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Hang around long enough on TikTok, and you'll undoubtedly come across a video or two singing the praises of using an oil for longer lashes. But is there any truth behind the hype? Kind of. "There is little evidence to suggest that oil can cause lashes to grow," dermatologist Dr. Marisa Garshick tells The Zoe Report. "That said, it can help to moisturize your lashes, giving them a healthier, thicker, and stronger appearance." If you're interested in giving it a go, the best oil for eyelash growth is undoubtedly castor oil. "In general, it is best to opt for 100%, cold-pressed castor oil," Dr. Garshick says of how to narrow down your choices and minimize the risk of irritation.
Dr. Marisa Garshick, M.D., F.A.A.D., is a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, practicing with MDCS Dermatology: Medical Dermatology & Cosmetic Surgery. As a medical student, she was awarded the Doris Duke Clinical Research Fellowship at Harvard Medical School, and she completed her dermatology residency at Cornell's New York-Presbyterian Hospital, where she served as Chief Resident in Dermatology. She also serves as an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Garshick has numerous publications in scientific journals and book chapters, and specializes in general medical dermatology and cosmetic dermatology.
Though more scientific data is needed, Dr. Garshick points out that it has been suggested that castor oil may help to promote lash growth. But at the very least, it definitely has nourishing benefits. "Castor oil can help to moisturize the lashes, improving the overall health," says Dr. Garshick. "It uses ricinoleic acid, a type of fatty acid that boosts circulation, which is thought to help promote healthier and stronger hair," she says of why the oil has become so popular with people looking to boost hair growth.
How To Apply Oil To Your Lashes
As with any topical product, there's always the risk of experiencing irritation. Dr. Garshick says that can be especially true when it comes to applying something to the delicate eye area, which is why you'll want to do a patch test at least 24 hours before using the oil (you only need to apply a small amount to an area like your arm). Once you've confirmed you're not allergic, you can use a cotton swab or thin brush to apply a small amount of the castor oil along the lash line. "It is important to use caution to avoid getting the oil in the eye," Dr. Garshick warns. And if you're brushing the oil on with a reusable brush, you'll want to be sure to clean it after each use to avoid the risk of irritation or infection. It's also best to apply the castor oil at night and wash it off in the morning.
"Those with sensitive skin or anyone prone to eye conditions should always speak with a dermatologist and ophthalmologist prior to using oils around the eye," Dr. Garshick adds. And if you're looking for a proven way to lengthen your lashes, consider a prescription treatment. "Latisse is the only FDA-approved product to enhance eyelash growth," Dr. Garshick says of the prescription-only option. "In a double-blinded study, Latisse was found to be both safe and effective at making lashes longer, darker, and thicker."
Shop The Best Oils For Eyelash Growth
In a hurry? Here are the best oils for eyelash growth:
1. Best Value: Kate Blanc Cosmetics Castor Oil
2. Best Design: Live Fraiche USDA Organic Castor Oil
3. Best Splurge: Briogeo B. Well Organic + Cold-Pressed 100% Castor Oil
1. Best Value
At under $15 for a 4-ounce bottle, Kate Blanc Cosmetics Castor Oil is a great value, especially considering that it comes with four spoolies (for your eyebrows) and four thin-tipped brushes (for your lash line). Because this castor oil comes in a glass bottle, you'll want to be sure to store it away from any windows, as direct sunlight can cause it to degrade faster.
Relevant Review: "I bought this for my lashes and I absolutely love it!!! My lashes went from thin, wimpy and pathetic to thick, luscious and long!!! It took a couple of weeks to start seeing significant changes but it was definitely worth the wait. [...]”
2. Best Design
Though you get a lot less product (less than half an ounce), this Live Fraiche castor oil has a slim, double-sided design that makes it especially great for travel (or anyone who likes to keep their beauty drawer as streamlined as possible). The compact tube contains 100% pure, cold-pressed, USDA organic castor oil, and a dual-ended brush for your brows and lashes.
Relevant Review: “Love the convenience of both brushes. The bottle is pretty and it actually works. I noticed my lashes were thicker and longer after a week. I use this to nourish my natural lashes since I wear falsies often and it keeps me from losing my natural lashes.”
3. Best Splurge
If you’re extra, prestige beauty brand Briogeo makes a castor oil, too. Like the other two oils on this list, their B. Well Castor Oil is 100% organic and cold-pressed, which ensures that no impurities are introduced into the oil during the extraction process, and that all of its natural nutrients are preserved. The opaque pump bottle dispenses a small amount of the oil and helps keep it fresher for longer. Plus, Briogeo's castor oil is fair-trade certified by Fair For Life, an organization that assures companies use environmentally friendly agricultural practices and provide safe working conditions.
Relevant Review: "This product is wonderful. I have noticed hair growth in my thin brows and my eyelashes are fuller. An absolute must buy!!”
If you find it hard to commit to an extra skin care step in the evening, Dr. Garshick recommends this two-in-one mascara and lash serum from Wander Beauty. "It contains Widelash, which has been shown to improve length, volume, and thickness after just two weeks of use," she says of the patented formula, which contains castor oil and a copper peptide to protect and promote healthier lashes. Meanwhile, the mascara immediately adds length and volume with its silicone, hourglass-shaped brush. The formula is long-wearing and water-resistant, and it's also vegan and cruelty-free.
Relevant Review: "Use this daily and makes my lashes look so pretty and fanned out. Good lift on this mascara. I have very small lashes and this helped them to look fuller for longer than my other ones. I also loved the colour and how it matched my lashes without making me look like I had mascara. I love a natural look. Washed off with just my normal face wash and did not leave racoon [sic] eyes. Did not irritate my eyes, either.”
Dr. Marisa Garshick, M.D., board-certified dermatologist at MDCS Dermatology and an assistant clinical professor of dermatology at New York-Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center.