Are you suffering from short, stubby lashes? Do you have a wispy, thin lash line or missing lashes? Worry not. A full, sexy flutter is still possible. Whether your lashes are naturally short, or you’ve experienced lash loss or breakage, there’s an eyelash growth option for every budget.
The Natural Growth Cycle of Your Lashes
Each of your lashes has its own three-phase life cycle. (Thank goodness, right? Imagine them all falling out at the same time!) The first, known as the anagen (or active) phase, is where the major lash growth occurs. The second phase is the catagen, or transition phase. It is during the catagen phase when your lashes look their longest and most beautiful. The final phase is known as the telogen, or resting phase. After resting for a few months, the lash falls out and the life cycle starts anew.
Different Types Of Lash Growth Products
Latisse and Lash Boost
Currently, there’s one prescription medication on the market to increase lash growth. It’s called Latisse. Applied to the lash line, Latisse works by lengthening the anagen growth phase of your eyelashes. Potential side effects, however, can include discoloration of your eyelid and even a change in the color of your iris. If you have blue eyes, that means they could possibly turn brown after using Latisse.
The active ingredient in Latisse is bimatoprost, a drug that was first used in the treatment of glaucoma. Bimatoprost is a prostaglandin analog. (Prostaglandins are naturally-occurring fatty acids in the human body that function similar to hormones. An analog is basically a man-made, or synthetic, version of a prostaglandin.) Doctors first discovered the lash lengthening benefits of bimatoprost when they noticed that their glaucoma patients were developing longer, lusher eyelashes. The FDA later approved bimatoprost (sold under the brand name Latisse) for use as an eyelash growth medication. You can read a full description of Latisse here.
Some companies, like the maker of Lash Boost (a cosmetic lash serum not sold as a prescription drug), use a different prostaglandin analog called isopropyl cloprostenate to stimulate lash growth. Isopropyl cloprostenate has not been approved by the FDA, however. Be aware that, like bimatoprost, the potential side effects of isopropyl cloprostenate also include discoloration of your eyelid or a change in the color of your iris. Want to learn more about isopropyl cloprostenate and Lash Boost? Read about it here.
If you like your eye color and prefer an eyelash serum without prescription-strength drugs, there’s still hope!
Alternatives to Prescription Drugs
Some beauty aficionados swear by castor oil. It’s all-natural and can improve both the thickness and luster of lashes. Sadly, if you wear false lashes, castor oil is out for you. Oils of all kind interfere with the adhesive bond in lash glues, so they’re a no-no for use with extensions and strip lashes.
Lash Serum to the Rescue
Lash serum, on the other hand, is a popular over-the-counter option. Better yet, there are oil-free serums that will play nice with your falsies. Most serums rely on biotin (a form of vitamin B), peptides, lipids or a combination of those ingredients to encourage healthier, fuller lashes.
Ingredient Profile: Peptides
If you were to break down the human body into smaller components, you’d see that we’re composed of a lot of different proteins. Skin, organs, bones, muscle tissues, hair and yes, eyelashes are formed of proteins. If you were to then break down proteins into smaller components, you’d discover that they’re composed of chains of amino acids called peptides. Want to know something else? Peptides are a building block in all living organisms. (Crazy about science and want to learn about all the things that peptides do? Read more here).
Peptides are like little worker bees. Because they’re involved in the function of all our muscles, organs and skin, peptides can do so many things. Collagen, the most plentiful protein in our bodies, is made of peptides. These collagen peptides not only build healthy skin, hair and eyelashes, but they do repair work, too.
This is where the peptides in other living organisms come in. We consume proteins in the foods we eat, and they are increasingly found in our skin care, hair care and cosmetic products for the beneficial properties they provide. Lash serums use peptides to nourish and maintain healthy eyelashes, just as we would drink bone broth for a protein boost.
Moisture for Your Eyelashes
Skin and hair require moisture to look their best. That’s why we condition our hair and buy moisturizers and sheet masks for our face. Did you know that your eyelashes need moisture, too? When lashes become too dry, they’re vulnerable to breakage, just like the hair on your head. Adequately moisturized lashes are stronger lashes. So, you can think of lash serums like a moisturizer for your flutter.
Denser Eyebrows, Too
For those struggling with sparse or thin eyebrows, there are serums available that focus on both eyelashes and eyebrows. That’s right. They can do double duty!
How to Use Lash Serums
Make sure that you apply your lash serum to clean, dry eyelids or eyebrows. You can use lash serum in the morning before putting on your makeup, and then again at night after you have washed your face. It can take two weeks or up to 45 days (depending on the brand) to see a difference in your lashes or brows.
It makes sense to try a few different serums before you settle on a favorite. Each brand has a unique formulation, and you may react to some products (itchiness or redness are the most common reactions). Some may work better for you than others.
Most lash serums use a narrow brush, like a liquid liner, so you can paint the serum along your lash line. We have developed an innovative new click-pen method to better control the amount of serum you apply to your lids. That means you get just the right amount of serum, with no waste.
The Best Lash Serum Brands Right Now:
- BeautyGARDE Damage Control Lash & Brow Fortifier: Not your average lash serum. Designed specifically to be used with lash extensions, Damage Control, as the name implies, discourages breakage and loss. A proprietary blend of peptides gives a boost to your lashes and brows, encouraging more length and density of growth. The innovative click-pen applicator allows you to be precise, dispensing just as much serum as you need. No dripping! $24.
Best Lash Serums – Department Store Brands
- Rapid Lash Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancing Serum: Biotin, peptides, and hyaluronic acid. $50.
- Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10: An anti-aging formula to use around the eyes and to enhance lashes. $35.
- Shiseido Full Lash Serum: For use on lashes and brows. $35.
- Givenchy Mister Lash Booster: lash serum, primer and clear mascara in one. $32.
Best Lash Serums – Luxury
- RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner: RevitaLash is considered by many to be one of the best lash serums, but it will set you back. A three-month supply is $150.
- Lancer Lash Serum Intense: Contains both biotin and peptides. $150.
- Lashfood Phyto-Medic Eyelash Enhancing Serum: Gluten-free and vegan. $80.
- Peter Thomas Roth Lashes To Die For Turbo: Can be used on lashes and brows. $72.25.