Medically reviewed by Aimee Paik, MD
Written by Apostrophe Team
Last updated 11/2/2022
Eyelash growth serums have flooded the market in recent years. Cosmetic brands looking to expand beyond mascara have introduced all types of growth serums claiming to make your lashes longer, thicker, and darker. Castor oil is commonly touted in forums as being a cheap and natural way to encourage lash growth. But can these products compete with the prescription strength ingredients you get from a dermatologist? Read on to find out.
There’s only one FDA-approved product that treats sparse and thinning lashes: Latisse®. Latisse’s active ingredient is bimatoprost which has been clinically proven to make lashes grow longer and darker when applied every day. Latisse was initially approved as a glaucoma medication when patients noticed it had the additional effect of increasing the length and thickness of their lashes. The medication works by extending the growth phase of your eyelashes, which results in longer and darker lashes. If you’re interested in the details, you can learn everything you need to know about Latisse on our blog (plus, learn how some are doing double duty by using it on their brows!).
Castor oil is a vegetable oil derived from the bean of the castor tree. Many people believe the fatty acids in this oil are extra nourishing for the skin and it is often included in makeup and other cosmetic products. This ingredient is so common that those searching for sky-high lashes often cite the application of castor oil as a quick tip to getting longer, thicker lashes. However, there are no scientific studies that prove that castor oil causes lash growth. In fact, there are case studies that show ricinoleic acid, the main constituent of castor oil, to be a major cause of allergic reactions to lip cosmetics. Proceed with caution if you give this tip a try!
A quick Google search for “lash serums” will produce list after list of “The Best Eyelash Growth Serums” and “Eyelash Growth Serums That Work.” Can these products back up their marketing claims with results? It is unclear. Since these products do not undergo testing for effectiveness, there’s no way to say whether they will grow your lashes or live up to their claims. Over-the-counter lash serums are FDA-approved to aid in the overall health of your lashes, but are not approved to grow longer, stronger, or darker lashes. Since Latisse is FDA-approved for that type of growth, you know you are spending your money on a treatment that will get results.
If you’re looking for a tried-and-true way to grow your lashes, you can get access through Apostrophe. Latisse is backed by doctors (and by research) so you can feel good knowing you’re getting a treatment that is tested and proven to work.
Have you tried Latisse? Tell us about it on Twitter @hi_apostrophe.
1. Dyal-Smith D. Contact reactions to lipsticks and other lipcare products. DermNet New Zealand. https://www.dermnetnz.org/topics/contact-reactions-to-lipsticks-and-other-lipcare-products/. Published 2010. Accessed October 25, 2019. 2. Highlights of Prescribing Information. Allergan. https://media.allergan.com/actavis/actavis/media/allergan-pdf-documents/product-prescribing/20170829-LATISSE-USPI-72303US17.pdf. Published 2017. Accessed October 25, 2019. 3. Jay K. Does castor oil make eyelashes grow? Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/castor-oil-for-eyelashes#supporting-research. Published January 5, 2018. Accessed October 25, 2019.
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