Eyelash extensions are a popular beauty trend that have taken the nation by storm in recent years.
Rather than applying layers of mascara every day, women can get eyelash extensions applied to their eyes to create thick, voluminous lashes.
As with any cosmetic procedure, eyelash extensions can cause some side effects, particularly irritated or red eyes.
There are many reasons why you might have irritated eyes after eyelash extensions. Some common reasons are an allergic reaction, low-quality products, poor hygiene in the lash salon, or even preexisting eye sensitivity or conditions.
If you’re worried about having irritated eyes after eyelash extensions, keep reading below. We’ll explain what can happen, why it happens, how you can soothe irritated eyes, and how to avoid them entirely.
Is it common for eyes to become irritated after eyelash extensions?
Yes, it is common for eyes to become irritated after eyelash extensions. As we stated above, this can happen for a number of reasons.
The most common causes of eye irritation after eyelash extensions are allergic reaction, low-quality products used (such as the lash glue and eyelash extension primer), poor hygiene in the lash salon, or hypersensitivity and other preexisting eye conditions.
Eyelash extensions are applied to the eyelids using glue. The chemicals used in the glue are often harsh and can be tricky to use on an area as sensitive as the eye.
If a little bit of glue leaks into the eyeball itself, it can cause a lot of irritation. The irritation can also come from the other products used or even the material of the eyelashes themselves, which can be made from silk, mink, or even plastic.
In severe cases, eyes can become irritated after eyelash extensions from chemical burn. This could happen if your lash stylist was not properly trained or did not apply the lashes correctly.
If you believe you have a chemical burn from eyelash extensions, seek professional medical help from a doctor.
What does an allergic reaction to eyelash extensions look like?
An allergic reaction is one of the most common causes for irritation after eyelash extensions.
The symptoms usually appear the same day, either within a few minutes or a few hours of getting the eyelash extensions. You can even develop the symptoms during the process.
The most common symptoms of an allergic reaction from eyelash extensions are:
• red eyes
• watery eyes
Allergic reactions occur when your body reacts to one of the chemicals in the glue or other materials used.
Many people have a latex allergy, for example, and latex is one of the ingredients used in the glue.
What soothes irritated eyes from eyelash extensions?
If you’re dealing with irritated eyes after receiving eyelash extensions, don’t worry. There are some remedies you can use to help soothe your irritated eyes.
Applying a cold compress can help to reduce the swelling and bring relief. This is a natural and non-medicinal way to help with the irritation.
For those who want to use medicine, you can try using topical cortisone cream, Benadryl or another oral allergy medication, or even allergy eye drops.
When applying the cortisone cream, be careful not to get it too close to the lid line or in your actual eyeball. The cream should be applied higher up on the eyelid in a small amount to avoid any leaking directly into the eye.
Be sure to follow the proper dosage and administration instructions for whichever type of medicine you choose to use.
Can I use eye drops with lash extensions?
Yes, you can use eye drops with lash extensions. The recommended type of eye drop to use would be an allergy eye drop to soothe the eye irritation after application.
If you have a preexisting eye condition and have been instructed by an optometrist to use another type of eye drop daily, inform your lash stylist and ask if this procedure may be right for you.
Always follow the guidance of your doctor and qualified lash stylist. The professionals will know what’s safe and what isn’t, so don’t try to guess for yourself.
If you do have a preexisting eye condition you think may disqualify you from getting eyelash extensions, your lash stylist may have alternative products that can be safer to use for your eyes.
Always ask and give your lash stylist all the information before moving forward with your eyelash extensions.
How long will my eyes be irritated after lash extensions?
On average, eye irritation can last around 2 days after getting lash extensions. Irritation can last as short as a few hours, but it is normal for it to last around 2 days.
In most cases, the irritation should clear up with the help of the cold compresses and medication.
If on day 3 after your eyelash extensions you still experience irritation and redness that has not gone down or improved with medication and cold compresses, make an appointment with your doctor.
Be sure to tell your doctor the types of products used and explain any medications you’ve been taking to help.
It’s also a good idea to set up an appointment with your lash stylist for a lash removal. If your lash extensions are causing a prolonged irritation, you may need to have them removed to find relief and avoid damage to your eyes.
How do you stop an allergic reaction from eyelash extensions?
There are many ways you can help stop an allergic reaction from happening due to eyelash extensions.
The first option is to test your lash stylist’s products on a small patch of your skin before getting the extensions. Ask them to apply a small amount of each type of product they’ll be using to a small area on your arm.
Watch the skin over the next few days for any signs of an allergic reaction, such as redness, swelling, itching, burning, or rash.
If you see no signs of an allergic reaction, you’re likely good to proceed with the eyelash extensions. If you still have irritation after the eyelash extensions, it’s likely not from an allergic reaction and is from another cause.
Before you test the products on your skin, check the list of ingredients. If you know you have a latex allergy, check to see if the products your lash stylist uses have latex in them.
The same goes for any other allergy you think may apply to the lash products. You don’t have to apply it to your skin if you already know you have an allergy and see the allergen listed.
Ask your lash stylist if they have alternative products without latex, or your particular allergen, before proceeding.
The last thing you can try is to ask if your lash stylist has formaldehyde-free products. Formaldehyde is used in very small amounts in many lash extension products, but it can also cause irritation in the eyes.
If you’re worried about your stylist using products with formaldehyde, ask if they have alternatives or seek a stylist who does.
How do you prevent red eyes after eyelash extensions?
The best way to prevent red eyes after eyelash extensions is to find a clean, qualified, experienced professional lash stylist.
More lash stylists are getting licensed every day, but it’s no easy task. Lash extensions are incredibly delicate and complex to apply correctly, and you need to ensure you’re working with someone who has experience with this.
Alongside experience, your lash stylist needs to be using the utmost hygiene. Sterilization of tools, disposable items, using gloves are all important parts to preventing eye irritation.
Just as you would ensure your tattoo artist has high hygiene standards, you want to ensure the same of your lash stylist. They’ll be applying chemicals to your skin, and you need to ensure they’re doing so safely and cleanly.
There are also steps you can take to prevent red eyes, aside from finding a professional who applies your extensions right.
During the procedure, keep your eyes tightly closed. This will help to prevent any glue or other chemicals from leaking into the eye.
Don’t try to look at yourself in the mirror, look at your phone, or look at your stylist. Although it may be boring to lay there for hours as they stylist applies your lash extensions, it’s vital to keep your eyes closed.
If you experience any irritation during the treatment, tell your stylist immediately. They can evaluate their set-up and your eyes to see if there’s something they need to adjust.
Irritation during the treatment can also be caused by an allergic reaction, so it’s important to speak up to avoid further application of the allergen.
After your eyelash extensions are done, avoid rubbing your eyes or getting them wet for the next several hours. If it’s raining when you’re leaving the salon, shield your eyes as best you can from the rain.
Don’t go swimming or wash your face.
That night, sleep on your back instead of your side or stomach. This will keep your eyes free from rubbing on the pillow and possibly irritating the skin.
It’s a good idea to avoid make-up as well. If you have an event and you want to get eyelash extensions done prior to the event to look nice, it’s best to schedule your appointment for a few days before the event is set to take place.
Are eyelash extensions bad for your eyes?
Eyelash extensions are not inherently bad for your eyes, but they’re not great either.
When you get eyelash extensions, you’re having small pieces of plastic or silk glued to your eyelid with harsh chemicals.
Professional lash stylists are trained to do this in the safest possible way, but the fact is that you’re still putting harsh chemicals right outside of your eye.
Discuss the pros and cons of eyelash extensions with your lash stylist to determine if this beauty treatment is the right fit for you.