Some of the best lash growth serums of 2022 no longer require a prescription, meaning that shopping for a suitable formula often won’t require a trip to the dermatologist. In an effort to understand the formulas in a sea of modern options, we tapped experts to weigh in on their picks for products they actually use, and the ingredients that make a difference. “Eyelash serums work when used properly,” says board-certified dermatologist Purvisha Patel, founder of Visha Skincare, who recommends a consistent routine of daily application, adding that “it takes at least a month to see results.” Essentially, this isn’t an instant gratification situation (unless you’re working with a serum primer like Pacifica’s under-$15 formula below).
For those who want a supernatural, super clean option, a dose of straight-up castor oil can make an impact. “I’ve been using castor oil on dry eye patients for years to help soothe their painful symptoms,” says board-certified ophthalmologist and founder of Twenty/Twenty Beauty Dr. Diane Hilal-Campo, MD. “After seeing many of them develop thicker, longer lashes over time from this treatment, I decided to make it the star ingredient in my serum.” She points out that it’s important to first protect your lash foundation. “If the root of your lashes or brows is dead, there is no product that can bring them back,” she warns. ”Certain beauty practices can kill them, so for healthier hair, I recommend avoiding treatments like lash lifts and extensions.” Instead, consider fortifying the building blocks of healthy hair with supplements that fill in the nutrition blanks you may be missing. “Nutrafol is a supplement taken to grow scalp hair, and can help with lash growth as well,” says Dr. Patel. Part of the reason serums can be helpful, though, will sound familiar: hydration. “If you’re prone to dry, brittle lashes, that hydration can help stave off breakage for healthier growth,” says Dr. Hilal-Campo.
According to board-certified dermatologist Blair Murphy-Rose MD, FAAD, key ingredients in some lash serums, prostaglandins, or PGAs, are still mysterious. “Latisse contains a prescription-strength prostaglandin called bimatoprost that is known to stimulate growth though the exact mechanism is not well understood,” says Dr. Murphy-Rose. “Over-the-counter prostaglandin-based serums contain a weaker prostaglandin—the benefit to using a weaker prostaglandin-based serum is that the risk of side effects is also lower.” Hilal-Campo recommends avoiding PGAs entirely, which have been in the collective conversation this year (not to mention TikTok feeds) for their side effects—they often have powerful results—but with a risk. She notes that there’s a 20% chance that users of serums with PGAs will experience side effects. “It's easy to identify PGAs in an ingredient list — look for ingredients with “prost” in them, like isopropyl cloprostenate,” she explains. “Keep in mind that because these ingredients aren't regulated by the FDA like prescription-strength bimatoprost is, they may be stronger, and the risks of side effects could be even greater.” When side effects include fat atrophy and discoloration of the skin and iris color, it makes sense why clean formulas like the new brow and lash-enhancing Kosas GrowPotion serum and Dr. Lara Devgan’s Platinum Long lash serum are on the rise.
Below, 14 serums that experts (and users) recommend to help boost your lash growth potential.