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Can a swipe of serum give you longer, fuller lashes?
If you're dreaming of doe-like lashes, but can't be bothered with false lashes and eyelash extensions, you may want to consider an eyelash-enhancing serum. But what exactly do these treatments entail?
“They generally contain ingredients like panthenol and argan oil to smooth and condition lashes, humectants such as hyaluronic acid to plump lashes, and peptides to stimulate the lash’s hair follicle," said Dr. Joshua Zeichner, the director of cosmetic & clinical research in dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City.
Which treatment's right for you? That depends on what your end goal is.
"I think the consumer needs to determine if they desire true regrowth or just conditioning and pick ingredients accordingly," said New York-based dermatologist Dr. Sejal Shah.
"Serums that do not contain bimatoprost and isopropyl cloprostenate or a comparable prostaglandin are more lash conditioners, which likely make lashes look fuller or longer by hydrating them but don't truly stimulate growth," Shah told us.
“Unfortunately, we don’t have any head-to-head studies comparing the effectiveness of one product to another, so you’ll have to rely on the reputation and science provided by each brand and give them a try,” Zeichner advised.
Both physicians cautioned users to be careful when trying out any of these treatments. "Apply as directed, avoiding the eyelid and eye itself," said Shah. "Before using, patch test it on another part of the skin, such as the inner arm."
If you develop a reaction (any redness or stinging) wash the product off right away and stop using it. If the reaction is severe, contact your physician.
If you're interested in giving these new treatments a try, we've rounded up a few popular lash-enhancing serums to consider, plus other boosting options that promise gorgeous lashes in a snap.
How it works: This lash conditioner was developed by an ophthalmologist to address the signs of eyelash aging, including dry, brittle lashes. Peptides, green tea extract, antioxidants, biotin, lipids, ginseng and plant extracts are meant to strengthen and soften lashes and prevent breakage.
How it works: This serum is meant to fortify lashes while acting as an anti-ager to improve the appearance of crow’s feet and wrinkles around the eyes. It’s made of 10% rhamnose, a naturally derived plant sugar proven to renew skin, and hyaluronic acid for extra hydration.
How it works: This serum is meant to nourish thinning lashes with a formula that contains moisture-boosting polypeptides and sodium hyaluronate. It also contains pumpkin seed extract, which is meant to make lashes appear fuller.
How it works: Shah also liked this pick. The formula is designed to enhance the appearance of lashes and brows using polypeptides to improve the length, thickness, and volume of the hair while protecting against breakage.
How it works: Made with a blend of organic ingredients including herbal extracts, amino acids, lavender water, and coconut and aloe leaf juices, this mix is supposed to support regrowth and slow the loss of lash hairs.
How it works: This lash magnifier aims to improve the appearance of sparse lashes by utilizing key growth ingredients like peptides, biotin and folic acid. Hyaluronic acid provides moisture and minimizes breakage, while antioxidants defend against environmental damage.
How it works: Loaded with natural and botanical-based ingredients — including organic argan oil, biotin, vitamins, and antioxidants — this nourishing formula promises stronger, fuller looking lashes after two weeks of use, according to the company.
Fake eyelashes and mascaras
If you're looking to go the more traditional route to long lashes, we've also rounded up some of our favorite false lashes, mascaras and more.
How it works: Invisible magnets line the “upper” and “under” lash strips. You simply place the lashes above and below your natural lashes, and the magnets will lock them in place — no adhesive required. To remove, gently roll your index finger and thumb in the opposite direction and the lashes will slide right off.
How it works: This unique mascara requires two steps. First, apply the black primer (which contains paraffin and beeswax), to build volume and create a base for color. Then, before the primer dries, flip the wand over and stroke on the fiber-infused pigment to add length and create a lash fringe effect.
How it works: These “cashmere” lashes are actually made of “mink-effect fibers”, in other words, hairs that mimic the look and feel of mink. You can apply to the lash line using traditional eyelash glue, then gently peel off at night.
How it works: The skinny wand on this primer/mascara coats lashes at the root to create a lash-lengthening effect. Simply press the wand along the base of the lashes to deposit pigment which, in effect, lines the eyes and then coat lashes from root to tip.
How it works: These DIY extensions, made of synthetic silk fibers, are designed to be applied under your natural lash line (not over like with traditional false lashes) so they blend in with your natural lashes. You just comb the adhesive onto your lashes, position the extensions where you’d like them placed, then clamp the base of the extensions with your natural lashes using the application wand.
For more beauty favorites, check out:
- The 8 new beauty products you should try this year, according to Allure
- 1 bottle of this affordable anti-aging serum is sold every 60 seconds
- 5 easy ways to get longer-looking lashes