When it comes to physical beauty, it’s hard to find anything that makes as dramatic difference as long lashes. Whether artificial or natural, a long lash frames and feminizes the eye.
You can generally pick eyelash growth serums based upon their class of active ingredient, with most serums ususally containing one or more of the following:
- Omega-3 and/or omega-6 fatty acids, like Wink Natural Cosmetics;
- A prostaglandin derivative, like prescription Latisse or over-the-counter Revitalash;
- Peptides, like Jan Marini Growth Serum;
- Vitamins, like Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die For.
In general, each of these will work to grow your lashes, but you must be persistent in order to achieve results. Here, I’ll outline each type of serum, along with the research findings:
#1. Best Natural Eyelash Growth Serum: Amalie Beauty Wink Lash & Brow Oil
Amalie Beauty Wink Lash & Brow Oil is an excellent source of natural fatty acids that may stimulate eyelash growth. These oils include:
- Argan oil, which is rich in fatty acids (linoleic and oleic) that are able to maintain skin elasticity, smoothness, and radiance. In studies, linoleic acid has been proven capable of reducing inflammation and acne and increasing skin’s moisturization levels.
- Jojoba oil, which helps retain moisture (Journal of Dermatological Science). Jojoba oil can also help to increase the penetration of other ingredients into the skin, or in this case, the hair follicle (Journal of the American Oil Chemists’ Society).
- Emu Oil, which has notable hydrating and skin- and hair-penetrating abilities. In fact, emu oil has been found to have better skin-penetrating abilities than mineral oil (Australasian Journal of Dermatology).
Essential fatty acids have been found to increase prostaglandin/prostaglanoid production in individuals with a deficiency (Medical Hypotheses). This could be why this product works so well on lashes: it’s like stimulating your own natural production of Latisse-like ingredients!
Testimonies from Wink Natural Cosmetics indicate lashes should be about 12-15% longer and 15-20% thicker after a few months of regular use. As someone who doesn’t have lashes and who doesn’t like Latisse, I’m very happy with Amalie Beauty Wink Lash & Brow Oil!
Amalie Beauty Wink Lash & Brow Oil has a very light and thin texture, despite being made of oils. I delicately took the applicator and swept it across the tops of my lashes on both sides, top and bottom, twice per day. I noticed that my lashes looked longer after about 2 weeks of regular use. It definitely also made my lashes look darker, for some reason.
Ingredients in Amalie Beauty Wink Lash & Brow Oil: Castor Oil, Emu Oil, Rubus Idaeus (Raspberry) Seed Oil, Aleurites moluccana (Kukui) Nut Oil, Argania Spinosa Kernal (Argan)Oil, Simmondsia Chinesis (Jojoba) Oil, Punica Granatum (Pomegranate Seed) Oil, Tocopherol, Helianthus Annuus (Sunflower Oil)
#2. Best Prescription Product: Latisse
Latisse is a prescription-only treatment formulated with a prostaglanoid called bimatoprost. In a number of reputable studies, bimatoprost has been proven to increase eyelash growth. In one published FDA-reviewed clinical trial, approximately 140 volunteers’ eyelashes typically grew 25 percent longer, 106 percent thicker and 18 percent darker with Latisse (bimatoprost) than those in the non-treatment (control) group.
This is the fastest rate of growth and the most pronounced length and thickness achieved through any eyelash growth product I have reviewed.
Although many women are fearful of Latisse due to the possible side effects, only 3.6 percent of patients in the Allergan study experienced eye itching and red eyes, and none had a change of eye color. Still, this does not mean there is no risk at all. As Dr. Howard Kaplan, M.D. reports to the New York Times, “A change in eye color is a potential side effect of using Latisse, though it is not a common one. Because it’s possible for this side effect to occur, it’s important to weigh the potential risks and benefits of using the product with your physician.” Any change in eye color that does occur is likely to be permanent, particularly if you have light-colored eyes.
Other potential risks include a very slight increased risk of glaucoma, although the FDA designated the active ingredient in Latisse (lumigan, a prostaglandin analog) as perfectly safe and unlikely to cause glaucoma (Expert Opinion on Drug Safety).
#3.) Best Over-the-Counter Prostaglanoid: Revitalash
Once upon a time, before the FDA said prostaglanoids were not allowed to be sold in high concentrations over-the-counter for eyelash growth, there was Revitalash ($85, Amazon.com). Though Revitalash had its risks, it was deemed low enough in prostaglanoids to remain available without a prescription.
Today Revitalash continues to be a staple amongst eyelash growth product enthusiasts. It has been reformulated to include a prostaglanoid called Dechloro Dihydroxy Difluro Ethylcloprostenolamide (DDDE), rather than its original latanoprost.
Even so, the peptides and DDDE are designed in Revitalash to work in the same fashion as the bimatoprost in Latisse. However, because the active ingredient in Revitalash is low enough in concentration to not require a prescription, Revitalash seems to be slightly safer than Latisse, but it may also take slightly longer to work.
I think of Revitalash as “training wheels” for anyone who is considering Latisse. Before you’re ready to get on the bike, at least give sitting on it at try!
Ingredients in Revitalash: Water, Serenoa Serrulata Fruit Extract, Panax Ginseng Root Extract, Dechloro Dihydroxy Difluro Ethylcloprostenolamide, Biotin, Camellia Oleifera Leaf Extract, Swertia japonica Extract, Biotinyl Tripeptide-1, Octapeptide-2, Calendula Officianalis Flower Extract, Triticum Vulgare Protein, Phenoxyethanol, Chlorphenesin, Glycerin, Cellulose Gum, Butylene Glycol, Phosphoric Acid, Disodium Phosphate, Pentylene Glycol
#4.) Best Prostaglandin-Free Growth Treatment: Marini Lash
Like Revitalash, Marini Lash contained latanoprost until 2008.
Now, Marini Lash has peptides. Jan Marini, president and CEO of Jan Marini Skin Research, sums up the reformulated eyelash serum: “With Marini Lash, anyone can have thicker and lusher-appearing lashes without the substantial cost or warning labels that accompany the Latisse prescription product.” (PR Newswire)
The peptides in Marini Lash are believed to stimulate hair growth at the follicle, according to Dermatologic Clinics. Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17 and Myristoyl Pentapeptide-12, the peptides in Marini Lash, have not specifically been documented to stimulate hair growth in studies. However, reported in-house studies at Jan Marini Skin Research, Inc. document that these peptides are effective. Furthermore, the pentapeptides in question are an excellent source of amino acids, and may help growth in anyone with even a slight deficiency.
After the company sent me a vial of this product, I used it nightly for four weeks. My lashes grew!
Ingredients in Marini Lash: Water/Aqua/Eau, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Myristoyl Tetrapeptide-12, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Glycosaminoglycans, Glycerin, Biotin, Tocopherol, Camellia Sinensis (Tea) Leaf Extract, Aesculus Hippocastanum (Horse Chestnut) Seed Extract, Cinnamomum Zeylanicum (Cinnamon) Bark Extract, Folic Acid, Cyanocobalamin, Panthenol, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Linoleic Acid, Linolenic Acid, C12-C15 Alkyl Benzoate, Acrylates/C10-C30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer, Disodium Phosphate, Sodium Chloride, Triethanolamine, Butylene Glycol, Propylene Glycol, Diazolidinyl Urea, Methylparaben, Propylparaben
The Bottom Line
No matter which eyelash serum you choose, your lashes will grow only to their previous length when you discontinue use of the product. With that said, you can always try different products and experiment which works best for you in a timespan of 1 – 2 months.
The best all-natural product, by far, is Amalie Beauty Wink Lash & Brow Oil. With an array of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids from oils like jojoba, argan, and emu, this eyelash and eyebrow enhancer has been shown to stimulate the length and density of lashes by 15 – 20% within 30 days (Wink). It’s definitely a beautiful way to enhance your lash growth, and it’s developed by a female MIT grad-turned-entrepreneur, so I’m all in favor of it!
On the other hand, the best synthetic products seem to contain prostaglandin derivatives. This includes products such as Latisse and Revitalash, seem to be the most likely to increase the growth of your lashes in the shortest amount of time.
However, out of fear of prostaglandin-related side effects, some choose other excellent eyelash growth serums, such as peptide-rich Marini Lash.
Have an opinion on eyelash growth serums? Provide yours in Comments below!
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