If you are a current user of eyelash growth serum, or it is a new product you‘d like to try, you may have some questions and concerns about the safety of it while you are pregnant.
This article will help answer some questions you may have and give you the run down for use of eyelash serum during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding.
Safety of Ingredients
While every lash serum on the market will use a different combination of ingredients, is is still important to know what all of the potential ingredients do and how safe they are, especially during pregnancy and/or breastfeeding.
Peptides and individual amino acids will be found in essentially every lash serum. These ingredients will help nourish and strengthen the lashes and the hair follicles themselves to help encourage healthy growth at every stage.
Unless you have an allergy to one of the included peptides, this ingredient group is incredibly safe.
Biotin is another common ingredient that is also quite safe. It functions to strengthen keratin and thereby improve the overall health of the lashes.
This is an important function for preventing breakage of the lashes in every stage of growth.
Castor oil is one of the most common carrier oils used in lash serums, and while many people do not have any problems with this ingredient, it does have the potential to cause irritations to the skin.
Since your eyelids have the thinnest skin on your body, anyone with a sensitivity to this ingredient may find the majority of lash serums quite uncomfortable.
However, castor oil can be used as a lash enhancer all on its own thanks to its natural positive effects on hair growth and quality, so it can be used as an alternative to lash extensions and traditional serums if you want a simpler route to take.
Some other ingredients commonly included in lash serums are ceramides and panthenol, and they serve to hydrate and lock in moisture in your lashes.
The potential for irritation or allergy is present with these ingredients as well, but in general, they are very safe for use around the eyes.
Parabens are another common addition to lash serums as a preservative. If you’re looking for an ultra-safe, chemical free serum, you’ll want to look for a brand that is paraben-free.
Types of Eyelash Enhancing Serum
There are three main types of eyelash growth serum that you should be aware of.
Over-the-counter brands are the most common type, and they can be composed of all-natural serums or include some chemicals to enhance the effects.
The third type of serum is a prescription serum, and there is currently only one brand on the market that requires a prescription.
It is called Latisse, and it contains a pharmaceutical agent (prostaglandin analogue) as the active ingredient, proven to enhance the growth of eyelashes.
It is the strongest serum on the market, but it also comes with a higher risk of side effects, which is why it requires a prescription. Latisse is the only FDA-approved serum for lash growth.
Over-the-counter brands can be purchased from most makeup/skincare retailers, and you can even purchase them online through Amazon.
Some common over-the-counter brands include GrandeLASH and Revitalash, but every manufacturer will use a different formulation.
If you don’t have a great experience with one brand, it is a good idea to try one or a few different brands before writing off serum as a whole.
It may be tough to know which one will be ideal for you, so don’t shy away from a trial and error period. Over-the-counter brands have formulations that are cruelty-free, all natural, designed for sensitive skin, and more.
As beauty products go, this is one type that offers a lot of choice. Since they can commonly be used as a brow serum as well, they are quite versatile.
Adverse Effects of Eyelash Serum
When it comes to side effects of lash serums, most people will not encounter any problems.
However, there is the potential to experience some adverse reactions, so it is still important to know what to watch for.
Dry eyes and general signs of irritation such as redness and swelling are the most common negatives attributed to the use of lash serum.
Generally, these are the only effects encountered with over-the-counter brands, but allergic reactions and alterations in pigmentation on the eyelids are potential effects as well.
The worst side effects will be seen with use of Latisse, a product derived from a medicine called bimatoprost that is used to treat glaucoma.
It can have the same side effects as over-the-counter brands, with the addition of a permanent alteration in the pigmentation in the iris of the eye.
The risk of these side effects is greater in this brand, so it is important that you consult your doctor about even the slightest changes you notice during use.
Application type does effect the safety of these serums as well.
Serums that apply like eyeliner will be safer, since there is less risk of the serum dripping into your eye.
They are also more effective since they target the lash line directly and not just the natural lashes themselves.
Serums that apply like mascara have a greater risk, since you may poke your eye accidentally if you are not very practised.
While lash serums are generally considered safe by dermatologists and ophthalmologists, there are some additional risks during pregnancy and breastfeeding that you need to be aware of.
Use of Lash Growth Serum During Pregnancy and/or Breastfeeding
Pregnant women are able to safely use lash serums to achieve longer lashes, but there are more considerations to make when choosing a product.
Some serums will be safe for pregnancy and nursing, some only safe for nursing, and some not safe for either pregnancy or nursing.
Since it is not feasible to list a complete guide to every brand and product that is safe vs not safe for any stage of pregnancy or nursing, we’ll compose a few tips instead.
As a general rule, it is recommended that you do NOT use Latisse during pregnancy, at all. It is listed as a category c substance for pregnancy, meaning it has shown adverse affects in animal studies but has not been tested on humans.
Since the appearance of your lashes is nowhere near as important as the health of a growing fetus, Latisse should be discontinued as soon as pregnancy occurs.
Latisse should also not be used while nursing/breastfeeding, because it has the potential to be excreted in breast milk and harm your young child.
Over-the-counter brands can be used safely while pregnant and nursing, but there are certain ingredients that should be avoided for their potential effects on the fetus or newborn.
It is therefore incredibly important that you read the ingredient list on any serum you are wanting to purchase, and we recommend consulting a doctor as well before use.
Some ingredients to avoid include any type of prostaglandin analogue, stem cells, liquorice root, salicylic acid derivative, willow bark, gluconolactone, arbutin, retinoid, hemp, salicylate, and chemical sunscreen.
This is NOT a comprehensive list of ingredients unsafe for pregnancy and/or nursing, so consult a doctor to be extra sure before using any lash serum.