Red Eyes After Lash Extensions: What Causes That?

Irritated infected red bloodshot eye, barley infection in the eye 3D illustration
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You can make your eyelashes look longer and fuller in various ways. You can use magnetic or glue-on fake lashes and attach them on top of your natural lashes, use lengthening and volumizing mascara, or get a lash extensions or a lash lift.

Are you thinking about getting eyelash extensions but concerned with what happens after you’re done? Have you watched the Tik Tok’s of people who end up with red eyes after their extensions?

Red eyes after lash extensions is a reality for many, and is a risk that could happen after getting lash extensions. It is most commonly due to a reaction from the glue used in the lash extension procedure. It should fade with time.

We’ll go over the details below.


Why Do You Get Red Eyes After Lash Extensions?

One of the risks of getting lash extensions is having bloodshot eyes, or red eyes, after the procedure. When this happens, the white part of the eye or the sclera becomes reddish. 

The reason why you might have bloodshot or red eyes is due to a broken blood vessel in the eye. This will create hemorrhages in the clear membrane that covers your eyeball.

Fun times! 

When you have red eyes due to the lash extensions, you may also feel that it is gritty and sandy. It can feel sore, even painful. And the surroundings of your eye could swell up, too. 

The most common reason why your eyes could get red after the lash extension is due to the formaldehyde adhesive that is used during the procedure. You can either have a chemical burn or an allergic reaction to it. 

The most common reason why your eyes could get red after the lash extension is due to the formaldehyde adhesive that is used during the procedure. 

Keep In Touch With Your Lash Technician

The best thing you can do in the days following your lash extension appointment is to send daily photos to your lash tech so they can monitor your progress.

If anything is going wrong like red eyes, your tech will be aware of it, and can give advise and tips to you.

Chemical Burn Vs Allergies

Both allergies and a chemical burn can result in the reddening of the eye. It is important to determine which is the cause of the redness. That will tell you what appropriate thing to do is, when that happens. 

Chemical Burn

Eyelash extensions are usually attached to the natural lashes using an adhesive that has a main ingredient called cyanoacrylate. Products that are based on cyanoacrylate usually release formaldehyde as it cures. 

People react differently to formaldehyde fumes. Some could have stronger reactions than others.

Apart from the presence of formaldehyde fumes, the cyanoacrylate absorbs moisture, which could dry out the eyes when they are opened. 

Chemical burns can happen when the lash glue itself enters the eye during the procedure. When this happens, you can feel a stinging pain or a tearing sensation in the eyes. 

If you use glue-on false lashes, you may have had gotten lash glue in your eyes before. This is similar..

Usually, clients who experience this are those who have round eyes. That is because this eye shape is naturally difficult to shut. 

If you have a chemical burn, swelling is usually not present. 

The eyes should be properly sealed shut before the procedure starts. Additionally, it is best not to open the eyes immediately after the procedure to avoid exposure and contamination.


Apart from a chemical burn, red eyes could be a result of allergies to the lash glue. Allergies may be present in one person and absent in others. 

With allergies, the redness is usually accompanied by swelling. If there is swelling and soreness in the area surrounding the eyes, it is likely an allergy. In such a case, you should ask the lash technician to remove the extensions and immediately go to a doctor. 

It is important to know your allergies or do a patch test to determine if you are allergic to the lash glue. There are various lash adhesives available in the market and they may contain different ingredients. 

You should get to know the type of adhesive that they use to make sure that you are not allergic to any of their ingredients. 

Other Causes Of Red Eyes After Lash Extensions

Chemical burns and allergies are two of the most common cause of red eyes. However, there are other reasons why that could happen. They are as follows:

1. Lash Technician Poor Performance

It is highly important for those who want to get eyelash extensions to go to reputable lash technicians. Carefully selecting who does your lash extensions can greatly affect the results, and your safety as well. 

Sometimes, the redness of the eyes after the application could be due to the errors made by the lash technicians. 

Some of them would include accidentally poking the eyes with tweezers, the medical tape sticking to the waterline, using cracked pads, poor placement of the gel pads, poor placement of tape, using low-quality products, and the lash extensions touching the eyes. 

2. Unhygienic Lash Technician

Another thing that would cause the eyes to get red after lash extensions are the poor hygiene of the lash technicians. If the lash technician doesn’t practice proper hygiene, you can develop an infection. 

If the lash technician doesn’t practice proper hygiene, you can develop an infection. 

One of the things that should be done is to disinfect the equipment between clients. That will prevent cross-contamination among the clients. 

3. Improper Aftercare

As someone who wants to have eyelash extensions, you should do your part in knowing how to care for your eyelashes after the procedure. 

Sometimes, eye redness can happen a few days after you get the procedure done. When this happens, it could mean that you aren’t properly doing maintenance on them.

If you don’t properly take care of your eyes after the procedure, you can have allergic blepharitis. This causes the surrounding skin of the eyes to turn reddish.

4. Very Sensitive Eyes

Sometimes, no one is really at fault when you develop red eyes after the procedure. It is possible that you simply have very sensitive eyes. If you’re unlucky, your eyes could be easily irritated by various chemicals or equipment. 

If the eye redness is due to the sensitivity of the eyes, you may need topical treatments for the reddish skin that develops around the eye.

Once you apply those, the reddish skin could slowly fade into its natural color. 

5. Wearing Contact Lenses

Most of those who apply eyelash extensions will ask you to remove contact lenses in case you have them. That’s because wearing them through the procedure could cause your eyes to redden. 

Remember that you are going to keep your eyes closed for a long time while the procedure is done. Closing the eyes for a long time while wearing contact lenses will not only cause redness in your eyes but can also be painful. 

How Long Does The Redness Last?

Having red eyes due to your lash extensions is something that you don’t want to experience. However, if it occurs, it’s usually not a long-term problem. Typically you’ll have to wait for a day, or potentially a couple of days, for the redness to subside. 

The length of time varies and will depend on the cause of the eye redness. In case of hypersensitivity or a poking gel pad, the redness could only last for a day. On the other hand, those who have severe allergies could take longer. 

If you have red eyes after the procedure, they typically disappear within the day. However, if it doesn’t subside, you may need to remove the lash extensions to prevent your eyes from still being exposed to what is causing them to redden. 

Again, this is why it’s important to stay in contact with your lash technician during the healing process, and send daily photos until everything is normal.

Treatment For Red Eyes After Eyelash Extensions

Most of the time, home remedies are enough to help your red eyes to go away. Here are a few products that you could use at home to combat eye redness after the procedure.

1. Eye Drops

One of the first things you should try to remedy eye redness is eye drops. These could easily treat short-term eye redness. 

2. Warm Or Cold Compress

Using either warm or cold compress in the eye area could help alleviate the symptoms of having red eyes. You just have to use it for about 10 minutes. 

3. Antihistamines

There are over-the-counter oral antihistamines that are available on the market today. They are greatly useful when the cause of eye redness is allergies. Antihistamines will help decrease the symptoms of allergies and red eyes could be one of the symptoms reduced. 

4. Hydrocortisone Cream

– This topical cream will be quite useful in lowering the inflammation that could be present when you develop red eyes.  

5. Witch Hazel

This is applied with lint-free cotton. It will help lessen blood vessel constrictions in the area surrounding the eyes. 

Conclusion: Avoiding Red Eyes Due To Lash Extensions

Although there are ways to treat the red eyes that occurred due to lash extensions, it’s best to avoid getting them red in the first place! Skip the weird bloodshot look and discomfort by communicating with your lash tech.

Be to be open to your technician during the procedure. Let them know if you feel any discomfort during while getting the extensions. You should tell them when you think the gel pads or tape are touching your waterline. Tell them when your eyes can’t properly close.

Another way would be to do a patch test to check if you have any allergies to the adhesive that would be used. Some techs may offer alternative adhesives that are formulated for those with sensitive eyes to lessen the risk of red eyes. 

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).