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If you’re refreshing your summer makeup but noticing that your lashes are feeling brittle or looking sparser than usual, you might want to consider adding a lash serum to your routine. Here to guide us through the ins and outs of lash serums are Dr. Kavita Mariwalla, a board-certified dermatologist in New York and Vanessa Coppola, a board-certified nurse practitioner at Bare Aesthetic Medical Spa in New Jersey.

First off, do lash serums work?

“The quick answer to this yes and no,” says Coppola. “The only lash growth serum that is clinically proven to work is known as Latisse, which is an FDA approved lash serum that has been shown to promote thickening, darkening and growth of eye lashes,” she explains.

Mariwalla agrees, adding that “it absolutely depends on the formulation. Serums that are by prescription (i.e., Latisse) definitely work to promote growth, while over the counter formulas mainly rely on what is in them,” she says. “Like the hair on your scalp, eyelashes are mainly made up of keratin. Most OTC lash serums contain biotin, which can strengthen keratin, and other ingredients like peptides, panthenol and hyaluronic acid, which work to moisturize and hydrate the lashes, so they give the appearance of being fuller and lusher.”

In other words, you can think of most over the counter lash serums as “lash enhancers,” as opposed to lash growth promoters. “They are unlikely to promote growth, but are effective in what I would call lash optimization, so you’re keeping your lashes well-moisturized and supple to help them appear more lustrous,” adds Coppola. So, while lash serums aren't going to instantly dupe false eyelashes, they're worth trying. Here are 20 of the best lash growth serums on the market right now.

1. RevitaLash ADVANCED Eyelash Conditioner

Pro Pick

Meet Meghan Markle’s go-to lash serum. Formulated with a blend of natural botanical ingredients, this serum is a true lash conditioner that works to prevent breakage and brittleness, while improving moisture and shine of each hair. Markle isn’t the only fan; Revitalash is the only ophthalmologist-approved lash serum on the market and has many rave reviews , with satisfied customers reporting that their eyelashes are “thicker, longer, look much healthier” with continued use.

Buy it ($98)

Vegamour

2. Vegamour Gro+ Advanced Lash Serum

Best Botanical Formula

Vegamour's best-selling vegan lash growth serum is an easy morning-and-night swipe of your upper and lower lashes, for a non-irritating flower-and-bark extract plus oils experience. Their new Gro+ adds to that formula full-spectrum CBD, which super-charges the phyto active botanicals into lusher lashes in as little as 30 days.

Buy It ($88)

Body Blendz

3. Body Blendz Lash & Brow Oil

Best for Lashes and Brows

Blue cypress and sunflower oils from a roller ball are the secret to this enhancer, which requires a simple swipe across your brows and lash line. Since moisture is a key component is hair retention, the formula includes panthenol, a natural B vitamin that keeps your hair from getting dried out.

Buy It ($25)

4. Pronexa Hairgenics Lavish Lash

Best Budget-Friendly Option

At 29 bucks a tube, this serum makes the smallest dent in your wallet. And with nearly 39,000 positive reviews on Amazon, it seems it holds its own in terms of performance as well. Made with peptides, biotin and botanical extracts to condition your lashes, the serum imparts a lustrous sheen to your lashes and brows, while improving the density and thickness of them over time. One skeptical reviewer used it for two months and raves that “it looks like she’s wearing fake eyelashes.” Another user had promising results using it on her eyebrows. “My brows have been overplucked for years [but] after a couple of weeks of using Lavish Lash, I noticed that hairs were starting to grow back.”

Buy it ($29)

5. neuLASH Lash Enhancing Serum

Best Splurge

The biggest upside for this pricey serum, according to its many fans, is that you begin to see results faster than you do with other formulas. (Think 30 days as opposed to 60 or 90.) Simply swipe a little over your upper lashline every night before bed and let the polypeptides and biotin get to work while you snooze. Consistent use will turn brittle, sparse fringe into fuller, stronger lashes. One reviewer has been using the serum throughout the Covid-19 pandemic and swears it’s worth the time and money (especially considering the cost of the monthly appointments she used to keep up with for her lash extensions).

Buy it ($150)

Amazon

6. Revive Science Eyelash Serum

Best for Men and Women

This makes a great gift for the man or woman in your life that's complaining about sparse lashes. It has biotin to slow lash aging, and antioxidants and squalene condition the hair right at its roots, thanks to the ultra-thin brush applicator.

$26 at Amazon

Sephora

7. Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die For® Turbo Conditioning Lash Enhancer

Best for Dry Lashes

Besides the powerful 11 percent peptide complex, this product contains Tahitian plankton complex to improve the appearance of brittle, non-lustrous lashes. The applicator helps this along, with a brush that lets you apply the fluid right next to the eyelash roots, and a spoolie to brush it right through to the end of the hair.

Buy It ($85)

8. GrandeLash-MD

Editor Favorite

Duchess Meghan may swear by RevitaLash, but our PureWow editors stan the GrandeLash-MD serum (which is also slightly more affordable than the former pick, in case you’re on the fence). One of our colleagues raved that though she’s always had decent lashes, no one ever commented on them until she started using this serum. “I’m not kidding when I say that sometimes they reach my eyebrows—that’s how long they’ve gotten,” she shared. The formula is infused with a blend of vitamins, peptides and amino acids to promote naturally longer and thicker looking lashes in four to six weeks, with full results in three months.

Buy it ($65)

Rodan + Fields

9. R + F LASH BOOST

Best for Dry Skin

A nightly application of this fan favorite serum has replaced eyelash extensions for one happy user, while another reports it's "the first time in my life I've gotten compliments on my lashes." The super-conditioning formula is notable for making lashes darker as well as thicker.

Buy It ($155)

Amazon

10. Nanolash Eyelash Growth Serum Conditioner

Best Thickening

One reviewer loves this formula because it has made her eyelashes so long, they touch the lenses on her sunglasses. "Most people think I wear eyelash extensions," the satisfied user says. "I don’t, just use this every night as if I was applying eyeliner." Nanolash results appear in as little as two weeks, too.

$40 at Amazon

11. Lashfood Phyto-Medic Eyelash Enhancer

Best Clean Formula

As the only Ecocert-approved pick on the list, this clean formula uses a blend of botanical ingredients like arginine, lavender water and soy protein to strengthen thinning lashes and encourage new growth. Created by a team of cosmetic scientists and tested by dermatologists, the serum is a safer choice (there is no prostaglandin, synthetic fragrances, synthetic dyes, mineral oils, phenoxyethanol, PEG, petrochemicals, GMOs or formaldehyde donors in the formula) for those who are especially conscious about their beauty products. As one reviewer shared, “I was very skeptical when purchasing this, but the results don’t lie. My husband and mother both mentioned how long my lashes looked, and I wasn’t wearing mascara. Also, my eyes are extremely sensitive and easily irritated and the serum doesn’t bother them at all.”

Buy it ($78)

Violet Grey

12. DR. DEVGAN PLATINUM LONG LASH

Best Lash Loss Prevention

Big Science to the rescue here, with this line from Ivy League-educated plastic and reconstructive surgeon Dr. Lara Devgan, whose medical grade skin care solution is ideal for lashes that have fallen out and won't seem to grow back. Peptides and hair-stimulating vitamins combine in this product, which Dr. Devgan promises won't darken the skin around the eye like some prescription formulas reportedly do.

Buy It ($150)

Dermstore

13. Lancer Skincare Lash Serum Intense

Best Dermatologist Formula

Pumpkin seed extract has essential fatty acids and zinc that improve the look of the lashes you have, and biotin and panthenol provide essential vitamins to encourage growth of healthy lashes. And moisturizing agent glycosaminoglycans rounds out the mix of this formula that's part of the Lancer Skincare line that's grown from Dr. Harold Lancer's Beverly Hills dermatology practice.

Buy It ($150)

Dermstore

14. Rapid Lash Eyelash Enhancing Serum

Best Fullness Enhancer

Polypeptides, biotin, panthenol, amino acids and soybean oil not only condition your lashes, they immediately enhance the full and glossy look of them. A clinical study of 102 subjects over two months reported strong results—over 86 percent reported thicker, fuller and improved-looking lashes.

Buy It ($50)

Dermstore

15. Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 Eyes and Lashes

Best Import

Leave it to the French to come up with a simply elegant and streamlined product: An eye area serum that also supports the youthful look of the skin around the eye area and lashes. Revitalizing peptides and rhamnose tone eye lids and make the delicate eye contour look more rested and rejuvenate, and lashes appear glossier and thicker.

Buy It ($35)

Verishop

17. Âme Pure Lash Boost™ Eyelash Growth Serum

Best Water-Based

This serum is water-based in order to enable active ingredients to sink into the skin instead of just lingering on the top of the skin. That means a high concentration of super-peptide Pentapeptide-17 will absorb, along with other elements of its vegan formula. A study reported that 67 percent of users noticed longer eyelashes in only six weeks.

Buy It ($80)

Verishop

18. Luna Nectar Moon Boost Lash & Brow Enhancing Serum

Best Juice-Based Formula

Aloe vera juice is known for its ability to help the body's internal organs absorb nutrients; here, aloe is the basis of a non-chemical formula that includes castor oil, argan oil, bamboo and algae extracts and other active ingredients that help make longer, thicker and shinier lashes.

Buy It ($75)

Credo Beauty

19. Plume Science Lash and Brow Enhancing Serum

Best Clean Formula

"Magic in a bottle," says one reviewer. "I started noticing a difference after about a week or two. I recently had my wedding makeup trial done and the makeup artist didn't think I even needed to use false lashes!" It's recommended you swipe this on top and lower lashes morning and evening, and this non-chemical formula that's heavy on the botanicals including bark and flower extracts will safely grow your lashes.

Buy It ($95)

Shiseido

20. Shiseido Full Lash and Brow Serum

Best Applicator

The flocked-tip applicator here allows the serum to be tapped between the smallest areas between the crevices between lashes, the better to moisturize and strengthen hair. Arginine, glycerin and fruit extracts are part of the high-tech formula developed by this Asian powerhouse cosmetics and personal care company.

Buy It ($36)

MORE EYELASH SERUM INTEL

Are eyelash serums safe?

“Yes, but you have to be careful. If you use too many things around your eyes at once, you can clog your tear ducts,” warns Mariwalla. “Some patients can develop irritation along their eyes or experience eyelid hyperpigmentation, so it looks like you are wearing a soft brown eyeliner even though you’re not,” she adds. “This is unlikely and can be assessed by looking in the mirror and stopping use of the serum.” (Mariwalla also cautions against using eyelash serums while pregnant.)

What are some precautions to take when using an eyelash serum?

If this is your first time using an eyelash serum, gently cleanse your eyelids and do a patch test to determine any sensitives or potential allergies to the serum first. “Once it is established that you can safely tolerate the product, start slow, applying the serum every couple of days, and gradually building up to daily use. And always remember to clean the applicator and never share your lash products with anyone else,” advises Coppola.

Another thing: More is not better when using an eyelash serum, guys. “Apply the product as directed and blot any excess solution away with a clean tissue,” adds Coppola. You don’t want to glob on so much serum that it spreads onto the skin near your lash line (which is where you actually want the serum).

Continue to monitor your eyes for any signs of irritation or any color changes in the eye, and if any abnormalities are noted, contact your ophthalmologist promptly.

How long does it take for lashes to grow?

“Eyelashes, like hair, have a life cycle consisting of three phases: the growth phase (anagen), the degradation phase (catagen) and the resting phase (telogen),” explains Mariwalla. “The growth stage can last anywhere between four to ten weeks during which individual lashes are in different stages of the cycle at different times. Because of this, we usually don’t notice the loss and regrowth of individual lashes, as they’re coming in and naturally falling out at different times,” she adds. If you are noticing more lash loss than usual, consult your eye doctor, as it could potentially point to an underlying health condition.

And whatever you do, please don’t pull at your lashes or use products that tug at the lashes (i.e., certain mascara wands or using a dirty eyelash curler).

Alright, now that you are well-versed in eyelash serums, here are the best over the counter options to try. Remember: These serums can make your eyelashes healthier and may help with their overall appearance, but do not guarantee growth.

RELATED: 10 Top Products PureWow Readers Buy Repeatedly at Sephora

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