Yes, the experts agree eyelash growth serums really do work. But before rushing to buy a tube, you should understand how your lashes grow and what to expect from a product, so you make the right choice for your budget and are happy with your results.
Ilyse Haberman, MD, assistant professor of ophthalmology at NYU Langone says it take eyelashes around 3 months to grow. Lashes have a three phase growth cycle: Dormant, Shedding, and Growth. Because your lashes are not growing all of the time, it takes time for your eyelashes to move through their growth cycle to produce new lashes.
Melanie A. Warycha, MD, FAAD , dermatologist at CareMount Medical in Mount Kisco, New York also says lashes take around 3 months to grow, but points out that genetics also play a role: some people just have naturally longer lashes.
The good news is lash growth serums can help enhance your lashes and promote growth by speeding up the process. Fortified with topical vitamins and amino acids, lash growth serums are safe to use and can help grow lashes longer, fuller and faster than nature alone.
There is no "Best" product, but there are many good options on the market. One popular option which promises results in 4-6 weeks is Latisse, which is an FDA approved product with the active ingredient bimatroprost. Originally created for addressing issues related to high eye pressure (glaucoma), it was discovered the ingredient had the happy side effect of stimulating lash growth. The catch is that it requires a visit to the doctor in order to get a prescription. Because it's a drug, it's important to make sure there are no adverse reactions with your body or any other medicines you may be taking. Then there's the cost of Latisse itself, which is around $140 per month plus the cost of the doctor visit. Monthly usage? Yes, as with any cosmetic, expect to keep using the product consistently in order to maintain results.
Can you get good results without a prescription product? Yes, no, maybe. While the prescription product may work faster, keep in mind the monthly investment required to maintain those results. Just because a product doesn't have the hype and marketing campaign behind a prescription ingredient, doesn't mean that it does not work. Waiting a little longer to get fuller lashes from a quality non-prescription option may be a good value in comparison.
Fortunately you don't have to spend a monthly fortune to get results from an eyelash serum. Most products will condition the hair follicle, which automatically helps give your lashes a fuller look by simply keeping them supplied with hydrating ingredients. Better lash serums, will use amino acids and peptides to stimulate growth along the lash line, resulting in a long growth phase with stronger, thicker lashes.
Avoid any type of trauma to the eye area so you don't damage your lash hairs. Lash curlers and false eyelashes and extensions are notorious for damaging your lashes and interrupting the natural growth cycle. It's also recommended to fully remove your makeup and regularly wash your face. Old makeup can cause inflammation which leads to a condition called blepharitis which can cause lash loss.
Joshua Zeichner, MD, a dermatologist based our of New York says that extension insertion and adhesive can cause irritation which interfere with growth. In addition, when the false lashes are removed it's common to find your natural lashes are shorter and more sparse than they were prior to the treatment.
You could have them professionally done, but even that's not foolproof, as a recent article described the scenario where a worker at a salon accidentally used nail glue instead of eyelash glue to secure the lashes, resulting in the customer being unable to see. Fortunately her sight was restored after a few hours of painful swelling.
Castor oil has been a popular choice which many people swear by, and coconut oil is quickly becoming the cure-all for just about everything, but there's little data behind these oils promoting longer, thicker, faster growing lashes. At best, castor oil is conditioning, which will help hydrate your lashes, and may give the appearance of being fuller, but it won't help with stimulating the growth phase of your natural lash cycle. Coconut oil is actually comedogenic, which means it has the tendency to clog pores, so despite the zeal of every beauty blogger extolling the virtues of this wonder nut, it's not recommended by dermatologists to put onto your face.
If you are serious about enhancing your lashes naturally, we recommend using a product with conditioning and lash growing ingredients, and using it consistently. Just like your body needs regular food, sleep, exercise, vitamins... applying cosmetic products as part of your regimen is the best way to achieve the results you are trying to achieve.