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How to Remove Eyelash Extensions: A Step-by-Step Guide

how to remove eyelash extensions

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Rumor has it eyelash extension removal can damage the natural lashes - is it true? The short answer is no - when removed correctly, eyelash extensions can amplify any look, save time, and money, without damaging natural lashes.

Inexperienced technicians can damage natural lashes by placing heavy sets on thin lashes and not properly adhering the extensions to the natural lash line. Follow our steps for DIY eyelash extension application to prevent any damage from the start. 

For those who already have eyelash extensions on, this is a step-by-step guide on how to safely remove eyelash extensions.

Step 1: Remove Makeup and Wash Face

It’s important to remove all makeup and thoroughly wash the face before doing anything else. This ensures dirt and oil won’t get trapped in the lashes or get into the eyes. 

Be sure to gently massage the face and eye area. Do not attempt to remove the eyelash extensions at this step, and refrain from picking at them. It’s too soon in the process and could damage or pull out natural eyelashes in the process.

Step 2: Use Steam

Steam is essential to removing eyelash extensions as it will break glue molecules down and loosen the eyelash extension bonds holding the falsies to the natural lash. 

Steam ensures a pain-free and effective removal process.

There are a few ways to use steam:

  1. Take a steamy shower
  2. Fill a bowl with warm water and hover the face over it
  3. Drench a small towel in hot water and lay it over the face

Any of these methods will produce a similar effect. Regardless of the method, make sure to use steam for about 10-15 minutes to gain its full effect in breaking down the glue bonds.

Step 3: Add Warm Oil and Soak

remove eyelash extensions with oil

Now that the lashes are free of debris and the adhesive is softened, the next step for safe removal is applying warm oil to the lashes and lash line. 

First, put the oil of your choice in a small bowl and warm it up on the stove or in the microwave for a few seconds. 

Next, dip a cotton round into the oil, close the eye, and gently hold the pad over the lash line for 2-3 minutes. Do not apply force, pull, or tug at the lashes! Let the oil work its magic. 

 Be sure to keep the eye closed to avoid getting oil into the eye as this can irritate. 

Step 4: Comb and Repeat As Needed

The last step is to comb through the eyelashes gently using a lash wand. At this point, the eyelashes should begin to slide right off the eye. 

However, some eyelashes may hang on a little tighter than others. It’s important to be patient and wait until those eyelashes fall off on their own. 

 The next morning, continue with the traditional face-washing routine and comb through the lashes. If some eyelash extensions still won’t come off, a great way to disguise them is by curling the lashes gently with an eyelash curler and applying mascara. 

At night, repeat steps 1-4 until all of the lashes come off and the adhesive is fully broken down. 

 It is safe to remove eyelash extensions at home if approached with patience during the removal process. 

What are the best natural eyelash removers? 

We mentioned using oil to take off eyelash extensions, but it can be tough to figure out which to use. Below are some suggestions of natural oils such as coconut oil, olive oil, and baby oil that will remove lash extensions. Regardless of the oil chosen, it’s important to minimize exposure to the eye and use it on the lash line only. 

Type of Oil

How To Use

Olive Oil

Dip a cosmetic pad into warm olive oil and hold over the eyes for about 5 minutes, letting the lash extensions come off slowly and without force.

Coconut Oil

Put a small amount of coconut oil into a small bowl and warm up for 30 seconds or less. Use a cotton round or cotton swab to gently coat the lashes in coconut oil for about 10-15 minutes. Gently comb through the lashes with a lash wand.

Castor Oil

Castor Oil works best as an overnight treatment. Apply to the lashes before bed and let it break down the adhesive bond over time. In the morning, wash the face, being careful not to get castor oil in the eyes.

Baby Oil

Baby oil works best when paired with steam, as do all of the oils listed. First, take a steamy shower or hover the face over a steamy bowl of water. Next, rub baby oil all over the lashes and let it soak for 3-5 minutes before removing. 

Mineral Oil

Mineral oil is essentially just baby oil without the added fragrance. If baby oil isn’t already in the household, consider purchasing mineral oil to follow the same steps, as this is safer for the sensitive eye area.

Natural vs. Professional Lash Extension Removers 

The above removers will take off eyelash extensions at home using water, heat, and oil. However, there are a few professional lash extension removers on the market that could aid in the removal process of stubborn lashes. 

If you’re new to eyelash extension removal or feel impatient during the waiting process,  purchasing a professional lash extension remover may be the right choice. 

There are different types of professional removers, and depending on the eyelash extensions applied, the best option could differ. 

What Are The Best Eyelash Extension Removers?

The top 4 kinds of eyelash extension removers include gel-based, cream-based, solvents, and oil-based removers. 

They all accomplish the same task, yet in a slightly different way due to a variety of consistencies. Understanding the kind of professional remover that would work best per individual is essential to a successful removal process.

Gel Remover

Depending on the brand, gel removers can come in both thin and thick formulas. Existing Beauty Lashes Gel Remover is a great option for a gel remover as it’s an easy-to-control formula that will help avoid eye irritation. 

Pros ✅

Cons ❌

Removes those last few lashes that have been hanging on for dear life
May not remove all lashes in one application
A great formula for an eyelash expert who likes removing lashes individually with a precision tool such as a tweezer  Certain formulas could contain harmful ingredients

Cream Remover

For those who are looking to remove eyelash extensions ahead of the typical 2-4 week wear, cream removers will work best.

The BL Lashes Cream Remover and the Yegi Cream Adhesive Remover are both great options, especially for those with sensitive eye areas.

Whether a beginner or a veteran, cream removers are a safe purchase for all lash-wearers.



Known as the safest professional  eyelash extension remover
Could be hard to remove the cream after eyelash extension removal
Able to remove entire lash sets upon first use (results may vary)
Safe for sensitive eyes

Removes stubborn lash extensions

    Solvent Remover

    Solvent removers, although not as common, are known primarily for offering fast eyelash removal. However, it’s important to be conscious of the ingredients when purchasing a solvent as some may contain harmful chemicals. 

    For the more advanced eyelash wearers that are looking to experiment with this kind of remover, the Ardell LashFree Eyelash Adhesive Remover is a recommended solvent. 



    Fast removal process
    Can get into the eyes easier due to a thinner formula
    Some may contain harmful chemicals
    Not recommended for beginners

     Oil-Based Remover

    If the options above sound intimidating, an oil-based remover may be a great first step into the professional eyelash extension removal world. These removers are natural oils paired with other ingredients to aid in the adhesive breakdown process for faster removal. 

    A great example of an oil-based remover is the Baisidai Grape Seed Oil Glue Remover



    Easy to apply
    Not safe to get into the eyes
    Faster eyelash removal than natural oils 
    Different products range in thickness

    Will extension removal damage natural lashes?

    If done properly, eyelash extension removal will not damage natural lashes. Eyelash extensions are bonded to the natural eyelashes, which is why many people pluck at the falsies and end up plucking their real lashes with it. 

    Just remember to patiently break down the adhesive glue and comb the false eyelashes off and there will be no damage to the natural lashes.

    Is it Safe to Remove Eyelash Extensions at Home? 

    Yes, it is safe to take lash extensions off at home without causing damage to the natural lashes. It’s important to understand the risks of removing eyelash extensions at home with incorrect tools or techniques. 

    If the extensions are tugged at with force at any point during the removal process, there is a risk of damaging the lash line or natural eyelashes. 

    Home Repair Plan For Your Natural Lashes

    If the natural lashes have already been damaged, natural oils, vitamins, and an improved diet are essential for a comprehensive home repair plan. 

    1. Use Natural Oils

    Coconut oil, castor oil, vitamin E, and olive oil are great for nursing natural lashes back to life and stimulating hair regrowth.

    To apply, warm up the oil, coat the lashes and lash line in oil, careful not to apply any excess that could get into the eyes. Repeat every night for best results. 

    2. Take Vitamins

    Some supplements that promote eyelash growth are Biotin, Vitamin B3, and Vitamin C. If some lashes have broken off, become thin, or fallen out, taking supplements can kickstart new growth.

    3. Improve Diet

    Incorporating iron-rich foods and natural proteins can aid in the natural eyelash regrowth process. It’s important to eat foods such as avocados, spinach, red meat, sweet potatoes, salmon, and eggs. These foods have nutrients to create a well-rounded lash repair plan and ensure a speedy lash recovery. 

    DIY Extensions: An Alternative Solution 


    DIY Extensions


    While waiting for natural lashes to grow back, DIY extensions are a great solution to looking great while waiting until the full fringe is back. 

    The Deluxe Starter/Travel Kit is great for beginners as it includes all necessary accessories for a full DIY eyelash extension application: a customized selection of lashes, Clear or Black PRO Lash Glue, Primer, Crystal Coat, Ciao for Now Lash Remover, Travel Case, and Applicator. 

    For natural lashes, the Natural Blooms set comes with 9 sets of eyelashes, a Lilac Lash Crystal Coat, and a Conditioning Primer. 

    To go bold and fierce, try Lilac St. Volume, Hollywood, and other individual lash packs, or save 20% off by ordering the ​​gorgeous, seductive Champagne Glam collection. 

    How To Remove DIY Eyelash Extensions

    Lilac St. has created Ciao for Now Lash Remover - a vegan and cruelty-free remover made to remove DIY lashes and strip lashes only. 

    The Ciao for Now portable remover contains nourishing oils and collagen extract to help keep natural lashes healthy while gently removing lash segments.

    Its dual-sided applicator loosens glue and combs excess clumps from the natural lashes.


    I’m trying to remove my eyelash extensions naturally but they won’t come off. What should I do?

    If your eyelash extensions are being stubborn, try using a preferred professional eyelash extension remover. The adhesive may require extra attention beyond natural oils. 

    What are the benefits of using DIY Lash Extensions?

    Eyelash extension applications at the salon can be very costly, with some places charging as much as $200 for a full set. It can also be damaging to the lash line if the technician is inexperienced and applies the extensions incorrectly. When doing them at home, you have full control over where you apply the lash and can ensure you don’t damage your natural lashes.

    Can Vaseline remove eyelash extensions?
    Yes, it can! Vaseline is made of pure petroleum jelly, which aids in the breakdown of glue molecules in the lash adhesive. Just as suggested with the other natural removers, apply the Vaseline after using steam. Coat the lashes and let it sit for about 5 minutes before combing with a lash comb.

    Does lash extension removal hurt?

    No, lash extension removal should not hurt. In fact, pain could be a sign that the lashes are being removed incorrectly and the process should be approached with further caution.

    If you’re having trouble removing the lashes properly without pain, discomfort, or damage to the natural lashes, try asking a friend for help! It may be easier for someone else to see what’s happening on the lashline that could be causing pain or friction.

    How long does it take to remove eyelash extensions?

    The time it takes to remove eyelash extensions varies widely from 15 minutes to a couple of days. Depending on the type of adhesive used to apply the lashes, how long the lashes have been on for, and the method for removal, many factors will change the amount of time it takes to remove them.

    However, do not rush the process in order to prevent natural lash fallout. Rather than picking, pulling, or forcing the lashes that won’t come off, it may be better to try the removal process again the next day.

    Ciao For Now Lash Remover

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    Monica Bulnes

    Monica Bulnes is a fashion and beauty lover and writer based in the Greater New York City area. As a previous makeup artist with Sephora, Monica has a strong background in beauty and enjoys keeping abreast of industry trends and revolutionary products.