There are plenty of ways to make one’s eyelashes look better. From rubbing castor oil into them, to curlers, all the way to expensive cosmetic treatments or indeed conditioners. Although it may be pretty surprising, the most intense discussions are about that last option. And to think it might seem there’s no cosmetic more run-of-the-mill and innocent than an eyelash conditioner.
Eyelashes – what are they for and how to take care of them?
For most women, eyelashes are above all an important element of facial aesthetics. They should look in a way that allows them to make it look more attractive and give it a contrasting and expressive look.
Women are very often unsatisfied with the natural characteristics of their eyelashes, which is why they use cosmetics to improve their appearance.
Mascara helps make eyelashes thicker, curlier and more defined.
Being focused on having thick and Long eyelashes very often causes us to forget about what important functions these short, delicate hairs serve. Eyelashes protect eyes and eyelids.
They block away pollution, dirt, dust, they protect eyes from wind and sun, they prevent water or sweat from getting inside them. Thanks to eyelashes, eyes aren’t quite as much at the risk of drying and irritation. The goal of proper eyelash care is therefore not only to beautify them, but also keep them in a good condition so that they can serve their protective functions without any problems.
If we notice our eyelashes falling out in excess (the standard is 1-2 lost hairs a day) or becoming weaker, we should consider whether we aren’t using colored cosmetics that put too much strain on them, whether we’re using the right makeup removers and whether we’re using them properly. Eyelashes get damaged by excessive wiping when cleaning them, but also by rubbing eyes throughout the day, or using a curler too often and incorrectly. The condition of hairs and the state of eyelid skin is also influenced by such factors as: cold, intense sun, infections around eyes, atopic changes around eyelids, treatments using certain drugs, hormonal changes, illnesses.
Eyelashes might grow weak and brittle if the hair follicles aren’t adequately nourished due to poor diet. Therefore, proper eyelash care consists of proper makeup removal around eyes and eyelashes as well as using beautifying cosmetics and treatments in a balanced manner and amount. Under no circumstances should we go to sleep without first removing mascara or eyelid makeup.
That’s because mascara clogs eye follicle openings, which makes the hairs weak, causing them to break and fall out, with inflammations potentially developing around follicles.
Eyelash conditioners – what is that and how do they work?
Eyelash conditioners influence the condition of hairs in different ways. The substances contained in them moisturize eyelashes, provide them with vitamins, protect them, make them shine.
That way they contribute to their strengthening and straightening.
That’s not all, though. Plenty of conditioners cause the hairs to become darker, longer and thicker as a result of regular use. These enjoy the hugest popularity among users, as they stimulate eyelashes to grow and influence the functions of hair follicles.
To many women, improving the way eyelashes look by using conditioners makes an alternative to mascaras, extensions or stick-on fake eyelashes. Conditioners should be used regularly in order to achieve optimal results.
Modeling and strengthening conditioners are to be applied on eyelashes before using mascara.
That way we make it easier for ourselves to spread the mascara around and reduce the strain on eyelashes. Eyelash conditioners of the second kind (growth-stimulating) are usually used before sleep, most usually over a period of a few weeks, and then we repeat the application about 2 times a week to make the effects last and to strengthen the eyelashes.
Serum vs conditioner – is there a difference?
Eyelash conditioners that shape the hair appearance and model the eyelashes are similar to mascaras in how they look and are used. They are small-sized, tall bottles, with a brush kept inside that allows for an easy and precise application of the cosmetic from the hair bases all the way to the ends. The conditioner itself usually has a pretty thick texture.
Eyelash serums and conditioners that are meant to influence the eyelash growth, length and thickness, on the other hand, are to be applied at the hair bases using an applicator that has a form of a thin brush that allows for high precision.
A serum needs to reach hair follicles and ensure comprehensive eyelash strengthening, which is why it is applied to eyelid skin, right at the base of eyelashes. The term “serum” belongs to cosmetics with higher concentration of ingredients that are more nourishing and strengthening, and at the same time with a lighter texture.
Which makes it adequate for conditioners that stimulate hair follicles and are applied with a brush. It doesn’t have much to do with classic conditioners though, especially when it comes to effectiveness and action. It has become widely accepted, though, to refer to both types of cosmetics with the same name – conditioner.
The serum name, however, is reserved for more innovative products with more intense action that ensure thick and Long eyelashes.
The best eyelash conditioner
Women with naturally thick and fairly dark eyelashes will most likely be satisfied with a regular, classic eyelash conditioner with a brush. Those with short, thin and brittle eyelashes, on the other hand, will be seeking more innovative solutions and will be more likely to choose eyelash serums.
That’s what conditioners that influence hair follicles are considered to be.
Plenty of consumers use them successfully and don’t complain about side effects while seeing the expected effects in form of thicker and Longer eyelashes. Sadly, there are no conditioners that would guarantee results for more than a few months. There might be irritating cosmetics among them, however.
Eyelash conditioners contain plenty of different substances that are meant to provide the expected results. As they are applied around the eye and on the delicate eyelid skin, there might be concerns about using them.
This especially relates to conditioners applied on the eyelid, with growth-stimulating and eyelash-extending action.
Regardless of the type, eyelash conditioners might contain allergenic and irritating substances. Purchasing them should be especially carefully thought through by those with sensitive eyes, prone to skin allergies, often suffering from eye and eyelid irritations, with recurring infections or wearing soft contact lenses. That’s why, when looking for the best conditioner, we should also pay attention to their safety of use.
Is the effect of conditioners on eyelashes long-lasting?
Eyelashes surround the upper and lower eyelid, in a number of 150-200 and 50-150 hairs, respectively. The lower eyelid hairs are not only less numerous but also shorter. Their length reaches 8 mm at maximum, whereas the upper lid eyelashes grow up to 12 mm.
Eyelashes, just like all the other hair on the human body, eventually fall out, making room for others to grow. However, first the anagen phase starts. This is the stage where hair grows intensively, and the cell divisions at the hair base create their stems.
When it comes to eyelashes, this phase lasts 2-3 weeks. After that time, the catagen phase starts, also called the transitional phase, when hair follicles shrink and hair stops growing. It takes another 2-3 weeks, until the telogen stage begins, or the hair dormancy, which lasts about 2 months.
It is a phase where blood vessels around the hair bulb and follicle die, which results in hair falling out, and with new hair follicles being created in the place of the old ones – the anagen phase begins again. Which means that no matter which eyelash conditioner we use, the effects of eyelash care using it will be short-lived. Even a conditioner that contains bimatoprost, which prolongs the first phase of hair growth, is no different in this regard from the others.
In many cases, a more lasting impact on the appearance of eyelashes is left by the diet and adequate hair and skin care.
Are eyelash conditioners harmful?
The composition of eyelash conditioners often includes a lot of natural as well as synthetic substances. Usually, there’s more of the latter. On one hand, they contain plant extracts, vitamins and active compounds that have a conditioning impact on eyelashes, improve their appearance, give stronger eyelashes or have a soothing and anti-inflammatory action.
On the other hand, eyelash serums and conditioners contain preserving, microbe preventing, stabilizing, thickening and other substances in their composition that enhance different qualities of the product, such as their aroma.
One of the typical substances used to manufacture conditioners is glycerin. Their compositions also include allantoin or the soothing panthenol.
Eyelash conditioners also contain biotin, vitamins B, keratin, cellulose, hyaluronic acid, citric acid, plant glycols, polypeptides, alcohols, parabens, aromas, dyes. One of the most controversial substances contained in conditioners in recent years is bimatoprost. This compound is a derivative of prostaglandin, which until a certain point was only available in medicines, but since relatively recently it has also been available in eyelashes strengthening and care cosmetics.
Bimatoprost is a drug used in treatment of glaucoma, preventing its further development and lowering the intraocular pressure in the eye. One of the side effects of its action is stimulating the eyelash growth, which the cosmetic industry decided to monetize. Bimtoprost conditioners are usually more expensive than regular Eyelash care conditioners and they indeed give different results, such as thicker, stronger, fuller and Longer eyelashes.
Unfortunately, bimatoprost also causes an array of other side effects, of which particularly noteworthy are: irritation and intensified dryness of the eyeball, redness, cornea inflammation and conjunctiva inflammation, eyelid edge inflammation, deteriorated visual acuity, light sensitivity or changes to the iris pigmentation.
Opinions on eyelash conditioners
The discussion on eyelash serums and conditioners relates to the two key issues – the potential effects and safety of use. The message boards dedicated to conditioners are filled with extreme opinions. Some people say that it was bimatoprost containing conditioners that helped them get rid of their insecurities related to short eyelashes.
Others say that all it took for them to improve the appearance and strength of their eyelashes was traditional low-priced conditioners that contain natural oils (castor, argan), panthenol, biotin and vitamins. One can also run into negative opinions by users who have stopped using bimatoprost containing conditioners, as they started experiencing irritations. The Internet users point to the fact, however, that even castor oil can cause irritations.