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Age Gracefully with Full Lashes - 3 types of eyelash serum you can choose from

Age gracefully with full lashes. The 3 types of eyelash serums you can choose from.
I am a strong advocate of aging gracefully and naturally.

I do not fight against mother-nature or gravity, but I do believe there are ways to look energetic and radiant. From cleansing to creams and masks, I love my skincare. (After all @loveforskincare is my handle!)

Recently, I just added lash serum to my routine. Why? Not that I’ve seen thinning lashes, but as a safeguard. As the wise always say “prevention is better than cure”. Isn't it?

Perhaps you’re like me before, having doubts about lash serums such as these:

  • Will it sting my eyes?
  • Will my eyelids darken?
  • Does it really work?
  • Every formula says they work so how do I choose?

To address the above, let us first understand our lash growth cycle, what is lash serum and how it can help in every stage of the cycle.


Lash serums are growth-enhancing formulas that stimulate lash growth.

They condition and strengthen lashes so they are less likely to break or fall out, boost the lashes with vitamins that protect them from external aggressors and add shine. They are also the "life-saver" to fixing bald spots on eyelashes, as explained here.  

They are great in fixing bald spot on eyelashes when the need arises.



Eyelashes grow through three distinct phases:

  • Anagen: active growth phase
  • Catagen: transition phase
  • Telogen: resting phase

One complete lash cycle can take 4-11 months complete.

Lash serums help at every of the three stages of lash growth, Anagen, Catagen, Telogen Growth phase.

This lasts 4-10 weeks.

The lashes will be actively growing at this phase, but only about 40% of the upper lashes and 15% of the lower lashes are growing. The rest of the lashes will be in the next two phases.

Each lash will grow at a rate of 0.12 – 0.14mm per day. Hence, the longer an eyelash stays in this growth phase, the longer it will grow.

How does lash serum help here?

Lash serum feeds your lashes the nutrients they need to grow healthily in this phase. It will help to extend the duration of your lashes here, so that they can keep growing for longer period of time. I would want my lashes to grow for 10 weeks, rather than stopping at 4 weeks. How about you?

Transition phase.

This lasts 2-3 weeks.

At this phase, the lash hair follicle shrinks, detaches itself from the blood supply and lash growing stops. The lashes will keep the length gained from the Growth phase while waiting to enter the next Resting phase.

So if an eyelash falls out during this phase, it won’t grow back right away because the follicle needs to complete this Transition phase before it can proceed to the Resting phase, then back to Growth phase.

It is also the reason we need to be so gentle when rubbing our eyes because we don’t want to have a lot falling out and live with a bald patch for weeks.

How does lash serum help here?

Lash serum creates supple, non-brittle, nourished lashes that won’t easily break or fall out. This means you have more lashes at any one time, creating a fuller lash line.

Resting phase.

This can last more than 3-4 months.

In this phase, our eyelashes sit dormant and rest while a new baby hair begins to grow inside the follicle. The old lash will fall out naturally and the new lash re-enters the active Growth phase.

At any one time, approximately 50% of eyelashes will be in this phase.

How does lash serum help here?

Lash serum helps to speed up the Resting phase, so that the new baby follicle can enter the Growth phase sooner.



With above understanding of how lash serum can help with each phase of the lash cycle, let’s examine the different types of lash serum available, how to find a suitable lash serum which is effective yet WITHOUT side effects such as itchiness, red eyes, darkening of the eyelids, reduced eye pressure, or permanently increased iris pigmentation.

#1 Prescription lash serum.

Latisse a prescription-only lash serum. It is the first and only science-based treatment approved by the FDA to enhance eyelash prominence as measured by increases in length, thickness, and darkness of eyelashes.

The key ingredient is bimatoprost, which started out in glaucoma medicine to reduce pressure against the eye. Patients noticed that one of the side effects from using bimatoprost was longer, thicker eyelashes. That’s how the cosmetic benefits were discovered.

What’s the caveat?

Though effective, it comes with some caveats. One of the side effects of bimatoprost is discoloration on the eyelids and the iris.

#2 Over-the-counter (OTC) lash serum. 

Though there’s only one prescription serum, there are so many OTC formulas. The common ingredients they contain are peptides, synthetic prostaglandin and hair conditioning ingredients that all work to support healthy lash growth and prevent lashes falling out prematurely.

  • OTC serum with synthetic prostaglandin

Some of the lash serums that boost fast results have this hormone ingredient.

What’s the caveat?

It has the same side effects just like bimatoprost (prostaglandin). This means you are running risks of discolouration!

If you love eyelash extensions, the spike in growth rate also means that your extensions can potentially drop faster. What you want should be strong lashes that hold your extensions and not quick lengthening.

Another associated problem associated is the rapid shedding of lashes when you stop using them. This is so as your lash follicles are trying to return to their natural function without the added hormones.

But fret not! Give it 3 months and your lashes will return to normal and start a new, healthy growth journey.

  • OTC serum without synthetic prostaglandin

The better option. They are formulated with peptides, vitamins, moisturizers to help your lashes grow from strength to length! 

What’s the caveat?

Patience. For OTC lash serum without synthetic prostaglandins to work, consistency is key.

Just like Cangro’s Long Lashes Eyelash Enhancer. This vegan formula works in a slow and steady manner, building your lashes from strength to length. Effects kick in from 4-8 weeks, and full results in 12 weeks. The gentle formula didn't sting my eyes too and definitely no staining of my eyelids.

And when I stop using it?

My lashes will return to the state before I start using the lash serum gradually. There will not be sudden shedding like lash serums with prostaglandin.

#3 DIY lash serum.

As a last option, yes, you can make your own eyelash growth serum!

Here are a few different recipes for DIY eyelash growth serums:

  • Caster Oil Only

Buy super pure, organic castor oil and some little application wands and you’re ready to go! Use it every night, before bed and you could start seeing results in about 30 days or so.

However, be careful not to apply too much or it will sting if it gets in your eyes but it won’t cause any damage except being uncomfortable for a minute.

  • Power Oils Mix

You can go for a concoction of :

  • castor oil with emu oil, coconut oil and vitamin E oil, or
  • argan oil, almond oil, vitamin e oil and castor oil

 – all four ingredients are make an absolute powerhouse for hair growth and strength.

What’s the caveat?

Due to how near it is being applied to your eyes, it is of pertinent importance to source quality ingredients and keep them fresh.

You need to know where to get the purest and best ingredients first. Then, you need to ensure they’re kept in cool, dry, well ventilated areas to prevent them turning rancid in our humid weather that allows bacteria to easily breed.



Understanding that we need a lash serum and the different types available, it is important that we choose "that" lash serum carefully.

  • No synthetic prostaglandin

To avoid side effects when in use and cessation. To understand more about prostaglandins and side effects, read here.

  • Rich in Amino Acids or Peptides

Serums rich in amino acids will nourish, condition and strengthen frail and brittle eyelashes because our eyelashes consist of over 90% protein. Hence they need amino acids. Some serum brands label amino acids as peptides in their ingredients which is just as good, as peptide is a chain of amino acids.

  • Moisturizing

Unknown to many women, mascara takes away moisture from our lashes. Without proper moisture, our lashes become prone to weakening and breakage.

When your lashes are weak, they easily fall off or get cut when you are applying mascara or curling them. The right serum will repair your lashes and give it the moisture it needs to stay healthy and strong.



Lash serum is a much neglected skincare item for many of us. As many of us wish to “age gracefully”, we could include a simple swipe of the lash serum as part of our skincare regime so that the strong lashes can continue to beautify and protect our eyes.

This allows us to keep a bright and energetic appearance - it’s all about looking good and feeling good right?

While Latisse is the only lash serum approved by the FDA and requires a prescription, there are over-the-counter options or even DIY formulas available. Choose your options carefully and if you have special medical conditions, always consult your doctor first.

Let’s age gracefully.


Eyelash Growth Serums 2018: What Do They Actually Do?

5 Truths About Eyelash Serums

Enhanced Eyelashes: Prescription and Over-the-Counter Options

The Hidden Dangers of Lash Growth Serums

7 Safe Eyelash Growth Serums that Work!

Common and Rare Side Effects for Bimatoprost Ophthalmic (Eye)

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