Yes, you can really grow longer, fuller eyelashes with the right products and at-home practices. We’re not talking about your sister’s friend’s DIY remedy; we’re talking about evidence-based solutions for healthier and more luscious lashes.

Diet for Healthy Eyelashes

Think of your eyelashes like any other body part. Just as you need a diet rich in vitamins and minerals for strong bones, you need a nutrient-rich diet for strong, healthy eyelashes. Foods rich in vitamin C like yummy citrus fruits, kiwis, tomatoes and peppers promote the growth of collagen to hold cells together. Green leafy vegetables, nuts and many oils rich in vitamin E have antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage. Get Vitamin B-3 (niacin), which is essential for healthy lashes, eyes and skin, in fish dinners or protein snacks of sunflower seeds and peanuts. Whether from a steak dinner or a hummus dip, protein is especially important to stimulate the growth of strong, sky-high lashes.

Photo by Tanalee Youngblood

Hydrate Dry Eyelashes

Dry eyelashes are more likely to split and suffer breakage. Hydrate dry eyelashes with castor oil to grow fuller, longer lashes while you sleep. Full of ricinoleic acid, vitamin E, Omega-6 and Omega-9 fats, castor oil’s ultra lubrication hydrates eyelashes when applied at the lash line overnight. Lash conditioners containing amino acids and peptides also boost hydration. For the gentlest conditioners, ensure the product is free of parabens and sulfates. If your eyes are normally sensitive to certain cosmetics, look for a lash conditioner that is ophthalmologist tested. And if you’re fond of your eye color, check the warning label; some eyelashes conditioners, as well as some lengthening mascaras, may darken eyes or eyelids.

Baby Your Lashes

Photo by Annie Spratt

From waterproof mascaras to falsies and extensions, eyelashes endure a lot in the name of beauty. To boost growth, give your lashes a replenishing break from mascara for 48 hours whenever you can. Then baby your lashes with baby shampoo. Instead of rubbing makeup remover pads across the lashes, which sometimes removes lashes along with the mascara, liner and shadow, dip a cotton swap or soft cloth in a solution of baby shampoo and water to cleanse the eyelashes. This gentle method recommended by the American Academy of Ophthalmology also helps prevent blepharitis, a bacterial condition that develops from poor eye hygiene and can cause eyelashes to break and fall out.