This age of beauty has led to some serious enhancements for eyelashes, from lash extensions, to lash lifts, lash tints to serums that make them thicker, and everything in between. Even wearing false eyelashes has become more widely accepted than it was before. We're more than willing to put time, effort, and money into making our eyelashes look as long and full as our hearts desire. And while we make sure we're taking care of our lashes when we enhance them with procedures and treatments, we often don't think about aftercare when we're doing one of the more basic activities: removing our makeup.
There isn't much evidence to suggest that makeup removal has any effect at all on your eyelashes, but skincare experts agree that there is, in fact, a correct way to remove your makeup to minimize any damage that may be caused to your lashes. The method of removal is important, as are the ingredients in the removers that you choose to use. The general consensus is to treat your lashes very delicately, the same way you do when you're cleansing your face: everything you use around your lashes should be gentle, and you'll be good to go.
If you've been struggling with lash breakage, or just want to know the best way to remove your makeup in order to prevent future damage, check out what the experts had to say ahead.
I Want More! Get our Fashion & Beauty newsletter by tapping the button below. Instant Subscribe By signing up, I agree to the Terms & to receive emails from POPSUGAR. 1. Does general makeup removal damage your eyelashes?
"If you're using a harsh cleanser or the wrong products, it can definitely damage your eyelashes," said celebrity esthetician Shani Darden. "It depends on the products you use and the way you remove your makeup. The skin around your eyes is more delicate and your lashes can easily be affected by harsh cleansing methods."
All of the experts I consulted agree that general makeup removal will not damage your eyelashes, but the method and ingredients you use can potentially cause harm.
Liz Kennedy, esthetician and on-air beauty expert, said, "Removers that have alcohol will absolutely damage your lashes, and your skin as well. If you use wipes, they can also damage your lashes if you're pulling too hard at the lash line."
2. Does the type or brand of mascara have an effect on whether or not your eyelashes get damaged during makeup removal?
"I think primarily keeping your eyelashes healthy can be directly related to the type of mascara you apply to them. Remember, eyelashes are hairs, and just like the hair on your head, repeated use of products that dry your hair results in damage. The same type of abuse applies to your eyelashes," said Clarisonic cofounder and skincare expert Dr. Robb Akridge.
He continued, "Although fast-drying and long-wearing mascara gets you out the door faster, they usually contain ingredients — like minerals and silicone — that not only dry fast, but [also] dry out your eyelashes. So keep these long-wearing products for special occasions."
He, along with the other experts, noted that the type of makeup remover you use should also match the type of mascara you use. If you're wearing waterproof mascara, you should use a more emollient makeup remover to ensure a gentler removal; you never want to have to use more force than necessary to get the makeup off.
Kennedy added, "The brand doesn't matter as much as the formula itself. I always go for mascara that has vitamin E or B5 to help condition my lashes while mascara is on them. Grande Cosmetics Mascara ($25) is a game changer. [You can] apply their Lash Enhancing Serum ($65) before for extra growth and strength, too."
Grande Cosmetics Mascara $25 from sephora.com Buy Now Lash Enhancing Serum $65 from sephora.com Buy Now 3. What ingredients in cleansers and removers should you be looking for and avoiding to prevent damage to our lashes?
As is the rule with most other cleansers, it's best to avoid fragrances, alcohol, sulfates, parabens, and phthalates in order to prevent damage to your skin and eyelashes. In terms of good ingredients, oil-based cleansers are often the most gentle and require the least amount of "scrubbing" to get rid of stubborn makeup. Oil-based cleansers also help nourish the lashes and prevent your hairs from getting dried out.
4. What products do you recommend?
Clinical dermatologist Dr. Dendy Engelman said, "I like oil based cleansers. The oil will help to break down the makeup, making it easier to remove. Use a clean cotton pad to limit pressure applied on the lashes." Akridge and Kennedy agreed, with Kennedy noting that makeup wipes are too harsh on the skin and should be avoided. "In chemistry, there is and expression: 'like dissolves like,'" said Akridge. "Meaning, if you have makeup that is oil-based you should use an emollient and solvent that is also oil-based to melt it away." My current favorite oil cleanser is the Tatcha Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil ($48).
Darden also added that micellar water and gel cleansers can be very effective. However, you should be aware of the formulation of your makeup before deciding what makeup remover works best. Micellar waters can be great makeup removers if you're wearing something gentle, but tougher formulations call for more aggressive removers. For micellar water, I always recommend Garnier's SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover ($9), and for a gentle gel cleanser, I've been loving the Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser ($34).
Tatcha Pure One-Step Camellia Cleansing Oil $48 from tatcha.com Buy Now Garnier's SkinActive Micellar Cleansing Water All-in-1 Cleanser & Makeup Remover $9 from ulta.com Buy Now Glow Recipe Blueberry Bounce Gentle Cleanser $34 from sephora.com Buy Now