There’s no easy way to explain this, so I’ll get right to it: My brows are nearly bald because I pick them out, hair by hair, when I’m stressed. It’s a condition called trichotillomania, or trich, a body-focused repetitive behavior disorder (BFRB) related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). I’m used to it, but as beauty editor working in the Big Brow era, it’s kind of a bummer, especially since my options are limited. It’s not like a growth serum would help, you know? I’d pull at the new hairs eventually. But lately, I’ve been using UMA Oils’ Intensely Nourishing Brow Oil, which feels different. It’s part brow-boosting product and part self-massage ritual, so it stimulates growth and soothes my stress. And who — trich-afflicted or not — wouldn’t want that?
The Brow Oil is the latest launch from UMA Oils, and just like the rest of the line, it’s rooted in ancient Ayurvedic wisdom. (Ayurveda is the centuries-old holistic healing system of India, by the way.) “The product brings in core Ayurvedic ingredients and an application technique with light forehead massage to strengthen the vitality of both the hair as well as the specialized brow area,” Shrankhla Holecek, the brand’s founder, tells The Zoe Report. In terms of brows, that means addressing growth, follicle health, and even premature greying. For the “specialized brow area,” it’s all about balancing sebum, smoothing fine lines, and encouraging collagen production.
As a bit of a clean ingredient snob — especially when it comes to products used around the delicate eye area — I was first drawn the oil’s all-natural formulation. “This weightless formula contains cypriol essential oil to help stimulate roots and encourage hair growth, while also helping to preserve the hair’s pigment and fend off premature greying,” Holecek explains. There’s also cedarwood (to protect from pollutants), tea tree (for balanced oil production), and a base of Indian gooseberry oil (for moisture and conditioning). “Essential oils of juniper berry and orange help maintain brightness around the eye area, while moringa and argan oils bring in high-quality antioxidants and vitamins E and K that rejuvenate skin and help with firming,” the founder adds. This is a brow oil, of course, so castor oil is in there, too.
The tiny tube features a doe-tip applicator, which I usually run over my brows twice; once in the direction of the hair and once against. After that, “a light massage using the fingertips in an upward motion is recommended for absorption and collagen production,” Holecek says. There’s evidence to suggest that stimulating blood flow via facial massage can actually boost collagen levels — and plus, a daily oil massage over my otherwise-furrowed brow feels so nice and necessary and soothing. It’s become my favorite part of my nightly ritual; it almost makes me forget how few hairs I feel beneath my fingers.
Best of all, the formula isn’t thick or goopy, so it can be worn during the daytime, too, as sort of a brow gloss. “Use the brush to fluff and shape eyebrows into place,” Holecek instructs. It provides the slightest bit of shine, which works well with my microbladed brows.
I’ve used the Intensely Nourishing Brow Oil both ways over the past weeks. Although I haven’t noticed new growth or firmer skin just yet, I don’t anticipate stopping anytime soon. No matter how sparse, all brows deserve a daily massage.