person wearing silver framed eyeglasses

4 Signs Your Eyelashes May Be Unhealthy (And How to Fix Them)

person wearing silver framed eyeglasses

It’s hard work to keep up with modern beauty trends. Despite all the effort you put into your skin, hair and body, one aspect of your beauty routine is missing: your eyelashes. Your lash health is as important as any other aspect of your beauty regimen, whether you are using falsies, team extensions, tinting, mascara or lash lifts. Your lashes will not grow thicker, fuller, and longer if they aren’t properly cared for. Just like your makeup, proper skin care is essential to make sure it looks flawless. This doesn’t mean that you have to remove all your mascara and eyeliner.

Your eyelashes, like the hair on your head are susceptible to damage. Your lashes are more resilient than the hair that falls each day. Instead of losing its natural color every day, they replace themselves every three to six months. Joshua Beeler, Shen Beauty eyebrow and lash specialist, says that this doesn’t happen in one go. However, certain things, such as harsh makeup removal or improper extension application, and damaging behaviors (read: pulling, picking), may need to be addressed to ensure your lashes are healthy and well-nourished.

According to Dr. Sharleen Surin-Lord, Visage Dermatology and Aesthetic Center, the primary function and purpose of the eyelashes are to protect your eyelid margins (and your eyes from bacteria, dirt, and debris). Studies show that your eyelashes play a protective function in reducing the amount of particles that can reach your eyes. The ideal length for eyelashes is about one-third of the eye’s width. Anything shorter or longer can increase airflow and lead to more dust entering the eyes. The bottom line is that lash care is essential for both aesthetic and health reasons.

Signs that you have weak lashes

There are many indicators that your eyelashes could be damaged or weak. One indicator is excessive lash loss. Although shedding is natural, Dr. Surin Lord notes that it is normal to lose one to two hairs every few weeks. She explains that eyelashes shouldn’t shed every day like hair on the scalp. Normal eyelash shedding should not make your eyelashes look sparse. This could be an indication of an internal problem or more severe hair loss.

Brittle eyelashes can also indicate weak lashes. This means that your lashes will easily fall off with gentle rubbing. Dr. Surin Lord notes that every eyelash is different, but they should all be the same length. Eyelashes with significantly different lengths could indicate that some lashes may be damaged.

Dr. Surin Lord says that other signs of weakness include lashes falling off or unable to support extensions.

Eyelash Damage: The Most Common Causes

Trauma to the eyelashes (think: rubbing your false lashes too hard or tearing them off) is a common cause of damage. If you have waterproof mascara in your makeup bag and are experiencing lash breakage or fallout, it may be time to reconsider. You’re less likely to rub your eyes and cause more damage than waterproof mascaras.

Microfiber cloths, disposable wipes and cotton rounds require friction and some tugging to remove eye makeup. This can cause damage to lashes and the delicate areas in general. Kimber Jaynes is a celebrity lash expert and founder of  Borboleta. “Avoid using harsh astringents and toners to remove eye makeup. They can dry out sensitive eyes. You can remove any makeup by using a gentle, slow massage with an oil cleanser.”

You should also avoid cheap eyelash extensions. A well-trained technician will be able to make sure your natural lashes are not damaged. Dr. Surin Lord tells that individual eyelash extensions should only be applied to one eyelash at a given time. If lashes aren’t properly isolated (e.g., two natural eyelashes for every one lash extensions), eyelashes can become damaged.

Jaynes also notes that pulling or picking at the lashes can lead to trauma and shedding. Other medical conditions, such as hypothyroidism or severe eyelid eczema or chemotherapy, can cause weakened lashes. In these cases, it is best to contact your doctor.

Are you ready to make the perfect lash routine? This guide will show you how to maintain healthy lashes from beginning to end.

  • Borboleta Breakdown Makeup Remover ($20)

Are you looking for an easy way to remove eye makeup? Borboleta’s oil-free formula is a good option. Jayne says that the formula feels almost like water, yet it dissolves makeup quickly. It’s also loaded with lash-loving fat acids and humectants that nourish the eyelashes as well as the eyelids.

  • Garnier SkinActive Micellar Cleansing water with Vitamin C ($9)

This Garnier brightening micellar cleanser is gentle enough to be used without any tugging or rubbing. Use a cotton pad to remove waterproof eye makeup. Hold the cotton pad for a few seconds on closed eyes. Then, gently wipe off with a soft cloth.

  • Aurelia London Conditioning the eye and Cleanser for the Lash ($48)

This gentle micellar water is a blend of rose oil, PROTIDA technology and Inca maca. It not only removes eye makeup, but also promotes new lash growth.

  • Lash Professional Foaming Lash Cleanser ($18)

Your lashes are just as susceptible to buildup as your scalp. If you have lash extensions, it is important to use a lash cleaner to keep them clean. Beeler suggests using an oil-free, gentle cleanser to remove any buildup, debris, or other loose makeup that might have made their way into your extensions.

  • Beverly Hills MD Lash Enhancing Cream ($85)

Next up: lash serum. This one contains sodium hyaluronate and milk protein to moisturize brittle eyelashes. It also helps reduce breakage. What is the result?  Longer, thicker, and denser lashes. No falsies are required.

  • Kaja Wink Lash Trio Mascara ($28)

Kaja Wink Lash Trio deserves a place in your lash routine. It contains biotin, panthenol and avocado peptides to condition and nourish your lashes. Additionally, it includes a lash primer that protects them.

  • Amazon Shiseido Eyelash Curler ($19)

Jaynes points out that some lash curlers can cause excessive force to the eyelashes if they are tightened. Shiseido’s lash curler is a winner. It has no edges to prevent pinching and a wide curve to keep your lashes lifted.

  • Younique Magnetic Lash for Moodstruck ($35)

You must use an adhesive to attach false eyelashes. This can lead to severe removal. Magnetic lashes from Younique will make it easy to remove falsies. They are made with vegan silk fibers, and have 10 magnets for maximum holding power.

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