Mink eyelashes require specific eye care and eye hygiene, but they are a gorgeous beauty product that can make your eyes appear incredible. They are not without risk, but if applied, used, cleaned, removed and cared for correctly, most issues can be avoided. Mink is a more expensive option than silk and many synthetics, but it also looks and holds up better than most other extensions and strips.
Eyelash Strips vs. Extensions
Strip lashes look like your grandmother’s fake eyelashes, but are so much more. They can be applied at home with an eyelash adhesive, or professionally in a salon. Generally, they are removed daily with a solvent that breaks down the glue and reapplied another day. They can be washed, curled, and brushed. In contrast, lash extensions are semi-permanently attached with glue to your individual lashes to enhance the length and thickness of what you naturally have. These are much more difficult to apply and remove than strips, so usually are done professionally. Extensions are long wearing but also rife with the potential for complications.
Complications of Mink Lashes
Mink is real fur that is harvested from living minks by brushing them. The hairs that are shaped into the lash strips or used as extensions are cleaned and sterilized to remove dander before being put on the market. This avoids the potential for most allergies. The hair is soft and can be impossible to distinguish from your own eyelashes. However, if the lashes are too long or too heavy they can droop and become an irritant, despite their softness. Proper lash maintenance will help prevent this problem, but re-shaping the offending lash or removing it may be enough to treat the irritation. For mild irritation or inflammation, cleaning the area with a gently formulated cleanser will help.
Over time mink lash extensions may lose the curl that makes them look so natural and luxurious. When this occurs they can be re-curled with heat. A curling mascara can also be used quite effectively to maintain the long luxurious look. However, too much mascara use can damage the lashes and heavy mascara application can cause hairs to break off. Extensions will eventually fall off and fillers, or an entirely new set of lashes, can be applied. Lash extensions can last up to 6 weeks if well cared for, but more typically last between 3-4 weeks. It is highly recommended that they do not get wet at all for at least the first 24 hours they are in place to allow the glue to set. It is also generally advised that people wearing these lashes avoid steam, as steam can also cause the glue to break down.
The best way to maintain the beauty investment you make when you buy mink lashes is to avoid any type of hard scrubbing or harsh cleansers. This duplicates eye hygiene that is good practice even when you don’t have extensions or strips applied, but rather rely on your own lashes or just mascara. Soft, gentle application of a foam cleanser can help manage your entire eye area healthy and free of demodex mites and other skin diseases or eye-irritants that can be exacerbated when you are trying to avoid disturbing your eyelashes. In general, it can be difficult to keep eyelids clean when using fake eyelashes without a special cleanser. With extra thick and long lashes, more dust and fragments will be caught up and it will be even more important to remove makeup, lotions, dirt and oil build-up. This will also help to control mites. If you wear strips and are comfortable adhering them yourself, then daily removal and washing will help to keep problems from occurring.
Demodex Mites on My Mink?
Mites are no more common on mink lashes than on any human lash or other area of skin and hair. The same process that is used to remove the allergens in mink lashes also kills most mites. Demodex mite infestation in large numbers is contagious and may cause ocular damage if left untreated. (Source) Found in the lash follicle, these mites will dig in and spread. Keeping lashes clean will generally eliminate any cause for concern about mites. This can be done with a product like Cliradex foam and eyelid wipes. The T4O in Cliradex is extracted from tea tree oil and is a very safe, effective and natural way to kill Demodex and treat the irritation caused by their presence.
While the glue used to apply strip lashes typically does not irritate the skin, in some cases it will. The same is true for the solvent that breaks up the glue when the lashes are removed. If this does occur, Cliradex is also an excellent product for soothing the irritated area.
Mink eyelashes are a luxurious and glamorous way to spoil yourself and enhance the beauty of your eyes. The complications that come with them are all easily managed, or avoided altogether, when you are armed with good information. The truth is that maintaining mink is not that much more complicated than maintaining good health and hygiene without them.