The look of thick, luscious lashes and brows has long been coveted by both men and women. Mascara, false eyelashes and eyelash extensions are touted as solutions to help achieve the dramatic cosmetic effect of full lashes. But every swipe of that mascara wand or refreshed lash extension appointment comes with a cost: it’s damaging to your eyelashes! Lash care is so important if you want to maintain the look of long, healthy lashes long term.
We don't usually think about taking care of our lashes and brows, but similar to the maintenance that goes into hair care or skin care, consistent care is key for the best lash growth. If we ignore our lashes and brows, external and internal factors may cause damage, which can spread to follicles around the troubled area, causing slower growth or the hair not to grow at all.
Most people have between 90 - 160 eyelashes on their upper lid and 75-80 on their lower lid. Eyebrows are bushier with around 250 individual hairs per eyebrow. People shed a few lashes and eyebrow hair follicles everyday. If you notice you’re losing a significant amount of hair and not seeing growth it could be time to dig a bit deeper.
Slower lash and eyebrow growth could be one of two reasons: the follicle is dead, in which case there can't be much done about it; however if the follicle is resting, you CAN stimulate the growth, naturally. (source)
Your follicles go through a growing (anagen) phase, catagen (intermediate) phase and a resting (telogen) phase. If you want longer lashes the goal is to extend the growing phase as long as possible before the lash transitions to the intermediate then resting phase. So what does your hair need to strengthen and prolong the growing phase to its full potential?
Prostaglandin production, fed by essential fatty acids, maintains the hair network and prolongs the growing phase for as long as it can. Prostaglandin levels increase in response to injury and inflammation, making an anti-inflammatory diet and lifestyle helpful with balancing production of these compounds. This process naturally slows as you age, with less prostaglandin being produced. There are various foods and herbs you can add to your diet to naturally boost prostaglandin production, but there are a range of lash serums on the market that promote to supercharge your brows and lashes on a much quicker timeline.
We’re breaking down every type of lash serum you can choose from when hoping to get thicker, darker and more luscious lashes.
Chemical Lash Serums
If you look at a bottle of lash serum and see the ingredients “prostaglandins”, “bimatoprost” or “isopropyl cloprostenate” you need to pause. These ingredients have hormone-like effects and can be really dangerous.Technically these ingredients are banned by Health Canada. These ingredients can have really nasty impacts like darkening skin, iris colour change and drooping, puffy eyelids. Pharmaceutical companies are required to include side effects of use, but cosmetic companies don’t need to do this, making it tricker to understand what products could do damage.
Vegan Lash Serum With Synthetic Ingredients
Lash serums with synthetic ingredients replicate the results of chemical lash serums. Essentially a synthetic ingredient is designed to channel the same prostaglandin analog found in chemical lash serums. To identify synthetic prostaglandins look for “Isopropyl cloprostenate”, “Dechloro Dihydroxy Difluoro Ethylcloprostenolamide”, “Isopropanol Phenyl-hydroxyl-pentene Dihydroxy-cyclopentyl-heptenate” and “Trifluoromethyl Dechloro Ethylprostenolamide” some of these ingredients are the same ones originally used to treat glaucoma patients. In 2011, the FDA issued a warning about these ingredients and the side effects they incur.
Even if a lash serum is marketed as vegan, but contains synthetic ingredients be careful. The EWG Database has flagged ingredients like “propylene glycol”, “butylene glycol”, “polysorbate 20”, “Phenoxyethanol” and “Sodium Metabisulfite” Cosmetics and personal care products are not required to be tested for safety before being allowed on the market. Many of these ingredients have been associated with irritated skin including redness and puffiness.
Water Based Lash Serum
Sometimes you’ll come across products with “water”, “fillers”, “preservative” or “emulsifiers” as first ingredients on the list followed by active ingredients. These products essentially aren’t very effective and you won’t notice a significant difference in your lash health from using them. Ingredients are listed in order of volume, which is something the FDA requires for cosmetic products, so if water is the most dominant ingredient in the formula that means the active ingredients are heavily watered down. If you want to learn more about how prominent water is in your skincare products and what that means for the type of results you’re getting check out our blog post here.
Emulsifiers on the other hand can interfere with the natural microbiome of your skin making it harder for your skin to maintain moisture. Emulsifiers can really dry out your skin. If you’re looking to strip away oils from your face it makes sense to see emulsifiers, but for something like a lash serum it could leave the skin around your eyes feeling a little dry and crusty.
All Natural, Vegan Lash Serum: Luna Nectar’s Moon Boost
Moon Boost Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum is rich in the essential fatty acids that promote hair growth, introducing and locking in moisture to help supplement and encourage dense, longer, fuller lashes and brows. Moon Boost Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum also deposits arginine and essential vitamins to build up hair follicles to produce healthy hair keratin. Moon Boost Lash & Enhancing Brow Serum contains no parabens, sulfates, dyes, fragrance, phthalates, dimethicone, petroleum, talc, bismuth oxychloride, gluten, or nanoparticles making it safe for people with any skin type.
To maintain the metabolism of the follicle, the follicle also needs amino acids, in particular arginine; and vitamins. Moon Boost Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum deposits this much-needed arginine and vitamins from powerful herbal extracts and oils, which builds up the follicles to produce healthy hair keratin and gives the growing phase all the nutrition it needs to work at an optimal level. One of the core ingredients in this product that will really help amp up your lash and brows is Vitamin E. When vitamin E is applied to the skin, it's believed that the hair follicles also benefit from cell regeneration, resulting in stronger, longer hair. Even Khloe Kardashian has endorsed her love of Vitamin E when it comes to plumping her lashes, "Vitamin E acts as a conditioner to help your lashes grow strong and healthy."
Take a look at the full list of ingredients and benefits of Moon Boost Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum here. Learn more about Luna Nectar’s Founder, Mia Fiona Kut here.