your lashes so that the hair structure, follicle, and surrounding skin is protected and kept healthy at all times.
At Home: Morning and Night
- Wet your face or eyelashes with water
- Apply a small amount of Lash Cleanser to a cleansing brush
- Gently lather the foam cleanser to your lashes and right down to your eyelid for at least 5 seconds.
- Rinse thoroughly with water
- Gently pat dry with a lint-free towel
- Brush your lashes with a mascara wand.
At the salon: Use before putting on extensions
If you are a lash technician wanting to give a great lash bath before the fill, follow this instruction.
- Apply a small amount of BL Foam Cleanser directly onto the clients' eyelashes
- With a lash foam brush, remove the dirt or makeup for at least 5 seconds.
- To ensure 100% efficiency of the lash glue, the residue of the foam cleanser must be washed with distilled water thoroughly.
- Dry the wet lash completely using an air blower before you begin to fill.
Do I need to use the lash foam cleanser daily?
Yes, It is important that you clean, nourish, and protect your lashes daily to avoid any dirt from settling into your lash line to prevent any bacterial growth. The BL deep foam cleanser is designed to cleanse off all debris, remove makeup, and kill bacteria without drying out the skin and breaking down the lash adhesive.
Can I use baby shampoo for cleaning eyelashes?
Nope. While baby shampoo is gentle, it is not specifically designed to clean the eye area, and extensive use will harm our fragile skin around the eye and strip it of its natural oils needed for healthy skin, hair, and follicles.
Also, many baby shampoos also have artificial colors and mineral oils that over time can break the integrity of the adhesive, causing lashes to have shorter retention.
In short, using baby shampoo as a lash cleanser is not recommended.
How can I remover mascara off of eyelash extensions?
How to choose the right lash extension cleanser?
It is necessary to know that some cleansing products may contain ingredients that can weaken the bond of your lash extensions and cause them to shed prematurely. Therefore, the first step is to use formulas that are made specifically for lash extensions.
Here are our tips on how to choose a lash extension cleanser:
1. Your lash cleanser should be oil-free!
The main ingredient in lash extension adhesives is a medical-grade cyanoacrylate. It is a quick-drying acrylic resin, and its number one enemy is oil.
Oil tends to be stronger than the lash glue. Oil attacks and dissolve lash glue, causing dramatic shedding of the eyelash extensions.
That is why using the right oil-free lash cleanser is necessary, and providing proper aftercare advice before even applying the lash for the client is a priority.
We also need to advise our clients to avoid using any oil-based eyeliner or mascara. We always recommend that our clients stay away from eyeliner and other eye makeup.
2. The list of ingredients a good lash cleanser should contain:
It is essential to invest in high-grade professional cleansing foam, like BL EYELASH EXTENSION FOAM CLEANSER that deeply cleanser, nourish and protect natural lashes.
BL Lash Foam cleanser is designed to cleanse off all debris, remove makeup, and kill bacteria without drying out the skin and breaking down the lash adhesive.
Let's dig deep why professional BL foam cleanser is specifically designed to use in the delicate eye area without causing any irritation.
6 main ingredients spot on for lash cleansing:
1. Cocamidopropyl Betaine
An Organic Compound derived from coconut. A mild co-surfactant that effectively removes dirt, oils, and silicones from the surface of the lashes. It also serves as an antistatic agent which does not irritate skin or mucous membranes. It has antiseptic properties, making it suitable for personal sanitary products.
· Foam boosting
· Lash conditioning
Scientific Fact Reference:
Extracted from the leaves and roots of the comfrey plant. Its use dates as far back as ancient Egypt and Asia.
Heals and soothes
Allantoin is both an anti-inflammatory and anti-irritant. It soothes sensitive eye skin area and relieves irritation. It displays anti-inflammatory qualities that moisturize eyelashes and give them softness and smoothness. It can also help heal and treat wounds, eczema, burns, cuts, redness, and dermatitis.
Hydrates and moisturizes
Allantoin both hydrates and moisturizes dry and combination skin. It does this by encouraging your skin cells to regenerate faster, which in turn can fix damaged moisture barriers. That means all of your precious oils and water aren't just casually escaping from your damaged barrier. The result is more radiant and plump-looking skin.
Elasticity and soft hair
Allantoin improves the elasticity and softness of lashes while giving it a slightly glossy effect and why it is often added to conditioners and hair sprays. Being keratolytic, allantoin helps moisturize the lashes softens keratin, which allows the lashes to hold onto moisture. Keratin is an extremely hard protein, so breaking it down or softening it retains moisture in the lashes.
- USP grade
- Soothes and alleviates skin-irritations
- Has moisturizing and hydrating effects
- Has anti-aging properties making the skin look younger and rejuvenated
- Recognized as a skin protectant by the FDA (see below for making proper claims)
Scientific Fact Reference:
Pharmacognosy Review, Volume 5, July -December 2011
International Journal of Toxicology, May 2010, Supplement, pages 84S-97S
Journal of Occupational Medicine and Toxicology October 2008, ePublica.
3. Zanthoxylum Piperitum Fruit Extract
From the Zanthoxylum fruit, obtained from the Japanese pepper plant (Zanthoxylum piperitum De Candolle), and its extract (Zanthoxylum fruit extract, ZFE)
Hyperoside: is a flavonoid; one of the most important effects is to prevent oxidative stress induced by reactive oxygen species.
Quercetin: Flavonoids like quercetin are antioxidants, so they help neutralize free radicals, anti-inflammatory and promotes lash growth and also act as an antihistamine.
Scientific Fact Reference:
· Yamazaki, Eiji, et al. "Antioxidant activity of Japanese pepper (Zanthoxylum piperitum DC.) Fruit." Food Chemistry 100.1 (2007): 171-177.
· Jung, S. K., et al. "Improvement of anti-inflammatory and antibacterial effects of combined crude drug extracts including barafu on atopic dermatitis." EXPERIMENTAL DERMATOLOGY. Vol. 25. 111 RIVER ST, HOBOKEN 07030-5774, NJ USA: WILEY-BLACKWELL, 2016.
· "Zanthoxylum fruit extract from Japanese pepper promotes autophagic cell death in cancer cells" Articles from Oncotarget are provided here courtesy of Impact Journals, LLC
4. Pulsatilla Koreana Extract
Pulsatilla Koreana Extract is from the extract of Korean Pasque Flower. Mostly used for its antimicrobial and natural preservative activities. The plant extract is also a traditional oriental herbal medicine that is known for its analgesic, anti-inflammatory, and astringent effects.
Scientific Fact Reference:
Chung, Sung-Wha, et al. "The antimicrobial effect of Pulsatilla Koreana extracts to oral micro-organism." The Journal of the Korean Academy of Periodontology 30.3 (2000): 661-674.
5. Usnea Barbata (Lichen) Extract
Also known as "old man's beard" or "tree moss", it is a natural antibacterial agent used in deodorants and other skincare products to help prevent odor. Lichen extract is derived from a symbiotic organism, usually consisting of a fungus and algae.
Lichens are within the family of the Parmeliaceae. Already in the ancient world, they were renowned for their healing power.
It's the main component, Usnic Acid, which is considered to be a strong antibiotic and antifungal that is used in cosmetics and personal care products as a natural preservative to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi, and as a healing ingredient because of its anti-inflammatory properties (Wikipedia). It has been traditionally used by the Native Americans to treat wounds and gangrene with high levels of success.
Lichen extract is of high importance in contemporary cosmetics. Skin damages caused by extreme UV exposure, like sunburn, can be soothed or even healed by baths or compresses with lichen extract. Lichen extract is excellent to fight skin impurities, blackheads, acne, and skin inflammations.
Scientific Fact reference:
I.T. Madamombe & A.J. Afolayan (2003) Evaluation of Antimicrobial Activity of Extracts from South African Usnea barbata, Pharmaceutical Biology, 41:3, 199-202, DOI: 10.1076/ phbi.184.108.40.20689
6. PEG 60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil
PEG Hydrogenated Castor Oil ingredients are produced from hydrogenated castor oil. That is obtained by the cold pressing of seeds of Ricinus communis plant.
Our PEG-60 Hydrogenated Castor Oil concentrations are between 0.5% and 10%. Necessary purification procedures were also done to remove any impurities from the ingredient before blending it into cosmetic formulations at which we considered it to be safe.
Its anti-inflammatory properties help to calm and soothe sensitive skin. One of the main benefits of castor oil is that it retards the growth of harmful microbes; this is due to ricinoleic acid, a potent fatty acid that helps to protect the skin against invading viruses and bacteria. It also helps in hair regrowth.
Scientific Fact References:
"Amended Safety Assessment of PEGylated Oils as Used in
Cosmetics" This report was prepared by Christina Burnett, Scientific Analyst/Writer, and Bart Heldreth, Ph.D., Chemist CIR. "Castor Oil Health Benefits." homeremediesweb.com. Retrieved 2015-10-02.
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