So you’ve had enough of smudging mascara, the fuss of gluing on eyelashes, the not-so-natural look of magnetic lashes, or the inconvenience and upkeep of extensions. Lash serum seemed to be the perfect solution, promising to help you grow longer, thicker lashes naturally.
According to Primary Care Optometry News, more than 40% of those who have tried over-the-counter eyelash growth serums discontinued use.
There may be a number of reasons to stop using eyelash serum, but regardless of your reasons for wanting to discontinue use, you will want to know what happens when you stop using lash serum.
In this article we’ll discuss what happens when you stop using lash serum, as well as the different types of lash serums available by prescription and over the counter.
Differences in lash serums
What happens when you stop using lash serum is dependent on which one you are using. So to properly understand, you have to know the differences between lash serums and their active ingredients, so you know how yours will affect you.
Lash serums fall into three main categories based on their key active ingredients:
- Prostaglandin derived
- Peptide based
- Vitamin based
The only FDA-approved lash serum is Latisse. It is the only one classified as a pharmaceutical (drug), rather than a beauty product, and only available by prescription. And for that reason, it is the only lash serum that has been clinically proven to grow longer lashes.
This is due to its active ingredient: Bimatoprost.
Bimatoprost is a prostaglandin analogue, which is a class of drugs that bind to prostaglandin receptors.
It works as a lash enhancer by increasing the percentage of hairs in the anagen, or growth phase, of the hair cycle and increases the duration of this phase.
Prostaglandin analogues also increase the size of the hair bulb.
This all results in making the hair grow longer and thicker.
Now there are other brands of lash serum that use a synthetic prostaglandin analogue as their active ingredient, like Grande Lash MD and Revitalash Lash Enhancing Serum (which we discussed here). So, technically they should give you the same result as Latisse.
But they fall under the ‘beauty products’ category. Because of that, there no regulating body to quality check or guidelines in terms of how much of the active ingredient has to be used to get the desired results. There is also no requirement to list any side effects of their ingredients.
Prostaglandin derived lash serums will have one of these ingredients on the labels:
- Isopropyl cloprostenate
- Isopropanol Phenyl-hydroxyl-pentene Dihydroxy-cyclopentyl-heptenate
- Dechloro Dihydroxy Difluoro Ethylcloprostenolamide
- Trifluoromethyl Dechloro Ethylprostenolamide.
As for all of the other lash serums out there that do not contain any of the above ingredients, they are either peptide or vitamin-based. These lash serums tend to be more of a conditioning and repairing treatment for lashes, like Neutrogena Healthy Lashes Lash Enhancer Serum , and Milk Makeup KUSH Lash + Brow Serum .
Usually, these formulas are enriched with antioxidants and other common ingredients like amino acids to build healthy hair follicles, peptides to nourish and strengthen lashes, biotin to improve hair’s health by strengthening keratin, ceramides to lock in moisture, and panthenol to hydrate and protect lashes from breakage.
While these serums will condition your lashes and can make them appear fuller and thicker, it’s important to note that they will not make your lashes grow longer.
How long should you use eyelash serum?
Beneficial lash serum results are not permanent. Whatever conditioning, length, fullness or new-found lash-health you get from using a lash serum, will only last as long as your lashes shed naturally once you’ve stopped using the product.
What happens when you stop using lash serum?
Essentially what happens to your lashes when you stop using lash serum is that they will go back to whatever they were like before you started using it.
If they were thin and brittle and your lash conditioning serum made them soften and stronger, gave them an extra coating for your mascara to cling onto so they looked fuller, well then it’s back to the thin and brittle.
If you are using a prostaglandin-derived lash serum, it gives your lashes a boost when they’re in the growth phase of the growth cycle. When you stop using the serum and the growth cycle has run its course, that will go away.
Once your lashes are shed, the replacements will grow back to their normal length and color.
Prostaglandin-derived lash serums, although the only proven way to actually grow lashes longer, can come with a bevy of side effects, including inflammation around the eyes, as well as redness, itching, and watering.
They can disrupt tear expression and film production and can cause dry eye disease.
Serums have also been known to darken the color of the iris in people with light brown or hazel eyes, as well as potentially causing a sunken eye appearance by shrinking the layers of fat around the eye socket while darkening the surrounding skin.
The irritation and swelling if it were just an allergic reaction or sensitivity, would go away once you’ve stopped using it. But prolonged use of a prostaglandin-derived lash serum can cause dry eye disease, which is permanent.
It can also cause darkening of the iris, which is irreversible. Even if you stop using your lash serum, it will not change these conditions.
Your lashes will go back to however they were before you started using the serum, once you stop using it. If you experience any symptoms of redness, swelling or pain, discomfort, itching, or burning – discontinue use immediately.
Prolonged use of a lash serum can cause irreversible damage in some people. Stopping the use of any lash serums will not cause you any harm, but starting to use one could.