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, M.D., Associate Professor of 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."
“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 like 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 an eyelash growth serum treatment a try, we've rounded up a few popular lash-enhancing options to consider, plus other boosting options that promise gorgeous lashes in a snap.
Best eyelash growth serums
jane iredale PureLash Extender and Conditioner
Loaded with stimulating, soothing ingredients like panthenol, wheat protein and sweet almond extract, this serum gives your lashes a volumizing boost while creating a healthy environment for growth.
Lancôme Clis Booster Lash Revitalizing Serum
Dealing with damaged, over-processed lashes? This lightweight eyelash growth serum from Lancôme reverses the long-term effects of harsh makeup, eyelash curlers and falsies using nourishing amino acids that help condition lash follicles. Plus, the kerasolution formula is suitable for those with sensitive eyes.
Shiseido Full Lash and Brow Serum
This high-performance serum is formulated with arginine, which helps restore and condition delicate hair like eyelashes, and easily absorbs into your roots. The result? Strong, silker eyelashes rich with shine and sheen.
RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner
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.
Vichy LiftActiv Eyes and Lashes Serum
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.
neuLash Lash Enhancing Serum
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.
RapidLash Eyelash and Eyebrow Enhancing Serum
This 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.
Lashfood Phyto-Medic Eyelash Enhancing Serum
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.
HydroPeptide Lash Fuller Longer Lusher
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.
Envious Lashes Luxuriating Lash Serum
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.
Arishine Magnetic Eyelash Kit
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.
L’Oréal Paris Voluminous X Fiber Mascara
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.
Eylure Luxe Cashmere Lashes
These “cashmere” lashes are actually made of “mink-effect fibers” — so 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.
IT Cosmetics Tightline 3-in-1 Black Primer-Eyeliner-Mascara
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.
Lashify Starter Kit
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 stories like this, check out:
- This mess-free magnetic eyelash set gave me seriously dramatic lashes
- 7 award-winning warm weather beauty essentials, according to Women’s Health
- This $5 mascara with over 13,000 five-star reviews lives up to the hype
To discover more deals, shopping tips and budget-friendly product recommendations, download the new TODAY app and subscribe to our Stuff We Love newsletter!
This story was originally published on Feb. 27, 2019.