The quest for longer lashes has driven many of us to the brink of sanity, applying layer after layer of failed lash growth product only to end up with lashes that are sometimes shorter and stubbier than they were originally.
Meanwhile, others seem to have been blessed by the gods, with fringey lashes so flirtatious they resemble a venus fly trap luring in their prey. What gives?
While the secret to long-lash success might have something to do with genetics (or lash-god favoritism), there are ways you can help support your own, natural lash growth.
Hint: It doesn’t involve weird serums and clumpy, drying products.
Why Aren’t My Eyelashes Growing?
They are, but maybe just not as quickly (or as lengthy) as you’d like them to.
Eyelashes have a three-phase cycle of growth. Like everything else in your body, their growth is regulated by hormones. Just like the hair on your head, eyelashes are constantly growing (and dying). The complete life cycle of a single eyelash is between four to eleven months.
The anagen phase is known as the growth phase. Every new lash begins in this phase. Your lashes are made out of proteins, like many other structures in your body. Hormones trigger protein synthesis, which causes your lashes to grow.
The average daily growth rate for an eyelash is between .12 and .14 mm. The sharpened tip of a pencil is 1 mm in width, so the daily amount of lash growth you’ll have is minimal.
Additionally, lashes rarely grow longer than 12mm naturally. Unlike the hair on your head (which also follows a phased life cycle) your eyelashes spend less time in the anagen phase.
The catagen phase of lash growth is a transitional phase between the anagen phase and the telogen phase. During the catagen phase, your eyelash follicles get smaller, and they stop growing.
This phase lasts approximately two to three weeks. Your eyelashes don’t naturally fall out during this phase, but products you use (like thick, waterproof mascaras) can cause your lashes to become brittle and damaged, making it easier for them to be accidentally removed when you remove your mascara.
When an eyelash falls out during the catagen phase, a new lash will not replace it until the full life cycle has been completed, which means you’ll have an empty hair follicle for a few months.
The telogen phase is the longest phase of the eyelash life cycle. Also known as the resting phase, your eyelashes remain in this stage of rest for three to four months. Some models recognize a fourth lash phase, called the exogen phase, when the eyelash actually falls out.
While an eyelash is in the telogen phase, a new lash will begin to grow in the bottom of the hair follicle, which will eventually replace the old lash when it naturally falls out. Once the telogen phase is complete, the old lash falls out and the new lash behind it begins its life cycle in the anagen phase.
To encourage lash growth, your eyelashes need nourishment and protection during every phase of their life cycle; especially the anagen phase.
Can I Get Longer Eyelashes Naturally?
It’s definitely possible to grow longer lashes naturally, but you’ll probably have to toss everything you think you know about lash lengthening out the window.
Most of the products you find lining store shelves that are marketed as lash-lengtheners are actually incredibly damaging to your eyelashes. Waterproof mascaras, drying, alcohol-based formulas, and synthetic hormone-based lash serums strip your lashes of nutrients, leaving them like dried-up tree branches.
Keep in mind that once a lash dies, you can’t bring it back to life. You’ll have to wait for the new lash to grow in its place. Ideally, longer lashes happen by using ingredients that nourish, hydrate, and support natural lash growth.
How Can I Help My Eyelashes Grow?
You can help your eyelashes grow by supporting them during their growth cycle and taking a different, more holistic approach to your eyelashes. The right products and a little finesse can go a long way with your lashes, as well as eliminating products from your cosmetic bag that could be inadvertently damaging your lashes.
Here are 6 tips to make your eyelashes longer, naturally.
1. Try Mascara with Pro Peptide
Peptides are amino acid building blocks. They essentially help your body make proteins. With more proteins, your lashes have the ability to grow thicker and healthier.
Most mascaras contain ingredients that can dry the lashes, cause the follicle of the lash to shrink, and weaken the structure of the lash itself, making it more likely to fall out or be rubbed away when you remove your eye makeup.
RMS Beauty’s Straight Up Volumizing Peptide Mascara takes a different approach.
Our mascara is formulated with nourishing ingredients that help promote root and lash growth by dosing your lashes with propeptides that help them grow stronger. Our mascara works to protect your lashes, never damage them. Our ingredient list never includes harsh chemicals, drying agents, or anything that could cause you to have unpleasant side effects.
2. Apply Castor Oil or Olive Oil
Chances are even your mom knows about this little eyelash growth hack. Castor oil has been used for decades to promote lash growth. It contains a unique mixture of triglycerides, more commonly referred to as fatty acids.
Castor oil’s active ingredient, ricinoleic acid, may help stimulate a particular molecule called prostaglandin E2 (“PGE2”) which has been shown in some studies to encourage hair growth.
Olive oil is packed with fatty acids, too. While there aren’t many studies that correlate lash growth with olive oil, the fatty acid and vitamin E content can support your lashes as they grow and help to nourish them.
3. Use Organic Beeswax
You're reading that right: beeswax! Organic, responsibly sourced beeswax is packed with vitamins and antioxidants to help protect your lashes and maintain optimal moisture levels.
RMS Beauty’s Original Volumizing Mascara is formulated with organic, ethically sourced beeswax and sunflower seed oil, rich in fatty acids and vitamin E, to help promote lash growth naturally. Our specialized spoolie helps define individual lashes, giving them individualized length and definition.
4. Nourish with Vitamin E
Celebrities have made vitamin E oil a hero for encouraging natural lash growth. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant and emollient ingredient. This means it helps your lash cells stay protected from external stressors that could cause them to break and weaken while also deeply conditioning them, nourishing them so they can grow stronger.
RMS Beauty’s Original Defining Mascara contains a power-packed formula of vitamin E and essential hydrating ingredients to help keep your lashes healthy and nourished as they grow.
5. Gently Remove Your Makeup
The way you’re removing your lashes is probably all wrong. Pulling, wiping, and scrubbing your lashes until they are bare causes damage and can pull them out when they are in the catagen phase.
Standard makeup remover wipes and cleansers are typically formulated with ingredients that are too drying, causing lashes to become brittle and break. A better option? Organic, raw coconut oil. RMS’s raw coconut cream is the perfect solution for removing eye makeup gently and effectively and helps repair lash damage.
Use a cotton pad, not a cotton ball or cotton swab. A cotton ball can leave behind strands of cotton that stick to your lashes and cause you to rub them. You can also use your fingertips to remove your eye makeup. Make sure your makeup is removed completely.
6. Never Pull or Tug Your Lashes
One of the best ways to encourage natural lash growth is to just simply leave them alone. Pulling, tugging, using eyelash extensions, and applying products too close to your lash line can all cause your lashes to fall out and break before their life cycle has finished.
How Can I Make My Lashes Appear Longer?
While your lashes are growing, you can use products to help them look longer and more defined.
Gently Brush Them and Use an Eyelash Curler
Using a clean mascara wand, gently brush your lashes upward, which can help separate and define your lashes, so they appear more voluminous.
Additionally, using an eyelash curler properly isn’t harmful to your lashes and can really give your lashes a longer, fuller look. With the curler, start at the base of the lash (being careful not to get too close to your eyelid), and gently squeeze a few times, working your way up to the tip of the lash. You want to make sure you’re not only curling at the base alone or you’ll end up with a right-angle L-shape instead of a natural-looking curl. Plus, this will help the curl stay curled all day long!
Use a Lifting and Volumizing Mascara
It goes without saying that a lifting and volumizing mascara can work wonders to help give you the look of longer, thicker lashes. RMS Beauty’s mascaras contain ingredients that help lashes grow strong and healthy, keeping them hydrated and supported.
Define Each Lash
Defining each lash using your mascara wand helps your lashes look fuller. When you use products that cause your lashes to clump together, you end up with spider lashes. Not only are spider lashes unattractive, they also promote breakage.
Can you have longer lashes without using a strange eyelash growth serum or falsies with glue? Absolutely! Take better care of your lashes and give them a boost with natural, nourishing ingredients that help promote lash growth and prevent them from becoming damaged.
RMS Beauty is your source for the cleanest, greenest lash products available, designed to work synergistically with your lashes to give you better growth and stronger lashes.
Sources:Figure 1. Eyelash growth cycle showing the four phases, namely anagen,...|REsearch Gate.net