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How to Choose the Best Eyelash Enhancer?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
Q: I am having thin eyelashes so, thinking to try eyelash enhancer but I don’t know exactly what they are, how they work. And, there are many eyelash enhancers available out in the market so, which are top to choose from?
Expert Answer

The term “Eyelash Enhancer” is used to refer to beauty products applied to eyelashes to promote their growth. As opposed to eyelash implants and eyelash extensions, that involve taking natural or synthetic hairs and adding them onto your existing lashes, eyelash enhancers actually take your nature-given eyelashes and take them to the next level. Through these products, naturally long, thick and full eyelashes can now be yours.

How Enhancers Work?

The makers of these eyelashes enhancing* products have been researching for years to identify the factors that limit the growth of our lashes and have taken the liberty of finding ways to counter hormones and conditions that limit the growth of our precious lashes.

eyelash enhancers work around either of the two ways: One, by making sure that the eyelash follicles’ growth phase lasts long enough to produce* gorgeous lashes. Two, by strengthening the hair itself to prevent premature breakage or falling off of the hair. Most formulations available in the market will contain a variety of hormones, nutrients and other ingredients that will either lengthen the follicles’ growth phase, provide adequate nutrients to the hair itself or both. Any lash enhancing* formulation will most likely contain any number the ingredients below.

  • Prostaglandin Analogues: Like Latanoprost and Bimatoprost (from Latisse™) have been found to bind to hair follicles and lengthen the anagen/growth phase of follicles
  • Glycosaminoglycans: Lengthen anagen phase of follicles just like prostaglandin analogues do. Has been found to have potential in reducing* hair loss
  • Vitamin A: Involved in the growth and maintenance of hair by regulating the synthesis of retinoic acid in hair follicles
  • Vitamin C: Is necessary for the body to absorb iron, which is vital to hair growth
  • Vitamin E: Builds capillaries and promotes* blood circulation, making it easier for nutrients to reach your lashes
  • Pro-Vitamin B5 or D-panthenol: Attracts water to its surface and holds it there so it’s a great moisturizer
  • Nettle: Reduces* hair growth and encourage* hair to re-grow
  • Horse Chestnut: Improve* blood circulation
  • Polypeptides: Hair is made up mostly of polypeptides and making its basic units of structure available will hasten its growth and repair
  • Hyaluronic Acid: Capable of carrying 1000 times its weight in water. For this reason it is one of the most potent moisturizers available

Dozens of formulations seem to make their way into the market year after year. This market saturation has made it difficult for consumers to distinguish between the real deal and the products that are just bandwagoning on the trend but don’t really produce* much results. To save you time and money, below are just some of the ones that have made it into top 10 lists year after year.

Latisse

Originally marketed as a treatment for glaucoma until the eye doctors and the glaucoma patients started noticing a significant increase* in length in their eyelashes during the clinical trial.

The product has the prostaglandin analogue bimatoprost, a compound derived from fatty acids that attaches itself onto the PG (prostaglandin) receptors on your hair follicles. Aside from lengthening the anagen phase of the follicle as mentioned above, this molecule has also been observed to increase* the size of the hair bulb as well as stimulate pigment cells on the skin and hair follicles. All of these presumably create the most enviable of lashes.

Rapidlash

Contact lens wearers will love this one as this formulation does not contain the prostaglandin analogues that arm harmful to your contact lenses. This contains polypeptides and moisturizers that not only promote growth but repair damage as well. The moisturizers in particular prevent breakage and add elasticity to the eyelashes, ensuring* that no premature breakage will happen. Users usually begin noticing improvements on the first week of usage.

Revitalash

Another crowd favorite in the eyelash enhancement industry. In a lot of the independent consumer reviews, most of the users noticed a significant increase* in the length of their lashes at around 5 weeks of use. The manufacturers suggest applying the treatment once a day. This formulation contains the following components:

  • Panthenol
  • Phenoxyehtanol – An anti-bacterial agent
  • Chlorphenesin – A muscle relaxant not commercially available in the US
  • Trifluoromethyl Dechloro Ethylprostenolamide – Its a lipid compound that is also associated with increase* in hair growth

An eyelash enhancement formula that marries alternative plant (herbal) medication and modern technology, Maxolash is gaining popularity with consumers who are looking for long lustrous lashes without the harmful side effects. Another great thing about this product from cosmetic powerhouse Dermagevity™, is that it is pH balanced and non-irritating. Lash enthusiasts can now breathe a sigh of relief* because finally a product that does the job without you having to fear about your health. Below are some of the ingredients in the formulation

  • Hyaluronic Acid – As a potent moisturizer this will ensure that your lashes are not only beautiful but healthy as well
  • Glycoproteins – The potent ingredients in Maxolash is a plant derived glycoprotein formulation that functions the way some lectins do to encourage* growth and strength of hair. It has also been found to stimulate hair follicle activity which encourages* hair growth
  • Pro-vitamin B5

With this product there is the option to use the treatment at night and/or us it under your make up. If you plan to wear it under your make up just make sure to wait a few minutes for the formulation to be absorbed by your skin before putting anything else on.

The brand names we included above are some a few of the dozen, or maybe hundreds, of products that are available in the market today. Before deciding to purchase and use, make sure to read the labels and ingredients of the eyelash enhancer you want to buy. There is a wealth of information (blogs, peer reviewed research, you name it) that is available online and most reputable brands with nothing to hide will be generous with information about their product so do your research first before starting on any of these lash enhancers.