The beauty industry would have you believe that eyelash growth serums make your eyelashes appear thicker and longer, eliminating the need for other options such as mascara and false eyelashes. You have probably seen the before-and-after pictures of women flaunting their luscious lashes all over social media, and you ask yourself, Do these serums work?
Do Eyelash Growth Serums Work?
First, let’s review how eyelashes grow
The primary function of the eyelashes is to protect the eyeball from debris and foreign material and act as triggers for the blink reflex. Like any hair on the scalp, the eyelashes follow a specific growth pattern. There are three phases to eyelash growth; they include
- The Anagen Phase (Active)
- The Catagen Phase (Transition)
- The Telogen Phase (Resting)
In the Anagen phase, the lashes will constantly be growing, and this phase lasts between four to six weeks. On the other hand, during the Catagen phase, the eyelashes will be at their maximum length, whereby the hair follicles will begin to shrink.
This phase can last from two to three weeks. Lastly, the telogen phase is the resting period, and it can last for 100 days before the lashes start to fall out naturally.
Generally, Eyelash growth serums work by penetrating and conditioning the hair follicles, encouraging growth, and preventing breakage. Eyelash growth serums work by nourishing and boosting the lashes using various ingredients. The main ingredients include Prostaglandin, Peptin, and Vitamin, and other ingredient includes Keratin, Biotin, Sodium Hyaluronate, Panthenol, and Botanical extracts.
With these ingredients, eyelash growth serums can be used to make your eyelashes darker and even prevent premature graying eyelashes. However, the serums may also contain other ingredients like green tea extract and antioxidants, and these can help protect the natural lashes from damage.
You might want to check out: How Fast Do Eyelashes Grow
Here Are The Most Relevant Research-Based facts on Eyelash Growth Serums
According to the study published by The Journal Of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology:
- Eyelash growth serums are one of the most sought-after aesthetic desires to improve eyelash length effectively.
- The study also demonstrated its efficacy in improving eyelash length, luster, thickness, and curl.
- After 30-90 days of usage, there were no adverse events associated with the product.
- It was also concluded that the eyelash growth serum was well tolerated and effectively improved eyelash growth, thickness, and volume.
According to this study published by The British Journal of Dermatology
- Bimatoprost Ophthalmic solution 0.03% is approved in several countries for treating eyelash Hypotrichosis.
- Bimatoprost solution 0.03% applied to the eyelid margins was safe and associated with longer, thicker, and darker eyelashes.
According to this study by Southampton General Hospital and St Louis University published by The British Journal Of Dermatology
- The eyelash growth serum was initially developed to treat glaucoma and ocular hypertension as a daily eyedrop but has since been found to be effective at stimulating eyelash growth.
- The study also shows bimatoprost is a safe and effective treatment for eyelash growth over a sustained period.
- For those with inadequate eyelashes, length increased by 25% – from 5.69mm to 7.12mm. Thickness increased by 65%- from 0.79mm to 1.30mm. While darkness improved by 17%- from 149.29 to 127.95 (a negative change means darker)
- For Chemotherapy patients, length increased by 40% from 4.87mm to 6.84mm; thickness increased by 302% from 0.39mm to 1.18mm. At the same time, darkness improved by 18%- from 156.16 to 132.65.
According to this study by Optometry Times
- Over time, LATISSE is the only FDA-approved treatment for the treatment of Hypotrichosis. It is commonly used to treat trichotillomania, chemotherapy-induced eyelash loss, and alopecia areata lash loss.
- The nightly application showed maximal effectivity of lash enhancement at 16 weeks of usage.
How Does Eyelash Growth Serum Work?
Most lash serums contain various nutrients and vitamins to condition the lashes. Lash serums work by supporting the hairs in their growth phase and encouraging them to grow longer and with darker pigment.
They also work by conditioning the lashes and allowing them to be more hydrated and volumized. Considering the time it takes for eyelashes to grow, it will take about eight weeks for regular application to the lashes to appear visibly long.
Even if you don’t have skin allergies or sensitive skin, keep in mind that some lash serums may irritate, so if you develop itching, burning, or redness, you should stop using the serum immediately. Generally, the serum works gradually and takes three to four months before you see complete results. Usually, the first change you’ll notice is the eyelash length; after continued use, the thickness and darkness will appear.
How To Use The Lash Growth Serum?
Before applying the lash growth serum, remove contact lens and makeup if you have any on. Cleanse your face and ensure your hands are free of any dirt or makeup. Remove the eyelash growth serum applicator and apply it to your upper lash line.
Close your eyes and apply a thin line across the root of your upper lash line, starting from the inside of your eye and moving outward. Ensure you don’t apply the lash serum to your lower lashes; the serum will apply to your lower lashes as you blink.
What Are The Side Effects Of Eyelash Growth Serums?
Since Eyelash growth serums are safe and effective, some people have experienced mild side effects like dryness, redness, itching, and irritation. Below are the main side effects of eyelash growth serums;
Most eyelash growth serums use chemicals known as prostaglandin analogs, and when used, you might notice some skin darkening around the eye area. However, prostaglandin analogs are chemicals that prolong the anagen phase in the lashes. It was typically used to treat glaucoma, but surprisingly, it was later discovered that the side effect of the chemical is long and luscious lashes.
2. Orbital Fat Loss
Another side effect you might notice when using eyelash growth serum is orbital fat loss, meaning fat loss around the eyes. This side effect is one of the most severe side effects, and it is not reversible.
It usually occurs when the prostaglandin analogs come in contact with the delicate eye area. This can cause a shrinking of fat around the eyes, which can eventually lead to a more sunken appearance.
The last side effect is irritation. Irritation can come from redness, itchiness, and watery and bloodshot eyes. Just like Orbital fat loss, irritation can occur when the prostaglandin analogs come in contact with the eyes and reduce the intraocular pressure, reducing vision problems.
You might want to check out: 10 Eyelash Extension Irritation Remedies
What Can You Use As An Alternative To Eyelash Growth Serum?
It’s understandable if you feel reluctant to use eyelash growth serum after seeing these side effects. Do not fret! Here are a few recommended alternatives to eyelash growth serums;
1. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil seems to be a natural moisturizer that has been proven to prevent hair damage and helps to nourish your eyelashes too. It can be applied to your lashes a few times a week to keep them healthy. Although coconut oil won’t make your lashes grow, it can only keep them hydrated and nourished.
2. Castor Oil
Castor oil is another remedy to help the lashes appear longer and thicker. It is safe to apply on the lashes; ensure no additional ingredients are added.
You might want to check out: 10 Ways To Get Thick Eyelashes