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The pursuit of longer, thicker, more beautiful lashes dates back to ancient times.
Over the years, humans have developed mascaras, eyelash curlers, dyes, and extensions, all in pursuit of achieving the perfect lashes. When it comes to beauty, we can be pretty creative.
Our latest achievement is eyelash growth serums, and they promise some pretty luscious results.
What are eyelash serums?
Eyelash growth serums claim to help your lashes grow longer and thicker.
You apply products along the lash line, taking care to avoid getting the serum into your eyes. Serums are meant to be applied daily, typically after you’ve washed your face and it’s clear of creams and makeup.
Eyelash growth serums take time to work, and results vary from individual to individual. You may notice results in a few weeks––or in a few months.
Do eyelash growth serums really work?
It depends. In the case of Latisse, yes. Not only is it the only FDA-approved eyelash growth serum, but it’s also the only one scientifically proven to make eyelashes thicker and longer.
That’s thanks to the active ingredient called bimatoprost. Bimatoprost stimulates growth in your hair follicles, resulting in darker, longer lashes in just two months (Cohen, 2010).
Compared to some drugstore brands, the prescription stuff can be expensive. You also need to keep applying it if you want to maintain the results.
Those cheaper lash serums, on the other hand, probably won’t make your lashes longer––at least not directly. These are commonly formulated with natural ingredients, such as vitamin E, biotin, peptides, and plant extracts and oils.
These ingredients moisturize, hydrate, and strengthen lashes, which may help protect them from breakage. They can help make your lashes appear thicker, thanks to the extra coating, but whether they actually increase lash length is up for debate.
Conditioned lashes may be less prone to breakage, which may result in fuller lashes, but you should expect to see any added growth when using these products.
Are eyelash growth serums safe?
Eyelash serums are designed to be safe for daily use, but there’s always a chance one won’t agree with you.
Your eyes are sensitive, so it’s worth doing a little extra research before adding a serum to your daily beauty routine. If you wear contact lenses or have lash extensions, double-check the packaging to make sure the product is safe for you to use. Product reviews can be helpful and it’s always a good idea to buy from a reputable brand.
The first time you use a serum, start with a patch test on your forearm to make sure you don’t have a reaction there. When you use a new lash serum, it’s important to switch up the applicators regularly to avoid contamination. Products like Latisse come with fresh, one-time use applicators that you switch daily.
If you notice burning, irritation, or dryness, stop using the product immediately and flush your eyes with cool water. If the irritation persists, it’s best to see a healthcare provider.
The 14 best eyelash growth serums
If a prescription option is the way you want to go, Latisse is your answer. Otherwise, we’ve rounded up the 14 top-rated lash serums below.
This hydrating serum from Shiseido packs a two-for-one punch since you can use it on both your eyelashes and eyebrows. They recommend applying it twice daily and most users reported favorable results with thicker, fuller lashes in eight weeks. The product’s flocked-tip applicator makes it easy to apply on hard-to-reach areas.
Dryer lashes are more prone to breakage. This eyelash serum from RevitaLash focuses on conditioning and hydrating lashes through a formula packed with amino acids and peptides. 98% of users reported healthier-looking and stronger lashes within six weeks.
This eyelash serum is made for the eco-conscious among us. With an organic-certified ingredient list, this lash enhancer is free of parabens, sulfates, and phthalates. LashFood recommends applying nightly and giving the serum two minutes to dry. Most users reported thicker, fuller lashes within 16 weeks.
Designed to be used nightly before bedtime, this lash-and-brow serum includes pumpkin seed extract, soybean oil, and B vitamins to help fortify lashes. For best results, eyes should be free of makeup or creams before application.
neuLASH’s formula contains amino acids, peptides, biotin, and pumpkin seed extract. One convenient thing about this lash serum is you only apply it nightly for 3–4 weeks. After you see the desired results, you can switch to applying every other day. Within eight weeks, 86% of users reported their lashes looked fuller and longer and 88% said they looked stronger.
Lancôme’s lightweight formula specifically focuses on repairing lashes from daily makeup application, curlers, falsies, and more. You can apply it twice daily along both upper and lower lash lines. Eight in ten users said their damaged lashes felt revitalized after using the serum.
This eyelash growth serum uses a plant-based formula that includes vitamin B5 and peptides. Typically, it takes 5–6 months to see full results like thicker, denser lashes and less eyelash loss. In just eight weeks, however, 76% of users said their lashes looked fuller and 91% said they noticed less eyelash loss.
In addition to enhancing your lashes and brows, this serum from Vichy also promises anti-aging benefits. It also reduces wrinkles and crow’s feet around the eyes. Unlike many eyelash serums, you apply it using your fingers instead of an applicator, which may be more comfortable for some people.
With a cruelty-free formula rich in amino acids and vitamin E, this eyelash growth serum is designed for short and brittle lashes. Application is easy and takes just a single stroke daily.
After you see the results you want, you can switch to applying every other day. Grande Cosmetics says you may start seeing results in 4–6 weeks. Within three months, over 90% of users reported healthier, longer, and more visible lashes.
Aloe vera, peptides, and biotin combine in this lash serum that’s formulated to moisturize and enhance lashes. You use an applicator (similar to liquid eyeliner) to apply it nightly to your lashes or brows. In a six week study, 93% of users said their lashes looked longer and more voluminous.
With a formula that includes biotin and pumpkin seed extract, Lancer’s lash growth serum is designed to plump up thin lashes, making them look fuller and healthier. The serum is safe for contact lens wearers and should be applied nightly.
Calling all vegans! This lash serum is 100% vegan and cruelty-free. It should not be used with oil-based makeup products. You can apply the serum to the root of your lashes twice daily for two months and then switch to a once-daily application.
Vegamour says you can start seeing results in 4–8 weeks, with full results visible after four months. After this time, 94% of users reported more lash volume and density and 34% said lashes looked longer.
Neutrogena’s eyelash growth serum is another affordable option that promises results in as little as four weeks. It’s infused with biotin and peptides and includes a fine-tip applicator that you use twice daily. The lash serum is ophthalmologist tested, with 9 in 10 women reporting better-looking lashes in four weeks.
As you might guess from the name, Milk Makeup’s conditioning eyelash serum includes hemp-derived cannabis seed extract, along with aloe, vitamin B5, and quinoa for healthy-looking brows. It’s meant to be used twice daily. After twelve weeks, 94% of users said their lashes looked healthier.
If you don’t want to use an eyelash serum, the good news is you don’t have to. You can always wear extensions or falsies, or add some volume with an eyelash curler or mascara.
If you have any medical questions or concerns, please talk to your healthcare provider. The articles on Health Guide are underpinned by peer-reviewed research and information drawn from medical societies and governmental agencies. However, they are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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Yael Cooperman is a physician and works as a Senior Manager, Medical Content & Education at Ro.