Beauty Breakdown with A: Let’s talk eyelash serums
Many years ago, when a renowned eyelash growth serum was first launched in Singapore, my eyelash fanatic colleague (who is a regular for eyelash extensions, or would use falsies with mascara) was very excited. She wanted to try it after seeing testimonials of how it had proven to help grow lashes.
Few months later, she came to me and said that fortunately she had not used that product yet. AND she was not going to! Her colleague and her customers who had used them started to have dark eye circles alongside their longer, denser lashes.
Well, what’s happening? What is in this prescription lash serum that gives such a side effect? The answer: Bimatoprost, the prostaglandin (or hormone) which is in the product was the cause!
Side effects of Bimatoprost, the prostaglandin (or hormone)
Bimatoprost is an FDA approved drug that is actually used to treat glaucoma. Since it was used in the lash serum, that serum was therefore considered an FDA approved lash serum.
Although this prostaglandin has proven to be effective in growing the lashes but at the same time, comes with side effects like:
- Darkening of the skin around the eyes
- Eyelid inflammation
- Burning, stinging, and eye pain
- Darkening of the iris
- Blurred vision
- Drooping eyelids
While we yearn for longer, fuller lashes, we definitely want to shun the side effects! We do not want to add more problems to one we're trying to solve like bald spots in eyelashes.
With this understanding of prostaglandin, I have therefore always been cautious when suppliers present me with their eyelash serums. I would research and fully ensure that they are safe, before even trying it to test the efficacy.
Synthetic prostaglandins (hormones) you must be aware of
Is bimatoprost the only prostaglandin (hormones) you need to be wary of?
No! There are actually many lash serums formulated with synthetic prostaglandins, selling over-the-counter which consumers can pick up without prescription. These lash serums use synthetic prostaglandins in their formulation so that they come under the purview of cosmetic products instead of a drug which needs prescription. Therefore, many consumers are not aware that they have hormones in their lash serum.
These synthetic versions have the same potential side effects just like prostaglandins, although they also provide speedy lash growth.
To recognize synthetic prostaglandins, look for these ingredients on product labels:
- Isopropyl cloprostenate
- Isopropanol Phenyl-hydroxyl-pentene Dihydroxy-cyclopentyl-heptenate
- Dechloro Dihydroxy Difluoro Ethylcloprostenolamide
- Trifluoromethyl Dechloro Ethylprostenolamide
Potential long-term side effects of prostaglandins
According to Optometrist Dr. Jennifer Lyerly, the inflammation caused by prostaglandin analogs can have lasting negative effects on vision quality and overall eye comfort.
“Every time we blink, the meibomian glands secrete their oil. If that oil is too thick, it's difficult for the eyelids to spread it evenly over the surface of the eye --more like toothpaste than olive oil. It may even get so thick that the oil blocks and backs up in the gland. This will slowly but surely damage the gland permanently. If the meibomian glands atrophy or die off, the body is not able to repair the tissue and the gland becomes permanently nonfunctional. The result is irreversible and often severe dry eye.”- Dr. Jennifer Lyerly
Eyelash Serum without prostaglandins (hormones)
Nonetheless, all is not loss. We can always find safe formulas in the market produced by well-informed and responsible manufacturer,
Last year, at an international beauty exhibition, I came across Cangro, from Australia.
The brand caught my attention because Australia has always been known to be the advocates of “natural ingredients”, “organic ingredients” and “herbal and aromatherapy”. So, the general notion about their products is “natural and safe”.
And it was indeed so! Felicia and Belinda, founders of Cangro explained to me why they formulated their own eyelash serum, after having episodes of dealing with side effects of other eyelash serums they had used. They showed me testimonials that prove their serum works, even for post-chemotherapy patients. I was impressed!
Unlike many lash serum maker who are eager to boost how fast their formula can grow the lashes, Felicia told me to have patience with Cangro's lash serum because void of growth hormones ingredients, it takes a bit more time to work naturally from the root.
But, safe for the eyes. Even sensitive eyes.
Understanding the entire background of Cangro together with the proven results, I decided that LONG LASHES is THE eyelash serum that I wanted to bring to our market. It is a vegan formula containing peptides, vitamins and antioxidants that promotes lash growth and retention. Most importantly, it is free from hormones (no prostaglandins) and any kinds of nasties (or toxic ingredients) that you want to avoid in your eyelash serum!
Other nasties you want to avoid in eyelash serums
The nasties or toxic ingredients you want to avoid should include:
PEGS: These ingredients are synthetically created with Ethylene Oxide, a known carcinogen. They can also be contaminated with 1,4-Dioxane, another documented carcinogen.
Sodium benzoate + ascorbic acid: Combined, these ingredients can form a carcinogen called benzene.
Potassium Sorbate: classified as a human skin toxicant or allergen by the Cosmetic Ingredient Review Assessments.
Triethanolamine: According to The Derm Review, this ingredient should never be used long term, as it has been proven to have detrimental effects on the skin, the immune system, and has been classified as a respiratory toxicant. These risks are magnified for the sensitive skin around the eyes.
Boric Acid: There’s strong evidence linking boric acid to endocrine disruption.
Sodium Borate: Classified as ‘expected to be toxic or harmful’, sodium borate is restricted for use in cosmetics in Canada and other countries.
Eyelash serum is definitely a good eye makeup to include in your daily routine as healthy eyelashes not only beautify your eyes, they also protect your eyes from excessive dust, sunlight and sweat.
Furthermore, with constant care for the eyelashes, you can be sure you'd age gracefully with full lashes as discussed here. With this being said, there are certainly other good solutions as well that can help maintain and grow lush lashes too!
Hope this article helps you in making more informed choice when buying the best eyelash serum that helps you grow healthier, longer eyelashes.