Astaple beauty product that has stood the test of time, Vaseline (also known as petroleum jelly) has a myriad of uses, from helping prevent skin stains when coloring hair to increasing the effectiveness of your retinol (hello, slugging). It can even help in the healing of minor skin burns and cuts.
Everyone has used or heard of Vaseline at some point, and rightly so; it’s inexpensive and wonderful. Whether you slather it on your hands and feet at night, mix it with your lipstick to create a sheer lip balm, or apply it to dry cuticles, Vaseline is indeed great at many things.
That being said, there is a myth that needs debunking when it comes to Vaseline and your beloved eyelash extensions. The internet is claiming that you can remove your eyelash extensions with the wonder jelly—but as it turns out, that’s not such a great idea. Ahead, board-certified dermatologist Alexandra Snodgrass, MD, and eyelash extension expert Van Pham weigh in on all the reasons you might want to skip the Vaseline next time you’re removing your lash extensions.
Can Vaseline Remove Lash Extensions?
The short answer? No, it cannot.
When removing eyelash extensions, you must use the right safe and effective products. “You cannot remove eyelash extensions with Vaseline because all eyelash extension adhesive is made of some form of cyanoacrylate, which won’t break down with Vaseline at all,” says Pham. “The lash industry has specific removers [formulated] for safely breaking down lash extension adhesive without damaging the lashes or eyelid, and these are the only removers you will want to use to remove your extensions safely.”
Snodgrass seconds this. “Using the appropriate remover to break down chemicals in eyelash extension glue is key for making sure there’s no damage or breakage done to your natural lashes,” she says. You don’t want your natural eyelashes to become dry, brittle, or even break off due to using the wrong kinds of removers for your extensions, which is why it’s best to stick to professional removal products.
“The biggest con of using Vaseline around the eye is that it can irritate your sensitive skin and cause other issues,” says Pham. “Vaseline tends to stick to the skin and eyelashes, becoming a sticky, oily mess that will be harder to remove.” If you get Vaseline in your eyes, you will want to gently wipe it off with a damp washcloth until it’s gone. Handling your eye area with great care and gentle precision when removing anything, including makeup, is ideal.
Is At-Home Lash Extension Removal Safe?
Should we even attempt to remove our lash extensions at home? Pham encourages you to leave it to the professionals only: “Unfortunately, there is no safe at-home method of removing eyelash extensions yourself. If someone needs to remove their extensions, they must go to a good lash salon where the stylists can gently and safely remove them with eyelash extension remover. We’re working on tiny hairs around the eye area—utmost care should be taken not to damage the hairs, eyelid, or eyeball.”
Experts who are well-versed in extension removal can see the full picture of your eyes when you’re in for a service. When you try to sort it out yourself at home, you could possibly cause more harm to the eye area than intended.
What if You Can’t Make it to the Salon?
Can’t make it to the salon for removal? That’s okay—there is a solution. “You might not always be able to make it to the lash salon for removal, and that’s understandable,” says Snodgrass. “The best practice for removal if a professional cannot do it is to let the extensions shed naturally without touching them or taking matters into your own hands. This is the least irritating method and will keep your sensitive skin around the eye area intact, causing the least irritation.” Eyelash extensions will last as long as your natural eyelash growth cycle, which is why they will begin to shed around about eight weeks after your initial application.
How You Can Use Vaseline in Your Beauty Routine
Vaseline is suitable for many different uses, so don’t discount it just because you can’t use it to remove your eyelash extensions. “Vaseline is excellent for wounds, a moisturizer for dry skin, and even a treatment for chapped lips,” says Snodgrass. “These are all ideal ways to incorporate Vaseline into your daily routine, taking into consideration [that] you’re going to want to avoid putting it around the eye area as it will leave residue and a heavy sensation on the lids which can feel uncomfortable.”
The Final Takeaway
Using Vaseline as its intended to be used is the best way to reap the benefits of this inexpensive multi-use product without any added irritation. While it’s not recommended to for removing your eyelash extensions, there are several other ways Vaseline can aid in your beauty and skincare routine.
Seeking help from professional salons staffed by experts trained in safe lash extension removal is the best way to go when it comes to removing your eyelash extensions and keeping your eyes free and clear of irritants and possible infections. If you can’t make it to a salon, let the lashes shed naturally without any excess pulling, tugging, or wiping.