Lashes referred to as Cilia are hairs growing at the edge of eyelids that play an important role structurally and aesthetically. Primarily designed to protect the eye from fine dust particles and foreign bodies, the role of lashes for beautification has been recognized and prioritized for centuries. Traditionally, natural ingredients were used on lashes for improving their growth and texture. These, in course of time, were replaced by commercial products for suiting the growing demands of cosmetic-conscious clients. The demand has continuously grown over time as has the global market dispensing lash-related products.
According to market research analysts, the Global lash extension Market was valued at USD 1.36 billion in 2020 and is projected to reach USD 2.31 billion by 2028, growing at a CAGR of 6.95% from 2021 to 2028. Further investigation into lash industry products has shown immense growth of lash extensions in the last few years. The global revenue of the eyelashes enhancing market was estimated to value over 388 million dollars in 2019. This is expected to cross USD 541.33 million by 2027 with a CAGR of 4.29 %.
The statistics regarding the current situation of lash products are pretty impressive which again is strongly suggestive of the bright future of the lash industry. Whether you choose to opt for natural treatment methods for improving lash structure or go for cosmetic/medicated compounds is a factor that depends on;
- The extent of damage to lashes (natural products take more time to show visible results)
- Whether you have already healthy lashes that you want to further improve using additional ingredients
- Type of damage (broken lashes, stunted lash growth, or lash loss as a result of alopecia conditions)
It is important to have a brief idea about the lash structure and growth stage of lashes to better understand the effect of either natural or cosmetic ingredients on them.
Source: Click here
Structure of lashes
Each lash has an external structure above the dermis and an internal layer below the dermis. The internal structure below the dermis consists of a root that is anchored to the hair plexus and plays a role in the blinking mechanism. The bulb or the enlarged terminal portion is connected to the vascular supply of the face and is concerned with follicular cycling.
The upper eyelid consists of 90-160 lashes while the lower lid consists of 75-80 lashes at a point. While lash length is a variable factor, lashes as a rule do not grow beyond 12mm after which they tend to fall off by themselves and get replaced by newer lashes. There are 3 phases of lash growth that control the growth cycle.
- The growth phase or Anagen phase denotes the growth stage of follicles
- Degradation phase or Catagen phase in which the hair follicles remain in a dormant stage
- Telogen phase or Resting phase in which the follicles start shedding off
Natural ways to grow thick lashes
Source: Click here
Lash growth can be promoted through natural and cosmetic methods. Some of the natural methods of promoting lash growth are
Coconut oil moisturizes the lashes and provides nutrients to grow lashes in a better manner. Research has proved that the fatty acids present in coconut oil enable it to get absorbed in a quicker manner by hair shafts. This enables it to provide more lasting protection in comparison to other oils. Studies have proved coconut oil to be extremely beneficial in preventing protein loss in hair after washing hair.
With respect to lashes, it significantly prevents lash damage during face wash or removal of cosmetics. The virgin form of coconut oil is usually preferred for use in lashes because of its unadulterated consistency. It can be applied on its own or in combination with castor oil for best results. Additionally, the antibacterial and antifungal properties of coconut oil help prevent bacterial infections that are a major cause of lash loss.
Green tea is rich in antioxidant properties that are important for strengthening the lash follicles. Apart from antioxidants, the flavonoids and polyphenols present in green tea improve the overall length with the volume of lashes. In a study conducted to better understand the efficacy of green tea for lash follicles, green tea extracts formulated into gels were administered to subjects with a comparison placebo. Two months after application, it was observed that the lashes responded better to green tea extra than placebo.
Green tea can be consumed in liquid form for its effectiveness on lash follicles. Alternately, green tea extracts can be dipped with cotton buds and applied superficially over the lashes for improved lash growth.
Shea butter has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that help in the protection and improved growth of lash follicles. Apart from making the lashes longer and fuller with their regular use, it also strengthens them for withstanding makeup, harsh climates, and overall effects of pollution in the lash conditions.
Shea Butter needs to be warmed before being applied over the lashes for effective absorption. Massaging it once daily enables obtaining the best results out of the compound. The Vitamin A and E components of the substance additionally provide nutrition to the lashes and strengthen their internal growth.
Medications for lash growth
Medications for promoting lash growth can be either obtained over the counter or through a physician’s prescription. Some of these compounds are
Over-the-counter Lash Supplements
Eye of Horus Universal Brow lash serum
Eye of Horus Brow and Lash Serum is a nourishing vegan serum designed to suit all skin tones from fair to dark to grey. The gel in the serum contains a mixture of bio-available essential Vitamin B and minerals like calcium, iron, and zinc with other elements to condition, thicken and visibly improve the appearance of the lashes. Natural ingredients like star anise, argan, olive oil, and castor oil further add to the nutrition and repair it from within.
Clinique High Impact Lash Amplifying Serum
Clinique is an Australian based dermatologically tested and contains natural extracts like caffeine, turmeric, and ginseng root for nourishment and added protection at the same time. It is advised to apply the product on clean upper lids in a linear manner to get the best results from it. Clinical studies involving the use of Clinique have observed a 97% improvement in the appearance and quality of lashes in less than 12 weeks.
Maybelline Lash Sensational Eyelash Boosting Serum
Consisting of nutrients like Arginine and Pro-vitamin B5, Maybelline is designed to condition the lashes to make them soft and supple. Continuous use of the serum can make the lashes stronger and prevent less breaking or falling off. Additionally, the peptides and biotin present in the serum improve their aesthetic appearance. It is advised to use Maybelline twice daily for best results.
Prescription-based Lash Serums
Careprost Prostaglandin eyelash enhancer
Careprost 0.03% is a prostaglandin analog that is clinically approved to achieve longer, thicker and stronger lashes. Originally used for the treatment of glaucoma in patients, Careprost works on the 4 stages of hair growth to enhance the quality of lashes. As a part of its mechanism of action, it inhibits the telogen or shedding phase of hair lash and converts it into anagen or growth phase. Additionally, it has been known to work on the keratin of hair follicles for darker-looking lashes. Careprost use in hypotrichosis patients has shown marked improvement in lash quality.
Why is Careprost better than others?
In a study conducted to understand the patient-related outcomes after treatment with Bimatoprost, four questionnaires were distributed to 278 subjects enrolled in the study. A 23-item Eyelash Satisfaction Questionnaire measuring satisfaction in 3 domains constituted the survey. Confidence, attractiveness, and professionalism with length, fullness, and overall satisfaction were assessed in the questionnaire. The impact of serum and lash growth on daily routine was included in the survey.
By week 16, significant improvements were observed in the Bimatoprost (active ingredient of Careprost) group. Patient satisfaction and overall improvement were much higher in Bimatoprost than in other lash serums. The results proved the improved efficiency of the active ingredient of Careprost in producing prominent eyelashes in adults.
That said about overall superiority, the other important factor that makes Careprost a better option is its legal status. Over-the-counter serums have not yet received legal approval regarding their safety for users. Careprost is FDA approved; it has gone through numerous safety tests before being declared eligible for use. This makes it a more viable and trustworthy source of lash improvement than others.
Apart from the therapeutic measures, taking preventive measures for your lashes can also help in improving their growth and quality. Some of these preventive measures are
1) Remove eye makeup every night as the chemicals in them can harm your lashes.
2) Judiciously using lash extensions is necessary as their regular use and removal procedure can damage lash growth.
3) Avoid constantly rubbing your lashes. In cases of persistent itching, take medical help instead of frequently touching the lashes.
4) Main lid and ocular hygiene. Improper lash hygiene is the chief cause of lash irregularities.
5) Most importantly judiciously choose the lash growth serum for your lashes keeping in mind your allergic conditions and the safety profile of the serum you have opted for.