If you’re wondering how you can take better care of your natural eyelashes, then you’ve come to the right place. Most women want long, thick, noticeable, natural lashes. Who wouldn’t? And you want to keep your natural lashes as healthy as you can. How can you do that?
There’s a lot of information out there on eyelash health, but some of it can be conflicting (take these eyelash growth myths for example). And some women don’t always make the best decisions when it comes to the health of their lashes. Some products can even be quite damaging to these tiny hairs. There are, however, plenty of things you can do to keep your eyelashes as healthy as possible.
If you aren’t happy with your natural eyelashes, there are many ways you can enhance them. However, many of these methods are best avoided for various reasons, which we will get to later. But first…
Why Do You Have Eyelashes?
Before getting into the nitty-gritty of caring for your natural lashes, let’s discuss why these little hairs on your eyes are so important! Over the course of human evolution, a lot of facial hair was lost, but eyebrows and eyelashes remained. The main function of your lashes is to help protect your eyes, mostly from sweat and moisture, but they have other purposes.1
Your natural eyelashes help to stop debris, harmful particles, or anything else (like a flying insect) from getting into your eyes and causing irritation or injury. When you feel the sensation of something touching your lashes, what happens? You close your eyelids in defense. It’s a natural reaction designed to protect your eyes.2
Some scientists believe your lashes may also help to block your eyes from sunlight and harmful UV rays. However, it is noted that lashes only provide minimal protection, as compared to eyelids and ability to squint.3
Basic Eyelash Care
The most important thing you can do to care for your natural eyelashes is to cleanse your face daily, making sure to clean your eyes. You should use a safe product that won’t cause stinging or irritation. You can find special cleansers and makeup removers that are made solely for eye care. Baby shampoo is a gentle alternative to face/eye cleaners to remove makeup and wash the eye area. You can also find conditioning serums made just for your lashes.4
Another biggie is to never tug at your lashes when applying makeup or cleansing. You can easily weaken or pull out lashes by tugging too hard. You should also avoid rubbing your eyes too much. If you find that your eyes are often itchy, then maybe it’s time to see your doctor about possible allergies.
Remove Eye Makeup Correctly
Eye makeup looks amazing on your eyes but after a while, it’s worn out its stay – and should absolutely never be slept in. When you leave eye makeup on overnight it can cause your lashes to dry up and become brittle. And, as you know from the hair on your head, brittle hair leads to breakage.
Washing your face is a great start but eye makeup needs a little bit of extra care. That’s because eye makeup is usually water-resistant, as well as the fact that it hides out in harder-to-reach crevices. You’re going to need to CAREFULLY get into those little nooks and crannies. Take a cotton ball and an eye-makeup-removing product and very gently rub over the eyelash area. You can also use a q-tip to help remove any traces along the lashline. The next best thing to an actual eye makeup remover is coconut oil. The “oiliness” of coconut oil seems to whip off eye makeup in an instant. Without the need for any excess pressure or pulling.
Take Care With the Curler!
Eyelash curlers can be a great tool for boosting your own natural assets. But you also need to take care if you’re going to regularly use one. For example, you should always disinfect your eyelash curler before every use. This can be as simple as spraying it down, or using an antibacterial wipe. Old makeup residue can become a breeding ground for nasty bacteria and the last thing you want to do is let that bacteria anywhere near your eyes!
Though curlers are a gentle way to boost your natural eyelashes, they’re only gentle if you remember to actually use them “gently.” Try not to squeeze your curler too hard, and aim to only “curl” for 5 seconds to prevent eyelash damage.
Pay Attention to Ingredients
Another way to take care of your natural eyelashes is to pay attention to the ingredients in your mascaras (or any product that comes in contact with your eye area). Try to avoid products that contain ethyl alcohol, which can be drying and damaging. Other ingredients to watch out for are parabens and phthalates.5
If you notice dry or flaking skin on your eyelids, you might be having a reaction to a product you are using. So, pay attention to the skin around the eyes, as well.6
Eyelash Extensions and Other Bling: Are They Safe?
Eyelash extensions are gaining huge popularity in today’s society of constant selfies and famous stars with eyelashes that go on for days. Everyone, it seems, wants long, luscious lashes. However, you should be extremely careful with these, especially if you are applying them at home. Disaster could be lurking just around the corner.
Traditional eyelash extensions are applied using a special lash glue designed to hold the falsies in place. Ideally, you want to let a professional aesthetician apply them. You do not want to get this glue in your eyes. It can cause severe allergic reactions in some women. If you react badly to the glue, you’ll need to have your false eyelashes removed immediately… And this will likely rip out some of your natural lashes, too. If you have allergies or eye sensitivity, you should avoid glued on lash extensions completely.7
When it comes to lengthening serums (found in drug stores or available by prescription) and lash enhancing eye makeup, be very careful about the products you choose. Review the ingredients. You should always do a skin patch test beforehand.
Note that prescription lash-lengthening serums can come along with many unwanted, uncomfortable, and even dangerous side effects.
Many women dye their eyelashes, as well – but it’s a risky process, and salon techs in some states aren’t even allowed to do it! 8 Studies have shown that these dyes can cause allergic reactions in some. So, you should take extra care if you are wanting to dye your natural eyelashes.9
Let Your Lashes Thrive
So, remember to take great care of your eyelashes, use products that are safe for eye use, pay attention to any reactions, and look into magnetic lashes for a safer and easier way to wear lash extensions. Turn your eyelash beauty regimen into a snap – literally!