Cleanser and Primer - Why are BOTH Essential?

If you’ve been here for a while, you’ll know that we're really passionate about pretreatment, and have written a bunch of blog posts designed to give you a really clear idea of what each product's respective purposes are, and how exactly you can go about getting the best out of them. We’ve written about our entire pretreatment routine pretty extensively for the same reason – after all, why would you invest in something when you don’t really know anything about it? 

We’ve said it before and we’ll more than likely say it again – foam cleanser can be used alone, but it’s far better when it’s used in conjunction with the rest of the pretreatment line. To that end, we’re taking a nice close look at Cleanser and Primer to give you some perspective on why they’re always necessary, and can’t be used separately from each other. 

eyelash extensions cleanser, lash extensions primer

What is Cleanser?

Cleanser has been developed specifically for use with eyelash extensions – it is alcohol based and is only supposed to be applied to the eyelashes specifically. Being alcohol based, it cuts through and gets rid of any oils on the lashes coming from sebum, makeup residue or skincare residue, and breaks down any dust or dirt too. 

Cleanser is applied straight to the lashes with a microfibre brush or a lip applicator style brush - you need to be careful with Cleanser to not let it get into the eyes, as it will be very painful for your client! To be on the safe side, after you’ve dropped a little cleanser onto your brush, dab it onto a tissue to get rid of any excess and avoid any spills. 

eyelash extensions cleanser, lash extensions primer

As Cleanser is alcohol based, it can be a bit drying on the lashes which can have a big effect on how well your lash glue works. As we all know from our lash extensions training, it’s humidity which causes the cyanoacrylate in our eyelash extensions adhesive to polymerise – in other words, what makes our glue dry. Due to this, if we have a very dehydrated surface for our glue to grip, it simply won’t grab onto the lashes and cure in the time we’re expecting it to. 

That’s where Primer comes in…

What is Primer? 

Primer is absolutely essential when you’ve used Cleanser (and Cleanser is essential for optimal retention, so yes, you do need both!) as it rehydrates the lashes after the use of Cleanser. Primer is water based so adds the level of moisture you need for your glue to behave the way that it should, meaning that you won’t have the most irritating lash appointment of your life, having to hold lashes in place until the glue decides it’s time to bond. 

Primer, like Cleanser, cannot be used alone. As it’s water based, it doesn't do the best job of really cleansing the lashes when used solo, so you’re likely to find you have retention issues if you’re not using any other pretreatment, or if you’re using – for example – a foam cleanser followed by Primer. 

eyelash extensions cleanser, lash extensions primer

All in all, there’s a very good reason that Cleanser and Primer have been a best selling duo since London Lash was founded back in 2013! For best results, we’d recommend our tried and tested (not to mention loved) 5-step pretreatment routine, but to enhance your pretreatment on a big of a tighter budget, start off with some Protein Remover Pads on the skin around the eyes to help your eyepatches stay in place during the treatment, and then move onto Cleanser and Primer.