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6 Hacks For Removing Eyelash Extensions At Home

Eyelash extensions can be an incredible beauty tool, especially when you love the look right away. Unfortunately, that's not always the case, and sometimes people get eyelash extensions only to wish they could go back to their natural lashes nearly immediately.

While experts recommend that you go back to a professional salon to have eyelash extensions removed, that's not always a possibility for some of us. If at-home eyelash extension removal is a must, there are some tips and steps you can follow to make the experience as seamless and straight-forward as possible.

It is possible to remove eyelash extensions at home, but keep in mind that it's important to keep your workspace as clean as possible, and to make sure you're washing your hands before applying any creams or oils — otherwise you could end up with an infection in your eye, which is the last thing you want on top of eyelashes that you want to remove. Here are six tricks for removing eyelash extensions on your own.

Steam your face to make removal easier

First thing's first: before you even think of breaking out oils and serums and potions to remove your eyelash extensions at home, make sure you set yourself up for victory, or as close to victory as you can get. The first step in DIY eyelash extension removal is steaming your face, which can be accomplished in a couple of different ways.

If you have a face steamer, use that, but if not, hop into a hot shower and let the steam work its magic. As eyelash extension stylist Andra Ciulei Marin tells IPSY, heat and moisture are powerful forces against just about any kind of glue. She says, "Alone, and especially together, these elements can dissolve cyanoacrylate [the lash adhesive] when applied in large enough and intense enough quantities."

Of course, that doesn't mean that steaming alone will accomplish the mission. Unfortunately, the higher quality the eyelashes are, the harder they will be to remove on your own with simply a combination of steam and hot water.

Use coconut oil to break down the glue

Coconut oil is known for being a necessary part of removing adhesive from jars and containers, but it turns out that the common kitchen item can also be used to break down the adhesive used to apply eyelash extensions. Using coconut oil to remove the eyelash extensions might not be the easiest or least messy option, but it can definitely work. As Grandmother's Kitchen notes, coconut oil is also a natural option that doesn't require chemicals or even too much effort.

Your first step will be to heat up the coconut oil for a few seconds. Once the temperature is to your liking, soak a cotton pad in the oil. Let the pad sit on your eye for up to 10 minutes while you lie on your back, fervently hoping that this will work. After that, graze your eyelash extension with the pad, letting the oil linger on the extension. You can rub the pad across your lashes as many times as it takes, and the lashes should begin to fall off on their own.

Castor oil can be used if you need something stronger

Castor oil is a funny little substance that has a lot of different uses. In fact, True Glue notes that while castor oil has medicinal uses, it's also commonly used for lubricating machine parts. The site also notes that the Lobedu of South Africa has traditionally used castor oil to treat skin conditions and even inflammation of the eye. Ambuja Solvex, a castor oil manufacturer in India, also shares that the oil is safe for humans to use in a variety of ways, including being applied to the skin.

When it comes to removing eyelash extensions, applying castor oil before and after your attempt is key to breaking down the strong bonds in the eyelash glue. Castor oil can be applied to your eyelash extensions with your fingers, making the process delicate but straightforward. Once the eyelash extensions have fallen out, you can continue to apply castor oil to strengthen your natural eyelashes. As New York dermatologist Joshua Zeichner tells Glamour, the oil has traditionally been used to treat thinning hair. Zeichner says, "Similar to hair conditioners, it forms a protective coating over the hair shaft itself to literally thicken it and enhance healthy growth."

Oil-based make-up remover is a third option

Much as coconut oil and castor oil will work to break down your eyelash extension adhesive, oil-based make-up remover can be applied to do the same job. Oil will loosen up the glue, helping the lashes fall out on their own. Since it's designed to remove face and eye make-up, you can safely use the oil-based makeup remover on your lashes the same way you would use it to clean your face after a night out. An oil-based makeup remover is also a great tool for washing off thick layers of makeup or makeup that is stubborn; oil-based eye make-up can also serve the same purpose.

In fact, experts often warn against using the products for people who want to keep their eyelash extensions intact, which means they likely work if you don't. As Beverly Hills dermatologist Ava Shamban tells Byrdie while offering advice for keeping your eyelashes on, "Do not use any alcohol-based products or oil-based products, which will interfere with the adhesive while you are wearing extensions."

Heavy eye cream can also break down the eyelash glue

If makeup remover and oils aren't exactly what you're looking for, heavy eye cream that is oil-based is also an effective tool for breaking down eyelash extension adhesive. It turns out there are a few more natural options for removing the glue, including jojoba oil and sunflower oil.

If you have a heavy eye cream or moisturizer that contains sunflower oil, you can dab that on the eyelash extensions and let the substance do its work. As Beauty Direct Wholesalers notes, if the product is designed with eyes in mind it will likely work quickly and effectively (and you'll know that it's safe to have near your eyes in the first place).

Products that contain sunflower oil can have an additional positive effect as well. Fleur & Bee shares that sunflower oil has a variety of properties that are attractive, including the ability to calm skin that has been irritated. Removing eyelash extensions on your own might not be an easy task, and a product containing sunflower oil may help keep your eyes and skin in check.

Buy your own eyelash extension remover

If all else fails or the idea of using oil so close to your eyes isn't comfortable, there are tools out there that can help you as well. Nouveau Lashes sells a professional-quality eyelash remover wand that can get the job done, and it even comes recommended by a professional.

Eyelash expert Camilla Kirk-Reynolds told Get the Gloss that, in her opinion, removing eyelash extensions with an oil or oil-based product is preferable. She suggests the Nouveau Lashes Extension Remover wand, though cautions readers that any time a novice is using a professional grade product, there is a risk of error or injury. As she puts it, "If you decide to use products that are designed for professional use only and not for at-home personal use, there is the risk of causing yourself significant pain if the solution goes into your eyes, in the worst case it could cause blindness and should be taken very seriously."