You wouldn’t think twice about keeping your hair in good condition, so why wouldn’t you treat your eyelashes the same? I’ve been exploring the reasons why eyelash conditioning is important, why we should do it regularly and how to condition eyelashes in the most safe and effective way.
Why Do Eyelashes Need Conditioning?
You know the drill, its time to get ready for a big night out, you wash and condition your hair, face and body is exfoliated, the hairdryer comes out, the music goes on and you start to put the make up on and style that hair to perfection!
You pick out your best mascara and go to town on your eyelashes to make them look longer and darker instantly and get ready to dance the night away while feeling confident and looking great. You can bet the one thing that you haven’t given a second thought to is your eyelashes and all that product you have just caked on them, but they look amazing so you think you can worry about it tomorrow.
It has always been said never to sleep in your make-up as it is bad for your skin, it is even more important not to sleep wearing mascara as the effects can only be negative too. Eyelashes are the one thing protecting your eyes so isn’t it about time you did something to protect them? Keeping your lashes in top condition will reward you, you just need to give it a try, incorporate eyelash conditioning into your beauty routine and soon enough you will never look back at neglecting those lashes again!
Eyelashes have a similar make up to that of body and head hair, in that they are made up of mostly proteins and experience a growth cycle where new hairs are produced every month, only with a shorter growth cycle that means your eyelashes will never grow as long as the hair on your head. As much as we all want longer lashes, this is definitely a good thing or eyelashes could get really out of hand!
As the eyelash growth cycle is relatively short, it means they fall out and it takes longer for the hairs to grow back than we would ideally like. So, conditioning your eyelashes is a sure-fire way to keep them strong and stable within the follicle to stop loss of lashes from occurring as much.
There is a whole world of things that take a tole on your eyelashes without you even noticing, until one day you see that maybe the lift and the shine has gone from them. The weather is a huge factor! Just like our skin, the sun’s UV rays have a damaging effect on all types of hair. You might want that sun-kissed look from your week on the beach, but no one wants the damage and dryness that comes from it. And let’s be honest, sun-bleached eyelashes don’t sound great either. Wind and rain also play their part in having small particles make their way onto your eyelashes and staying there through out the day or the wind putting your lovely lashes under more stress than they are used to.
Just like when we straighten or curl our hair the heat from our ambitious styling can cause hair to become brittle and break off, the same effect can be had from eyelash curlers, especially with daily use or even improper use with the aim of getting those eyelashes to arch right up to our eyelids.
Makeup removers or eye make-up cleansers may appear to be soft and caring toward your eyelashes, but by using these products every day you are stripping the eyelashes of their natural oils and they can lose their shine over time.
When you think about all these elements in combination every single day, our eyelashes actually go through more stress than any other feature on our face. For a tiny single lash to hold on to its rightful place above those hazel greens, baby blues or honey browns, they sure put up with more than we give them credit for! So, wouldn’t you say now is time to reach for that eyelash conditioner already?
How Often Should We Condition Our Eyelashes?
When you consider what they go through every single day and their sheer size, it would make perfect sense to keep them conditioned all day every day too! Especially when you are making them up with mascara, or taking the make up off, conditioning your eyelashes can easily become part of any routine you already have and barely eats in to your time.
Due to the pattern and length of the eyelash growth cycle, it is worth keeping the eyelashes conditioned as often as possible because they are constantly growing! This doesn’t mean eyelashes are in the growth phase (Anagen phase) at the same time, if they were, we would probably not have enough room to fit all 150-200 lashes on our eyelids at the same time. They also don’t fall out at the same time (Telogen phase) or we would all be walking around waiting months on end to find a need to buy mascara!
All of our eyelashes are at a different point in the growth cycle, so they are either just forming in the follicle, have reached their natural end growth point, or are resting and ready to fall out making way for the next new lash to grow in. So, you can understand why keeping them conditioned regularly is important as conditioners and serums will contain ingredients that have a different effect depending on where the lash is in the cycle. Put it all together and you will have lusciously long and healthy eyelashes all year round without having to do too much work in the first place! A good eyelash conditioner will do the hard work and keep your lashes strong so all you have to worry about is keeping up with the routine.
What Can We Do to Condition Our Eyelashes?
Eyelash conditioners come in all forms, some natural, some formulated with ingredients that promote lash growth as well as healthy condition and even some sworn by old wives’ tales. But the main thing is to actually get into the swing of keeping your eyelashes conditioned and find what exactly works for you.
The main proteins in eyelashes such as keratin is what builds the shape and strength of the lash and inside the hair follicle, so finding a conditioner that contains this can only add to the existing benefits. Keratin is what gives our hair the strength and elasticity to bend without breaking so it should be a major factor when looking for ways to condition the lashes as the ingredient is just what they need. Healthy eyelashes are strong eyelashes and less breakage means they have the maximum opportunity to grow to their maximum size.
Other natural ingredients, plant and root extracts that are known to have growth encouraging qualities are always best in an eyelash conditioner as they are kinder to your lashes and the skin surrounding them. Some serums contain ingredients that are designed to promote growth so may not have the fully conditioning qualities you are after if you are happy with your eyelashes but just want to protect them against the elements as well as every day mascara applications. So it is important to have a look for these differences to make sure you know what is going on to your eyes and whether it is for growth, conditioning or both.
I’ve tried Xlash Eyelash Serum which contains natural ingredients to promote growth and keep eyelashes in top form, so all I had to think about was keeping up with my applications to maintain the healthy and strong lashes I had achieved!
There are natural options that have been used as a remedy for eyelashes that need that extra shine and condition such as castor oil and coconut oil. As it says in the name, the oils help to keep the lashes soft, just as you would apply various hair serums that can make even the most brittle and dry hair feel soft, the same would apply to your eyelashes. Keeping them hydrated is the absolute key to keeping them healthy and soft, and by using these oils, it allows moisture to soak in without escaping through daily activities.
Eyelash conditioners are always best applied at night before going to bed. Removing make up using a remover that is delicate on the eyes and skin means that conditioners can soak directly into the eyelash and the follicle and be left to work its magic all while you are asleep and not exposed to weather or make-up. Imagine like putting a hair mask in, you wouldn’t do this then go out for the day, your eyelashes need the time to recuperate just like your skin or body does. So unlike putting a face mask or hair mask on where you have to set aside time and be sure not to have any unannounced house calls, in fear of someone seeing you in your slimy green face moisturising mask, an eyelash conditioner will be invisible. Sleep, relax, put your feet up and worry not if someone knocks on your door unexpectedly, you will have nothing to hide except for beautifully conditioned lashes! But trust me, you won’t want to keep them hidden forever once you’ve brought them back to full health.
How Effective are Different Methods of Conditioning Eyelashes?
No one really knows the exact science behind this as all people are different so some eyelashes can be thicker, some thinner, lighter, darker, longer. There are huge lists of possibilities. So finding the right method for you is what is most important. Natural remedies have mostly been around for years and used at home by people that swear by them. For example, extra virgin olive oil is known for its healthy qualities and some people use a small amount on some cotton wool on their lashes to keep them healthy, perhaps after eyelash extension removal or even an illness.
The problem with this is mostly convenience, applications can be a nightmare if not careful and no one wants an eye full of olive oil, no matter how much they want healthy eyelashes. It also limits the ingredients, where some formulated conditioners will contain something like rhodiola rosea root extract or helianthus annuss seed (sunflower) oils which promote follicle stimulation and provide natural fatty acids to keep the lashes hydrated and essentially well fed! By using home made remedies, the effects of piling on various oils may cancel each other out, not to mention start weighing your eyelashes down.
A well-made conditioner balances the ingredients and should always promote life of your eyelashes, not feel like they are covered in oils. Eyelashes are very small so the extra weight can have a negative impact even though you are trying to make them look healthier.
A healthy diet is not exactly a conditioner but foods high in proteins are just what eyelashes need to look and feel healthy. People notice a certain shine and glow to their hair and skin by changing their diet, and eyelashes are no different. While probably the most effective way to healthier eyelashes, the change is not instant, so although I would never discourage this as the healthiest way to strong lashes, a conditioner should also be used to give them that boost they need to be the best eyelashes they can be!
What are the Added Benefits of Eyelash Conditioners?
I’ve mentioned before that eyelash conditioners and eyelash serums are not necessarily the same thing, but you should always check with the product you choose to make sure it is designed to give you the best result.
Think about when you wash your hair, you apply conditioner and let it soak in for a short time before rinsing off. Conditioner would be pointless if you just applied it then washed it straight off, it wouldn’t leave your hair feeling soft and shiny, so eyelash conditioners are the same. So, the main added benefit is that you don’t have to spend time washing off eyelash conditioners so once its on, its on and it gets to work straight away.
Most mascaras have conditioning elements these days to try to encourage your eyelashes to retain their strength and shine, but do they promote growth as well? It is quite unlikely due to their make up. This is where eyelash conditioners are even more beneficial as a lot of modern formulated conditioners or serums are designed to stimulate the follicles and encourage your eyelashes to grow longer as well as stronger. Some ingredients have colour enhancing properties so you can notice your lashes getting darker the more you use the conditioner. This joined together with added length is a bonus to everyone using an eyelash conditioner.
On the other hand, if you are using an eyelash growth serum, you never have to compromise on your eyelashes health whilst trying to achieve longer lashes as they are designed to prolong the growth cycle without the use of harsh chemicals to make them feel rough or look dull along the way. Two birds, one stone! Why can’t you have the best of both worlds!
How Safe are Eyelash Conditioners?
A really good eyelash conditioner will be able to tell you whether it is hypoallergenic, if it has been tried and tested and what the results were. This should all be a given when trying a new eyelash conditioner for the first time. Although ingredients are formulated so most people are able to use them, some can have effects and it is important before you jump straight in to test them out before caking your eyelashes in them. But with the use of so many natural ingredients these days, the effects usually come from getting serums or conditioners in your eyes, which if you have ever got hair conditioner in your eyes, you will know this is one thing to be avoided!
Generally speaking, with your eyelashes in mind and with your eyes in such close proximity, eyelash conditioners are tried and tested to make sure they don’t have negative effects, only positive, and they are all about quality not quantity so caking a conditioner all over your eyelashes is not what will help them remain healthy, but working with the root of your lashes and applying a little conditioner to the areas that need it most will have the most impressive effect and keep your eyes safe in the application process. Remember a little goes a long way!
Can Eyelash Conditioners be used with Eyelash Extensions?
Yes! In fact using an eyelash conditioner with extensions can help the root stay strong to keep the eyelashes under your extensions stay put for longer. Your natural eyelashes are the support your extensions need to stay on and they will grow out with your lashes to make them even longer if you take good care of them. Most eyelash technicians recommend using a conditioner to maintain the health underneath them. By comparison to your hair again, if you had semi-permanent hair extensions, you would need to keep your scalp and your natural hair in good condition as it is the structure that holds the extra weight of the extensions and the foundation for your hair to grow naturally with the extensions. Eyelashes may be small, but they aren’t used to the added weight of an extension, so they need the extra boost to keep them as strong as possible.
Some people have eyelash extensions in sessions repeating throughout the year, so it can be equally as important to give your eyelashes a little break from time to time. Allow them to recuperate and keep them nourished and hydrated, and this will reward you no end by your next appointment.
So, to Condition or Not to Condition?
I think this is an easy one, ALWAYS keep your eyelashes conditioned. Never neglect them as they do so much for your eyes by protecting them from the little things and enhancing them to make you feel like you can achieve the big things. We have discovered the means to keep them healthy and strong, all while promoting growth and thickness and even prolonging the growth cycle so surely we should be taking advantage of this now while the options are readily available.
We are all born with different styles of eyelashes but are now presented with ways to keep them feeling great as well as looking great, and even exploring the realms of enhancements such as lash lifts and extensions if we are not entirely happy with what we have. Using heat styling tools on our hair doesn’t even bare thinking about without protecting it first and nourishing it afterward, so go on, give your eyelashes the attention they deserve and keep them protected from any treatments you have planned for them. What do you have to lose? Certainly not your eyelashes! So go grab that conditioner and never look back. Healthy eyelashes are here to stay.