Can You Sleep With Fake Eyelashes On?

young white Caucasian woman lying in bed sleeping

Can you sleep with fake eyelashes on? The short answer to that is “no.” The long answer is that you shouldn’t sleep with fake eyelashes on. Because it can cause keratoconjunctivitis and eyelid contact dermatitis.

Eyelid contact dermatitis affects the skin around the eyes. Symptoms include itching, dryness, and redness. Formaldehyde, an ingredient in most eyelash glues can induce keratoconjunctivitis.

Symptoms include discharge, stickiness, and swollen eyelids. If you prefer safer alternatives to eyelash glue, read our post titled “What Can I Use Instead Of Eyelash Glue?

Can You Leave Fake Eyelashes On Overnight?

pretty woman in black tank top wearing silver watch lying on bed

We do not recommend wearing fake eyelashes overnight because, in addition to the risk of keratoconjunctivitis and eyelid contact dermatitis, fake eyelashes pose a considerable health risk as they tend to trap dirt. Dirt particles promote the growth of harmful bacteria and these harmful particles cause irritation and infection.

What Are The Side Effects Of Fake Eyelashes?

An allergic reaction to eyelash glue can cause swelling of the eyelids or even eyelash loss. According to Dr. Philip R. Rizzuto, MD, at times allergic reactions to eyelash glue cause women to rub or pull on their lashes. Experts call this condition madarosis.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) or “staph” is the most common type of bacteria that lives on eyelashes. The toxic waste that S. aureus produces causes blepharitis.

False eyelashes themselves also harbor extra bacteria that can cause eye infections like bacterial conjunctivitis (pink eye) and eyelid infections like styes.

A combination of dirt, eyelash glue, and oil can create the perfect breeding ground for harmful bacteria. And if you sleep with fake eyelashes on, you increase the risk of infection.

How To Prevent An Allergic Reaction To Fake Eyelashes

When you sleep, you roll around, and your eyes will rub against your pillows. False lashes are made from delicate materials and by wearing them overnight you risk ripping, tearing, and damaging them.

To avoid ruining them, take your falsies off before going to sleep. You must treat your falsies like the beauty investment that they are. Proper care and maintenance extends the shelf life of your falsies and saves you some cash.

To keep your natural lashes healthy, always wash your eyelids daily with mild, gentle soap and water. Eyelid glands naturally moisten and lubricate your eyelashes.

So conditioners and lotions should only be applied if your natural lashes feel excessively dry. A healthy diet including vitamin A, protein, biotin, iron, and niacin will also help with the health and maintenance of long, full, and beautiful eyelashes.

Is It Bad To Sleep With Fake Eyelashes On?

young attractive red haired woman sleeping on a white bed

We do not recommend sleeping with fake eyelashes due to the associated health risks. Sleeping with fake eyelashes can wreak havoc in the form of allergic reactions, eye infections, and in some serious cases, blindness.

Can Fake Eyelashes Damage Your Natural Lashes?

The tension that eyelash glue and false lashes put on your natural lashes can cause traction alopecia. Traction alopecia is a form of alopecia or hair loss. It is caused by prolonged tension on the hair shaft.

The pulling force applied to the hair shaft loosens the hair from the follicle resulting in hair loss. It is important to note that tossing and turning in your sleep applies a pulling force on your natural lashes that causes traction alopecia.

False eyelashes add extra weight to your natural lashes. And if the false lashes are too heavy for your natural eyelashes. The excessive weight will damage your hair follicles over time.

To make things worse, many brands sell blinged-out fake lashes that come with jewels, gems, and rhinestones. These embellishments are especially weighty. And put hair follicles under severe tension. If you add sleep into the mix, you increase the risk of traction alopecia.

What Can You Do To Prevent Traction Alopecia?

Don’t stress, traction alopecia isn’t common. It can be prevented. And if caught early, it is fully reversible. But the old adage “prevention is better than cure” still applies. Avoid weighty embellishments. Only use lightweight jewels, gems, and rhinestones on your lashes.

Before everything, avoid excess glue when applying fake lashes. Excessive glue creates a buildup of gunk on your eyelids and natural lashes. The gunk can irritate the skin around your eyelids. And can be pretty painful if it’s pulling on your natural lashes. This is why you should only apply enough glue for a firm bond. Less glue is more.

Also, in addition to the associated health risks, eyelash glue gets tacky, sticks to your hands and your tweezers, and even ruins your clothes. To avoid ruining your clothes, read our post on how to remove eyelash glue from clothes.

Moreover, frequent application of false eyelashes can also cause traction alopecia. Consider wearing them less frequently. When applying false lashes, your natural lashes will determine the length and weight of the falsies that can be used.

Choose a thickness that is the same or slightly less than your natural lashes. If you apply heavy or thick falsies on your natural lashes, the strain on your natural lashes will result in traction alopecia.

“When you remove false lashes some of your natural eyelashes are also removed in the process,” says Dr. Orly Avitzur, MD, MBA. Always remove your false lashes using makeup remover.

Use a cotton swab doused in an oil-based cleanser to loosen the glue at the lash line before pulling them off. Lastly, to prevent traction alopecia always remove your falsies before going to sleep. In addition to this, apply lash serum or Vaseline at night.

The lash serum will stimulate hair growth and Vaseline will moisturize your natural lashes and prevent breakage. In short, the correct application and removal of false eyelashes is key to protecting your natural lashes.

How Do I Protect My False Eyelashes When I Sleep?

You can’t stumble home after a long night out with friends, rub your tired eyes with the back of your hand, and fall asleep face-first on your bed. No, you must remove your false eyelashes before going to sleep. Sleeping with false eyelashes can harm the lifespan of your false eyelashes.

But, if you do find yourself wearing your false eyelashes overnight. Sleeping on your back, wearing a contoured eye mask, and sleeping on a silk pillowcase are just a few ways to protect your false eyelashes while you sleep.

Sleep On Your Back To Avoid Squashing Your False Eyelashes

fashionable woman sleeping on her back

Sometimes sleeping in your false eyelashes is just unavoidable. You aren’t at home, you’ve worked a double shift or you simply forget. Whatever the reason, try to sleep on your back. Sleeping on your back prevents your false lashes from rubbing against your pillow or bed linen.

Wear A Contoured Eye Mask To Protect Your False Eyelashes While You Sleep

SMUG 3D Contoured Sleep Masks

Can’t sleep on your back? Invest in a contoured eye mask. Contoured eye masks don’t touch the area around the eyes. Removing any friction caused by the rapid eye movement sleep phase.

This means that no matter which position you choose to sleep in, your false eyelashes are protected and fall-out is dramatically minimized.

We recommend that you purchase your contoured eye mask from SMUG. Wearing fake eyelashes overnight can be tricky. But SMUG eye masks are eyelash-friendly and the best on the market.

Sleep On A Silk Pillowcase To Avoid Damaging Your False Eyelashes

woman lying on hypoallergenic silk bedding

Eye masks aren’t your thing? Try replacing your regular pillowcase with a silk one. Unlike velvet, linen, or cotton, silk is smooth and does not cause drying or lash snagging.

A silk pillowcase will allow your falsies to glide over the pillow and prevent damage. In addition to saving your false eyelashes; silk repels dust mites and wicks away moisture-causing bacteria.

Cotton bedding readily absorbs moisture making it the perfect place for bacteria to grow. If you are concerned about allergic reactions you should choose silk bedding.

What Is A Safe Alternative To Fake Eyelashes?

preparation for eyelash extension procedure

Eyelash extensions are the perfect alternative to fake eyelashes. According to KP Murray of Elle Lash Bar in Washington DC, fake lashes are made of heavier materials and should be worn for one evening or day only.

Unlike fake lashes, you can sleep in, wake up in, and wear lash extensions for weeks. Eyelash extensions are much safer for your natural lashes.

Because lash extensions are glued to the natural lashes individually versus gluing a thick strip of false lashes to your entire lash line. False eyelashes tend to irritate the skin around your eyelids. Whereas, eyelash extensions, are much more comfortable and safe.

Final Thoughts: Can You Sleep With Fake Eyelashes On?

sexy young woman in a bikini sleeping on a bed

For instant voluminous, lengthy lashes. Fake eyelashes are your best option. Falsies are low maintenance, easy to apply, wear, and remove. Because they’re so easy and quick to remove, always remove them every day before going to bed.

Removing your fake eyelashes will give your natural lashes a chance to breathe, prevent bacteria from propagating, and extend the shelf-life of your fake lashes.

How Do You Remove And Clean Your Fake Eyelashes?

False eyelashes are applied with temporary eyelash glue. To remove your falsies, soak a cotton round or cotton pad in an oil-based makeup remover.

If makeup remover isn’t available, use almond oil or coconut oil. To loosen the glue, gently swipe the cotton pad along your lash line for 30 seconds.

Repeat the process until the eyelash glue loosens enough to lift the falsies away without pulling on your skin. Then gently peel the falsies off. Start from the outer corner of the eye and move inwards.

For any eyelash glue residue, soak a cotton swab in oil-based makeup remover and swipe over your lash line until the residue has been removed. Last but not least, clean your falsies and allow them to air dry. Once dry, store them in an airtight container in a cool and dry place.

Essential Vitamins For Healthy Eyelashes

In addition to this, if you want healthy natural lashes, take some vitamin supplements. We recommend vitamin B3, C, and E. To boost follicle health, stimulate growth, and minimize breakage take Vitamin B3.

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant. Take vitamin C to protect your hair follicles from inflammation, toxins, and infections that inhibit hair growth. And for collagen growth and improved blood circulation in the eye region take Vitamin E.

Conclusion: Sleeping With Fake Eyelashes

The most common health risks associated with wearing fake lashes include damage to your natural lashes, allergic reactions, eye injuries, and infections. Don’t risk your eye health for the sake of vanity or experimentation.

If you must sport this look, keep your eyes safe by limiting the amount of glue used, avoid lashes with glitter or jewels, gently remove your falsies, clean your eyes after removing your falsies, avoid glue with formaldehyde, don’t share your falsies with others, and don’t wear your falsies overnight.


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Categorized as Makeup

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.