Falsies and lashes can take you from girl-next-door to supermodel status. But let’s be honest: they’re high maintenance and can cause damage. Then there’s the time-consuming routine of lash curling, mascara layering, and eye makeup removal. All, in all, our lashes can take a beating from all the tricks we pull. Read on to discover effective solutions to repair lashes naturally

Key ingredients to look out for in lash serums

Lash serums often promise an abundance of miracles but look beyond the marketing hype and inspect the ingredients list to determine efficacy. Top aesthetic physician Dr Rachel Ho recommends looking for products infused with peptides, hyaluronic acid, and panthenol (pro vitamin B5) to repair lashes naturally. Peptides are chains of amino acids commonly found together with hyaluronic acid and panthenol in eyelash serums to salvage damaged lashes. These powerhouse ingredients can, according to Dr Rachel, “strengthen and condition the lashes to prevent breakages, so eyelashes look longer and fuller.” But if you’re looking for dramatic lash growth, ask your doctor if you’re a candidate for bimatoprost, as this potent formula directly impacts the lash growth phase.

Are supplements worth it?

Dr Rachel Ho says supplements have not been proven to boost lash growth, although she notes that there have been popular anecdotal successes with biotin.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @DANMARTENSEN

DIY treatments to repair lashes naturally

The internet is rife with DIY recipes that claim to repair lashes naturally, but is there science behind any of these hacks?

Green tea

Green tea is rich in EGCG, a powerful polyphenol that stimulates hair follicles (the starting point for growth) and promotes hair regeneration. Abundant in antioxidants, it also prevents lash loss and damage, by forming a protective barrier to ward off free radicals. Caffeine found in green tea blocks a hormone known for causing baldness, DHT.  To top it off, green tea is enriched with vitamin B, which helps soften and smooth lashes.

How to use it?

Dip a cotton bud into cool, steeped green tea, and apply along your lash line

Place green tea in the fridge. Soak a cotton pad in the chilled green tea and place over your eyes

Castor oil

Castor oil has been a perennial at-home favourite and ophthalmologist Dr Ilyse Habermann says there is good reason.  “Castor oil moisturises your eyelashes and can make them appear thicker and have more lustre,” Dr. Haberman explains. “It’s also possible that it can help prevent lash breakage which, in turn, can lead to healthier growth.” But Cosmetic Chemist Stephen Ko reasons that castor oil’s effects are mostly surface level as it adds gloss and creates the illusion of thickness. However, he notes that castor oil has water binding properties which can boost overall lash health.

How to use it?

Dip a clean mascara wand or cotton bud (the choice is yours) into castor oil and wipe the excess off with a tissue. Focus on applying castor oil to your lash roots and use a thin coat on the rest of your lashes. Apply sparingly and you won’t have issues with stickiness.

IMAGE: INSTAGRAM @JAMIENELSON6

The eye makeup remover mistake you might not know about

Using the wrong eye makeup remover can decrease the performance of your mascara and cause significant lash loss. Mascara removers that are too emollient can weigh down your lashes and make your mascara look clumpy, while heavy-duty removers damage lash follicles. Even if you wash your eye makeup remover off at night, microscopic remnants may linger, gradually building up over time and wreaking serious havoc. Trust me: I couldn’t understand why my lashes were dramatically shedding and searched for every possible treatment to repair lashes naturally. It wasn’t until I switched eye makeup removers that the repairing started!

If you are using a more emollient eye makeup remover, makeup artist, Juhee Han, recommends following up with a liquid eye-makeup remover to ensure your lashes are as clean as possible. Only washing off oily formulas with water + cleanser isn’t effective, because the water forms a ‘barrier’ on top of the oil, preventing thorough cleansing. “Your lashes will feel very heavy and the next day your lashes won’t be able to hold a curl properly,” she said.

The right lash remover should nourish your lashes and effectively remove makeup without the need for tugging. My holy grail recommendation? The Heroine Make Lash Remover: it’s gentle and hydrating, but dissolves stubborn mascara like a pencil eraser. You simply apply the formula like a mascara, wait 30 seconds and wipe it off with liquid eye-makeup remover.

Everyone’s lashes react differently, so experiment with different routines until you discover your ultimate. Most importantly, remember the journey to achieving luscious lashes doesn’t happen overnight. But if you stick with a consistent routine, you may notice these small changes make a significant difference.

Story by Kristina Zhou, holding shot via @doutzen

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