How does eyelash growth serum work? The science, explained
Eyelash growth serums are incredibly popular thanks to their ability to help you achieve naturally fuller, longer looking lashes. Although they have been around for a while, their popularity isn't going anywhere; Google searches for 'lash serum' ahve increased 83% in the last year, whilst 'eyelash serum' and 'lash growth serum' searches have also grown by 50%.
With so many different lash growth serums on the market, we want to make it simple so you can understand how they work in order to make the best decision for you.
WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENT TYPES OF LASH GROWTH SERUMS?
Lash serums work by nourishing and boosting the lashes using a variety of ingredients and they fall into three main categories based on their key active ingredients:
That sounds simple, right? There’s a lot more to it so let us explain the science…
IS EYELASH GROWTH SERUM SAFE?
Lash serums can include a variety of ingredients so it’s important you understand how they work and if there are any potential side effects. For example, it has been reported that some prostaglandin delivered ingredients can have a low risk of potential side effects. However, any product sold within the EU must adhere to very stringent cosmetic regulations to be legally sold.
WHAT IS PROSTAGLANDIN?
Prostaglandin analogues are drugs used to treat a condition of the eye called Glaucoma, and one side effect from this drug was found to be lash growth. Off the back of this, prostaglandin derived lash serums were born.
It is not always that obvious if a lash serum contains prostaglandin derived ingredients as they don’t appear in the ingredient listing as “prostaglandin”. They can be listed as “isopropyl cloprostenate” or “isopropyl phenylhydroxypentene dihydroxycyclopentylheptene” or “dechloro dihydroxy difluoro ethylcloprostenolamide”, just to name a few.
THE SIDE EFFECTS OF PROSTAGLANDIN DERIVED EYELASH SERUM
It’s been reported that some of the side effects from prostaglandin derived lash serums can include irritation, redness and itchy eyelids (the more common side effects), and eye discolouration, swollen retina and blurry vision (the more rare side effects).
CAN LASH SERUMS CHANGE YOUR EYE COLOUR?
It’s been reported that there is a potential low risk side effect of eye discolouration when using lash serums with prostaglandin derived ingredients.
CAN EYELASH SERUM MAKE YOUR EYELASHES FALL OUT?
When you start using a lash serum, if you experience lash loss it could be a coincidence that some of your lashes are in the telogen phase which is when the lashes naturally fall out as part of the lash hair cycle. It’s reported that prostaglandin derived serums work by inducing the anagen phase (growing phase) whilst your lashes are already in their final stage. Therefore, when you stop using a lash growth product, your growth cycle will revert to the natural phase and therefore they may appear sparser. So, it is best to routinely use these products if you want to continue to have results. Peptide and vitamin-based serums don’t change the lash cycle.
OTHER LASH SERUM INGREDIENTS
There are a couple of other ingredients which can be found within some lash serums:
- Keratin – a protein naturally found in hair, responsible for the strength and structure of the hair
- Biotin – supplements the hair with what it needs to grow and stay healthy
- Sodium hyaluronate – retains moisture
- Panthenol (vitamin B5) – conditions the lashes
- Peptides – believed to stimulate hair growth at the follicle
- Prostaglandin derived ingredients – encourage the lashes to enter the anagen (growth) phase of the lash growth cycle, and helps prolong this phase
- Botanical extracts – various nourishing benefits
- Vitamins – promote healthy lashes