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Attention sufferers of thin eyelashes: you can put the false lashes down and give up the hunt for the perfect strengthening and lengthening mascara. Instead, opt for a lash serum to build up your own natural lashes with a more voluminous, healthy look. Just like facial serums work to directly strengthen an element that your skin is lacking like hydration or smoothness, eyelash serums are targeted treatments that can grow, strengthen or thicken eyelash hair.
The Growth Pattern
“Lash serums work in two different ways,” lash and brow expert Robin Evans told StyleCaster. “They condition and strengthen the lash preventing breakage, or they actually stimulate growth.” Like any kind of hair, lashes follow a growth pattern: the anagen, or active growth phase is when lashes are constantly growing. This typically lasts from four to six weeks. Next, the lash goes through the catagen, or transitional phase for about two to three weeks. At this point, the lash is are at its maximum length and the hair follicles begin to shrink. The final resting stage, telogen, lasts around 100 days before the lash naturally falls out.
Each individual eyelash functions on its own cycle, going through a different phase from other lashes, which is why you don’t lose all of your lashes at the end of the telogen phase at the same time. Evans explained that the most effective way to stimulate lash growth is to extend the anagen phase with products like Latisse and GrandeLash. “This is where you will see those long lash lash results,” she said.
While Latisse is the only FDA-approved prescription product that is proven to lengthen the anagen phase, there are other ones, like GrandeLash, that can help increase growth while your lashes are in the anagen phase. “However, these products do contain chemicals and are not 100% natural,” Evans warned. “The chemicals can discolor your skin, or even change the color of your eyes although extremely rare.”
While the chemical-based lash serums are known to show the best results, some people notice that their effects fall away once they stop using the serum. The main thing to keep in mind when using a growth-stimulating lash serum is to be careful when applying. Use the applicator provided with the product and be careful not to get the serum into your eye or eyelid, even if directions suggest to apply at the root of the lashes.
Evans’ New York studio, Robin Evans Brows, doesn’t offer treatments to stimulate lash growth. Instead, she opts for lash tinting and lash lifting treatments that allow eyelashes a longer, uplifted look. She advises the use of biotin and hyaluronic acid beauty vitamins daily. Biotin is a B-vitamin often used in all types of hair growth treatments due to its ability to strengthen keratin and improve hair health. Natural lash serums based in biotin, like VegaLash Serum, function in a different way from the growth stimulants – they condition and strengthen the lashes. “The results are much more conservative but longer term,” Evans explained.
Either way, patience is key when using a lash serum. There’s no magical cure, especially because the growth cycle is so long. It can take several months before you see results from any kind of lash serum. Everyone experiences different results, so the natural, conditioning products are the right choice for some lashes and the growth stimulants are the best option for others. These are the best ones to shop for any preference.
Grande Cosmetics GrandeLASH Enhancing Serum
Approved by ophthalmologists, this growth serum promotes longer & thicker looking lashes using a blend of vitamins, antioxidants, and amino acids.
$65 at Grande Cosmetics
Vegamour VegaLASH Volumizing Serum
A vegan and cruelty-free volumizing serum made from red clover and mung bean, clinically proven to deliver thicker, fuller, lengthened lashes.
$59.95 at Vegamour
Lashfood Phyto-Medic Eyelash Enhancing Serum
Paraben and sulfate-free, this natural eyelash enhancer was reported by 85% of users to provide visible results from its nutrient-rich Phyto-Medic Complex and Arginine essential amino acid.
$80 at Lashfood
RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner
A conditioner developed by ophthalmologists to protect against breakage, improve health, flexibility and strength using BioPeptin complex, amino acids and B-vitamins.
$150 at RevitaLash Cosmetics
RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum
A serum designed to target both eyelashes and eyebrows with Polypeptides and biotin for a youthful, stronger appearance.
$49.99 at Ulta
Shiseido Full Lash Serum
Made from Arginine, this high-performance serum was reported by 80% of users to result in denser-looking lashes after four months.
$36 at Shiseido
Lancer Lash Serum Intense
A serum made with a mix of biotin, essential fatty acids and antioxidants to enhance the eyelashes through a nourishing treatment that results in a stronger, fuller look.
$150 at Lancer Skincare
BeautyGARDE Damage Control Lash + Brow Fortifier
A fortifying serum made without parabens or sulfates, designed to strengthen both lashes and brows using a pen applicator.
$24 at BeautyGARDE
Physicians Formula Eye Booster Lash 2-in-1 Boosting Eyeliner & Serum
Made from a high-tech, dermatologist-approved, hypoallergenic formula, this lash serum actually works as an eyeliner when applied to the base of the lashes, where it is most effective.
$11.49 at Physicians Formula
Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die for Turbo
This nighttime eyelash treatment dramatically enhances the lash’s natural length, thickness, density and fullness, with initial results seen after just a few weeks.
$85 at Ulta
A clinically-proven and drug-free serum that naturally stimulates and strengthens lashes while simultaneously conditioning with a patented polypeptide formula.
$160 at Northwest Eye Design