Red Eyes After Lash Extensions – Is It Normal & What to Do

By Emily M.| Last updated on May 8, 2024
Why do red eyes after lash extensions happen
⏱️ 5 min read

Getting red eyes after eyelash extensions is one of the more common side effects many people face. Although it can sometimes be painful, in most cases it isn’t – but still, who would want their brand-new eye look to be ruined by redness?

If you’re an eyelash tech looking to make your ‘after’ photos look better, or just got the treatment done yourself and are suffering from bloodshot eyes after eyelash extensions, keep reading – we’re here to take a look at why this happens and what you can do about it!

What Causes Red Eyes After Lash Extensions?

There are many factors that can lead to red eyes after lash extensions. They’re mostly related to the client’s sensitivity but can stem from other things too, some of which are easily preventable, including…

Issues with the Adhesive

One of the main causes of redness is glue getting into the eye, which should be prevented.

If that is the case, there’s a burning sensation and the eye should be rinsed out immediately. Lash techs usually use tape to keep the eye shut, but that isn’t always 100% reliable – the client also needs to keep their eyes as still as possible.

Another possibility is that the adhesive is based on cyanoacrylate, which naturally releases formaldehyde during the curing process.

This also draws out moisture from the atmosphere, so the eye will dry out if it’s opened. Even if cyanoacrylate-based adhesives are regularly used, some clients will experience this issue while others won’t – it depends on their sensitivity.

Image source: Instagram @glamourstudio_wiktoriak


Some people are just simply allergic to eyelash glue, and allergies can be manifested in the form of red eyes and discomfort. The main difference between an allergic reaction and a reaction to cyanoacrylate is that allergies cause swelling.

If there’s any swelling or pain during the process, the client needs to report it and the tech needs to remove the glue immediately. In some cases, it may be necessary to contact a doctor.

Physical Damage

Mistakes can happen. Sometimes, a lash tech will accidentally cause some discomfort due to their inexperience.

For example, tweezers can poke the eye, the tape might be placed too high, or the gel pads may be thrust too harshly. The lash extension might also scratch the eye if it’s the wrong length, curl, or thickness.

In most cases, these are nothing to worry about, and the redness should go away soon – just like when you accidentally poke your eye with a mascara wand.

However, the real danger is if a mishap results in a corneal abrasion. If there is any extreme pain, tearing, and/or trouble with eyesight – it’s time to go to the doctor.

Image source: Freepik

Poor Prep and Aftercare

Both phases need to be handled properly, or trouble is bound to happen.

What Techs Need to Do:

  • Sterilize all your tools before each client.
  • Be gentle when cleaning the eyes before you start lashing.
  • Make sure you have multiple types of lash adhesive in case your go-to irritates the client’s eyes.
  • Educate your clients on aftercare and double-check whether they understand everything.
  • Send them off with an aftercare kit.

What Clients Need to Do:

  • Take out your contact lenses before the appointment if you wear them.
  • After the appointment, follow your lash tech’s instructions for aftercare especially those regarding regular cleaning.
  • If you notice anything weird in the days after your procedure, contact your tech and have them reassess your aftercare. If that is the problem, then the symptoms will appear days after the appointment.

Image source: Instagram

Only the Lower Half of the Eye Is Red! What Happened?

Sometimes, it’s possible only the bottom half of eye gets red after eyelash extensions. This is usually no cause for concern, but it might be a signal that the lower eyelid wasn’t patched properly, which caused irritation.

It’s also possible that some clients will experience this due to their natural sensitivity to the chemicals in the adhesive or having the area around their eyes touched a lot.

Can Eye Redness Be Prevented?

The best way to prevent redness after a lash appointment is to ensure that no adhesive enters the eye. It’s useful to keep in mind that, most commonly, people with very rounded eyes have trouble keeping them sealed during the appointment.

Redness may still appear even if the tech is being super careful with the adhesive.

If red eyes after lash extensions are just a momentary reaction (not allergies or anything that would require medical attention), eye drops can be used to reduce it.

However, it’s important not to get them on the lashes, since freshly done extensions should be kept dry. If they do get the lashes wet, dry them off immediately using a cotton swab and a very steady hand.

Eye Drops for Red Eyes After Lash Extensions

Any eye-refreshing drops like fake tears can be used to relieve red eyes after lash extensions, but some formulas can affect the results. Some common ingredients, such as glycerin or glycols, may loosen the adhesive.

So, before any drops are used, check the ingredients list.

When it comes to the best fake tears for reducing redness, take a look at our top picks!

Red Eyes 2 Days After Lash Extensions and Later

If the redness appears during the appointment and fades away in a day or two without swelling – it was a reaction to the adhesive.

If it happens in combination with swelling, it was an allergic reaction.

If it starts a few days later, it was due to a poor aftercare routine.

If your eyes start to get red on the day of the appointment and the issue persists for over 2 days, you should contact a doctor.

This means that the irritation caused by the adhesive or a mechanical injury could be more than just a surface-level problem. It’s best to get it checked out ASAP so you don’t risk any further problems.

Final Word of Advice

As we said, red eyes after lash extensions are usually nothing to worry about, but they should be an exception, not a rule.

If you’re a lash tech and you notice every single client has a reaction, you might want to rethink your products or your technique.

If you’re a client and you notice every time you get a set or an infill you leave the salon with red eyes, you might want to seek out another lash tech.

Cover image source: Freepik



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