Beauty, Fashion, Fitness

What Is An Eyelash Serum — And Do I Need One?

close up of a woman's eye and eyelashes

Do eyelash serums really help your eyelashes grow?

Ive always loved big, fluffy lashes. Ive been piling on mascara since I was I dont know, four? And pre-COVID I was a total sucker for eyelash extensions. But with eyelash bars shuttered during lockdown and mask-wearing meaning that eyes are the only thing anyone sees, I started stocking up on over-the-counter eyelash serums.Thanks to the same aging processes that affect our skin and hair, many women over forty start to see thinning eyelashes, too. But Sonya Abdulla, a dermatologist at Dermatology on Bloor in Toronto warns that theres a big difference between a medical-grade growth serum that actually makes lashes longer and the ever-expanding list of over-the-counter lash serums that hydrate and strengthen lashes.The same way that you can condition the hair on your scalp you can use similar products to condition your eyelashes, she says. Over-the-counter serums dont necessarily make the eyelashes grow more quicklytheyre there to provide some TLC.The only product officially approved for eyelash growth in Canada is Latisse, whose main ingredient is a hormone called bimatoprost. Latisse prolongs the growth phase of the eyelash life cycle and costs around $200-$225 for a four-month daily supplyafter that, the general idea to use it a few times a week to maintain your new Bambi lashes and can only be dispensed by a doctor. (Many people, myself included, have also had success actually lengthening their lashes with Eye Envy, which you can get for about $100 at salons and fancier nail bars, but the brand is secretive about the active ingredient and it isnt sold online).Side effects from Latisse are rare but can include skin and eye irritation, permanent dark flecks on your iris, (especially for people who have green or hazel eyes), and discolouration of the eyelid skin. Abdulla warns that you also have to be careful that Latisse doesnt drip onto other parts of your face, where it can also stimulate hair growth.Not ready for medical-grade-level lash intervention yet? Here are some of the best over-the-counter conditioning lash serums you can try first for a healthier wink.(Related: The Top Beauty Trends to Come Out of Pandemic Life)

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