A Fresh Start for Eyelashes
If there is one thing life has taught us recently, it’s to not take things for granted. The world changed overnight and we were all left wondering how it would ever get back to normal and aside from physical and mental health worries, we have all had to contend with a complete change in routine, limiting our resources and adapting our outlook toward how we feel about ourselves and take care of ourselves.
This can mean different things for different people, for example, diet and food consumption, exercise or even skin care routines. Everyone has something that drives them forward and their own particular way in which they present themselves to the world, but how do you keep up with those routines when certain shops and stores are not open, beauticians and salons are closed and gyms are also shut?
Well, luckily for us, we are all stronger and more adaptable than we give ourselves credit for! So, as we start to emerge from lockdown life, we should all be looking at the good this little break from the pressures of society has done for us. Take eyelashes for example; these times may have seemed quite difficult for those who rely on eyelash extensions and have had to take a complete break from them while they grew out and then fell out but you can almost guarantee that your natural lashes are thankful for the breather!
So, let’s have a think about what positives have come out of lockdown life and whether we can carry anything from our new routine forward when life returns to normal.
Everyone has their favourite facial feature, could be eyes, mouth or cheekbones, but eyelashes are like the holy grail these days and whenever I see great eyelashes I’m always quick to deliver compliments and even quicker to ask how they got them so long and thick!
The strange thing is that although we all want longer and fuller eyelashes, when we see a long and full set we automatically assume that they must be false or extensions. Coming out of lockdown, with salons and technicians raring to go, could it be that we have been taking care of our eyelashes and now have the naturally full set we have always dreamed of? Let’s take a look at this a little bit deeper.
The Eyelash Growth Cycle
Eyelashes have a natural growth cycle that lasts around 130 – 180 days for each eyelash to complete a full cycle. This involves the anagen phase where the eyelash grows into its length and lasts between 30 and 45 days. Only about 40% of your upper eyelashes will be in the growth phase at once though so don’t worry about having a bare set of eyelashes while you wait for them all to grow in!
Next is the catagen phase, or it can also be known as the transition phase, and this is where the follicle begins to shrink and get ready to throw the eyelash out in the next phase. It can last between two and three weeks. During the catagen phase the eyelash can still fall out but the follicle has to complete its transition before it can move on and start a new growth again. Following this phase is the telogen phase or the resting phase. This is the longest stage of the eyelash growth cycle and lasts between 90 and 120 days. The follicle has desiccated and is starting to return to the growth phase, but no eyelashes will be visible until that growth spurt starts.
So as of right now, the salons have been closed for around 100 days and according to the growth cycle maths that means that 40% of your lashes should have completely replenished by now. If you have been like me and seen your makeup routine become little more than facial cleansing and the odd bit of eyeliner over the last few months then your eyelashes should be in quite good shape! The problem we have with our eyelashes not being as long or as healthy as we would like is partly our own fault. When we apply mascara to them daily and then remove it daily, we cause damage that goes beyond our eyelashes and potentially right down to the follicle. And in fact, leaving them alone for a little while could leave a lot of your eyelashes in a really naturally healthy state.
So, if you have noticed a difference, what are your options now? Well you can always grab the first appointment with your eyelash technician and resume as normal with the ever beautiful and even more reliable eyelash extensions, or you could decide that you’ve managed to cope without them for so long and like how your natural eyelashes look and feel and perhaps want to see if there are other ways to enhance them or keep them long in a healthy way.
Eyelash Growth Serums
Whatever your choice may be, there are always benefits in incorporating an eyelash growth serum into your beauty routine and if you haven’t started this already, now is a great time to get stuck in and get your lashes in great shape either before your extension appointment or just for the fun-filled summer that is hopefully approaching us!
A great product that you can rely on even when you are wearing eyelash extensions is Xlash Eyelash Serum as it is free of oils that can cause eyelash adhesives to wear away as some other products can contain. Xlash Eyelash Serum is an all-rounder for healthy follicles, longer and stronger eyelashes and it is fragrance free, so irritation is the last thing you need to worry about.
If you have already been using your eyelash serum throughout the lockdown period, you should already have noticed a big difference within three to four weeks, especially if you haven’t been tormenting those lashes with unnecessary mascara, they should be in great shape. If you haven’t used an eyelash serum yet, it really isn’t too late to start! It’s so simple to apply, just run the applicator with a small amount of the serum over the top lashes nearest the root and you are done.
It is important to make sure that eyelashes are clean and clear of dirt, makeup (especially mascara) before you apply your eyelash serum for them to feel the full benefits.
Eyelash serums are becoming firm favourites in people’s makeup and beauty kits these days as they are so convenient and have really saved a lot of people from their eyelash envy over the last few months, so if you really want to see what your eyelashes are capable of before committing to eyelash extensions then treat yourself to a tube of Xlash Eyelash Serum and sit back and enjoy!
Natural Eyelash Growth Remedies
Of course, you may have really taken to having a naked eyelash and not want to put extensions, false lashes or serums anywhere near that beautiful set, so it could just be a case of applying a few different tried and tested natural products to your eyelashes in a bid to keep them as healthy as they have been the last few months.
There is unfortunately no magic wand we can wave to ensure your eyelashes stay long and strong with minimal fall out, but as far as natural products go, some of these have been said to work wonders!
Coconut Oil – A sworn by product for an almost unlimited number of things, coconut oil is a firm favourite. It is the gift that keeps on giving! Try changing up your usual cleansing routine for some coconut oil and a cotton pad and see if you notice the difference on your eyelashes. It is much gentler than other products and it gives your eyelashes a good bit of moisturising at the same time. Eye makeup remover has usually been specifically formulated to target stubborn makeup such as mascara and eyeliner that contains oils and water-resistant ingredients so although it does a great job at removing all of that, it may not be so kind to the skin around your eyes. Coconut oil helps to smooth out creases, lock in hydration and assist you with a youthful appearance, so the fact that it can clean your eyelashes AND do all of this? What are you waiting for!
Aloe Vera – A spectacular natural option for your eyelashes and healthy skin and follicles, aloe vera really gets to the root of the problem. When we talk about getting eyelashes to grow longer, it means starting the process before the eyelash has even begun to grow. There is no miracle cure that will make an existing eyelash grow longer once it is in the catagen phase, it starts in the anagen phase. The idea is that you use nourishing products that strengthen the follicle so the individual eyelashes grow in stronger and hydrate the eyelashes so when they do start to grow, they grow to their full potential without breaking or falling out prematurely.
The difference can be astounding and that’s where aloe vera really helps the condition of your eyelashes when used regularly. It has been around for centuries and it definitely isn’t going away anytime soon. So many people trust in aloe vera as a natural option for beauty practices that they can’t all be wrong!
Castor Oil – This is great for eyelash regrowth as it is full of fatty acids that stimulate the follicle and help each eyelash look a bit more lustrous, and full of shine and colour. Castor oil has been used for years on hair and eyebrows for its properties that just give you that extra bit of dazzle and for promoting healthy growth. Like everything else on this list, it won’t change your life overnight, but by using it now your eyelashes have had a nice break from falsies or extensions, you should start to notice some extra strength and bounce to your lashes.
These are just a few natural things that you can do to keep your eyelashes in great shape going forward, but there are a few things you should avoid if you are on the quest for great natural lashes or even if you are just buying some time before your next salon appointment…
Things to Avoid
Now that your eyelashes have had a well-earned break from the rigorous makeup routines, cleansing and extensions that could put unwanted pressure on them, it would be a shame to revert back to your old ways and ruin such a good thing.
Waterproof Mascara – Who doesn’t love a good cry from time to time! Waterproof or water-resistant mascara is a saviour for those who can’t help but shed a tear, but it is also a big favourite for holiday makeup kits due to its staying power at pool parties and long, lazy days at the beach. But it is because of this staying power that it becomes hard to remove and can start to damage your lashes due to long-term use.
There is nothing wrong with using some of the waterproof stuff every now and then, as long as you have a cleanser designed to remove it without losing too many eyelashes or shedding the goodness from your eyelashes. Which brings me on to my next point.
Harsh Cleansing – I cannot stress this enough; vigorous rubbing of the eyelashes will cause some to fall out before the end of their cycle and it will start to take the protective layers of from your individual lashes. Always opt for a gentle cleanser that is formulated with eyes in mind, that won’t irritate the skin around them and breaks down the makeup rather than removes it layer by layer.
This is why coconut oil is a great option as a makeup remover as it restores hydration as it cleans and the good fats deposit in and around your eyelashes. If you are trying to make waves in the natural eyelash department, be sure to remove your mascara before going to sleep with a gentle cleanser and a soft cotton pad and add a line of eyelash serum for extra growth effect.
Old Eyelash Curlers – The trusty eyelash curler is a firm favourite in many makeup kits, and I know it is has helped enhance my eyelashes no end! When you are blessed with naturally curvy eyelashes, you can usually avoid these but unfortunately mine are almost as straight as an arrow, so I definitely rely on them.
The problem is eyelash curlers can get old and lose their grip pads, so it is important to get rid of a set that has already seen the best of its life. They can also harbour plenty of bacteria if they aren’t cleaned properly which transfers back and forth from your eyelashes to your curler. This is especially true if you tend to use them after applying makeup. Use your curler wisely, treat it well and don’t twist your eyelashes to within an inch of their life when you are trying to maintain their fresh healthy glow and length.
Ready for a Fresh Start?
Your eyelashes may be the least of your worries right now, but if something good can come from this testing time, don’t do anything that will cause them to become a worry. Only you know if you want to go for the natural growth option, and if you choose extensions, the above still all applies if you want to keep the fresh start going on for months and years to come.
Keep up with the good work, and enjoy your eyelashes, you’ve earned it!