Many clients ask me about growth serums for eyelashes, or technically in most cases they should be called “eyelash enhancement serums” which have been extremely popular. When producing these serums as a brand owner I have to be careful with the way we market certain claims. Using the term “makes your eyelashes longer” and “makes lashes longer or thicker because it activates the hair follicle” is a claim that the product is changing the physical structure and function of an eyelash.
To make this claim in the United States the product should be classed as an OTC (over the counter) drug. Similar rules apply in Australia, the TGA and NCCTG cosmetics claims guidelines state that if your product is a cosmetic it should not say stimulates hair follicles (growth) or replaces thinning hair. You can, however say “helps make hair look thicker and longer” or “promotes lustre” essentially using more descriptive cosmetic claims.
Many products that are deemed as cosmetic products which contain peptides, vitamins and conditioning agents do have great benefits and consumers have had success with certain formulas that make the lashes appear more voluminous and that have increased density. The description of the product should say something along the lines of conditioner or enhancer.
NOT ONE PRODUCT FITS ALL
The other reality we have to accept as individuals is certain products that offer eyelash enhancing properties and that contain amino acids or peptides, don’t always work on everyone. We are all different with our genetics and as a consumer we have to be realistic and understand that just because we see peptide in the ingredients this doesn’t guarantee anything as far as hair growth or long term thickening is concerned.
I have personally used Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1 and Myristoyl Pentapeptide 17 combined in a serum with hydrolysed keratin and vitamins, generously on my lashes every single day for eight weeks and up to that point it hadn’t worked at all as far as stimulating more density or length in my lashes. You’ll see many other reviews from people saying the same, yet these peptides and active ingredients have been invitro tested and clinically tested by the raw material suppliers. They have had some results to say the contrary and that they do in fact work.
CLARITY ON CLINICAL TRIALS
Clinical testing or trials is another term that consumers can be interested in and when it comes to many serums there has been vast clinical trials about the effectiveness of certain peptides on lash growth. It’s important that any consumer understands how clinical trials work and how the evaluation has been concluded.
Always ask for the method of clinical trial and method of testing if you have any doubts, this will give you a clearer picture as to how they came to the conclusion, that the product does what it says it does. Invitro testing is performed in a test tube under specific conditions in a laboratory and this is a completely different environment to what my natural eyelashes are in every day. A clinical trial is generally conducted by utilising the products in a real-world environment on a certain number of test subjects or models, these trials are then evaluated by experts and then self-evaluated by the users of the product. These clinical trials are usually conducted by the brand or the material supplier independently.
From all the research I’ve seen with these kinds of invitro or clinical trials there is always a fine print disclaimer in the product data material, saying that the results can’t be guaranteed and that’s because what works for one person, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for another.
GETTING THE RESULTS
Let’s always remember results can vary due to how much was used in the application, how frequent the application, hormonal, genetic factors or perhaps even the formula may not be effective. There are so many variables and at the end of the day you always need to try the product yourself to see if it works for you or your clients.
Do extensive research, this way you can feel confident about any claims that are being made with the results. In the beauty industry we want happy clients. I find discussing client expectations in the consultation session always helps to minimise issues that may arise later, being open and honest on how results can vary is the best policy from my experience.
This article originally appeared in the September-October 2021 issue of Professional Beauty Magazine, available to read here or reader below.
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