How to Clean Your Lash Extensions

Did you know you can get lash mites on your extensions? Yes, you read that correctly. You can get lash mites, also known as demodex, on your lash extensions. Lash mites can also infest regular lashes too, but there are some things that lash extensions wearers do that make their eyelids the perfect breeding ground for these mites.

So many women who get extensions are scared to get their extensions wet and don’t clean them well. They notice that when they do clean them, they lose a few extensions and it feels like $$$$ dropping into the sink! I get it. I really do. As a lash extension girl myself, it can be hard to see those extensions fluttering on to your cheek. But, trust me, the alternative of lash mites is much worse.

What happens when you don’t clean your extensions well?

Dandruff, oil and dead skin builds up at the base of the extensions. This is worse if you sleep in your eye makeup. This condition is called blepharitis and results in inflammation of your eyelids. Lash mites get attracted to oil and makeup and it is their perfect home to multiply and infest. You won’t feel something crawling around on your eyelid. But, your eyes will get red, inflamed and itchy. Only your eye doctor can visualize the Demodex with a microscope in the office.

This is a microscope photo of my lash extensions of just 24 hours of not cleaning them. Note the yellow debris and misdirected lashes.

My Lash Cleaning Steps

  1. Remove eye makeup with micellar water
  2. Wash face with gentle oil-free cleanser, like Cetaphil. I apply it to the eyelids as well.
  3. Use a dilute tea tree oil cleanser to clean at the base of your lashes. I use the We Love Eyes Tea Tree Oil Foaming Cleanser. Use my link to get a discount. Use small circular motions at the base of the lashes to remove the dirt and buildup off your lashes.
  4. I use a soft brush, wet it and then pump the foaming cleanser on to this so that the bristles really get into the crevices in between your lashes.
  5. I wash the brush with warm water and continue the circular motions at the base of the eyelids/lashes. Repeat three to four times until all the cleanser if off your eyelids.
  6. Swipe down and out to move the particulate matter away from your eyelids and off your lashes with the wet brush.
  7. Rinse with cold water
  8. Blot your lashes dry with a soft cloth. I use this the makeup eraser cloth.
  9. Dry your lashes with a bladeless fan like this. Do not use heat.
  10. When dry, comb your lashes with a spoolie.

I know. It’s a lot of steps. But, if you’re going to get extensions, then you should be following these nightly. In the morning, I brush my lashes with the spoolie to remove the dry particulate matter and to make sure the lashes are not misdirected in to my eye (which can cause a corneal abrasion).

If you like watching videos, you can watch my steps of lash cleansing here.

My products for lash cleansing:

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Dr. Rupa Wong


Hi! I'm Dr. Rupa Wong. Physician. Private Practice Owner. Mama to 3 kids. Managing Partner. Educator. Textbook Author. Conference Co-Founder. Mentor. I am more than just one thing, even as a doctor and I bet you are too. I would love to help you envision the life you want, and then get after it. What are you waiting for?

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