Battle of the lash cleansers

You've just invested in lash extensions, they are full, they are long, they are beautiful. You're about to leave and your lash technician goes over the aftercare instructions with you which includes cleansing them 1-2 times a day..... what do I use to clean them with? you may ask. Well stay tuned and we will go over the best options that will keep your extensions looking fierce!

The MOST important thing to remember is to cleanse, cleanse, cleanse!

You may have heard of people wearing goggles while showering or avoiding getting their lash extensions wet at all costs. Well I'm here to tell you, that is the WORST thing you can do for your lashes. You absolutely must cleanse your lashes twice a day after the 12-24 hour curing time. Makeup, skin cells, dirt, and oils build up on your lashes throughout the day and must be removed to keep your lashes healthy and maintain good retention. If you don't make an effort to keep your lash extensions clean, you risk poor rentention, breakage, and worst of all, lash mites. Yep, you heard that correctly, lash mites! GROSS. What are lash mites? Well, all over our body we have microscopic mites that feed off of our dead skin cells, this is normal. However, when you have a lot of buildup on your lash line due to poor cleansing, this creates a breeding ground for many more mites. This can lead to eye conditions which include symptoms such as inflammation, itching, pain, and eventually alopecia (lash loss). So, I'll say it again, CLEANSE YOUR LASHES!

There are several things people use to cleanse their lashes, we will list the most popular options and tell you why, or why not, you should be using them.

Baby Shampoo - Johnson and Johnson

The OG lash cleanser, but is it the best? Answer: Heck NO! Baby shampoo is thought to be "gentle", "tear free", and safe for extensions, however, it is actually none of these things. While baby shampoo is generally oil-free, it does include several surfactants which are harsh detergents that can dry out and dehydrate lashes which leads to breakage. JJ baby shampoo is not formulated to be used on the eyes, it actually includes fragrance that can lead to irritation. It is also not formulated to kill bacteria therefore, while it may remove makeup, dirt, and oils, you are moving any potential bacteria all around your skin and into your eyes. Lastly, baby shampoo includes glycol which will actually break down the lash adhesive and ruin your retention.


- oil-free

- inexpensive

- easily accessible


- formulated with fragrance, surfactants, and glycol - can dry out and dehydrate the natural lashes and lead to breakage

- does not kill bacteria

Recommended: Heck NO!

Micellar Water

Lately, micellar water has been the inexpensive go-to option to cleanse your lash extensions. While I'm happy people are starting to realize how important it is to cleanse, I'm not particularly happy with micellar water as an option. Micellar water is formulated to lift makeup and oils off the skin easily and while it is an amazing facial cleansing option, it's not made to be used with lash extensions. Some micellar waters can be irritating to the eyes. Micellar water leaves a residue on the skin which means anytime you use one, you should be following up with a second cleansing agent to ensure you're removing all impurties from the skin. So if you need to follow with a second cleanser, what is the point in using micellar water specifically for your extensions?


- most are oil-free

- gentle

- great makeup remover

- easily accessible


- can be irritating to the eyes

- leaves a surface residue

- you must follow with a second cleanser to remove the residue

Recommended: No. Not to clean your lash extensions anyways; it's a great option to remove any makeup prior to your lash cleanser.

Oil-free Facial Cleansers

Cleansers that are formulated specifically for lash extensions are not far off from the gentle oil-free facial cleansers. However, many oil-free facial cleansers can be stripping and drying, they are meant to be followed with a moisturizer so they do not generally have any conditioning properties. If you don't have the option to pick up a lash extension cleanser, these are your next best option. It is important to do your research and choose a cleanser that is free from, alcohol (extremely drying), fragrance (irritating), sodium lauryl sulphate (dehydrates skin and lashes), and glycol (breaks down lash adhesive) which is in almost every facial cleanser.


- oil-free

- inexpensive

- easily accessable


- usually formulated with drying/stripping ingredients

- not formulated to be used on the eyes

- difficult to find an oil-free facial cleanser free from alcohols, surfactancts, fragrance, and glycol

Recommended: maybe, only if you are unable to get a lash specific cleanser, BUT be very cautious of the ingredients

Lash Extension Cleansers

Obviously a cleanser that is formulated specifically to be used on lash extensions is your best option; they have all of the right ingredients and none of the wrong. Formulated to remove makeup, cleanse the area, and kill bacteria while using super gentle ingredients to ensure you're not stripping the skin these cleansers improve retention and encourage healthy growth. While these are generally not sold in stores, any reputable lash technician will have these available as an add-on to your service.


- specifically formulated to be used on lash extensions

- improves retention

- non-stripping

- fragrance free and non-irritating


- not widely available, purchase from a lash technician

Recommended: YES of course! This is your BEST option to keep those babies looking their best and one bottle can last several months

On top of all of that, our Spotlight Foaming Lash Extension Cleanser is the BEST extension-friendly cleanser we have come across. Why? because it is formulated with plant-based ingredients, it is vegan and cruelty free, it's made in Canada, and best of all it is super affordable for a lash cleanser at only $17 for the lash cleansing kit which also includes a cleansing brush.

In conclusion, please, please, PLEASE cleanse your lashes. You've spent your hard-earned money on a full set so protect that investment! Cleansing twice a day, if you have dry skin rinse with water in the am and use a cleanser in the pm and if you have oily skin be sure to use the cleanser morning and night, and following with a thorough but gentle brush will keep your lashes healthy, clean, and looking their best!