Cosmetic shelves are stocked with a wide array of mascaras, eyebrow stencils, and eyelash extensions, but peptide eyebrow and eyelash growth serums are the unsung heroes of the industry. With more research on how peptides enhance hair and skin and consumer reviews singing their praise, peptides could finally be getting the credit they deserve.
There are a number of factors that cause the thinning of eyebrows and lashes (madarosis is the official term), and almost all of them involve damage to the follicle. When the follicle is damaged, hair growth slows.
It could be something as simple as the way you sleep on your pillow or something as complex as hormones. It could even be that you plucked your eyebrows too thin years ago when thin eyebrows were in vogue.
Burns, wounds, chemotherapy or radiation treatments, laser treatments, certain medications, and infections can all inhibit hair growth. Psychological conditions such as anxiety and trichotillomania (a hair-pulling disorder that mostly commonly affects teenagers and young adults) can prompt frequent, aggressive hair pulling that interrupts the natural growth cycle.
The more common culprit, however, is age. Thinning hair, including eyebrows and eyelashes, is a common side effect of the aging process.
If you’re concerned your thinning eyebrows may be a side effect of a more serious health issue, you should seek medical help to determine the underlying cause(s). No amount of eyebrow pencils, growth serums, or microblading is going to fix a genuine medical condition.
In the meantime, there are several things you can do to help slow and reverse madarosis.
If you want thicker eyebrows or eyelashes, you have two options:
Or you can combine the two.
Each option has its time and place. An eyebrow pencil and eyelash extensions are your best friends if you are attending a wedding (or any special occasion) this weekend. Mascara is also a reliable way to get an instant eyelash boost before you head off to work each morning. These options serve their purpose, but you always have to worry about your eyelashes falling off, your mascara running, or your eyebrows fading. Plus, mascara, extensions, and glue can damage your natural lashes. If you are serious about growing your eyebrows and eyelashes thicker and stronger, you will need to be careful what you’re putting on them.
Lash- and eyebrow-enhancing serums are better for long-term results and a more natural look. If you want to simplify your daily makeup routine, or if you’re getting married in six months, you can start using a peptide serum today and reap the rewards over time. Will it give you the dramatic look of Hollywood-style eyelash extensions? Probably not. But your natural eyelashes will never betray you in the pool or on a windy day.
In addition to topical solutions, you should add more nutrients and water to your diet to enhance your overall wellness, including your hair growth cycle. Biotin is a well-known nutrient for skin, nails, and hair. You can take it in supplement form or add more biotin-rich foods to your diet. Biotin-rich foods include egg yolks, nuts and seeds, broccoli, legumes, sweet potatoes, and more.
There are three types of serums on the market today: prostaglandins, botanicals, and peptides. Which one you choose will largely depend on your specific situation and underlying cause of thinning.
Prostaglandin serums produce hormone-like effects. It is medicinal rather than cosmetic, and it requires a prescription. If your doctor prescribes this to you, be sure that you know all the possible side effects.
Botanical serums use DHT blockers. DHT is a derivative of testosterone. Too much DHT shrinks your follicles and shortens your hair growth cycle. DHT blockers prevent DHT from binding to your hair follicles. Botanical DHT blockers include pumpkin seed oil, saw palmetto, red clover, and biotin. A botanical serum might be a good option for vegan users, but it may be harsh on sensitive skin. Check the ingredients carefully for possible allergens if you choose this type.
Experts say that peptide serums work best when combined with antioxidants (vitamins A, C, and E are commonly used) and hyaluronic acid, but not alpha hydroxy acid. Peptide serums often include conditioning agents such as B vitamins, arginine, and soy proteins.
A quality growth serum will include peptides near the top of the ingredients list. Look for Acetyl Tetrapeptide-3, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, and Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1. These are all commonly used, effective peptides in growth serums.
Peptides are amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. These peptides occur naturally in the skin, but like so many other functions in our bodies, production slows as we age.
Collagen—the popular protein that makes your skin look firm and plump—is made of peptides. The less collagen your body produces, the more wrinkles you will have. Peptides encourage your body to produce more collagen, which helps slow the process.
But what does this have to do with your eyebrows? All of your hair, including your lashes and eyebrows, is made up of more than 90 percent protein. As the building blocks of proteins, peptides can help repair damage caused by lifestyle and/or medical conditions. Peptides work at a follicular level, providing strength and nourishment to the hair where it counts the most.
Knowing the root of the problem will help you choose an appropriate solution.
When it comes to eyelash and eyebrow growth serum, consistent daily use is the key. It’s best if you use it at bedtime, but if you use it in the morning, give it 10 to 15 minutes to dry before you apply your mascara or eyebrow color.
For lashes, apply evenly and generously along your upper and lower lash line, being careful not to get it on your lids or in your eyes.
For eyebrows, exfoliate your brow area, apply the growth serum generously where you want hair to grow, and then use an eyebrow brush to work the serum into your hair and skin.
In most cases, growth serums are safe. They are typically made from natural ingredients that promote natural growth. Peptide-based formulas are the safest for sensitive skin.
Regardless, you should check with your doctor before using growth serums, especially if you have sensitive skin or pre-existing eye problems. Some prostaglandin users experience hyperpigmentation of the skin and eye color.
Stop using your growth serum immediately and consult a dermatologist if you experience any irritation, burning, or redness.
Patience is key with growth serums, but the more consistently you use them, the sooner you will see results. Growth serums are designed to enhance the entire hair growth cycle, strengthening hairs from root to tip. The typical eyelash growth cycle is at least three months, so it might take that long to see visible growth.
Eyebrow growth may take three to twelve months depending on how thin or damaged they are, but the results will be well worth the wait if you are consistent.
If you use growth serums consistently, you will obtain your ideal lash or eyebrow thickness in three to twelve months. But maintaining healthy brows and lashes is an ongoing process just like maintaining your general health and wellness. If you stop using the growth serum after you reach your desired results, your hair cycle will eventually continue as it was before. This is especially true if you have an ongoing medical condition that inhibits growth.
Continuous use is the best way to maintain results. But if you feel like your eyebrows are growing a little too much, you can use it less frequently.
The research and consumer reviews say peptides do work. With the right ingredients, consistent application, and patience, peptide-based serums promote healthy eyebrow and eyelash growth. The sooner you order yours, the sooner you’ll see the results yourself.
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You will have hair challenges over the winter. Think back to years past. Fighting with frizz and static, dreaded hat hair, the feeling as if your locks are breaking off strand by strand every time you use a comb or brush, and so on.
If you’ve purchased skincare products recently, you’ve probably read about peptides as ingredients in some of them.