Does Vaseline Really Help Eyelashes Grow or is this just a Myth?

Dear Megan,

Does vaseline really help eyelashes grow or is this just a myth?

-Anonymous via Quora

Oh boy. I get this question at least 3 or 4 times a month. I have answered it before, but sometimes I think maybe I didn’t answer it clearly enough, so this time I dug into it really hard because it really just irks me when myths keep circulating unchecked.

This is one of those things that we really want to work. Like the life hacker/beauty hacker inside of all of us is just rooting for Vaseline to be that awesome (and save us a few bucks!) but this time it’s just not happening.

Vaseline can help condition your eyelashes, in that it can moisturize and protect them, but vaseline cannot grow your eyelashes. Any growth that you see would be strictly coincidental.

Some other writers commented that they saw lash growth (1mm already!) from using Vaseline for a week, but let’s be honest here: it’s really difficult to measure lash length by yourself. When I did lash measurements in WINK‘s testing, there’s no way that I could’ve done it on myself or others; I had a friend who specialized in teeny tiny lab measurements step in and help out.

You can read my original answer to this question here if you wish, but I’ll break it down quickly:

  • Research shows that hair follicles (including eyelashes) can grow (fuller or longer) from the use of bimataprost—a prostaglandin analog—peptides, essential fatty acids, or sulfur.
  • Research shows that hair follicles can become stronger by using coconut oil, because of it’s high stearic acid content, giving it good stearic chemistry (it can easily penetrate the hair shaft).
  • Vaseline is made from petroleum. It is a very large molecule, making it a good moisturizer, but it is an occlusive agent. At a size much larger than 500 daltons, it’s not penetrating the skin and it cannot enter the skin. It’s not going to penetrate into the hair follicle either. Even if it could, it cannot stimulate growth.
  • Vaseline is also usually derived from and processed in foreign countries, outside of the US and the US’s standards. You do not know where or how it was refined. Do you really want to put it near your eyes?

Vaseline can act as a great moisturizer, as it’s so occlusive, that it’s basically like putting plastic wrap on your skin. It’s not great for those with acne, and definitely not a lash growth ingredient.

For more information on what can make your lashes longer, fuller and stronger (those are 3 different things, by the way), feel free to read my full break down of the research.

As for why others have had such great success with Vaseline.. I really don’t know what to say. Perhaps the new attention to lashes plus a little bit of light reflection from the highly shiny, occlusive Vaseline coating? Not sure!

If you have any questions or want links to the research, feel free to comment below!

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Dr. Vanessa Rodriguez is a board-certified general practitioner with more than 15 years of patient care experience. She takes an integrative approach to patient care that considers the whole person – mind, body, and spirit – and is deeply committed to assisting her patients in achieving and sustaining optimal health. Dr. Vanessa is also a skilled writer and medical reviewer, specializing in preventive care and health promotion. Her articles are written in an approachable manner that is simple to comprehend and implement in one’s own life. Dr. Vanessa’s mission is to equip her patients and readers with the knowledge and resources necessary to live their greatest lives.

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