The 9 Best Lash Growth Serums of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
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Full, extra long, butterfly lashes are now within your reach.
There’s no denying the appeal of elongated, fluttery lashes. And what’s not to love? Longer lashes open up your eyes, making them appear larger, youthful, and more vibrant. Many femme-presenting people go a long way to get that alluring pop in the eye, be it with lash curlers, volumizing mascara, lash extensions, or faux lashes. But the most effective and longest lasting way to land the long lashes of your dreams is with a lash growth serum. With consistency and a few daily strokes of a hyper-targeted formula along your lash line, you can get gorgeous, healthy and fuller looking lashes in just a few weeks.
If it sounds too good to be true (which to be honest, we thought at first as well), it’s not. We tested 30 of the most popular lash growth serums over a span of ten weeks to evaluate which ones made our lashes feel stronger, look longer, and appear more fuller and voluminous. We judged each lash growth serum based on how easy they were to use and how quickly the serum absorbed into the lash line, as well as the degree to which they strengthened and lengthened our lashes, and finally, the way our lashes looked overall after using the serum for ten weeks. To earn a spot on our list, each serum also needed to be safe for sensitive eyes.
Related:The 6 Best False Eyelashes of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
Borboleta Lash Serum
What We Love: It’s easy to apply and absorbs seamlessly.
What We Don’t Love: It does less for volume than it does for length.
Every detail of this product was carefully considered, earning it the best overall. From Borboleta's chic packaging to the serum’s easy application process, to the lightweight consistency of the formula, to the stunning final result, we were impressed from start to finish.
The applicator brush resembles the tip of a liquid eyeliner so you can easily reach the lash line in a single, targeted sweep that won’t drip down your eyelid. It absorbed quickly into our skin and didn’t leave a sticky residue in its wake. And after eight weeks of consistently applying the serum, we not only noticed that our lashes were considerably longer (so much so that we received compliments from strangers on the sidewalk!), but it made our lashes curl upward as well.
In terms of strength, we noticed our lashes weren’t falling out as much as usual, which to us meant that they were growing in stronger. The look of our lashes improved so significantly after using this serum that we no longer need to spend time curling or priming — all we have to do is swipe on mascara and boom, we have the perfect lashes.,
Price at time of publish: $65
Active Ingredients: Biotin, keratin, peptides, pumpkin seed extract | Usage: Once a day at night | Results: 8 weeks | Size: 3 ml | Ophthalmologist-Tested: Yes
RevitaLash Cosmetics Advanced Eyelash Conditioner
What We Love: We saw our lash length double.
What We Don’t Love: They do little to increase the actual amount of hair along your lash line.
Yes, the RevitaLash conditioner is a bit of a splurge item, but believe us when we say these make your eyelashes so long (we noticed them double in length) that you won’t even be able to see the price tag through your new luscious lashes. And it worked fast — we saw results in a mere four weeks, which was speedier than any other serum on this list.
There’s so much to love here: The soft brush feels smooth across the delicate lash line and no product goes to waste as it sinks into skin quickly without running. While the lengthening capabilities are close to magic, it does little to increase the amount of actual hair strands on your lash line. But trust us, you'll never get sick of your friends asking where you got your “lash extensions” from (or at least we didn't!).
Price at time of publish: $100
Active Ingredients: Peptides, lipids, biotin, green tea extract | Usage: Once a day | Results: 4 weeks | Size: 2 ml | Ophthalmologist-Tested: Yes
Maybelline Lash Sensational Boosting Eyelash Serum
What We Love: They make lashes look plump and healthy in a natural way.
What We Don’t Love: It can be a challenge to get the perfect amount of liquid onto the brush and applying too much serum can sting for a second.
The price of lash growth serums have quite the range (a few we tested went into the hundreds!), yet we were delightfully shocked at the value this itty bitty $10 lash serum provided to visibly strengthen our eyelashes.
If you’re not looking for a dramatic increase in lash length, but rather a natural fullness, this Maybelline lash boosting serum may be your perfect match. After a few weeks of consistent use, it provided us with the youthful, healthy look of a person who drinks lots of water and eats all the leafy greens (instead of someone who just walked out of a lash appointment).
The applicator brush looks like a miniature mascara wand to apply the product from the base of your eyelash through the tip. One sweep leaves them looking glossy (an added bonus we love) and if you’re a fan of the no-makeup-makeup vibe, you can skip mascara altogether. Just be sure to let the serum dry down on lashes and avoid rubbing, which can cause slight irritation.
Price at time of publish: $10
Active Ingredients: Arginine, pro-vitamin B5 | Usage: Twice a day | Results: 4 weeks | Size: 5.32 ml | Ophthalmologist-Tested: No
Grande Cosmetics GrandeLASH MD Lash Enhancing Serum
Best on Amazon
What We Love: They thicken and elongate both lashes and brows.
What We Don’t Love: Pay close attention when applying to avoid getting into your eye.
We tested this serum on both our lashes and eyebrows, and the difference between our before and after photos were positively striking. Our hair grew in noticeably fuller, thicker, and all-over healthier. While our lashes and brows were definitely more voluminous, we did notice that the length did not change too much, making this product a match for those looking for an extra boost of lash strength, rather than length.
There were a few times that we overzealously applied the serum, causing it to slightly drip into our eye, which stung for a second. However, it’s easy to avoid this mistake if you apply a modest amount on the thin applicator, and run it over the top of your lash line. While it might be tempting to dose your lashes with the product, you definitely want to avoid doing so with this formula. Other than that, we experienced zero irritation or redness around the eye.
Price at time of publish: $68
Active Ingredients: Amino acids, hyaluronic acids, vitamin E, botanical extracts | Usage: Once daily | Results: 4-6 weeks | Size: 2.1 ml | Ophthalmologist-Tested: Yes
Lancôme Cils Booster Lash Revitalizing Serum
Best for Strengthening
What We Love: This super gentle formula is a dream for those with sensitive or reactive skin.
What We Don’t Love: We only saw a moderate improvement in lash length.
Before testing this serum, our lashes would fall out from the slightest bit of friction, whether from rubbing an eye itch or removing eye makeup. Yet, just after a few uses of Lancôme's lash growth serum, we began to notice that our lashes were not only less prone to breakage, but that overall, they were falling out way less frequently, which was especially evident when washing off mascara (a process where we ordinarily lose a few). Over time, our lashes felt stronger, softer, and more resilient, making this option our top pick for lash strengthening.
This fragrance- and sulfate-free formula felt gentle and kind on our eyes, even for one of us who often experiences eczema flare-ups around the eye area. She reported that the serum felt nice against her eyelid and didn't exacerbate the existing redness.
When removing the brush from the base, it attracts just the right amount of product needed to slide the serum across your lids without any dripping from the corner of your eye or leaving a sticky residue. Instead, it hugged our lash line and absorbed into the skin in less than five minutes.
If you already have nice-looking lashes, however, you probably won’t notice much of a difference in length. This serum functions best as a strengthener rather than a lengthener, and offers more of a volumizing effect.
Price at time of publish: $49
Active Ingredients: Biotin, panthenol | Usage: Twice daily | Results: 4 weeks | Size: 3.8 ml | Ophthalmologist-Tested: Yes
Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 Eyes and Lashes
Best for Sensitive Eyes
What We Love: It doubles as an anti-aging serum.
What We Don’t Love: A lot of liquid comes out in a single pump, so it can be challenging to get the perfect amount on your fingertips.
Developed without parabens or fragrance, this lash growth serum is a dream for those with sensitive skin. Before coating our lashes, we spot tested it on our sensitive skin first to evaluate any sensitivity, and we found zero trace of a reaction. Instead, it provided a gentle cooling and hydrating effect, which felt quite nice.
“The skin around the eyes is very thin and much more prone to irritation than other areas of the face/body,” explains New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Carmen Castilla, who recommends applying “slowly, using a small amount of product to ensure you will not develop sensitivity to your lash serum.”
Unlike the other lash serums we tested, this one comes in a pump bottle and no applicator. We found that a single pump dispenses quite a bit of product, so it was a bit difficult to get the right amount onto our fingers before sweeping it across the eyelids. However, the formula is so gentle, the excess product never irritates our skin or eyes.
The results we found on our lashes were visibly noticeable — elongated, lush fullness and less prone to breakage, but what impressed us further was how it smoothed out the skin underneath our eyes.
Price at time of publish: $35
Active Ingredients: Hyaluronic acid, rhamnose, mineralizing water | Usage: Twice daily | Results: 4 weeks | Size: 15 ml | Ophthalmologist-Tested: Yes
EssyNaturals Eyelash Serum
What We Love: It’s safe and effective for all skin types.
What We Don’t Love: While they make your lashes look fuller and healthier, they won’t dramatically lengthen them.
Considering how close you are applying the product to your eyes, it’s understandable why some may feel a little wary about using active ingredients, and to them we say: Today is your lucky day. This serum from Essy Naturals offers the gentlest formula on our list. It’s crafted with all-natural ingredients and without oils, parabens or phthalates, making it safe for all skin types.
That being said, it still delivers enviable results, which we noticed after only three weeks of daily application. For someone with lashes that frequently shed to the point where empty spots are visible across the lash line, this serum not only helped fill in those gaps but it also protected and prevented hair from falling out.
Not only did the serum strengthen the hair follicles, causing our lashes to grow in feeling more secure at the base (thus reducing the amount of shedding), but it also thickened the strands as well. In fact, our lashes improved so significantly that we could leave our false lashes behind and stick to just mascara (even for formal events). Plus, the fact that all of this was achieved for just $21 is an incredible value.
Lashes may not grow as long as they would with the Borboleta Lash Serum or the RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner, but we were overjoyed with our result from this all-natural formula.
Price at time of publish: $21
Active Ingredients: Purified water, nymphaea coerulea flower extract | Usage: Once daily | Results: 3 weeks | Size: 18.6 ml | Ophthalmologist-Tested: No
RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum
What We Love: We saw our lashes grow longer in just a few weeks.
What We Don’t Love: Our lashes didn’t look bushier or thicker.
While the package says results will be visible in eight weeks, we were surprised to see signs of fullness and growth after just a few weeks. And at the end of the eight weeks, the full impact this serum had on our lashes was evident (and amazing).
They became undeniably longer, more uniform, and fuller, allowing us to enjoy our new look, but in a very natural “I just woke up like this” way. While you need to be ultra careful applying some lash serums to avoid a tingle, this lightweight serum felt no different than simple water on our lids and didn’t trigger even a hint of eye sensitivity. We also particularly love how fine the applicator brush is, allowing you to get into the creases of your lash line without dripping any excess product into the eyes.
We noticed slightly less shedding and lash breakage, but we wish we saw a more significant improvement in lash strength and thickness.
Price at time of publish: $34
Active Ingredients: Peptide, biotin, panthenol, soybean oil | Usage: Once every night | Results: 8 weeks | Size: 3.25 ml | Ophthalmologist-Tested: No
Âme Pure Lash Boost Eyelash Growth Serum
Best for Lashes and Brows
What We Love: This product was designed to use on both lashes and brows.
What We Don’t Love: While it’s great at volumizing and thickening hair, it will only moderately lengthen.
If it's a serious power brow you're after, this Âme Pure Lash Boost Serum works double duty to add fullness to both lashes and brows. The tube is filled with a fast-acting formula containing eight active ingredients (although all the ingredients in the formulation are 100% naturally-derived) that dries down quickly on lashes. After continued use, we saw a nice boost of fullness and volume on both our lashes and brows well ahead of the four week mark. However, if you’re worried about your eyebrows growing out-of-control long, you don’t need to worry too much — the serum will lengthen hair, but it’s more effective at amping up lash density and strength.
Price at time of publish: $80
Active Ingredients: Glycerin, flower extract, acetyl tetrapeptide-3 | Usage: Twice a day | Results: 4 weeks | Size: 3 ml | Ophthalmologist-Tested: No
Other Options You Might Like
The Ordinary Multi-Peptide Lash and Brow Serum
The above options all deliver impressive and unmistakable results, but if you are looking for a subtle plumping effect, then the Ordinary Lash and Brow serum might be more suitable for you. It aims to heal and gently strengthen lashes at the root to support the appearance and growth of a lush set of lashes. It’s also one of the more affordable options for lash growth serums.
Our Testing Process
After extensive research on the best active ingredients for lashes and poring over recommendations from experts, and customer reviews, we created a list of the 30 best lash growth serums on the market. Next, we sent all 30 serums to the InStyle Test Lab where a diverse and hand-picked group of beauty experts and editors, across a range of skin types, skin concerns and ages tested each lash serum for ten weeks and took detailed notes on their findings and experience. They paid close attention to specific factors, including an easy and mess-free application process and the tester’s comfort level while wearing the serum for long periods of time, along with the final appearance. From there, we narrowed our list down to the nine best lash serums that received the highest praise, compiling those recommendations for you here.
What to Keep in Mind
Not all lash growth serums are created equal. Some are best for increasing strength, some target length, and others provide extra volume. Before you purchase a lash growth serum, you’ll want to be clear on what kind of results you hope to see.
If doubling your lash length is your goal, then there are no better options than the Borboleta Lash Serum or the RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner. If strengthening and improving lash health are your motivating factor, then the Lancôme Cils Booster Lash Revitalizing Serum and Grande Cosmetics GrandeLASH-MD Lash Enhancing Serum will impress you. Meanwhile if you’re looking for a little two-in-one action, then the Vichy LiftActiv Eyelash Growth Serum can smooth out fine lines while improving lashes and the Âme Pure Lash Boost™ Eyelash Growth Serum will enhance your eyebrows as well.
The benefits you see from using a lash serum are brought to life by ingredients such as biotin, panthenol, and lipids.
Biotin, found in the Borboleta Lash Serum, RevitaLash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner, and RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum, “supports the natural production of keratin to encourage the looks of thicker and fuller lashes,” explains Dr. Mona Gohara, a board certified dermatologist in Connecticut.
Jasmine Imani, licensed esthetician and founder of Jas Imani Beauty, chimes in that if you hope to achieve strong and thick lashes, it is essential to keep them well hydrated. “Lashes that aren’t well hydrated cannot reach their full growth potential, and will shed more,” she says, adding that panthenol helps to enhance the shine and softness of lashes.
A balanced formula also typically includes lipids, which "target the anagen phase of the hair cycle to provide thicker, fuller looking eyelashes,” says Dr. Gohara.
Instructions will vary based on the product and brand, and should be followed for best results. You can expect most brands to recommend applying once or twice a day.
When applying in the morning, wait three to five minutes (or until the serum is fully absorbed) for it to dry before applying any makeup over it. In the evening, you should still wait a few minutes for the product to fully absorb to avoid transferring the product to the pillowcase.
Your Questions, Answered
Do eyelash growth serums work?
Yes, eyelash growth serums work, although there is “a natural built in stopping point” for your hair growth, says Dr. Gohara. This means that anyone who already has long lashes may not see a huge difference in length, even if a lash serum is applied consistently. Once your max or ideal length is achieved, continue to apply the serum regularly to maintain.
How do you apply eyelash serum?
Most brands will provide detailed instructions on how to apply their specific eyelash serum. Many serums come with an applicator (not unlike a slim liquid eyeliner), which you gently brush along your eyelids to deposit product.
You want to make sure the product is applied to the lash line and wait the recommended amount of time to allow it to sink in. There are a few brands, like the Vichy LiftActiv Eyelash Growth Serum, which don’t come with an applicator. Instead, you use your finger to lightly dab along your lashes. Make sure to do so with clean hands to avoid any unwanted bacteria from entering the eyes.
Are eyelash serums safe?
In general, “over the counter lash serums are safe to use,” says Dr. Castilla. “Although they are not FDA tested, cosmetic companies often do their own safety testing.”
To stay on the safe side, it’s important to closely read the ingredients list and check the packaging to see whether a dermatologist tested or approved the formula. The only lash serum approved by the FDA for lash growth is the prescription serum, Latisse, according to Dr. Castilla, so you’ll need to visit your doctor to determine whether you’re a candidate.
It’s also important to take appropriate precautions. Imani advises her clients to find products that work for their body. “If there are any signs of discoloration or irritation, stop using immediately," cautions Imani, who adds that that serums tend to spread easily, so if you get a little overzealous with your application, take a q-tip to wipe off excess product.
What helps eyelashes grow?
Lash serums target the anagen phase, which refers to the growth phase of the hair cycle. “This makes the hair appear thicker, fuller, and in some instances, darker,” explains Dr. Gohara. Lash growth serums work to enhance the natural growth cycle of eyelashes.
Why Shop With Us
Bianca Kratky is a commerce writer at InStyle with over two years of experience covering beauty and fashion. With the combination of expert insights from Dr. Castilla, Dr. Gohara, and Jasmine Imani, as well as the results from our in-house tests, she was able to compile a list of best lash growth serums based on first-person and expert experience.
Related:The 5 Best Lash Glues of 2023, Tested and Reviewed
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