January 22nd 2018
The eyelash serums that the experts rate
October 11th 2017 / 1 comment
Can a magic potion really make your eyelashes grow? As usual in beauty, it’s complicated, but these are the lash enhancers that score with those in the know
I’ll start this with a beauty/ health/ life caveat: if something’s promising miracles, it’s probably phoney. From crash diets to superfoods to, in this case, lash fertilisers, there are no quick fixes. Add to this the fact that some things mysteriously work for some and not for others and it can be difficult to know where to turn, but if an expert in a particular field raves about a product, we’re normally keen to give it a look in. In this case, we wanted the lowdown on eyelash serums. How do they work? Actually, do they even work? If so, which ones?
First things first, there’s one particular eyelash serum that has been proven to speed up the rate of eyelash growth: Latisse. The thing is, it’s officially classed as a drug, and only available on prescription. It was originally discovered that its key ingredient, bimatoprost, accelerated eyelash growth when patients with glaucoma reported thicker, darker eyelashes after having been treated with a bimatoprost ointment. This mainly happy accident resulted in the formulation of a tailored eyelash serum, and while effective, side-effects can include burning, inflammation, itching, constant red-eye and even permanent discoloration of the iris and skin around the eye. So there’s that. Not something to dabble in if you find it listed on Amazon, let me tell you.
Latisse aside, ingredients such as peptides can theoretically strengthen eyelash follicle proteins and help to repair damage, while moisture binding molecules help to ward off breakage. The likes of oils certainly nourish eyelashes, in the way that a hair serum can make your ends look and feel less hay like, and the glossy, darkening effect on lashes goes a long way to making them look more luscious at the very least, although any long-term gain in actual eyelashes is up for debate. Here are the eyelash growth boosters that have found favour with the experts, along with a few tips to help you to hold onto your godgiven Bambis in the first place…
Revitalash Advanced, £74 for 2 ml
Eyelash treatment expert and facialist Vaishaly has seen Revitalash produce the goods in terms of lash growth:
“The only eyelash serum I recommend is Revitalash. I've witnessed the difference on clients eyelashes and it can deliver incredible results - I’ve seen eyelashes almost double in terms of growth rate, and it has great impact on lash length too. Of all the products on the market, it’s my favourite."
Commitment wise you need to use it every day to see any effect, but it’s non-faffy- apply a thin layer along the lashline as you would an eyeliner, once a day. Peptide heavy and conditioning, it was designed thirty years ago by an ophthalmologist in order to speed up his wife’s eyelash growth after cancer treatment, and it remains one of the most popular eyelash serums on the market currently.
Rapidlash Eyelash Enhancing Serum, £29.99 for 3 ml
CEO and founder of Orveda skincare and former president of L’Oréal Paris Sue Y Nabi recently revealed that she swears by this lash tincture for healthier, more defined eyelashes:
"I have been using this eyelash serum for ages- I love it because it makes the lash line fuller looking, thanks to its mix of peptides, which are all actives that help condition the lashes as a good hair conditioner or masque does. A darker, fuller lash line is a great rejuvenator for the whole face."
Plant oils provide hydration and antioxidant prowess, and the peptide blend claims to fortify weak lashes over a period of a few weeks use. I’ve been using it for around six months and have received lots of compliments on my natural lashes, with no adverse effects, and while I haven’t noticed any difference in length, they do feel softer and look ever so slightly thicker. It’s seriously subtle for me, but clearly works for Sue.
Orveda Eye Makeup Remover & Pro-Fortifying Lash Serum, £75 for 50 ml
Sue is clearly onto something in terms of clinging to lashes for dear life- this not cheap but double-duty cleanser and eyelash serum was designed by Y Nabi to whip off eye makeup with minimal tugging and aggression (a big factor in premature eyelash loss), plus a concentrated peptide and clover flower extract formula to improve lash health and condition. Her main objectives when inventing the 'does it all solution' were to make lashes "strong, dense and visible", which is a nice touch when applied to a product that's more often associated with removing rather than adding anything.
Pukka Castor Oil, £9.94 for 250 ml
Long used as a traditional natural remedy for thinning hair and brows, castor oil can work for eyelashes too, but it also comes with a warning according to consultant dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic Dr Anjali Mahto:
“Castor oil is believed to be a natural, DIY technique for eyelash growth, due to it being rich in essential fatty acids, vitamin E and other nutrients. The oil creates a barrier that locks in moisture and increases the cell metabolism, thus promoting hair growth. However, as with any DIY beauty hack, this should be taken with caution – just because something is ‘natural’, that does not mean it’s without side effects. Repeated, excessive application can irritate the skin and grapeseed extract, a potent natural preservative sometimes added to castor oil, can cause skin to become inflamed. “
Pukka’s castor oil is 100 per cent pure with no additives, but that still doesn’t give you licence to douse your lashes in it- just a dab above the lashline will do the trick.
Eyelash insurance policies
Always take your makeup off. This goes for mascara especially, but really, just all of it. You know this already.
As above, go gently when carrying out said removal, and buy an effective eye makeup remover rather than say, a makeup wipe. Just no.
Have eyelash extensions removed professionally if you wear them, or if they’re designed to shed naturally, allow them to do just that. No tugging, pulling or rubbing. That’s an order.
Skip the mascara if you’re slobbing at home or going to the gym. You probably don’t bother anyway, but depending on your brand or formulation of choice, mascara can be drying and make lashes brittle, so giving your eyes a break every now and again could result in softer, thicker lashes.
Ditto, if you’re a lash extension wearer, schedule in breaks away from the lash glue and tugging temptation.
Otherwise, here are a few other ideas to give small, sparse lashes a boost, from the high maintenance to the one night flutter fling.
Have you used an eyelash serum that’s worked for you? I’d love to hear about it- let me know by logging in and leaving your tip below