Left and right, beauty products are promising consumers the natural lashes of their dreams, but the truth is that most of those products won't work in the long-run or even at all unless you use a prescription product.
'An eyelash growth product should help stimulate the growth of hair of the eyelash', explains Birnur Aral, Ph.D., director of the Beauty Lab at the ishonest Institute. 'For hair growth, a product's actives must reach the hair follicle, and as such ... should be regulated as a drug.' The FDA allows lash growth products to be marketed as both a drug and a cosmetic as long as they comply with the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) requirements for both.
Are eyelash growth serums safe?
It's a good question: Recently, Rodan + Fields faced scrutiny over its Lash Boost for using the ingredient isopropyl cloprostenate, a derivative of the active ingredient in Latisse. A federal class-action lawsuit was filed, stating that it violated consumer protection laws by failing to disclose the use of this specific ingredient, since it has drug-like activity in a cosmetic product. Aside from that, like eyebrow conditioning treatments, lash growth serums that make strictly cosmetic claims (such as nourishing or giving lashes the appearance of fullness) should be safe for most people to use.
Do eyelash growth serums really work?
The conditioning treatments in lash serums contain ingredients like peptides to promote healthy hair follicles, vitamins like biotin to strengthen lashes, and amino acids, plant extracts, and oils (such as pumpkin seed extract and castor oil) that may prevent existing lash hair from falling out. These ingredients work by moisturizing and strengthening existing lashes and the surrounding skin, which in turn helps promote healthier and fuller-looking lashes.
To find the best lash serums, the ishonest Institute Beauty Lab combed through marketing claims and product ingredient lists to ensure that these cosmetics do not contain any bimatoprost derivatives, making them safe for general use. Not sold? A surefire way to achieve fuller, longer lashes is with cosmetics: find a great mascara, get eyelash extensions, wear magnetic eyelashes, or use an eyelash curler. Otherwise, here are the best serums for eyelash growth:
1 Best Overall Eyelash Growth Serum Latisse Lash Growth Serum
Latisse is the only FDA-approved eyelash growth serum on the market, making it the best prescription-strength eyelash growth serum available. It's a prescription drug so you'll need to see your doctor to get ahold of it. If using, make sure to only apply on the upper lid, since spreading it elsewhere will trigger hair-growth wherever it's applied.
Just note: there have been a few reports that Latisse turned blue and green eyes brown, but this is a disclosed side effect of this prescription treatment and the generic version of Latisse, bimatoprost.
- Easy to apply
- Has potential side effects
- You can't buy in-store
2 Best Value Eyelash Growth Serum Healthy Lashes Lash Enhancer Serum
Biotin and peptides are the star ingredients in this eyelash growth serum. 'I would say this serum thickens the eyelashes and lengthens them', says one reviewer. 'When I look to the side and into the mirror I can see how long they have gotten. From the front, they look thicker and shiny even. Easy to apply, and I just apply once a day.' To use, apply it like you would a liquid eyeliner.
- Nourishes lashes
- Easy to apply
3 Best Eyelash Growth Serum Applicator Lashes to Die For Turbo Conditioning Lash Enhancer
Behold: the 2-in-1 applicator we have all been waiting for. Instead of having to choose between a wand and a brush, this dual brush allows product to reach every lash. The serum uses an 11% peptide-based complex that claims to dramatically enhance lash length, thickness, density and fullness.
- Easy to Apply
- Innovative design
4 Best Eyelash Growth Serum for Damaged Lashes Full Lash Growth Serum
Repair damaged lash hairs with a restorative serum like this one. It uses arginine, an ingredient that helps with blood flow, which in turn helps stimulate follicles and therefore revitalizes hair.
- Stimulates hair growth
5 Best Eyelash Growth Serum for Lashes and Eyebrows PREVAGE Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum
Use this serum on both your upper and lower lashes to hydrate existing lashes. The mix of vitamins and active botanicals support the natural lash cycle, helping them look healthier and fuller. The fine tip is great for precise application so that product doesn't run into eyes and is not wasted in the process, says Aral.
- Targeted application
6 Best Organic Eyelash Growth Serum Lash and Brow Enhancing Serum
This nourishing product uses ingredients that are 100% plant-derived and/ or organic such as aloe and castor oil which help to nurture and enhance existing lashes. Even more: you can use this eyelash serum even if you have extensions.
- Natural formula
- Nurtures lashes
7 Best Natural Eyelash Growth Serum PhytoMedic Eyelash Enhancer
The peptide-infused eyelash treatment helps to strengthen and nourish existing hairs with a 99.49% natural formula and claims to provide longer and thicker lashes. Simply sweep the brush along the upper lash line the same way you would with eyeliner, and apply every night for best results.
- Natural formula
- Easy to apply
8 Best Nourishing Eyelash Growth Serum Lash Serum Intense
With biotin, peptides and antioxidants and pumpkin seed extract, this eyelash treatment serum claims to nourish, strengthen and invigorate the lash base to help lashes grow longer and be stronger. Apply along the upper lash line at night, and rinse off the next morning.
- Strengthens lashes
- Must rinse out next-day
9 Best Eyelash Growth Serum for Enhancing Lashes Eyelash Enhancing Serum
Six superstar ingredients polypeptides, biotin, pantheol, amino acids, soybean oil and pumpkin seed extract work together to strengthen and enhance lashes. 'I've only been using it for two weeks and I can already see a huge difference in the length and appearance of my lashes', one reviewer says.
- Strengthens lashes
- Nourishing ingredients
10 Best Eyelash Growth Serum for Stronger Lashes Advanced Eyelash Conditioner
In clinical studies, 98% of participants said this eyelash conditioner improved eyelash appearance, strengthened lashes and made their lashes look healthier. 'My lashes feel enhanced from their original state', one reviewer says.
- Helps prevent breakage
11 Best Eyelash Growth Serum for Damaged Eyelashes Cils Booster Lash Revitalizing Serum
This lash serum helps fortify lashes to make them healthier and stronger. Packed with amino acids, this is perfect for anyone suffering lash damage from lash extensions, lash curlers or daily makeup use. 'I've been using this product for a few weeks and I have fallen in love with it', one reviewer says. 'It has not only grown my lashes out a bit, but I feel like they are thicker too.'
- Can be applied twice daily
- Brand says it's good for sensitive eyes
12 Best Eyelash Growth Serum for Sensitive Skin LiftActiv Eyelash Growth Serum
Unlike many lash serums, this one is also formulated for use around the entire eye area as an anti-aging product. 'I have noticed my lashes are longer and thicker after using this product for a few months', says one reviewer. 'It is very gentle, unscented, and non-irritating and I have sensitive skin and tolerate it well. '
- Helps firm and moisturize entire eye area
- Gentle formula
13 Best Eyelash Growth Serum for Eyelash Extensions GrandeLASH MD Lash Enhancing Serum
This lash serum promises longer lashes in four to six weeks, and reviewers say it holds up to its end of the deal. 'I get many compliments on my very long lashes and no longer bother with eyeliner, as I feel the lashes speak for themselves', one reviewer writes. Chock-full of vitamins and antioxidants, it's also safe to use if you have eyelash extensions.
- Has a cult-following online
- Can use with eyelash extensions
14 Best Drugstore Eyelash Growth Serum Hydra-Strength Conditioning Lash Treatment
This is perfect for those who want to test out lash serums without committing to a pricier product. The peptides in it help repair damaged lashes by strengthening existing hairs, giving them a fuller-looking appearance.
- Peptides help repair damaged lashes
15 Best Non-Irritating Eyelash Growth Serum Essential Eyelash Growth Serum
Babe Lash conditions and strengthens lashes to help them grow longer and healthier. The gentle formula doesn't cause irritation and can also be used on brows. 'I appreciate that I don't have to make regular salon appointments or damage my natural eyelashes using fake lashes', one reviewer says. Here are the pros:
- Hydrates and conditions eyelashes
- Good for sensitive eyes