There are lots of “tips” on how to grow your eyelashes online. Some of them endorsed without scientific evidence and only commercial advertising. We talk to dermatologist Dr. Sandy Skotnicki who gives Style her professional opinions on them.
Debunking the Top 4 Online Tips to Boost Eyelash Growth
The eyelashes are like any other hair – they need to stay hydrated to be healthy and dry, brittle eyelashes are likely to fall out at an accelerated rate. Sources like Belashed suggest that applying Vaseline to the base of the lashes can improve hydration and reduce lash loss. Though the Vaseline may result in softer lashes, there is no scientific evidence to suggest that it improves growth and applying such an oily substance to the sensitive skin on the eyelids may cause irritation or inflammation.
2. Coconut Oil
A healthy fat rich in medium-chain fatty acids, coconut oil is often labeled a “superfood” for the hair, skin, and body. Some online sources suggest that the natural hydrating properties of coconut oil can condition and nourish eh lashes, improving growth. There is no scientific evidence, however, supporting this benefit and even the source that tested it saw no new growth.
3. Castor Oil
An ingredient used in many natural hair growth remedies, castor oil is rich in essential fatty acids that hydrate and nourish the eyelashes. Though there is limited scientific research showing the benefit of castor oil in reducing hair loss, there are no comprehensive studies regarding its potential use in improving eyelash growth.
In the same way that you trim your hair every 6 to 8 weeks, some online sources suggest that trimming your eyelashes every 2 to 3 months might encourage them to grow in longer and thicker. There is no data to support this, however, according to Dr. Natalie Epton, specialist pediatrician at International Pediatric Clinic.
Q: What are some of the Lash-Boosting Treatments that Actually Work?
You can’t believe everything you read on the internet and the list above should be proof that a so-called miracle cure for eyelash hypotrichosis may not exist. Though slathering your lashes with Vaseline or trimming them on a monthly basis is unlikely to work, there are certain treatments that do.
Here are four treatments, medical and non-medical, that have shown results:
Biotin (Vitamin H)
Now, let’s take a closer look at each of these options. ..
The only science-backed and FDA-approved medical treatment for eyelash hypotrichosis (having lower than average length, thickness, and/or number of eyelashes) is bimatoprost or Latisse. A lash serum applied daily, Latisse increases the proportion of lashes in the growth phase to produce longer, fuller looking lashes in as little as 8 weeks.
2. Biotin (Vitamin H)
This vitamin has been shown to boost blood flow to the hair follicles (including the lashes) to improve hydration and reduce lash loss. According to Alan Pressman, author of “Pocket Idiot’s Guide to Vitamins,” biotin improves the body’s ability to absorb essential nutrients that support lash growth.
3. Lash Extensions
Lash extensions are a more permanent alternative to fake lashes, adding 70 to 80 lashes per eye that last several weeks at a time. The treatment costs vary and must be repeated as the lashes grow and fall out. There is some risk of damage to the natural lash, and some women develop an allergic reaction to the adhesive.
4. Lash-Boosting Mascara
Any mascara is likely to make your lashes look longer or fuller, but lash-boosting mascara is a unique product formulated to provide the additional benefit of stimulating eyelash growth. Products like Physician’s Formula lash-bosting mascara have shown a 94% success rate in producing extended and fuller looking lashes in 4 weeks of use.
Before trying any treatment to improve eyelash growth or reduce lash loss, consult your physician. At the very least, try one of the science-backed methods discussed above over one of the online tips that have no foundation in scientific evidence.
Q- Allergic reaction to eyelash glue – how to get around this / manage it?
Unfortunately the treatment for allergies is avoidance. You can’t sidestep it. Once allergic always allergic. Almost all eyelash extensions are glued on with a chemical glue cyanoacrylate. Allergic reactions to lash extensions are a result of a newly developed allergy to this glue. Allergy to the lashes themselves is not the cause. Cyanoacrylate is the same active ingredients in the commercially available products Krazy Glue and Liquid Bandaid. Allergy to this glue is uncommon but once it occurs, you can no longer use it.
Q- They pull your real eyelashes out, so how to manage/protect your lashes when wearing them, etc?
Never remove false eyelashes without removing the glue first. Most kits have a glue remover if not use makeup remover. Soak them with the remover and gently remove with tweezers. This will help prevent loss of any real lashes
Q- Hygiene: people re-wear false eyelashes, is there a way to protect oneself?
Remove any glue that is still on the eyelash, rinse it will warm water, do not use detergent on the lashes-The residual left on the lash will irritate the eye. It is best not to reuse false eyelashes.
Q- Can be itchy when on? Any way to counteract that?
There can be an initial irritation that goes away. This is often because too much glue is used. It could also be the beginning of an allergic reaction and if this is the case will only get more intense. Again if this occurs with any regularity or increases with repeat use – avoidance is the best strategy.
Q- Some people wear more than one pair at any one time, is there any issue relating to that?
The delicate skin on the eyelid and at the edge of the lid that connects to the mucosal aspect of the eye is easily irritated. The more glue or mechanical irritation from double lashes the more you increase your chances for an irritant or true allergic reaction. I would not recommend this to be done repeatedly.
Q- Any suggestions for those who have to wear false eyelashes?
Less is more and moderation. Allergy to chemicals that touch the skin comes with repeated use and exposure. Allergic reactions to flash eyelashes result from reactions to the glue – so use the least amount of glue necessary, go slow and let it dry a bit before applying, avoid the skin as much as you can and try to apply to the lashes and try to take lash holidays
Q- Is there anything else that people tend to forget about eyelash health that you’d like to comment on?
Latisse or the drug Bimatoprost can thicken and lengthen natural fine hairs – eyelashes and in some cases eyebrows when used regularly. This is because the hair follicle stays in a growth cycle for a longer period of time before it is shed.