beauty and aging

Your Eyelashes as You Age

woman looking at her face in the bathroom mirrorIs it normal for my eyelashes to thin as I age?

Unfortunately, thinning eyelashes are part of the aging process. So, if your lashes don't seem to have the same length and fullness they once did, don't worry, in most cases, there's no reason for alarm. Still, you should share any concerns with your health care provider.

Eyelash growth has four stages: growth, resting, shedding and re-growth. Your lashes continuously cycle through these four stages. As we age, eyelash follicles (the openings in the skin through which the lash grows) can slow or stop producing new lashes altogether.

Aside from age, there are other reasons someone might not have enough lashes. These may include:

  • Scrubbing or rubbing eyelashes too hard, which can damage the skin and cause delicate eyelashes to fall out
  • Heredity
  • Medical conditions
  • Some medications and treatments

Talk with your health care provider about your concerns; he or she can help get to the root of the problem.

Is there anything I can do about it?

The good news is there are a number of options to help give the appearance of fuller, longer lashes. Many of them are temporary fixes, but they can help you feel better about your appearance. And let’s face it, aside from helping to protect our eyes from debris, wind and sunlight, long thick lashes have always been a sign of beauty.

Some of the possible options include:

  • Make-up. Many women turn to make-up, most commonly mascara, which comes in lash extending or thickening formulations. Be sure to replace your mascara every three months to avoid infection.
  • Over-the-counter cosmetic products and lash-boosting serums. These have vitamins and moisturizers to enhance lashes.
  • False eyelashes. Available as long strips to be placed on your eyelid or as single hairs, these are often affixed with glue to supplement existing lashes and can often cause trauma to the eyelashes that can result in even thinner lashes.
  • Speak with your dermatologist. If you’ve noticed that your eyelashes have thinned over time, talk to your dermatologist to see which treatments might be right for you.
  • Eyelash transplants. This surgical procedure actually transfers scalp follicles onto the eyelid, and is generally used in extreme cases.

As always, talk with your health care provider and make sure to weigh the pros and cons of all options.

For more information on beauty and aging, click here.

This resource was developed with the support of Allergan.