Makeup can only go so far to help you get the rich, bold brows that are trending right now. Eyebrow serums promise to help you reach new lengths by targeting growth from the inside out—but how effective are these treatments? Can you really expect Cara Delevigne-like results?
Just like all skin serums aren’t created equal, neither are eyebrow serums. There are two types, and they yield very different results, says Charity Engebretsen, owner of Master Lash By Charity.
Products that require an Rx result in longer, darker, thicker brows, but they come with side effects: They discolor, darken, and dry out skin underneath the brow, says Engenbretsen. Then, hairs fall out as soon you stop using the treatment. “It tricks the hair into thinking it’s always in the growing phase with topical hormones,” says Engenbretsen. “As soon as you stop using it, [the follicles] think they’re in the resting phase and you lose all of the new hairs at once. You don’t lose those hairs forever, but you feel tricked into using the products all the time.” She also adds that these products contain sodium hydroxide, an eye and skin irritant that also causes temporary hair loss (manufacturers use it because it makes the product last longer).
The botanical ingredients, essential oils, and vitamin C in most of these products condition your brows but don’t help much in terms of growth. When buying over the counter versions, look for two important ingredients: biotin and peptides, both of which can help enhance growth. “Peptides are a chain of amino acids,” she says. “When they grow long chains, they become proteins and help thicken the brow and make it more dense.” Try Master Lash Replenishing Eyebrow Oil ($49, masterlashbycharity.com), which contains peptides and biotin, as well as essential oils, clove, rose, and cinnamon. Joey Healy Brow Renovation Serum ($125, joeyhealy.com) is a similar formula that includes peptides, wheat protein, and hyaluronic acid (the acid boosts hydration and conditioning).
One Last Tip
“When placing the [spoolie] brush on the brow, you need a vigorous kind of brushing to get the circulation going and really get the product into the brow,” says Engebretsen. “You can’t just dab it. You have to really work it into the hair and skin.”
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