Lash growth enhancers are gaining popularity

If your super-plumping mascara doesn’t seem to be doing the trick to achieve fuller, longer eyelashes, there may be a larger issue at stake. Eyelashes decrease in length by almost 50 percent from our 20s to our 40s, according to Dr. Gabriel Chiu, a plastic and reconstructive surgeon and medical director of Beverly Hills Plastic Surgery Inc. Because of this, women spend millions of dollars a year in false lashes, mascara, and eyeliner to cosmetically improve their lashes.

It wasn’t until recently that beauty brands began addressing the bigger issue – the biological and environmental factors that cause sparse, short or thin lashes. Lash growth enhancers are available by prescription or over-the-counter and help stimulate lash growth.

“We have patients of all ages who want longer lashes, but it seems that women over the age of 45 tend to lose their volume and length and are particularly delighted with the results,” explains Dr. Joel Schlessinger, president emeritus for the  American Society of Cosmetic Dermatology and Aesthetic Surgery. “Having said that, women of any age are keen to have longer lashes and are uniformly amazed that these products work.”

What are Lash Enhancers?

Lash enhancers feature ingredients designed to help retain the lashes you have while helping to grow new ones. They are perfect for just about anyone who wants fuller lashes and/or eyebrows. There are, however, a few things to keep in mind, according to Dr. Rebecca Tung, a dermatologist at Loyola University Medical Center.

“If you have very sensitive or allergic eyes, meaning you cannot use makeup or have numerous allergies to products which have caused rashes around the eyes, you may want to use these products slowly to see how you respond,” she says.

Lash Enhancers

MAC Prep + Prime Future Length Lash Serum can be used under your favorite mascara. Results can be seen in four to six weeks, with maximum effects in 16 weeks.

“Long, thick eyelashes have always been a symbol of beauty,” says Natalia Hernandez, beauty advisor for City Cosmetics. “Psychological studies have shown that long, curled eyelashes are interpreted as a representation of youth, and are therefore considered an important attractive quality.”

Most over-the-counter lash enhancers contain peptides, pro-vitamin B5 and other antioxidants that help moisturize and strengthen lashes and promote growth.

Urban Decay’s Lush Lash System is a clinically tested system of two products: A clear, gel-like serum that accelerates the growth of lashes, and a conditioning mask that is applied with a wand.

For overnight treatment, CARGO’s LashActivator Night  is a clinically proven elixir designed to be worn while you sleep. The non-irritating formula promotes vitality and reduces lash loss over a 30-day period.

Plump it Up

Some products let you double up on your lash-intensifying efforts. Double-duty treatments have a dual-end wand with a lash treatment at one end and a lengthening mascara at the other.

Primers can also be added to your eye makeup routine to add a little extra oomph. Clinique’s Lash Building Primer or Diorshow Maximizer Lash Primer Serum can be applied before mascara and after a lash growth enhancer for that extra va va voom.

“Use of an eyelash enhancer is not limited to women with thin and sparse lashes,” adds Hernandez. “Even men can benefit from their effects – although some are formulated exclusively for women, there are unisex products as well.”

To really boost the look of your lashes, try using a gel liner or a smudgeable liner after applying the lash enhancer. Both products allow you to apply a generous amount of liner and come in an easy-to-use formula.

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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