Have you started to notice your eyelashes aren’t looking as full and as long as they used to? It never happens overnight but it can just hit you when you finally realise just how much they have changed over the years. There can be many reason why eyelashes aren’t growing back as fast or as thick as you would like and a lot of them are things that we can control so we should start paying attention to our eyelashes as they can be telling us that we need to improve a few lifestyle choices.
The good news is there are solutions to the lack of growth in the eyelash department, so we needn’t worry just yet! Just take a few careful steps to get them back into shape and you will start seeing that fuller and longer set of eyelashes in no time!
Understanding How Eyelashes Grow
If you have been unlucky in the eyelash area, it is important to first understand how they grow so you can learn how to help them grow back faster. The eyelash growth cycle lasts around 4 to 5 months and has three stages. Our eyelashes have a main function to act as a barrier to stop dirt and particles from getting into our eyes, so the growth cycle will always be in motion to ensure there are always around 150 eyelashes on our upper lid at any one time. Unlike the growth cycle of the hair on our head, the eyelash growth cycle is already ‘programmed’ to end when our lashes reach a length of approximately 10mm.
There are three stages to the eyelash growth cycle: Anagen phase is the growth stage, which is where the eyelashes begin to grow to their full length, and it lasts anywhere between 30 and 45 days. The catagen phase is also known as the transition phase which is where the eyelash stops growing and the follicle beneath the skin starts to shrink. Eyelashes that fall out during this stage of the growth cycle don’t grow back straight away as they need to complete the full cycle. This stage usually lasts between two and three weeks. The telogen phase is the resting stage which can last anywhere up to 100 days and this is where the eyelash is doing just as it says – resting. This is where the eyelashes will individually start to fall out and the new cycle will begin as the follicle begins to grow beneath the skin, starting back again with the anagen phase.
Eyelash Extensions and the Growth Cycle
During the eyelash’s final resting phase they are preparing to fall out naturally and we can lose around 3-4 eyelashes a day just from this alone. So it holds little to no benefit to have eyelashes extensions applied to these lashes as it just puts more pressure on them to fall out. During the growth phase they can also be too weak to hold the extensions so the best eyelashes to adhere extensions to are the ones in the transitional phase which should see them lasting anywhere from 4-6 weeks with proper care.
Environmental Effects on Eyelashes
If you have noticed you may be losing more eyelashes that you used to or maybe that they are just lacking in the Wow factor, you could look toward the effects that the environment is having on your lashes. The sun alone has many negative qualities that have effect on our skin and hair – it has a positive impact too but it is good to make sure you aren’t taking those qualities for granted. The sun has always been able to lighten my hair a couple of shades during the summer which while it gives you that holiday feeling, can actually be drying out your hair and causing it to feel dehydrated and course. The same can happen to your eyelashes! The sun and any other heat source, such as your hairdryer (if you aren’t too careful with your aim!) or heated eyelash curlers can cause your eyelashes to dry out and make it easier for them to break or fall out.
Winter can also be a foe to our eyelashes, especially if it is a cold and dry day or even a really windy day. Smoggy cities, dirt and smoke can release particles that will stick to your eyelashes, which on the plus side, means that all that grime isn’t going into your eyes, but does mean you can carry these particles around on your lovely lashes all day long.
Diet and Lifestyle Effects on Eyelashes
It goes without saying that our bodies need to be hydrated day and night to survive. But did you know that water actually helps our skin and helps our hair grow healthily and can be the number one cause of irritation and dryness if we don’t get our recommended daily amount every day. As well as a refreshing beverage on a hot day, water is good for our eyelashes so if you can cut out those sugary drinks or that cup of coffee you weren’t even sure you needed, but wanted, you will start to see the benefits on your lashes in no times.
Diet is also important and again, salty or sugary foods are the one of the main reasons we can see our skin and hair looking less that lustrous. Growth of hair is inhibited by lack of nutrients in our diet which can be found in lean meats that contain the protein, keratin and some good fatty foods like olive oil, seafood, nuts and seed which contain unsaturated fats and not the bad fats that stick to the wrong places!
Once you have a chance to analyse your diet and lifestyle and see what cutbacks or changes you can make quite easily, you can make notes on your appearance such as skin condition, hair condition and eyelash loss. Make some subtle changes and note the changes within a couple of weeks, and the positive changes can be enough of a boost to help you keep these changes as part of your life.
Ageing Effects on Eyelashes
It’s the one thing none of us can escape and it will affect each of us individually, but the inevitable will eventually catch up to us. Eyelash growth tends to slow down during our 40s and 50s and we may start to notice the lack of lustre in the eyelash department sooner than we think. The good news is, we can do plenty to hold this off for as long as possible, by making little changes to our diet and lifestyle, drinking plenty of water and not rubbing our eyes.
You can also incorporate an eyelash growth serum into your daily routine even from a youthful age to help give your eyelashes that much needed boost before the follicles start to dry out and shrink for longer. Ageing effects also come from the sun as we talked about before, where eyelashes can look dried out and in need of a little pick me up. Moisturisers, SPF sun creams and gentle cleansers are definitely your friend when it comes to holding off the effects of ageing on eyelashes.
Makeup Effects on the Eyelashes
This one is a bit of a catch 22. How are we supposed to get longer and fuller looking eyelashes using mascara if using mascara is what stops our natural lashes looking longer and fuller in the long run? Well, we can’t have it all, but we can certainly do everything we can now to limit long term damage and still rock those long, full eyelashes every day.
Applying any kind of makeup to our faces, our eyelashes or body can have a negative effect as it essentially coats our skin and hair, trapping in dirt, keeping air from getting in and clogging pores and follicles. Less is definitely more when it comes to applying makeup so as long as we follow the rules we should be allowed to have skin that feels and looks great and eyelashes that sparkle as long as we aren’t leaving it on for too long and follow correct cleansing procedures.
Mascara is the one thing I can’t leave home without putting on, it frames eyes perfectly and adds a hint of sultry glamour to any look whether daytime or evening. But as it is designed to stay in place for hours on end it can cause damage that we can’t always see immediately.
Have you ever cleansed your eyes using a harsh eye makeup remover and noticed a few eyelashes on your cotton pad? That is usually because you have caked on the mascara and left it on for too long. At night, it is so important to remove mascara before going to sleep as it has damaging effects and can cause breakage while we sleep. Plus sleeping in yucky one day old mascara isn’t nice!
Waterproof mascara is perfect for that pool party or rainy day but one big mistake you can make is wearing it every day. It causes so much stress on the hairs and follicles that it can cause breakage more often than usual and that is exactly what we all want to avoid. Old mascara is also a big no! You should swap out your old mascara for nice new mascara every 3 months or so. After this, it can become dry and clumpy anyway so wearing it won’t give your eyelashes the separated and long appearance, plus it as it is old, your tube and brush is more likely to be home to small bacteria that can cause nasty infections if it gets in contact with the eye. As for sharing mascara… you should definitely cross that one off the list, no matter how tempting it may be when you have left your favourite at home and your bestie comes to the rescue. Eye makeup brushes are definitely something you should keep to yourself again to prevent the spread of unwanted irritation and infections.
Eyeshadows are really improving over the years and these days can be so high in pigment that you can achieve long lasting colour all day long, but again, getting this into the lash line or the waterline can cause irritation and redness so I cannot stress this enough, make sure your nightly cleansing routine is up to scratch and your eyes and eyelashes will repay you tenfold!
Ok, so you may have gathered by now that cleansing is a daily ritual that I fully believe in following! But just how can it harm our eyelashes?
If you don’t remove the makeup from your eyes and eyelashes properly, you can wake up with sore and dry eyes and tender eyelids, then if you just carry on applying make up over the top, you may be trapping grime and dirt under the layers that can start to cause problems. To avoid this completely you should try using a water-based cleanser to remove your eye makeup and a separate cleanser for the rest of your face. The skin around the eyes is the most sensitive so it should be handled differently, and a face wash you may think is soft on your cheeks could contain harsh ingredients that will cause immediate damage to your eye area.
When you want to remove your eye makeup, you should soak a clean cloth or cotton pad with a mix of water and eye makeup cleanser so that it is not dry. Dry cloths will just rub and drag your lashes so as long as you wipe firmly but smoothly in the direction away from your eyes you should be able to pick up most of the makeup and dirt and then repeat if necessary with another clean cotton wool pad or side of the cloth. Avoid rubbing and you will be sure to keep those eyelashes firmly in place and not get any shocking surprises by way of multiple eyelashes on the pad!
For those lazy nights, and lets face it we all have them, just make sure you take some handy eye makeup removal wipes with you for overnight stays or keep some next to your bed so you don’t forget to cleanse before going to sleep.
A good set of eyelash extensions should last you 4-6 weeks with proper care. Of course, a lot of the time, eyelash extensions are popular just before going on holiday so team that up with days of pool lounging, boat trips, sunbathing and makeup use, and they can easily start to lose their volume after a couple of weeks.
Think of the reasons to get eyelash extensions just before a holiday, the perks of not having to actually worry about mascara are surely great enough to get them, but it can be unsettling to some who just aren’t used to leaving home without a little application. But the truth is you shouldn’t really have to apply it if you are going for longer, darker and thicker lashes anyway so this should remove the need to use harsh cleaners on your lashes for the duration of your trip! If you have to use cleansers, make sure they are not oil based as this can slowly start to remove the adhesive and you will see you new lash extensions start to fall out quicker than you would like.
Extensions on your eyelashes can be absolutely stunning if looked after properly and you should be able to learn what works for your own set in no time so that you can keep them for as long as possible before your next appointment. But take into consideration how much strain they can put on your natural lashes and always think about a good time to take a break from them and stick to it. With normal hair extensions that have been worn for a long time, they add extra weight onto each hair and therefore put stress on the follicle meaning they may individually stop growing back the way they used to. Patches of limited growth can be visible over time and a similar effect can be seen on eyelashes after a few years of continuous extensions. So do your eyelashes a favour and give them a breather from time to time and ensure you keep your natural lashes happy for a long time!
Boosting Your Eyelashes – The Solutions
So you’ve extended your eyelashes, you’ve worn mascara daily for most of your adult life, you’ve enjoyed sunny holidays in the pool and the sea and you’ve probably not drank nearly as much water as you should have. Your eyelashes are crying out for a little bit of TLC and you need to know where to start.
Well, first of all go treat yourself to a nice re-usable water bottle that has hourly milestone markers on it to remind you whether you are on track with your water intake for the day. Then go and buy yourself some water-based cleansers for your eyes and set yourself a reminder each day to take your make up off before you go to bed each night. If you can’t do this, remember to pick up a handy packet of wipes that you can leave by your bed and start getting into the routine of cleansing your mascara off again. Check your diet and make sure you are getting the right amount of healthy fats and proteins in the mix and maybe change up that naughty snack for a handful of almonds that can help enrich your eyelashes and keep them strong.
Once you have got that all checked off your list you should definitely start looking into eyelash grown serums and conditioners. The best thing about these kinds of serums are they are preventative and reconstructive so you can incorporate them into your beauty routine at any time and not only feel, but see the benefits really quickly.
I have been so impressed with Xlash Eyelash Growth Serum as a solution to many of the problems above. It is presented in such a small and convenient little tube that if you want to give up on the mascara for a bit, it can easily take its place! The best way to use it is to complete your nightly cleansing routine and then apply it using the small brush applicator to the upper line of lashes and then simply go to sleep! It has natural ingredients and some of those healthy proteins I’ve mentioned that get deep into each follicle and encourage growth faster and longer.
If you have eyelash extensions then this eyelash grown serum is perfect too as it will encourage the natural lashes to grow back stronger and thicker so that when you do find your extensions are starting to fall out, you may not need to be so quick to book that next appointment!
Irritation in the eye can be banished with its antioxidant content which helps sooth and hydrate the skin directly above the eye. And I think we all need a little less irritation in our lives!
Giving your eyelashes a boost doesn’t ever need to be hard work, it just needs a little commitment and some routine to your day to make sure you keep up with your water intake, your cleansing routines and your eyelash growth serum applications. For eyelashes that finally make you feel confident enough to step out of the house without having countless coats of mascara on them, surely a little bit of change to your normal routine must be worth a try.
We all deserve to go on that extra sunny holiday or to go for long wintery walks in the snow without the worry that our eyelashes are going to fail us, and hopefully now you can see how just putting them first for a couple of weeks can give you an enviable set of lashes for years to come!