Raise your hand if you want longer, thicker lashes. Now that literally everyone has their hands in the air, make a fist in solidarity and get ready to learn how to get lashes that are the fullest and flirtiest possible without breaking the bank or your delicate, natural fringe.
While searching for ways to lengthen your lash line, you’ve probably run across a few tips about petroleum jelly (aka Vaseline). Before you get all jelly, let the lash pros at Lashify drop some knowledge on you about how lashes grow, what helps keep them healthy, and whether or not that greasy goop will help you get the dramatic lashes of your dreams.
Sit tight; we’re about to get a little sciencey so you can understand what’s happening above your baby blues (or browns or greens).
Your lashes, like the hair on your head, grow in four distinct phases.
The anagen phase of eyelash growth is referred to as the growth phase. This is when your new eyelashes are actively lengthening and thickening naturally. At any given time, about 40% of your lashes are in this active growth phase, which is good, because the next few phases include rest and lash expulsion (AKA lash loss).
When lashes reach the catagen phase of growth, they stop growing and have reached their natural length. No matter how long (or short) your lashes seem to be, they’re probably pretty close to 10 millimeters in length, which is the average length of the human eyelash.
The catagen phase is transitional, and the follicles that hold the lashes begin to change and shrink, holding the lashes in place.
Just like a normal transitional phase after a period of personal growth, your lashes need to rest. The telogen phase is the chill phase of lash growth, where lashes rest and relax. The follicles, too, begin to relax so that the lash can eventually be released, allowing the new lash (just starting out in its anagen phase) to follow in the old lash’s trailblazing lash-steps.
The final phase of lash life is the exogen phase, when the lash is released from the follicle. Lashes are naturally falling out on a daily basis, just like your hair, but you typically only lose about one to five lashes per eye per day, so the loss really isn’t noticeable unless an underlying medical condition is causing you to lose more.
The entire life cycle of the lash lasts between four to 11 weeks, and because each lash is on its own growth timeline, you’ll never have to worry about all your lashes falling out at once.
What Supports Lash Growth?
Looking for ways to keep your natural lashes healthy isn’t a new trend. Ancient Egyptian cultures were slathering on ointments and salves to make their lashes look darker and longer as early as 2500 B.C.
Big love to the frontrunners and trailblazers who came before us, because we now know what works and what’s a waste of time.
This water-soluble B vitamin (B7) is found naturally in eggs, bananas, and nuts. Having a deficiency in biotin can make your hair and nails brittle and more likely to break, which is why you’ll find biotin in many hair restoration products. Biotin helps support healthy and strong hair and hair follicles, to promote effective growth.
Not a fan of applying egg white to your eyelashes? (We 0/10 recommend this method). Not a problem. You can find biotin in Lashify bonds, which were created to help nourish your natural lashes.
Derived from the lavender plant, this natural oil can support hair health and promote a balanced hair growth cycle. It also has antimicrobial properties, which can help protect the delicate skin barrier from bacteria or fungi, like the kind that can lead to eye infections and irritation.
We include lavandula in our Lashify bonds to help keep your natural lashes healthy and encourage their growth while using our products.
What Damages Lashes?
Sometimes, the beauty industry is cruel. Products that are marketed to help you have longer, more luxe lashes can often leave them brittle and damaged. The ingredients in these products usually have a rap sheet that reads like a poorly-casted docudrama.
Used properly, it can help remove adhesive bonds and clear away bacteria from some applicators. It doesn’t, however, have any place in your beauty products. Mascaras that are water resistant often contain alcohol, which is notoriously drying to delicate lash hair, leaving them brittle and susceptible to breakage.
Surprised? Don’t be. This ingredient finds its way into your eye products more often than you think. Although it’s not directly added to mascara or liquid liners, other ingredients inside these products can combine to release it, which means with every swipe of very black you apply, you could literally be embalming your eyelashes.
Salon Lash Extensions
The methods used to adhere salon lash extensions can be harmful to your natural lashes. The adhesives used often cure or harden fully, which makes your natural lash rigid and prone to early expulsion.
In addition, an untrained tech may apply fibers to lashes that are too early in the anagen phase, which can hinder the lash as it fully grows and develops.
Scrubbing, Rubbing, and Tugging
Your lashes are delicate, and scrubbing your lash line to remove a product can literally rip your lashes from the follicle before a new lash has had time to form. This can result in holes or gaps in your lash line that take weeks to naturally fill.
When working with your lashes to apply products, be gentle. Use clean products that don’t contain harsh chemical ingredients, and don’t rub your lashes or lids with scrubs or cloths.
So, What About Vaseline?
You know how lashes grow, what helps them grow, and what doesn’t. So where does petroleum jelly fit into the mix? Let’s take a look.
What Is Vaseline?
It’s the yellowish-tinted, gelatinous goo you’ve probably grown up using. The claim is that it can help everything from a baby’s diaper rash to your struggling eyelashes. The truth is a little less incredible.
This mix of mineral oil and waxes is actually a byproduct of crude oil production. As early as the 1800s, oil workers discovered the “leftovers” of oil refinery in the bottoms of barrels and began slathering it on their cuts and scrapes because of its occlusive properties, which means it repels water.
By 1870 it was packaged and marketed under the brand name Vaseline, and it hasn’t changed much since that time (which is honestly pretty impressive).
Is Vaseline Safe?
Whether or not vaseline is safe isn’t a simple yes or no question. A quick search will render up many articles that say it’s completely safe for use, but in the U.S., most of the petroleum jelly that is produced isn’t fully refined and can contain polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are known carcinogens and definitely not something you want near your eyes.
Does Vaseline Help Your Lashes?
Solid no. There’s zero evidence that using petroleum jelly on your eyelashes will cause them to grow faster, longer, thicker, or darker. In fact, it doesn’t even moisturize your lashes. It can keep moisture already in your skin and hair inside, but the solution itself contains no moisturizing ingredients.
Using fully refined petroleum jelly on lashes can make them appear darker, which can be an alternative to using mascara if you have extremely sensitive eyes. It can even help remove stubborn lash products if you run out of your usual eye makeup remover, but it just can’t thicken or lengthen your lashes. Le sigh.
A better way to level up your lashes? Lashify.
Luxury Lashes Without the Lube
If you want longer, thicker lashes without damaging your natural ones (or slathering Vaseline near your eyes), there’s a solution. Lashify® is the at-home lash enhancement system that has revolutionized the industry.
What Is Lashify?
It’s a unique method DIY Lash Extension™ System that utilizes Underlash Technology®. Using natural lash-boosting bonds and gentle Gossamer® lash fibers, Lashify helps you achieve the fuller, thicker lash line you want while simultaneously strengthening your natural lashes and supporting their growth.
What Lashify Is Not
You won’t ever find ingredients or application methods that harm your natural lashes here. Our mission is to help you feel naturally beautiful and confident by enhancing your lashes, never hurting them. No harsh glues, no brittle lashes, and no tricky removal methods.
Healthy Lashes That Defy Nature
Healthier, longer lashes are possible, and you can even enhance your natural lashes safely while they grow. The Lashify system makes it possible for you to get the lashes you love while protecting your very own.
Bigger, more voluminous lashes won’t happen with Vaseline, but they can happen in the blink of an eye with the Lashify DIY Lash Enhancement™ System.
The eyelash follicle features and anomalies: A review | PMC
8 Random Facts About Your Eyelashes | Good Housekeeping
BEAUTY, COSMETICS, TATTOOS AND PERFUMES IN ANCIENT EGYPT | Facts and Details
Why Are My Eyelashes Falling Out? | American Academy of Ophthalmology