In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Does olive oil help eyelashes grow?”, what makes olive oil good for eyelashes, how to use it, and what other options exist for improving your eyelashes.
Does Olive Oil Help Eyelashes Grow?
Yes, traditional medicine says that olive oil can help eyelashes grow.
Olive oil has been used since ancient times as a cosmetic product. In Egyptian culture, olive oil was used for hair care and to counter wrinkles; the Greeks applied oil to the bodies of athletes to highlight their esthetic perfection and Galen suggested the use of olive oil to lighten the face and hands, but also to stimulate hair growth and long‐lasting use to counter alopecia and dandruff (1). However, there is no scientific evidence proving the effects of olive oil on the growth of eyebrows or eyelashes.
Olive oil contains vitamins A and E which are amazing for nourishing and moisturizing hair as well as promoting their growth and enhancing the overall strength and quality of the strands.
But remember: even though many people claim that the regular application of olive oil can make your eyelashes grow thicker and seem fuller, there is no conclusive scientific proof that this remedy works. But, it is absolutely safe to try!
What Makes Olive Oil Good For Hair Growth?
Other than being a rich source of vitamins, olive oil also contains the fatty acids linoleic acid, oleic acid, and palmitic acid. On the whole, fatty acids possess antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and antimicrobial qualities, which is why they are widely used to promote hair growth.
Plant essential oils are plant secondary metabolites containing a mixture of fatty acids. Considering experimental results, it is expected that several fatty acids, e.g. palmitic, oleic, linoleic, linolenic and arachidonic acids, and a mixture of these acids show a significant anti-androgenic effect owing to their testosterone 5a-reductase inhibitory activity. Excessive testosterone 5a-reductase activity may promote baldness (2).
The particular fatty acids mentioned above can help soften the lashes and skin, and also promotes the healthy functioning of hair follicles to strengthen hair.
Here are some of the individual advantages of each fatty acid found in olive oil:
- Oleic acid: helps regulate the skin’s sebum production, which prevents bacterial growth and hydrates the eyelids – healthy eyelids mean healthy follicles and healthy eyelashes.
- Palmitic acid is an emollient that softens the skin and eyelash hair.
- Linoleic acid helps maintain healthy hair follicles, boosts healthy skin cell turnover, and prevents dead hair cells from clogging pores.
How Should You Use Olive Oil For Eyelashes?
It is extremely easy to apply olive oil to your eyelashes and merely takes a few minutes:
- Remove any eye makeup before you begin. This helps prevent any damage to the hair follicles of the eyelashes.
- Pour one or two drops of olive oil onto a cotton swab, or dip an eyelash brush into some olive oil, and apply/comb it gently into your eyelashes. Since olive oil is heavy, just a few drops will do.
- Let the eyelashes absorb the oil for about five to 10 minutes.
- Rinse the eyelashes with tepid water. This helps remove any excess oil that remains on the eyelashes.
- Repeat once or twice daily for four weeks for best results.
Even though you can use this treatment at any time of the day, it generally yields the best results if practiced just before bedtime. This is because your eyes can rest and let the olive oil do its magic undisturbed.
You can also mix some vitamin E oil with olive oil and apply it to the eyelashes as described above. Moreover, taking additional health supplements such as biotin along with this herbal remedy can further promote the growth of thick and dark eyelashes.
What Other Options Can Help Eyelashes Grow?
Many studies have been focused to discover effective materials for hair growth, including the use of proanthocyanidins, a flavonoid with potent antioxidant effect, extracted from grape seeds were reported to induce hair growth, and extract of Sophora flavescens has been reported to promote hair growth. Investigations were done on the hair growth activity of almond oil, til oil and coconut oil preparation containing ariel part of Z. jujuba, Cuscuta reflexa, Citrus burgamia, Lagenaria sicararia, Hibiscus rosasinesis and Allieum cepa, seed of Trigonella foinum graceum and fruits of Embelica officinalis (2).
If you feel that this regime isn’t working for you, here are a few other options you can try for healthy and vibrant eyelashes.
Topical medication known as Bimatoprost (Latisse) is a scientifically proven skin-care product that can safely be used for replenishing eyelashes. It is the only US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved medication for eyelash growth.
Latisse has been shown to encourage the growth of thick eyelashes; however, it might alter the color of the iris and darken the skin around the eyelashes.
A combination of extracts, from two plant species, ie, Coffea arabica (coffee) and Larrea divaricata (Jarilla) (ECOHAIR®), is being successfully used in Argentina as a cosmetic for hair recovery in androgenic and areata alopecia, and for eyelash and eyebrow growth. A study on application of this cosmetic on eyebrows and eyelashes showed that the Jarilla–Coffea extract gel was capable of improving eyelash and eyebrow growth by inducing hair thickness, and also the appearance of new hairs and hair length were changed, without exerting local adverse effects (3).
Always consult a physician before using any such medication.
Castor oil is rich in vitamin E and ricinoleic acid which inhibit microbial growth. Castor oil also penetrates deep within the skin and nourishes hair follicles, hydrates the hair and skin, and promotes hair growth.
A study done on shaved mice to examine the efficacy of essential oil from seeds of Zizyphus jujuba for its potential role on hair growth demonstrated that after 21 days, mice treated with 1% and 10% of oil produced a greater effect on the length of hair which were measured to be 9.96 and 10.02 mm, respectively, as compared to the control (8.94 mm) (2).
Rosemary oil has also been shown to improve the growth of eyelashes by increasing circulation.
As mentioned, vitamin E oil can also be used separately to neutralize free radical damage and reduce inflammation, thus improving the overall health of skin and hair follicles.
Biotin deficiency is often linked with hair thinning, so taking biotin supplements might help promote hair growth.
Peptides can help replenish and repair any damage to hair protein, thus strengthening eyelash hair, and enhancing its shine and elasticity. Peptides are amino acid chains of 50 or less amino acids linked by peptide bonds. A study indicated that the daily topical application of the peptides extract solution was able to elongate the eyelash and increase the density of the eyebrows and stimulate the growth of new eyebrow follicles (4).
In this brief article, we answered the question, “Does olive oil help eyelashes grow?”, what makes olive oil good for eyelashes, how to use it, and what other options exist for improving your eyelashes.
If you have any more questions or comments please let us know.
- Gorini, Ilaria, et al. Olive oil in pharmacological and cosmetic traditions. J Cosmetic Derm, 2019, 1575-1579.
- Yoon, Jung In, Sharif M. Al-Reza, and Sun Chul Kang. Hair growth promoting effect of Zizyphus jujuba essential oil. Food chem toxicol, 2010, 48, 1350-1354.
- Alonso, María Rosario, Silvia Pérez Damonte, and Claudia Anesini. Jarilla–Coffea extract: a natural cosmetic product that improves eyelash and eyebrow growth in women. Clin Cosmetic Invest Derm, 2019, 12, 47.
- Alvin, Glen, Volodymyr Chernykh, and Mike Chan. Peptides: A Novel Approach to Enhance Eyelash and Eyebrow Growth. J Dermatolog Clin Res, 2020, 8, 1137.
- Ashique, S., Sandhu, N.K., Haque, S.N. et al. A Systemic Review on Topical Marketed Formulations, Natural Products, and Oral Supplements to Prevent Androgenic Alopecia: A Review. Nat. Prod. Bioprospect., 2020, 10, 345–365.