They Often Come as a Pair, But Do You Really NEED to Use Lash Cleanser and Lash Primer Together? Yes. The Answer is Yes.

Eyelash Extension Pre-Treatment comes in many forms, and with so many other lash essentials having multiple variations of the same thing to suit different lash technicians’ needs, it can be easy to assume that the same is true for pre-treatment. After all, how different can foaming cleanser and lash cleanser really be? Surely you don’t need a 5 step routine for pre-treatment? Well, while you can get away with skipping some steps of the whole pre-treatment routine, Cleanser and Primer HAVE to be used together, and this is why.

Lash Cleanser

Before we do anything else, let’s take a look at what exactly Lash Cleanser is and what its function in the eyelash extension pre-treatment routine even is. Lash Cleanser is an alcohol based product that strips the lashes of oils, dust, dirt, debris, makeup and skincare residue and whatever else you might find on an eyelash that isn’t supposed to be there.

A stylized photo of London Lash Cleanser | London Lash Canada

You probably know, though perhaps you don’t, but anything left on the natural lashes before the application of lash extensions can and will have a negative impact on your retention. That includes residue left over from Lash Shampoo too, which is why we recommend that you don’t stop at Lash Shampoo. 

If any residue is left on the lashes from anything, you may not notice a problem while your client is with you in the salon. When they go to wash their lashes however, their lashes will slide right off, and you will receive the message or call that every lash technician dreads! 

By cleansing the natural lashes with Lash Cleanser, you’re ensuring that nothing can come between the natural lashes and the glue bonds.

Lash Primer

If you’ve used Lash Cleanser, you willneed to use Lash Primer afterwards. With Lash Cleanser being alcohol based it does an excellent job of removing those things that will impact your glue. What it also does though is remove the moisture from lashes, which will cause your glue to dry more slowly on the lash, leading to an increase in stickies or to your lash extensions leaning after you let them go, which will give you a messy lash set with gaps. 

Primer rehydrates the lashes after the use of Cleanser, meaning that your lash glue will dry as it’s supposed to and will form a nice strong bond with perfectly clean lashes. 

a gif showing lash extension pre-treatment being applied to the natural lashes

Conversely, you can’t use Lash Primer by itself because it’s simply not able to break down all of the residues that Lash Cleanser can. If you use Lash Shampoo, skip Cleanser and go straight to Primer, all you’re really doing is re-rinsing the lashes, so the long and short of that is that if you skip Lash Cleanser, you might as well skip Lash Primer too (not that we’d advocate for you to skip anything!) 

BY THE WAY some brands name these products the opposite way to us, so their Primer is alcohol based and their Cleanser rehydrates – if you’ve purchased your Cleanser & Primer from elsewhere, just double check their process recommendations to ensure that you are getting the best out of your products. 

Can You Start With Lash Cleanser?

Not really. There are two reasons for that and they both come down to the way you need to apply Lash Cleanser.

Lash Cleanser can’t touch the skin as it might cause your client some irritation (same with Primer, even though it is water-based), what that means is that you don’t get a thorough cleanse of the lash like like you do when using Protein Remover & Cleansing Pads. You need to ensure that you’re cleansing the lashes right to the root, including the skin between the lashes – as you apply extensions and as the client moves their eyes, anything from the skin between the lashes can make its way onto the lashes, meaning that your retention will be affected, despite using Lash Cleanser and Lash Primer.

A close up photo of the lash line during pre-treatment, old makeup can be seen on the skin between the lashes | London Lash Canada

As well as this, Lash Shampoo and Protein Pads cleanse the skin around the eyes as well as the lashes, which helps your eye patches to stay in place, which means that you don’t have to waste time during the treatment adjusting them, and can instead just focus on applying perfect lash extensions that you know will last.

When it comes to eyelash extension pre-treatment, you simply can’t skimp on quality! While you might be able to skip one step and get away with it, Lash Cleanser and Lash Primer are a duo that can only be used in tandem!