Every time you touch an area near your eyes, such as when applying fake eyelashes or eyelash extensions, you are taking on a safety risk because of the eyes’ fragile nature. But the danger doesn’t come so much from sharp tweezers as from the glue used in keeping the fake eyelashes in place! When there’s eyelash glue in eye due to eyelash extension gone wrong you'll need to remove it.
This mishap is possible even with the best fake eyelashes, too, since these require eyelash glue for proper application. But this doesn’t mean that you should skip eyelash extensions for fear of getting it in or near your eyes – synthetic eyelashes make your peepers prettier, after all. The trick lies in proper choice in eyelash glue, in the proper application of the fake eyelashes, and in their proper removal.
Is It Possible to Get Eyelash Glue In Eyes?
When a professional attaches fake eyelashes on your eyelids, your eyes will be shut during the entire procedure so the glue cannot get directly into your eyes. But it’s also not impossible because accidents can happen, such as when glue gets into the top layer of your eyes resulting in irritation, infection and scarring.
There’s certainly a higher risk of getting eyelash glue in eye during a do-it-yourself attachment of the fake eyelashes, as is most often the case. This can happen for a wide range of reasons, from too much glue applied on the fake eyelashes to too short drying time for the glue.
If you're thinking of alternative for eyelash glue, read What can I use instead of eyelash glue? Be aware of the risks involved and choose wisely.
Dangers of Eyelash Glue in Eye
In a Consumer Reports article, several patients have experienced allergic reactions and infections caused by the formaldehyde-based adhesives (i.e., glue) used in the application of their eyelash extensions. The American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO) has also cautioned consumers regarding the dangers of eyelash extension glue in eye in particular and eyelash extensions in general.
The specific dangers included:
- Infection of the eyelids
- Infection of the cornea
- Swelling and/or redness of the eyelids
- Temporary or permanent loss of the natural eyelashes
While you will likely not go blind from eyelash extensions and fake eyelashes, your eyes coming into direct contact with formaldehyde can result in blindness. The importance of choosing a safe yet effective eyelash extension glue cannot be overemphasized. Think no formaldehyde and other chemicals that cause allergic reactions.
Furthermore, this isn’t to say that you should avoid fake eyelashes because these have been proven safe when applied and removed properly. Even people who wear contact lenses can still wear them although certain precautionary measures, such as thoroughly cleaning the eye area before fake eyelash application and avoiding dry eyes.
Dangers of Glue Substitutes
We have encountered questions like, “What can I use instead of eyelash glue?” or “Can you use hair glue for eyelashes?” These are valid questions because it’s possible to run out of eyelash glue or to experience allergic reactions to the current eyelash glue being used.
Unfortunately, there’s no safe substitute for eyelash glue despite the number of people claiming otherwise. In a Telegraph article, a makeup hack of using homemade alternatives to eyelash glue may result in hospitalization.
An example is a mixture of sugar, honey and water mixed with so-called school PVA glue, an adhesive used for arts and crafts. While the first three ingredients are safe – these are washable, too, when it comes into contact with your eyes – the fourth ingredient isn’t recommended by its manufacturer for uses other than crafting.
This is true for other DIY eyelash glue, too, whether it’s hair glue or Elmer’s glue. Just skip your fake eyelashes if you don’t have a safe eyelash glue and wait until you have purchased it. You should find dozens of safe eyelash glue formulated specifically for the purpose so it should neither be a big issue nor a big expense.
But how long does eyelash glue last? It depends on the eyelash glue but most lasts for a week or so.
Wash Away the Glue
If eyelash glue gets into your eyes, we suggest washing your eyes with tap water until it has been removed completely. You should be able to tell since your eyes will start feeling better. You have to avoid rubbing your eyes while washing them; otherwise, you can make matters worse.
This is similar to the process of washing your eyes when an irritant, like dust particles or a stray eyelash, gets into them. You should avoid putting eye drops and ointments into your eyes, as well as asking your friend to blow into your eyes to dislodge the irritant. These are unsafe practices that can further irritate your eyes.
In case your eyes and its surrounding area exhibit signs of an allergic reaction, such as redness, itchiness, and swelling, you should lose no time in seeing your doctor. You may be prescribed medications, among other precautionary measures, to reduce these symptoms and protect your eyes.
Prevention is still better than the cure so in the following sections, we will discuss three methods of removing fake eyelashes and their glue from your eyelids safely. Choose one that best suits your preference, such as using an eye makeup remover since it’s the most convenient.
How to Remove Eyelash Glue From Eyelid: Makeup Remover Method
The easiest way to remove fake lashes at home is to use the best makeup remover wipes. You should have a box of these wipes always if you wear makeup nearly every day because these are specially formulated for this purpose. You may use baby wipes, of course, but the results aren’t the same.
- Run a piece of makeup remover wipe along your eyelid’s lash band. By doing so, the remover can seep in between the eyelid and the lash band thereby loosening the glue.
- Let the wipe sit on your eyelid – close your eyes obviously – for 1 to 2 minutes so that the adhesive starts losing its tackiness. The number of minutes will depend on the strength of the eyelash glue but a couple of minutes should be sufficient.
- Pull the fake lashes off starting from the outer corner; use either your finger or tweezers, whichever is safer in your case. Place your finger flat against your eyelid when the fake lashes start moving easier. Pull up and out a bit so that there’s minimal slack on your eyelid. Grip the fake lashes and gently peel it down and away from your brow.
- Run another piece of makeup remover on your eyelid and lash band so that the residual glue can be loosened. Pull off any residual glue, too, from the fake lashes.
- Wash your face with a facial cleanser to remove all traces of the eyelash glue.
The last step is important because even the best makeup wipes cannot completely remove the tacky feeling left behind by hair glue for eyelashes. Your skin including the area around your eyes will also have time to breathe (i.e., open the pores).
How to Remove Eyelash Glue from Eyes: Steaming Method
Yet another safe, effective and affordable (i.e., no cost) method to remove eyelash extensions at home is to use steam. The steam from boiling water breaks down the adhesive so the fake eyelashes can be more easily removed from your eyelids. This is also an effective way of cleaning your pores, a must-do in your skincare regimen.
- Pour 3 to 4 cups of hot water, preferably at boiling temperature immediately before pouring, into a large glass bowl. Use a facial steamer, if you have it in place of a bowl.
- Drape a clean small towel over your head; your face should be covered at the sides. Place your face above the bowl but make sure that you keep a safe distance of about 18 inches from the hot water; otherwise, you can get minor burns. The steam will be trapped inside the towel that, in turn, will start loosening the eyelash glue.
- Steam your face for about 3 to 5 minutes depending on your heat tolerance. But don’t expose your face to steam for more than 5 minutes due to increased risk of burns. Set a timer on your phone to avoid over-steaming. Take a break in case you feel uncomfortable with your position or you feel suffocated from the steam.
- Pull off the fake eyelashes from the outer corner, as is the case for all three methods, when the steam has loosened the eyelash glue. Use a makeup remover wipe or a cotton swab dipped in makeup remover liquid to gently remove any remaining glue on your eyelid.
- Wash your face with your facial cleanser and cool water, pat dry, and apply facial moisturizer. Your pores will be opened from the steam so closing them again with cool water is necessary.
Note: Use the steam method only once a week. Steaming your skin one time too many can cause acne breakouts, sensitivity, and redness, among others. Use the other two methods if you wear false lashes several times in a week.
How to Remove Eyelash Extension Glue: Oil Method
Hair glue for lashes can also be removed using skin-friendly oil. Oil works by breaking down eyelash glue although it will obviously leave an oily feeling on your eyelid, which can be washed with water and soap.
The best kinds of oil for removing glue for fake eyelashes are coconut oil, extra virgin olive oil, almond oil, and baby oil.
Coconut oil and extra virgin olive oil are the preferred types because these have skin-nourishing qualities, thus, these are commonly used as natural moisturizers.
In general, these types of skin-friendly oils are gentler on the skin than makeup removers and wipes. These are then suitable for people who have sensitive eyes or who have dry skin around the eye area.
A few things to remember, however, about using oil.
- People with oily skin are well-advised to avoid using oil in removing eyelash glue from the eyelids. Oil may clog the pores resulting in increased acne breakouts and/or painful sties.
- Oil can prevent the secure adhesion of the lash glue to the lash band. If you will be reusing the fake eyelashes in the future, you should use the two other methods instead. If not, you can use oil for its dual purpose – fake eyelash removal and face moisturization.
Many of the steps in using oil for eyelash glue removal are similar to using makeup remover wipes.
- Dip a cotton ball or swab into your preferred oil. Squeeze it so that there’s no excess oil that can drip into your eyes.
- Press the damp cotton ball to the lash band, hold it for 1-3 minutes, and wait for the glue to loosen. Use gentle pressure so that the oil doesn’t drip around the eye area. Hold the ball as close as possible to the seam between the lash band and your eyelid.
- When the glue appears to have loosened, start pulling the fake eyelashes from the outer corner. Use either a pair of tweezers or your fingers in getting a good grip on the false eyelashes’ outer corner. Lift carefully and slowly so as to prevent pulling your natural lashes along with the fake ones.
- Once the false eyelashes have been completely removed, place a fresh cotton ball dipped in oil on your eyelid to remove the residual glue. Gently run it along your eyelid and on the lash band until the adhesive has been completely removed.
- Wipe away the excess oil on your eyelids and around your area with a fresh cotton ball (i.e., not dipped in oil). You may also use either a makeup remover wipe or a cotton pad for the purpose.
- Wash your face with your facial cleanser and water, pat dry, and apply moisturizer.
Indeed, the removal of your fake eyelashes using one of the three abovementioned methods to loosen the eyelash glue should be part of your beauty regimen. Always wash and moisturize your eye area afterwards since the skin here manifests signs of aging, such as fine lines and crow’s feet, faster than the other areas of your face.
Eyelash Application With and Without Glue
We have to say that the safe removal of fake eyelashes starts with putting them on. If you put them on shoddily, you will not only get unnatural-looking lashes but you will also have a more difficult time removing them afterwards. There’s also the risk that the glue may get into your eyes.
Here then are our tips in putting on fake eyelashes using eyelash glue.
- Size the fake eyelashes so that these aren’t too long or too wide for your eyes. Hold it against your eyelid, see it from several angles, and trim down the sides, if needed. (Tip: Lashes look best when these are longer toward your eyes’ outer corners.)
- Apply the lash glue to the eyelash strip’s outer seam with either a small brush or an applicator. Alternatively, squeeze a thin line of glue into back of your hand, hold the fake eyelashes in your other hand, and gently run its outer seam along the glue. Let the glue dry for 40 to 50 seconds in either method; the drier the glue, the better the false eyelashes will stick to the lash line.
Tip: Never apply glue beyond the lash band. Excess glue should be removed using a pair of tweezers.
Tip: Apply slightly more glue to the inner corners and ends of the false lashes.
- Place the strip on your eyelid and position it closely to your natural lashes. (Tip: Bring it down from above instead of from the front.)
- When the strip is in its proper place, just let the glue dry naturally. Don’t press on the strip or hold it down since it can be misaligned in the process.
Alternatively, you can also apply the glue to your natural lash line, not on the false lashes. Think of it as applying an eye liner but be more careful so that the glue doesn’t get into your eye. Let the glue dry for 40 to 50 seconds, or until it’s already tacky, before setting the false eyelashes on top.
You can also apply false eyelashes even without glue. This is a more advisable route since using alternatives to eyelash glue has its dangers, as explained above.
- Use self-adhesive fake eyelashes, which obviously don’t require glue for application.
- Size the eyelashes, too.
- Make a thin line using an eyebrow pencil on the lash area where the fake eyelashes will be placed on.
- Place the fake eyelashes as close to the lash area and on the thin line. Again, place the eyelashes from above, not from the front, and keep the eye where these will be placed closed. Your other eye should obviously be open.
- Check that the fake eyelashes aren’t sticking to your natural lashes for easy removal in the future.
- Position the fake eyelashes using tweezers or your fingers.
- Wait for a few minutes to let the self-adhesive dry before applying mascara.
In both cases, it’s always best to apply mascara on both your false eyelashes and natural eyelashes after the former has been applied on your eyelids. This will make for a more natural look since the two become blended, so to speak.
False eyelashes are increasingly becoming a must-have for women who want beautifully long and lush lashes. Just be careful when applying and removing them so that you can get the best effect!
You are probably also interested in how to get eyelash glue off clothes, so read on!