There are lash serums galore on the market. But you don’t want any old serum – you want an eyelash growth serum that works.
Lucky for all of us lash enthusiasts, cosmetics for curling, lengthening, darkening, and dramatizing your lashes have come a long way. Mascara can help you achieve a new look in an instant. Strip lashes give you extra oomph on those special occasions. And semi-permanent lash extensions add thickness and length to your natural set for as long as two weeks.
But all of the above are temporary solutions to what comes down to problems associated with aging, long-term damage, and just plain old thin hair.
Addressing lackluster lashes in the long term requires a more inside-out solution. Namely, providing the ingredients so your natural lashes can grow to longer, thicker heights.
Ingredients to Look for in an Eyelash Growth Serum That Works
The best long-term solution? A lash growth serum, of course. But as you already know, the market is littered with lash serums. So how do you do find an eyelash growth serum that works? You look for one with the right ingredients.
Keep reading to find out the 7 most effective lash growing ingredients to look for and exactly what they’re going to do for your lashes.
If you’ve been a lash lover for any length of time, you probably already know about prostaglandins. This mouthful of an ingredient is a heavy-hitter in the lash world – and for good reason.
Prostaglandins often show up on ingredients labels under other names, such as Isopropyl Cloprostenate or Prostaglandin I.C. Some of its lesser known names include Dechloro Dihydroxy Difluoro Ethylcloprostenolamide and Methylamido Dihydro Noralfaprostal (MDN).
The active compound in Latisse, the only prescription lash-enhancing product on the market, is bimatoprost. This extremely potent medication for lashes is a prostaglandin analog that works like all other prostaglandins – that is, by lengthening your natural growth cycle.
It sounds so simple but it’s often the simplest solutions that are so darn effective. Lengthening the lash growth phase leads to much longer, fuller, and even darker lashes.
And thanks to the overwhelming popularity of Latisse, there are many over-the-counter lash serums that contain a prostaglandin analog to propel lash growth. These Latisse alternatives are easy to get without a prescription and the results are just as dramatic.
The downside, of course, is that while lash growth serums containing prostaglandins are incredibly effective at what they do, they’re also being used less frequently.
The FDA warned against their use in over the counter serums and restricted approval to Latisse, a prescription-only product. With potential side effects ranging from dry, itchy eyes to darkening of the eyelid skin (and even the iris in some cases), these lash growth serums certainly aren’t for everyone.
Yes, they work beautifully. But if you have lighter-colored eyes or very sensitive skin and eyes, you’ll want to be careful about using serums with these ingredients.
Luckily, there are a whole lot of other lash growth boosting ingredients that are safe, natural and effective as well. Like…
Amino Acids and/or Proteins
Proteins are found in every cell in your body. The building blocks of so much of our tissue, bones, blood, cartilage, and muscles, it’s no surprise that proteins make up over 90% of your hair, and by extension, your eyebrows and eyelashes.
If proteins are the building blocks of our cells, then amino acids are the building blocks of proteins. Amino acids are the hundreds of smaller compounds that make up proteins. This is where all of the nourishing, repairing, and strengthening properties of proteins come from.
Collagen, for example, is one of the most abundant proteins found in the human body. Its benefits range from plumping fine lines and wrinkles to repairing damaged skin.
As an active ingredient in lash growth formulas, the amino acids of collagen not only repair damage, but also strengthen your lashes, preventing them from breakage or shedding.
The best part? They’re natural, non-irritating and safe for even the most sensitive eyes.
Amino acids are more often referred to as peptides in the beauty and skincare world.
Peptides are structurally similar to proteins in that they’re essentially chains of amino acids. The difference between a peptide and a protein, therefore, lies in their size; peptides are smaller chains of amino acids than proteins.
In regard to giving you luscious lashes, you’ll find peptides listed in a lot of great serums. That’s because, being made of amino acids, they’re great for nourishing and conditioning as well as repairing damaged lashes and making them stronger.
Biotin is also known as vitamin H, which is an easy way to remember it: Vitamin H, for hair. Funny enough, though, it’s actually a member of the vitamin B family.
Biotin is typically taken as a dietary supplement. It’s believed that taking biotin, as well as a diet rich in vitamin B, can promote hair growth – and there’s plenty of anecdotal evidence to back this up, as you can see from the reviews on taking a simple Biotin supplement.
In fact, some argue that biotin can actually stimulate the growth of additional hair follicles.
It should be noted that biotin isn’t the right supplement for everyone. If you’re not deficient in biotin already – and many of us aren’t – then you might not notice much of a difference. But if you are, then you’re in for a bountiful hair regeneration.
Used as a moisturizer in ultra-hydrating hair and skin products, panthenol is also a great softening, smoothing, and strengthening agent.
Upon contact with your hair, panthenol converts to pantothenic acid (provitamin b5). This humectant creates a barrier around your hair that prevents water loss but also infuses and retains water in the cells.
Not only does this leave your lashes looking thicker, they’re also nourished and strengthened, all without leaving any waxy build up or gross residue. And some research suggests that panthenol further benefits lash growth by slowing down the process of hair loss or thinning hair.
Using mascara, strip lashes, and even lash extensions can dry out your hair follicles and strands. Even if you’re not looking to grow longer lashes, you should be treating that thirst at least once a week.
And if you are interested in longer lashes, a key part of any lash growth serum is keeping your lashes moisturized and conditioned.
There’s not much else in the beauty and skincare world that’s more hydrating than hyaluronic acid. Delivering ultra-hydration to your follicles and strands, hyaluronic acid will help them look healthier and stronger as well as stimulate your natural growth cycle.
Extra perk? Combine uber nourishing hyaluronic acid with prostaglandins by opting for a lash serum like M2 Eyelash Activating Serum. This superstar lash serum uses a prostaglandin analog combined with Biotin as well as Hyaluronic Acid.
The result? You get lashes like these…
Natural Oils for Lashes
More and more often, the beauty world is turning to the natural world for answers. In organic, natural, and big brands alike, you’ll notice essential and natural oils being used on an increasing basis.
Some of the best ones for your lashes include:
There’s good reason castor oil for lashes is so popular. Capable of penetrating deep into the dermis, it promotes hair growth at the level of the hair follicle.
It’s also a great skin detox that prevents the growth of microbes – which is always a nice bonus for a product that goes around the eyes.
Olive oil is another perfect oil for lashes – and one that most of us have in our kitchen cabinets anyway. It’s rich in essential fatty acids, which act as emollients which soften and moisturize your lashes to encourage growth and strength.
Extra perk: it double duties as a great eye makeup remover.
Coconut oil for lashes has been getting the spotlight for awhile now 0 and for good reason. This delicious oil delivers heaps of proteins to your lashes and is totally safe for use around the eyes – and anywhere else on the body for that matter – is there anything this stuff can’t fix?
An underrated oil for lashes, rosemary is typically found as an essential oil and requires dilution but if you don’t mind that extra step, rosemary oil can help promote eyelash growth.
Armed with the best lash growing oils, you can skip shopping for lash serums altogether and simply whip up your own DIY lash growth serum.
The Last Word on Finding an Eyelash Growth Serum That Works
Does your eye lash growth serum have to contain all of the above in order to be effective? Absolutely not.
But the more of these moisturizing, conditioning, strengthening, and protecting ingredients you have, the better the chance you give your lashes and living up to their full potential.