Beyond Beauty: Why Does My Eye Feel Bruised After Eyelash Extensions?

Eyelash extensions have become an increasingly popular way to enhance one’s natural lashes, providing length, volume, and elegance. However, some people experience unpleasant side effects like eye bruising after getting extensions. There are several potential causes for this bruised sensation, ranging from adhesive reactions to improper application. Identifying the root cause is key to alleviating discomfort and avoiding further problems.

One of the most common reasons behind eye bruising is an allergic reaction or sensitivity to the adhesive used to bond the extensions. The fumes from adhesives containing formaldehyde can cause bloodshot eyes in those with sensitivities. Swelling around the eyes could also signal an infection or allergic response to the lash glue ingredients. Additionally, excess adhesive or incorrect placement of gel pads may lead to swelling, irritation, and a bruised feeling. It’s crucial to choose an experienced, certified lash stylist and request formaldehyde-free, minimal adhesives to reduce adverse reactions.

If bruising, redness, or swelling occurs after eyelash extensions, prompt action is advised. Applying a cold compress can help reduce inflammation along with eye drops to relieve irritation. Avoiding rubbing the eyes prevents further problems. If significant swelling or soreness persists, it’s important to contact the lash technician to remove the extensions and see an optometrist or ophthalmologist. Leaving infections untreated risks more serious, permanent damage to the eyes. With proper application and care, eyelash extensions can beautifully enhance eyes without leading to bruising or complications.

Introduction to Eyelash Extensions

Eyelash extensions are semi-permanent lashes applied on top of your natural lashes to give you fuller, longer looking eyes. They provide dramatic enhancement without the daily use of mascara or lash curlers. Extensions are made from synthetic, faux mink or silk materials shaped into delicate wispy lashes.

To apply eyelash extensions, a trained technician will have you lay down with your eyes closed during the 1-2 hour process. They use a water-soluble gel pad to separate your upper and lower lashes. The technician then takes an individual extension, dips it into the adhesive glue, and precisely attaches it to your natural lash as close to the lash line as possible.

The adhesive is usually a cyanoacrylate-based glue formulated specifically for use around the sensitive eye area. Salons carry various thicknesses, curls, lengths and materials to customize the look. A full set generally ranges from 150-250 lashes per eye. Extensions should last 4-8 weeks with proper care as your natural lashes shed.

Many people love the look of eyelash extensions and the freedom from daily mascara, curling and falsies. However, in some cases, clients report a bruised, sore sensation around the eyes after getting extensions. This uncomfortable feeling may result from an allergic reaction, excess glue, infection or tension from the added weight of the lashes. Identifying the underlying cause is essential to alleviate irritation and avoid further complications.

Main Causes of Eye Bruising After Extensions

There are several possible reasons you may experience bruising, swelling or irritation around the eyes after getting eyelash extensions. Being aware of the potential triggers can help narrow down the cause.

Allergic Reactions to Adhesive

One of the most common triggers of eye bruising after lash extensions is an allergic reaction or sensitivity to the adhesive ingredients. Many standard glues contain formaldehyde, which can irritate eyes and cause bloodshot, watery eyes in those with sensitivities. The fumes from the adhesive may also provoke an allergic response.

Swelling, redness, and itching around the eyes can also indicate an allergic response to cyanoacrylate or other adhesive components. Those with latex allergies may also react to the acrylate compounds. Choosing a hypoallergenic, formaldehyde-free adhesive is key for those with sensitivities. Ask your technician to use a sensitive formula or conduct a patch test prior.

Excess Adhesive

Too much adhesive used during the lash application process can lead to irritation, swelling, and a bruised sensation around the eyes. Most clients need only a tiny drop of glue per extension. Improper technique using excessive amounts can risk seepage onto the delicate eyelid skin.

Additionally, if the gel pads used to separate your natural lashes during application are improperly placed, the adhesive may leak onto the eyelid skin. This can result in redness, puffiness, and tenderness around the eye. Ensuring proper isolation of the upper and lower lashes with gel pads is an important step.


If proper sanitation practices are not followed, infections can occur after eyelash extension application. Bacterial or fungal infections from unsterilized tools, dirty environment or unwashed hands may lead to eye swelling, stinging, discharge and a bruised feeling. Redness, pain and purulent drainage signal an infection that requires medical treatment.

Choose a salon that follows sanitary practices and uses disposable supplies when possible. Technicians should wash hands, use gloves, and disinfect surfaces between clients. Ask about their cleaning protocols. Unsanitary procedures dramatically raise the risk of developing an infection.

Tension and Pressure

Very heavy or high volume eyelash extensions place extra strain on the natural lashes and follicles. A full strip lash weighs about 4 grams. In contrast, a full set of 250 lash extensions weighs roughly 2 grams. However, each individual extension weighs more and exerts isolated tension on a single natural lash.

This added weight and tension on the delicate eye area over weeks or months of fills can cause a sore, bruised sensation. Traction alopecia, or gradual lash loss, may also occur due to the constant pulling on the hair follicle. Choosing lighter weight lashes and a lower initial volume helps reduce tension-related discomfort.

Chemical Burns

Some people may experience a mild chemical burn on the eyelid skin from contact with the adhesive. Cyanoacrylate glue can cause burning, stinging, redness, and soreness if it drips onto the skin during application. These burns tend to be superficial but can be quite painful. Seek medical advice if you suspect a chemical burn.

Applying a thin layer of petroleum jelly along the lash line before extensions can act as a barrier cream to protect the skin. Proper isolation and minimal, precise glue usage helps avoid chemical burns. Gently wash any adhesive off the skin as soon as possible.

Irritation From Removal

When done professionally, lash extension removal should not cause pain or bruising. However, trying to remove lashes at home without proper adhesive remover can tug on the delicate eyelid skin and natural lashes. This can potentially cause irritation, redness and swelling around the eye area.

Leaving extensions on for too long as your natural lashes shed can also cause clumping. The weight of the clumped lashes pulls on the follicles, leading to a bruised sensation. Seek professional removal instead of trying to take them off yourself. The stylist will use an adhesive remover and gentle technique to avoid damage.

Stylist Errors

In rare cases, a stylist may accidentally pinch the eyelid skin or poke the eye itself during application or removal. The eye area is highly sensitive, so any contact, pokes or pinches can potentially lead to bruising, inflammation and discomfort. This emphasizes the importance of choosing an experienced professional.

Factors That Increase Risk of Bruising

Certain factors can make clients more prone to eye bruising and complications from lash extensions. Being aware if any of the following apply to you allows you to take extra precautions.

  • Sensitivities to adhesives, latex, acrylates
  • Thin, fragile skin around eyes
  • History of eye allergies or infections
  • Recent trauma or injury around the eyes
  • Certain medications like blood thinners
  • Chronic illnesses like diabetes or autoimmune disorders

Talk to your lash technician about any pre-existing conditions prior to your appointment. This helps them tailor adhesive choice, volume and technique to your individual needs and minimize adverse effects. Those with extremely thin or sensitive undereye skin may be cautioned against very heavy extensions to avoid irritation.

Comparison of the Factors that Increase the Risk of Bruising after Eyelash Extensions

Factor Description Risk Level
Sensitivities to adhesives, latex, acrylates Allergic reactions more likely High
Thin, fragile skin around eyes More susceptible to irritation/damage High
History of eye allergies or infections Increased chance of recurrence Moderate
Recent trauma or injury around the eyes Tissue still healing, prone to further irritation Moderate
Certain medications like blood thinners Cause easy bruising and bleeding Moderate
Chronic illnesses like diabetes or autoimmune disorders Compromised healing ability Moderate

Preventing Eye Bruising After Extensions

You can minimize the risk of eye bruising and complications by taking certain preventative measures:

Research and Choose an Experienced Technician

Spend time finding a reputable technician certified in lash extensions. They should have specialized training, demonstrate proper technique in isolating lashes, use minimal but adequate adhesive, and work in a professional, sterile environment. Ask to see their portfolio and read salon reviews.

Request a Formaldehyde-Free, Sensitive Adhesive

Communicate any latex, chemical or adhesive sensitivities you have and ask your technician to use a formaldehyde-free, less reactive glue formula. Carefully follow patch test instructions to identify allergies prior to a full application.

Ensure Proper Gel Pad Placement

The water-soluble gel pad separates your upper and lower lashes, preventing them from sticking together during the process. Make sure the technician places them correctly to avoid any adhesive seepage onto the delicate eyelid skin.

Opt For Lighter Weight Lashes and Conservative Volume

Heavier and thicker extensions place more tension on your natural lashes. Opt for lighter 0.15 mm lashes instead of the 0.20-0.30 mm volumes. Ask for a more conservative number of lashes like a half set (75 per eye) vs. a full set (150-250 per eye) for your first application. You can always add more at fill appointments.

Carefully Follow Aftercare Instructions

Avoid getting extensions wet for the first 24 hours. Be extremely gentle when washing your face or showering, using downward strokes to avoid tugging the extensions. Use oil-free makeup remover and cleansers. Never rub your eyes and avoid oil-based serums or mascara around extensions. Comb lashes with a clean spoolie to prevent tangling.

Treating Eye Bruising and Irritation After Extensions

If you experience redness, tenderness or swelling after getting eyelash extensions, here are some remedies:

Apply a Cool Compress

A cool compress constricts blood vessels to reduce inflammation and bruising. Wrap an ice pack or bag of frozen peas in a soft cloth. Apply this gently over closed eyes for 10-15 minutes 2-3 times per day until swelling subsides. The cold helps ease discomfort and diminishes bruising over a few days.

Use Over-the-Counter Eye Drops

Artificial tear eye drops like Refresh or Systane provide moisture to relieve dryness and irritation around the eyes. Redness-relieving drops like Lumify help diminish visible redness by constricting blood vessels. Follow package directions on how often to apply the drops. This hydration and vasoconstriction help alleviate post-extension irritation.

Take Anti-Inflammatory Medication

For moderate swelling and bruising, taking an over-the-counter NSAID like ibuprofen helps reduce inflammation. Follow dosage recommendations based on your weight and health status. See your physician prior to use if you have any medical conditions or allergies. Do not take NSAIDs if you are pregnant.

Avoid Rubbing Eyes and Removing Extensions Prematurely

It’s natural to want to rub any itchy or irritated eyes, but doing so can displace extensions or introduce bacteria. Try to keep hands away from eyes to avoid dislodging new extensions or pulling on irritated skin. Wait for swelling and redness to fully resolve before attempting to remove extensions.

Professional Extension Removal

If major swelling, pain, bruising or infection occurs, seek prompt professional removal of the extensions. Never try to remove them on your own, as this can further damage the natural lashes and lid skin. Your technician will safely dissolve the adhesive and slide extensions off individually to avoid tugging.

Seek Medical Advice for Severe Reactions

For moderate to severe bruising, swelling or redness after extensions, see your primary care doctor or an ophthalmologist. They can prescribe stronger anti-inflammatory eye drops, eye ointments or oral medications. Cultures may be taken to diagnose an infection. Leaving eye infections untreated could result in permanent vision damage.

Eyelash Extension Aftercare Tips

Caring properly for eyelash extensions helps them last 4-8 weeks and reduces risks like bruising or allergic reactions. Here are crucial aftercare guidelines:

  • Wait 24 hours before exposing new extensions to moisture. Avoid showering, swimming, steam, etc.
  • Wash face by gently splashing water and patting skin dry. Avoid rubbed or scrubbing around the eyes.
  • Use an oil-free makeup remover designed for extensions. Never use makeup wipes or oil-based remover.
  • Do not use eyelash curlers on extensions as they will bend or break them.
  • Avoid mascara or use a lash-safe formula. Never use waterproof mascara near extensions.
  • Use downward brushing motions with a clean mascara wand or lash comb to detangle.
  • Do not pick, pull, twist or otherwise disturb the extensions. This can displace them or hurt the natural lashes.
  • See your stylist promptly if 2 or more extensions fall out in a day. This likely signals improper application.
  • Book fills every 2-3 weeks to maintain the look as your natural lashes shed.

Following good aftercare and fill schedules helps prevent issues like growth of natural lashes under extensions, premature shedding or lash breakage.

Safely Getting Refills on Eyelash Extensions

As your natural lashes shed, you’ll need refill appointments every 2-4 weeks to replace fallen extensions and maintain your desired volume. Follow these tips for safe refills:

  • Book with the same technician who did your initial set if possible since they know your desired look.
  • Remind technician of any past reactions and request the same gentle adhesive.
  • Do not wait longer than 4 weeks for a fill or a full removal and new set may be required.
  • Never get a refill if you have any eye irritation, infection or styes present. Wait until condition clears.
  • Request isolated lash work if needed for faster regrowth vs. a full refill.
  • Evaluate if thinner or lighter lashes may be better for second application.
  • Discuss any changes needed in volume, length or curl based on your experience.

Carefully listening to your body’s response and communicating with your technician allows safer, irritation-free refills. Adjustments can optimize comfort.

Potential Side Effects and Health Risks

While rare in the hands of professionals, eyelash extensions do pose some potential health and safety risks clients should be aware of:

  • Eye infections from bacteria on unsterilized tools, dirty waterlines or poor hygiene
  • Allergic reactions to adhesives, possibly causing severe swelling, itching, burning
  • Eye irritation or dryness from fumes, adhesive ingredients or alcohol cleanser
  • Stye development if natural oils and debris not properly washed from lash line
  • Damage to natural lashes like breakage or loss from glue, traction and tension
  • Lash or eyelid irritation from improper isolation during the process
  • Chemical burns on eyelid skin from adhesive dripping into eyes or on skin

Discuss your particular eye health history with your lash artist. Those with chronic dry eye, blepharitis, allergies or thin skin may be at higher risk for problems. Although rare, any sudden loss of vision or eye pain after extensions warrants urgent medical care to rule out scratched corneas or infection. While lash extensions seem like a purely cosmetic service, it does affect a highly sensitive body area requiring care.

Signs of Issues After Getting Eyelash Extensions

Being vigilant about how your eyes feel after getting lash extensions allows early detection and treatment of any adverse reactions or issues. Contact your lash technician and physician right away if experiencing:

  • Moderate to severe pain, soreness, burning around the eyes
  • Significant eye swelling or puffiness
  • Redness and warmth, signaling possible infection
  • Thick eye discharge or pus drainage
  • Watery eyes with itching, swelling, hives – signals allergy
  • Feeling like something is stuck in your eye
  • Excess crusting around lashes and lash line
  • 2 or more extensions falling out each day
  • Any vision changes like blurriness, loss of vision

Even mild stinging, irritation or single lash shedding warrants an evaluation to rule out problems. Carefully observing symptoms provides vital insight. Promptly addressing any reactions is essential to proper eye health after extensions.

Tips for Safe Removal of Extensions

When ready to give your eyes a break from extensions, proper removal is key to avoiding lash or skin damage:

  • Only allow professional removal by your stylist. Do not attempt this yourself.
  • Schedule removal after your new lash growth is about 1-2 mm so lashes don’t feel bare.
  • Removal may take 30 minutes or more to gently dissolve glue and slide lashes off.
  • Let removal solution sit for 10-15 seconds before gentle downward swiping motion.
  • Avoid tugging, and inform stylist if you feel pulling or pain during process.
  • Remover may sting briefly as it dissolves adhesive. Tell stylist if stinging persists.
  • Use a nourishing lash serum like bimatoprost or castor oil to condition lashes after removal.

Following these tips prevents you from losing natural lashes during the removal process. Your eyes will feel refreshed and ready for your next beautiful set of extensions after a lash break.

Frequently Asked Questions about Eye Bruising after Eyelash Extensions

Why do my eyes feel bruised after getting eyelash extensions?

The most common causes of bruising after eyelash extensions are allergic reactions to the glue, excess adhesive irritating the eyes, infections from unhygienic conditions, and tension on the follicles from heavy extensions.

How can I prevent bruising and irritation from eyelash extensions?

Do a patch test to rule out glue allergies, choose a reputable stylist, request lightweight lashes in a conservative volume, ensure proper isolation during application, and carefully follow aftercare instructions on keeping area clean and dry.

What should I do if my eyes feel irritated after lash extensions?

Apply a cool compress to relieve swelling, use preservative-free eye drops to soothe eyes, take an oral anti-inflammatory like ibuprofen, and avoid touching or rubbing your eyes. Seek medical help if symptoms worsen or vision changes occur.

When should I get my eyelash extensions removed?

Seek prompt removal if you experience moderate to severe pain, swelling, redness, thick discharge, blurred vision or loss of over 2 lashes a day. Leaving extensions on with these symptoms risks further damage.

How soon after eyelash extensions can I safely get them refilled?

Wait at least 48 hours before exposing new extensions to moisture. Book refill appointments every 2 to 3 weeks once natural lash shedding occurs. Do not get refills if any eye irritation or infection is present.

What are signs of an eye infection after eyelash extensions?

Symptoms like eye discharge, swollen lymph nodes, severe pain, fever, and blurred vision point to a possible eye infection. This requires urgent medical treatment with antibiotic eye drops or ointments to prevent vision loss.

How do I properly care for eyelash extensions?

Gently cleanse eyes using water only and pat dry for 24-48 hours. After that, use oil-free makeup remover and cleanser. Avoid oil-based products. Comb lashes daily with a clean spooly. Do not get lashes wet for 24 hours after a fill.


Getting red, irritated eyes after a new set of lash extensions is common in clients experiencing an allergic reaction or sensitivity to the lash glue. Here’s the scoop on why it happens and how to treat it:


  • Allergic reactions to ingredients in the lash adhesive like formaldehyde or cyanoacrylate. This is one of the most common triggers of red, bloodshot eyes after extensions.
  • Chemical irritation if too much glue gets into the eyes or if the eye pads used to isolate lashes are placed incorrectly.
  • Infection from unhygienic tools or conditions at the salon. This is rare with licensed technicians.
  • Tension on the eyes from the weight of heavy, dense lash sets. Choosing lighter extensions reduces strain.


  • Redness and bloodshot eyes, often more noticeable in the bottom half or white part of the eyeball.
  • Watery eyesitchingswelling or pain. May feel like pink eye.
  • Sensitivity to light, trouble fully opening eyes.
  • Only one eye being irritated points to issues like incorrect eye pad placement or excess glue on that side.
  • Onset within 24-48 hours after the lash appointment.


  • Remove eye makeup and wash the skin around your eyes very gently with clean water.
  • Apply a cool, damp washcloth over closed eyes for 10-15 minutes to soothe swelling and pain.
  • Use preservative-free eye drops like Refresh to hydrate irritated eyes.
  • Take an oral antihistamine like Claritin if allergic reaction is suspected.
  • Avoid rubbing eyes to prevent infection or dislodging new extensions.
  • See an optometrist promptly if symptoms worsen or vision is affected.


  • Request glue for sensitive eyes and ensure the lash tech is highly trained in technique.
  • Speak up immediately if stinging or excess glue gets in your eyes during application.
  • Book touch ups with the same technician and use the same gentle adhesive.

With proper care after application, most redness and irritation subsides within two to three days. But always communicate any eye issues to your lash technician to prevent further problems!

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