It’s safe to say that longer lashes are a universal desire (next to perfect brows, of course)—just look at all the lash extensions, lengthening mascaras, lash treatments, and false lashes in the market. In my quest for longer, fluttery lashes, one of my significant addictions was frequently getting lash extensions. I picked a lesson that often—but excessive lash extensions can harm your natural lashes.
Eyelash extensions are a godsend for those with sparse lashes that won’t hold a curl or those who yearn for that “I-woke-up-like-this” look without being a slave to mascara. But how do you ensure they don’t damage your natural eyelashes?
Enter: lash serums—the best solution to genetically short lashes or eyelash loss. This begs the question, how effective are lash growth serums? We will tap a few cosmetic experts to break down exactly what you should look for in an effective lash growth serum.
Do Lash Growth Serums Work?
Some lash growth serums work, but the only FDA-approved treatment for lash growth is Latisse. Latisse works effectively because of its active ingredient: bimatoprost.
Although the exact mechanism of action is not clear, research suggests that the growth of eyelashes occurs by enhancing the percent of hairs in, and the duration of, the anagen (or growth) phase. Due to bimatoprost’s ability to prolong this growth phase, lashes may lengthen, thicken, and darken.
Suppose you are interested in another proven effective product for growth and thickness. In that case, you can talk to your doctor or dermatologist about getting a prescription with ingredients similar to Latisse.
Do The OTC Growth Serums Work?
It’s okay if you’re not prepared to commit to a prescription-level regimen. However, this does not imply that using an OTC option is pointless.
Most over-the-counter (OTC) lash serums rely on several moisturizing ingredients and follicle-stimulating peptides to leave your lashes stronger and more conditioned—and subsequently looking darker and fuller
Some OTC lash serums use comparable growth ingredients to bimatoprost (available in prescription Latisse), like isopropyl cloprostenate.
According to Dr. David Shafer, M.D., FAAD, board-certified cosmetic dermatologist and Mohs surgeon at Shafer Clinic in New York City, some lash serums work. In contrast, others might not be as effective.
Most effective lash serums have a prostaglandin derivative that prolongs the anagen (growth) phase of the lash,” explains Dr. Shafer. “Naturally, our hair tends to grow drier and thinner as we age, and hair loss becomes more prevalent. Although we frequently worry about this occurring to our heads, the truth is that it also affects our eyebrows and lashes.”
By boosting nutrients like protein, iron, zinc, and vitamin B12—essential for healthy hair and growth—lash serums can help prolong hair growth and keep it healthier and stronger.
Dr. Shafer points out that a key requirement of a successful lash growth serum is to target and prolong the anagen growth phase of the lashes.
Which Ingredients in Eyelash Growth Serums are Effective?
The ingredients in eyelash serums play several roles:
- Condition the hair from root to tip
- Supplement the hair with what it needs to grow effectively
- Make the lashes shine
- Make the hair longer and fuller
Dr. Shafer explains that there are serums that are not 100% natural and contain components created in laboratories. Natural lash serums, of course, use only natural ingredients.
Let’s dive into the key ingredients that every effective lash serum needs
The phrase “peptide” could be familiar to you if you’ve ever looked into the ingredients of well-known anti-aging products
It’s a helpful element frequently seen in skin care products because it promotes collagen synthesis and removes wrinkles.
But it can also work wonders on lashes.
Dermatologist Rhonda Klein of Connecticut asserts that “peptides are chains of amino acids that are the building blocks of protein in the skin.”
As it turns out, proteins are also present in your eyelashes. These proteins also benefit from the nourishment they get from peptides. So your lash serum must have plenty of peptides.
Peptides come from amino acids, which are the building blocks of proteins. You give your eyelashes the raw materials they require to grow by giving them protein fragments in peptides. This encourages development from within the hair follicle.
Here’s the best part: Peptides typically don’t irritate the skin and have no adverse side effects.
Biotin is a crucial vitamin that promotes the growth of hair and nails. Biotin promotes hair growth, according to clinical trials. By giving your lashes biotin, you’re giving your hair the essential nutrients it needs to thrive.
This vitamin promotes hair growth through its effect on keratin. Keratin is a protein that makes hair and nails. Biotin strengthens keratin. This means that when you apply biotin to your lashes, they will be more resilient and less likely to break.
Plant Stem Cells
According to research, stem cells play a critical role in hair growth and usually dwell at the base of hair follicles.
Hair follicles grow in three stages, and your eyelashes also go through these three stages. Anagen is the first stage. Your body’s stem cells are most active in this phase.
During the anagen stage of hair growth, your natural stem cells transform into keratinocytes. These specialized keratinocytes create the visible part of your hair. The keratin they process also maintains your hair looking full and healthy.
As we age, exposure to UV radiation reduces the regenerative capacity of the natural stem cells responsible for hair growth. As a result, the hair seems thinner and is more likely to break.
This is where the plant stem cells come in. Plant stem cells work by minimizing the damage UV light causes. The components in plant stem cells, including the anthocyanin found in grape stem cells, assist your body’s stem cells in regaining their regenerative capacity.
Get the Right Lash Growth Serum with the Right Ingredients
With many lash growth serums in the market, it can be challenging to find the one that REALLY works. You must ensure the lash serum you purchase has all the essential ingredients your eyelashes need to grow longer, thicker, and fuller.
Other organic ingredients commonly found in lash growth serums are rosemary, coconut oil, castor oil, almond oil, and olive oil. These ingredients help strengthen your lashes and add shine, giving them a fuller appearance.