Can You Get Eyelash Extensions Wet?

asian woman wearing eyelash extensions swimming in a lagoon-style swimming pool

Can you get eyelash extensions wet? Absolutely! Eyelash extensions are a beauty trend that doesn’t seem to be going away any time soon.

These eye-enhancing extensions grace the faces of the most fashionable celebrities, from glamorous members of the Kardashian-Jenner clan to the sophisticated Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.

On top of their popularity—with tons of natural styles available—extensions make the standard adhesive strip falsies seem like a thing of the past. Now, although admittedly popular, there are still tons of myths that surround lash extensions.

One of these is the prevailing question of whether or not your eyelash extensions can get wet. Good news: eyelash extensions can get wet!

This article will hopefully demystify the effects different types of moisture have on eyelash extensions, and how to properly dry lashes that were exposed to water.

Can You Get Lash Extensions Wet?

Yes, eyelash extensions can get wet; however, this is the case only after a 48 hour curing period. The adhesive used during the application process is completely water-resistant, though extensions take an average of 48 hours to truly set. 

As far as adhesives go, ethyl cyanoacrylate is generally accepted as the most common glue used for extensions (but other cyanoacrylate adhesives are also used). This glue draws on moisture in the air to harden and is extremely safe when used properly.

Continuing off of that idea, there are downsides to ethyl cyanoacrylate, including possible irritation caused by contact and fumes. Since allergic reactions are also a possibility, we recommend to always patch test any new product you are planning on using, extension adhesive included.

It could take a few days for symptoms to appear. If you are good to go with the adhesive but are concerned about the aftermath of the application, there is a fantastic loophole to reduce sensitivity and the 48 hour wait period: an eyelash nano mister.

The mist of a nano mister is fine enough to not weigh down new lashes all while providing the moisture the glue needs to cure. With it, a 48 hour wait is cut down to anywhere between 4 and 12 hours (depending on exposure).

Why Do Eyelash Extensions Burn When Wet?

Sensitivity caused by adhesive exposure could be the key reason why extensions burn when wet. Discomfort is common—let’s be honest, the application process looks far from comfortable itself—but extensive pain, itchiness, or burning could be a sign of an allergic reaction. 

Furthermore, when water comes in contact with the extension glue, it risks spreading residual vapors that can cause burning. This can happen when experiencing watery eyes, after or during crying, and while showering.

Note that extensions should not be causing constant burning, itching, or discomfort. If these symptoms persist after 48 hours and following aftercare, set up an appointment with your preferred eyelash technician for an evaluation and (possible) removal. 

If the symptoms continue once the extensions are removed—or if they get worse—look into seeing your physician for treatment options.

Will A Sauna Ruin Eyelash Extensions?

No, a trip to the sauna won’t ruin eyelash extensions. Hot tubs, steam rooms, and the use of humidifiers are completely safe to use after the initial 48 hour grace period as well. 

On that note, repeated exposure to high heat levels and steam does risk weakening the bond between the natural eyelash and the extension. The primary reason behind this is that the mix of oils released from sweating mingled with the heat leads to early fallout and the loss of curl.

This remains true for those who got an eyelash lift prior to extensions. Luckily, saunas won’t fry or melt your lashes. However, melted synthetic lashes can occur as a result of high heat exposure from things like blow dryers and the stovetop.

To avoid any lasting damage to the adhesive or the curl, clean your eyelashes immediately after sauna use and avoid staying in for more than 5 minutes. 

Cleaning your lashes is simple, and can be simplified into three easy steps:

  1. Gently remove any makeup with an oil-free remover
  2. Use a recommended (professional) eyelash extension cleanser
  3. Pat dry and brush with an eyelash comb

Sometimes, your lash artist has recommended aftercare products to use. It is vital to follow the aftercare steps provided to ensure that you get the absolute most from your extensions.

Can You Shower With Eyelash Extensions?

Absolutely! Showering after the 24-48 hour cure period is extremely safe to do. At that point in time, you will not risk damaging (or losing) your gorgeous new lash extensions by showering.

Note that even if showering is safe, there are methods that can be implemented to prevent any damage and premature lash loss. When you shower, be sure to not harshly rub your eyes or have the water from the shower head directly hit your face.

And, after showering, pat dry your lashes with a soft, clean towel. Once your lashes are dry, brush your eyelashes with an appropriate comb, like a spoolie or clean mascara wand.

Can You Swim In Salt Water With Eyelash Extensions?

Absolutely—but with caution. While saltwater swimming is fine to participate in with eyelash extensions, you definitely shouldn’t stay underwater too long or delay cleaning your lashes afterward.

Saltwater can easily interrupt the extension’s bonding and lead to brittleness that then causes lashes to fall out. Moreso, since eyelash extensions are more vulnerable to damage when they are wet, you should avoid rubbing your eyes after a swim regardless of the content of the body of water. 

The easiest way to curb lash damage while swimming is to wear water-tight protective goggles. This way, you won’t have to worry about the salt in the water breaking down the adhesive bond.

Can You Get Eyelash Extensions Wet In A Pool?

Yes, swimming in a pool is totally safe with eyelash extensions, but with caution. As is the case when exposing your lashes to saltwater, swimming in a chlorinated pool can lead to brittle, weak extensions and the breakdown of the adhesive hold. 

Again, we recommend wearing water goggles when in a pool to prevent your lashes from experiencing adverse effects from chlorine exposure. Always clean your lashes after a swim, too.

How Do I Dry My Eyelash Extensions After They Get Wet?

There are a few items needed to properly dry your eyelash extensions: a microfiber towel, a mini-fan, and an eyelash spoolie. Really, these are all you need besides precious time and patience—it’s that easy! 

  1. After cleaning the lashes with your choice of foaming cleanser, carefully pat the surrounding eye area dry with the microfiber towel. If you do not have a microfiber towel on hand, any clean lint-free cloth can work as well.
  2. Use the mini-fan to blow cool air gently onto your lashes (a cool air blow dryer on low will also work here).
  3. Once dried, use the spoolie to comb—and more importantly, fluff—your lashes. 

Keep in mind that, whenever wet, your eyelashes are going to be far more fragile than if they were dry. They are weighed down, with a lot of stress placed on the bonding adhesive. Use only light touches and avoid aggressive rubbing or pulling when drying.

How Can I Wash My Hair Without Getting My Eyelashes Wet?

There are a few different approaches one could take to wash their hair without getting their eyelashes wet. Whether you are looking to keep your makeup in tip-top shape for a later event or are looking to keep your lash set fresh, check out the below methods to keep water away from your face while showering:

A Face Shield

Perhaps one of the more unusual beauty trends to break out during the COVID-19 pandemic, 19-year-old Ella Lowey of the UK proposed that a medical-grade PPE face shield is the perfect way to protect new lash extensions from water exposure. 

Honestly? Lowey has a fantastic point. Face shields do offer great protection and keep the face dry when exposed to an overhead water flow.

This idea is echoed in the brand ShowrShield, which is more or less the same product as the PPE face shield but in a fashionably slimmer, more accessible design. ShowrShield is also fully reusable, which is definitely a bonus.

The Visor Method

Although traditionally used outdoors to protect against sun exposure, plastic visors are great at keeping water off of your face, too. They can be found at both online and in-person stores, and are an awesome option thanks to their multi-use function.

On top of this, there are a number of different colors and gradients available to choose from, which allow room for your unique personality to shine through. Indoor or outdoor, the visor has plenty of use outside of guarding eyelash extensions.

Using An Adjustable Showerhead

Another approach to keeping water away from the face during showering is an adjustable showerhead. An adjustable showerhead gives room for an individual to control the direction and pressure of the water flow.

By allowing this, the prevention of water from touching the face becomes a more active role that is taken on by the individual. There are tons of different types of adjustable showerheads available on the market, ranging from complex to more simplistic designs.

Most are within the price range of $17-35, with more expensive options being closer to $160. The cost of an adjustable showerhead varies greatly depending on the type you get.

Before purchasing an adjustable showerhead, make sure your choice is compatible with your current shower apparatus. If you cannot find a compatible design, or believe that installing a showerhead is too difficult, opt for one of the other options above. 

Although other uses are available, these methods are especially handy for those of you looking to shower within the 48 hours after the eyelash extension application. Similarly, they are also effective for use at any point in time during the duration of your extensions.

What Happens If You Accidentally Get Your Eyelash Extensions Wet?

This answer depends on whether or not your eyelash extensions get wet within the 24-48 hour wait time, or after. If your extensions accidentally get wet at some point during the curing period, then you risk possibly shock-curing the adhesive.

Shock-curing—also called shock-polymerization—is the instance of the adhesive drying immediately upon contact with water. This will happen when the glue is overwhelmed with moisture; the opposite effect of using a nano mister, which instead gradually applies moisture to the glue.

Unfortunately, wet lash extensions during the curing period will mean that the bond, since it was hastened, will be incredibly weak. The extension fallout is inevitable at this point and your once full, fluttering extensions will be no more. 

In all, it is crucial to keep your extensions dry during the required 24-48 hours immediately following application. If you are planning to take a dip or shower, make sure you cover all bases and keep your eyelash extensions dry with the products suggested in the above sections.

Final Thoughts: Can You Get Eyelash Extensions Wet? 

The biggest takeaway from this article is that yes, eyelash extensions can get wet, but only after the glue completely cures. This includes wetting extensions in both salt and chlorinated bodies of water, although neither are really necessarily recommended by professional lash techs and artists.

Always protect your lashes during swimming. Keep in mind that what makes or breaks eyelash extensions is the adhesive used and how it cures. Besides the technique used, proper curing is the secret to having long-lasting extensions.

By inducing a shock-cure to the adhesive (triggered by water exposure prior to fully curing), your eyelash extensions are bound to have a weak hold. To simply put it: they will have all too easy of a time falling out. 

Additionally, fallout can occur from poor aftercare and improper lash cleaning technique. Eyelash extensions are, unfortunately, not indestructible and there is a list of things that can risk damaging them. As a general rule, always follow instructions laid out by the professional that applied your lashes.

They will be able to answer any and all questions you have regarding your extensions. More than anything, we recommend you keep your extensions away from water for at least 24 hours, with 48 hours being the most. The bond during this time is fragile and any tampering with the adhesive can result in brittle and loose lashes.

Avoidable lash fallout isn’t fun, and it is a total waste of your time and money—it is literally the last thing you need on your beauty journey. So in the end, please be careful, stay aware, and enjoy your beautiful eyelash extensions!

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By Cierra Tolentino

Cierra Tolentino is a beauty writer at Kintegra Research. She loves keeping people up-to-date with the latest beauty trends in skincare, hair care, and makeup. Finding answers to tough questions is her thing. When she has free time you can find her chasing down a clumsy toddler and obsessively drinking tea.