The Sparse Eyelash Dilemma: How to Remove Eyelash Extensions

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Eyelash extensions can immediately elevate your look while simplifying your beauty routine. These professionally-applied eyelash extensions get your glam on without fussing about your mascara or falsies. But fast-forward about a month later, your fluttering eyelashes might not look as good as they did when you stepped out of the salon. They might already be falling out, and you’re dealing with the stubborn lashes clinging on to your real ones.

When this happens, you can’t help but Google “How to remove eyelash extensions?”

While some people have the luxury of having their eyelash extensions removed or replaced by professionals, others don’t have the time or money to spare. So on top of your “How to remove eyelash extensions?” query, you might also be wondering “Is it safe to remove eyelash extensions at home?”

If you’re itching to remove your false eyelashes but are wondering if you should do it, fret not. Step up your confidence by following this guide.

Is it Safe to Remove Eyelash Extensions at Home?

The pandemic lockdowns might have taught you how to DIY your pedicure or cut your own hair, but it’s a different story with eyelash extensions.

Frankly, it’s best to leave the job to the pros since the job involves the removal of professional-grade lash glue. You need the tools lash experts use. Also, a full DIY eyelash extension removal could contaminate your eye area with bacteria, which could cause an infection.

For the health of your natural lashes and the safety of your eyes, it’s best to wait for an expert’s service. We recommend going back to the professional that applied your eyelash extensions for the easiest and safest removal.

Although you might be itching to remove all the lashes, the last thing you should do is use your tweezers. Picking at your lashes results in bald spots throughout the lash line. Plus, if you pick your extensions, you might end up taking your natural lashes along with them.

Does this mean all hope is lost?

Not really. Although you can’t perform a professional eyelash extension removal by yourself, there are steps you can take to speed up the removal process. With eyelash extensions, patience is important. So, don’t be surprised if the entire process takes a few days or even a few weeks.

How to Remove Eyelash Extensions Safely

If you’re itching to do something, here’s how to properly remove eyelash extensions at home.

Take a Steamy Shower

Hot water is a big no-no for newly applied eyelash extensions. A long, steamy shower can help loosen the eyelash extension glue. Moisture and heat can dissolve the lash adhesive (aka cyanoacrylate), especially if the adhesive is exposed to intense quantities.

However, a hot shower won’t immediately cause your lashes to fall. If your salon used top-quality adhesive, it will take a lot of hot water and steam to loosen the lashes. It’s important to be patient so you won’t compromise the health of your eyelashes.

Use an Oil-Based Makeup Remover

An oil-based makeup remover can help you safely loosen up the adhesive of your lashes. Many oil-based makeup removers can break down waterproof mascara while nourishing your lashes with vitamin E and vitamin C.

If you are shopping for a good makeup remover, look for one that features glycols. This ingredient is used in cosmetics to dissolve adhesive bonds. Once you’ve got your makeup remover, use a cotton pad to apply the oil-based cleaner on your lashes daily. As you continue to do this, you slowly weaken the bonds of the eyelash glue.

Use Castor Oil

Clear glass bottle with white liquid
Photo by Kadarius Seegars on Unsplash

If you really want to get your lashes off, include castor oil in your nightly skincare routine. Castor oil can dissolve the adhesives as you sleep. On top of that, castor oil can also lengthen your natural lashes.

Once you’ve removed all of your eye makeup, coat a cotton swab or a spoolie in castor oil and brush it on your lashes. If you get some oil in your eye, flush it out immediately with water. If you don’t have castor oil at hand, baby oil is a good alternative since it’s made from mineral oil.

Layer on Some Mascara

Instead of pulling or picking on your lashes, conceal the remaining lashes with some eyeliner and your favorite lengthening mascara. Not only can these makeup tools help blend eyelash extensions, but they can also weaken the adhesive that keeps your extensions attached to your lashes.

Put on mascara every day. If your mascara is rich in oils and waxes, the extensions and adhesives should come off after a week of daily mascara application.

Be Patient and Gentle

Once your extensions have finally fallen out, be gentle to your natural lashes, especially when removing or applying makeup. Avoid putting too much pressure on the eye area or the lashes and refrain from vigorously rubbing. Instead, strengthen and nourish your delicate lashes with lash serum or an eyelash conditioner so they will grow strong and long.

Should You Use a Professional Eyelash Extension Remover?

Woman with eyelashes wearing hat
Photo by Allef Vinicius on Unsplash

If you want to remove your lashes quickly, it’s tempting to use the tools that professionals use. However, we don’t recommend doing this.

Professionals use eyelash extension removers that are specifically formulated with strong glue-dissolving materials. If the solution comes into contact with your eyes, it can cause an infection. Instead, they should be used by certified and licensed lash stylists.

There are two types of professional lash extension removers available on the market: cream remover and gel remover. The cream remover is a viscous solution that professionals use for the complete removal of eyelash extensions while gel remover is for spot removal.

Can You Use Vaseline to Remove Eyelash Extensions?

Yes! Petroleum jelly is an affordable alternative if you want to loosen up your extensions. Loosening up your extensions with Vaseline follows the same process as with other products.

  1. Remove all of your makeup first before you apply petroleum jelly on your eyelashes. To break the bonds easily, steam your face first. You can also place a warm and moist towel over your face for a few minutes.
  2. Soak a pad or cotton gauze in the jelly and leave it over your eyes.
  3. If your lashes are stubborn, take a shower and use the steam to wipe over your eyes.

The Bottom Line

Eyelash extensions are great at making you look great. But once their time is up, you fall victim to sparse eyelashes. It’s tempting to remove them just to be done with it, but doing so compromises the health of your lash area.

Instead of picking on them, apply the steps above and exercise plenty of patience and gentleness.


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