Red Eyes Be Gone! Conquer Red Eyes after Lash Extensions

Lash extensions are all the rage these days for adding some extra oomph to your lashes. But here’s the catch: some people end up with red eyes after lash extensions, and it’s not what you signed up for! Don’t worry, though. We’re here to explain why this happens and give you the lowdown on how to make those red eyes a thing of the past. Let’s dive in!

red eyes after lash extensions
Red eyes after lash extensions aren’t uncommon. Don’t fret!

What Causes Red Eyes After Lash Extensions?

Red eyes after lash extensions can be a concerning issue, and it’s important to understand the potential causes. If you’re wondering, “Why are my eyes red after lash extensions?” Here are some possible reasons:

Chemical Burn

Eyelash extensions are typically composed of cyanoacrylate, a type of adhesive that is used to bond the extensions to the natural eyelashes. During the curing process of cyanoacrylate-based adhesives, formaldehyde can be released, which may have various effects on the eyes and surrounding area.

One common side effect of using cyanoacrylate-based adhesives is eye redness. This redness can occur when some clients have a stronger reaction to the formaldehyde released during the curing process. Formaldehyde has a drying effect, and when it’s released, it can pull moisture from the surrounding air and potentially dry out the eyes. This can lead to discomfort and redness in the eyes.

Another way in which eye irritation can occur during eyelash extension treatment is when the adhesive accidentally gets into the eye. This can happen if the client opens their eyes or if the lash technician is not careful during the application process. When adhesive enters the eye, it can cause symptoms such as tearing, stinging, pain, or irritation. This is especially common in clients with extremely rounded eyes that are difficult to keep closed naturally during the procedure.

Because it’s typical for customers to mistakenly open their eyes while talking, we normally advise lash technicians to avoid conversing with the client during critical stages of treatment.

Allergic Reaction

One of the most common reasons for red eyes after lash extensions is an allergic reaction. Some individuals may be sensitive or allergic to the adhesive, which is used to bond the extensions to the natural lashes. This adhesive can release fumes that may irritate the eyes, leading to redness, itching, and discomfort. Allergic reactions can vary in severity, from mild irritation to more serious symptoms.

Fumes and Vapors

The fumes and vapors released during the application of lash extensions can sometimes irritate the eyes. The chemicals in the lash extension adhesive, such as cyanoacrylate, release fumes and vapors as they cure and bond the extensions to the natural lashes. These fumes are typically invisible and may have a noticeable odor. While the concentration of these fumes is usually not high enough to cause immediate harm, prolonged exposure to them, especially in a poorly ventilated environment, can lead to discomfort, including eye irritation.

When these fumes come into contact with the eyes, they may cause symptoms such as redness, itching, tearing, or a burning sensation. In some cases, individuals with sensitive eyes may experience more severe discomfort. It’s important to note that the severity of these symptoms can vary from person to person, and not everyone will be equally affected.

To minimize the risk of eye irritation from fumes and vapors during lash extension application, it is crucial for salons and technicians to prioritize proper ventilation. Adequate ventilation systems, such as exhaust fans and air purification units, should be in place to continuously circulate and filter the air, helping to disperse any fumes that are produced. This not only protects the clients receiving the lash extensions but also safeguards the health and comfort of the technicians working in the salon.

Inadequate Isolation

eye pad
You need to put something beneath the client’s lower eyes, whether it’s tape or an eye pad

If the technician fails to properly isolate your lower lashes from the upper lashes during the application, there’s a risk that adhesive or extension fibers can come into contact with the eyes, leading to irritation and redness.

To avoid this, the first thing they do is lift up your upper lashes using a special tape, so they stay out of the way. It’s like making sure the top lashes don’t mix with the bottom ones.

Then, they put an eye pad underneath your lower lashes. This is a little different from when they work on your upper lashes because the bottom ones are exposed. The eye pad helps protect your lower lashes while they put on the extensions.

>> How To Improve Your Lash Isolation Skills In A Short Time 

Inadequate Preparation and Follow-up

For technicians:

Meticulous preparation is essential before starting an eyelash extension procedure. This process begins with thoroughly sterilizing all tools to ensure the safety of the client and prevent any potential infections. Before applying the lashes, it’s crucial to delicately clean the client’s eyes by removing makeup, oils, and debris to create a clean canvas. It’s also a good idea to have various lash adhesives on hand to address any client discomfort or sensitivities. 

Additionally, technicians should provide clear and detailed aftercare instructions to their clients, covering topics like lash cleaning, maintenance, and product recommendations. It’s equally important for technicians to supply clients with an aftercare kit containing the necessary tools for proper lash maintenance.

For clients:

If you wear contact lenses, be sure to remove them before your session to make the process smoother and more comfortable. After the application, it’s important to follow the technician’s aftercare recommendations, paying special attention to cleaning and maintenance instructions. These actions are vital for maintaining the longevity and appearance of your new eyelash extensions. Lastly, if you experience any unexpected discomfort or unusual symptoms in the days following your treatment, don’t hesitate to contact your technician promptly. They can assess your situation and make any necessary adjustments to ensure your eyelash extensions remain comfortable and enhance your eyes’ beauty.

>> Please Note The Following Before Your Lash Appointment!

Physical Damage 

Occasionally, a novice lash technician will unintentionally cause some discomfort. For instance, the tape might be positioned excessively high, the gel pads might be pushed too forcefully, or tweezers could stab the eye. If the lash extension is the incorrect thickness, curl, or length, it may also irritate the eye.

Usually, there’s no need to worry about these, and the redness will go away quickly, much like when you poke your eye by mistake with a mascara wand. The true risk, though, comes if an accident causes a corneal abrasion. It is necessary to visit a doctor if there is severe discomfort, tears, or visual problems.

red eyes after lash extensions
Every now and again a new lash technician may cause some unwanted discomfort

How Long do Red Eyes after Lash Extensions Last? 

While some bloodshot eyes heal in a day or two, others may take up to four days.

Bloodshot eyes vary in duration based on the underlying reason. For example, if hypersensitivity or a poking gel pad is the reason, red eyes after lash extensions may go away in a day. However, a severe allergy to lashes could take longer.

Assume that even after a day, your red eyes are still present. It’s a good idea to remove your eyelash extensions, as this might stop the cause of your red eyes. Your lash artist may also advise you to consult an optometrist in this situation.

>> Discovering signs of bad lash extensions in our article: Red Flags: Identifying Signs of Bad Eyelash Extensions

Why Is Only the Bottom Half of Eye Red After Eyelash Extensions?

You’ve just gotten those fabulous eyelash extensions, but you notice something strange—only the lower half of your eye is red. What’s going on? Well, don’t worry too much, because this is a common occurrence.

Usually, when only the lower half of your eye is red after lash extensions, it’s not a major cause for concern. However, it could be a sign that the lower eyelid wasn’t properly patched during the application process, leading to some irritation.

Another possible reason is your own sensitivity. Some people have more delicate skin and can react to the adhesive used for eyelash extensions. Additionally, if the technician has been touching the area around your eyes a lot, it could contribute to the redness.

Sure thing! Here’s a blog-style explanation of how to treat red eyes after getting eyelash extensions:

How to Treat Red Eyes after Eyelash Extensions

If you’ve recently had bloodshot eyes after eyelash extensions, don’t worry; there are simple ways to help your eyes feel better. Red eyes from eyelash extensions can occur due to various reasons, like irritations or even a mild chemical reaction, but the good news is that you can often relieve the symptoms at home. Let’s go over some remedies that can work wonders for those red eyes:

1. Eye Drops

Eye drops can be your best friend when it comes to soothing red eyes. They can help ease short-term reactions and provide relief. There are different types of eyedrops, but redness-relief eye drops should be used. These are designed to specifically reduce redness in the eyes. They work by constricting the blood vessels in the eyes, temporarily reducing redness. The active chemicals in these eye drops might vary. If your red eyes are caused by allergies, check for eye drops containing antihistamines or mast cell stabilizers. If your red eyes are caused by dryness, look for eye drops containing lubricants or artificial tears.

red eyes after lash extensions
Eye drops reduce redness in the eyes momentarily by narrowing the blood vessels in the eyes

However, they should be used sparingly and not as a long-term solution, as prolonged use can lead to rebound redness.Use them before an important meeting, for a photograph, or for a special occasion, for example. Redness-relieving eye drops, like nasal decongestants, should not be used for more than 72 hours.

Decongestant drops should not be used by those who have narrow-angle glaucoma (or narrow-anterior chamber glaucoma). They are in danger of developing angle-closure glaucoma, a serious medical condition.

What are the best over-the-counter eye drops for red eyes?

There are various effective over-the-counter eye drops for red eyes available. Visine-A, Clear Eyes, and Rohto are among the most well-known and highly rated products. These eye drops operate by restricting the blood vessels in the eye, which helps to minimize redness and irritation.

2. Cold and Warm Compress

Applying a cold or warm compress to your eyes for about ten minutes can be a great way to alleviate redness and discomfort. It’s a simple but effective method. You can alternate between cold and warm compresses if needed. Start with a cold compress to reduce swelling, followed by a warm compress to improve blood flow and relax the eye area. Make sure that the cloth or compress is clean to prevent introducing bacteria to your eyes.

3. Teabags

Tea bags can be a simple and effective remedy for bloodshot eyes and eye pain. Choose a type of tea that is known for its soothing properties. Chamomile and green tea are popular choices, as they have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties that can help reduce eye redness and relieve discomfort.

red eyes after lash extensions
Chamomile tea has long been used to treat conjunctivitis, clogged tear ducts, and eye infections

4. Oral Antihistamines

When your body encounters allergens, it releases a chemical called histamine. Histamine is responsible for many of the uncomfortable symptoms associated with allergies, including red eyes. Oral antihistamines are medications designed to counteract the effects of histamine. 

By blocking histamine, antihistamines effectively reduce or even eliminate the redness, itching, and swelling in the eyes. They can also help alleviate other allergy symptoms like sneezing, runny nose, and hives. Oral antihistamines are offered both over-the-counter and on prescription.

Cetirizine (Zyrtec), levocetirizine (Zyxal), loratadine (Claritin), and desloratadine (Clarinex) are examples of oral antihistamines that can be used to treat ocular symptoms, including itchy eyes. One of the advantages of oral antihistamines is their rapid action. They can provide quick relief from red eyes and other allergy symptoms, often within 30 minutes to an hour after taking them. However, taking antihistamines orally can cause dry eyes in some people. 

5. Hydrocortisone Cream 

Hydrocortisone cream contains hydrocortisone, a corticosteroid hormone that is naturally produced by the adrenal glands. In the form of a cream, it can be used to treat various skin conditions, including red and inflamed eyes. Hydrocortisone works by inhibiting the production of inflammatory chemicals in the body, thereby reducing swelling, redness, and itching. Gently apply it to the affected area to bring down the swelling.

hydrocortisone cream
The short-term treatment for inflammatory eye diseases is hydrocortisone cream

6. Benadryl

If you have highly sensitive eyes or a reaction to the fumes from lash adhesive, Benadryl can be a lifesaver. Benadryl has anti-inflammatory properties. When your eyes are irritated due to fumes from lash adhesive or other irritants, it can lead to swelling and redness. Benadryl can help reduce this inflammation by inhibiting the release of inflammatory chemicals in the body. 

In most cases, these remedies should help your red eyes get back to their natural, healthy state within a couple of days. Just remember to be gentle with your eyes and give them the care they need, and you’ll be back to batting those beautiful eyelash extensions in no time!


If you find yourself facing red eyes after lash extensions, there are practical and home-based remedies to alleviate the symptoms. From eye drops and cold/warm compresses to oral antihistamines, hydrocortisone cream, and soothing teabags, a variety of options can provide relief. It’s important to choose remedies based on the specific cause of your red eyes, whether it be irritation, allergies, or inflammation.

In the end, with the right care and attention, you can conquer red eyes after lash extensions and continue flaunting your beautiful, enhanced lashes with confidence!

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