Hannah Frye


September 21, 2022

Hannah Frye

mbg Assistant Beauty Editor

By Hannah Frye

mbg Assistant Beauty Editor

Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including health, wellness, sustainability, personal development, and more.

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Some skin care products are more accessible than others given the divide between prescription-grade and over-the-counter (OTC) items. But thanks to modern technology and research, plenty of safe and effective OTC products are gaining traction.

One popular prescription item-turned-OTC holy grail: eyelash serums. While dermatologists can certainly provide access to clinically studied growth-focused formulas, there are more than a few A+ options on the market as is—here are our favorite clean lash serums that will enhance your lashes to falsies status in no time.

What do eyelash serums do?

Here’s the thing: Eyelash serums are not always formulated to actually make your lashes grow faster but instead nourish the lashes you already have. While some people may experience growth when using nourishing products, there isn’t much clinical evidence to back up those claims. 

This doesn’t mean OTC eyelash serums are useless, however. “I do think that the emollient properties of these oils may be helpful if the eyelashes or brows are becoming brittle and broken due to the use of mascara, adhesives, false eyelashes, and curling devices,” board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, M.D., tells mbg. 

Some more popular ingredients, like peptides, have been researched in recent years and provide promising results for eyelash health. In this study, researchers found that some peptides (myristoyl pentapeptide-17 and myristoyl hexapeptide-16) stimulate keratin production, a key factor in hair growth. The results of their study included increased lash curl, length, volume, and thickness. Increased growth itself, however, was not documented.

To sum it up: OTC lash serums can certainly encourage healthier lashes (read: longer, stronger, thicker, etc.) but will not likely encourage increased growth, per se. When your lashes are healthier, though, fallout and brittleness will likely decrease, meaning you’ll hold on to your lashes for longer. And strong, thriving lashes certainly look longer, too.

How we picked.

We weeded out gimmicky and bare-minimum options in this list. All of the products we’ve chosen contain high-quality ingredients that are clean, safe, and effective. 

Our editors made sure to test the majority of products firsthand. When that wasn’t possible, we took authenticated reviews into consideration to offer anecdotal insight into each product. 

We searched high and low for the cleanest options in the eyelash serum market. If there’s an iffy ingredient to note in any formula, we’ll call it out in the sidebar so you can buy with knowledge.

We found clean eyelash serums at various price points to offer a high-quality, trusted option for every budget.

Our picks for the best eyelash growth serums of 2022:


  • Safe for use with contacts and lash extensions


  • Doesn’t cover existing lashes like spoolie serum wands

Considerations: Vegan, Fragrance-free

Standout ingredients: Panthenol, Aloe vera extract, Hyaluronic acid

This one is a cult classic for good reason. According to a consumer perception study, the rich blend of lash-loving ingredients encourages longer, healthier lashes. After 12 weeks, 97% reported more visual lashes, while 91% agreed their lashes looked healthier. This is an easy pick for those with thinning or brittle lashes. The full results will take three months but will likely be well worth the wait.


  • Contains butylene glycol

Considerations: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Fragrance-free

Standout ingredients: Peptides, Panthenol, Caffeine

Coming in at just under $15, this peptide serum is a true steal. The formula contains caffeine, a blend of peptides, and panthenol to help soothe the skin and support lash health. The blend doubles as an eyebrow serum as well, making it an easy 2-in-1 to add to your skin care lineup.


  • Doesn’t irritate sensitive eye skin


  • Contains butylene glycol

Considerations: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Fragrance-free

Standout ingredients: Peptides, Panthenol, Cannabis seed extract, Aloe vera extract

This 94% natural formula is a winner for both thinning brows and lashes. I’ve used this one personally and experienced a smooth application sans sting or irritation—something that often happens to my sensitive eyelids. I echo the countless five-star reviews in the comment section on Milk’s website—this stuff works! Not to mention, one tube is actually enough for 12 weeks, which is how long you should wait to see results.


  • Larger studies completed
  • Hypoallergenic


  • Contains butylene glycol

Considerations: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Fragrance-free

Standout ingredients: Peptides, Panthenol, Biotin, Caffeine

This award-winning lash serum formula was developed by physicians and reviewed by ophthalmologists, resulting in a hypoallergenic, non-irritating formula. Survey results from an independent six-week consumer study, which included 63 participants (more than most consumer studies) offered shockingly unanimous results. Ninety-eight percent reported improved lash appearance, healthier-looking lashes, and stronger lashes after just six weeks. Pretty impressive, no?

Considerations: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Fragrance-free

Standout ingredients: Peptides

This one is a great natural pick, with some unique key ingredients as well. Mung bean extract and red clover work on lash health, while glycerin nourishes the eyelid skin. This formula is simple but leaves out any harsh additives to ensure you’re supporting your lashes au naturel.


  • Contains butylene glycol

Considerations: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Fragrance-free

Standout ingredients: Peptides, Panthenol, Hyaluronic acid, Keratin

This one is ideal for anyone looking to streamline their routine, as it’s become my favorite 3-in-1 product as of late. Not only do I use this serum on my brows and lashes but also as a brow gel during the day. The 97% naturally derived formula is packed with nutrients including a blend of peptides, vegan keratin, panthenol, and hyaluronic acid. Together, this cocktail encourages stronger brows and lashes sans irritation.


  • Dual-ended for brows and lashes

Considerations: Vegan, Cruelty-free, Fragrance-free

Standout ingredients: Castor oil, Peptides, Panthenol, Aloe vera extract, Chia seed extract

Enter, King’s recommended lash serum. If you’re ready to invest in a brow and lash serum, may we recommend this outstanding pick? The Power Fol treatment wand comes with two ends, one for the brows and another for lashes. This is ideal given that introducing any lingering brow makeup (tacky gel or leftover powder) to your eyes is an easy but dangerous accident to make. The comprehensive blend contains peptides along with plenty of other nourishing natural additives to not only encourage stronger brows and lashes but also provide a calming effect to the surrounding skin.

How to choose:

Even with a list of A+ options, it can still be hard to decide which one is the best fit for you. The main thing to remember is that these serums can certainly improve the look and feel of your lashes and make them appear fuller, thicker, and healthier, even if they don’t directly increase growth like prescription-grade options. Still, these are a few factors to consider:

  • Sensitivity: If your eyelid skin tends to flare up easily, you should prioritize finding a product that’s been tested on sensitive skin.
  • Versatility: If your lashes and brows could use some TLC, it may be worth finding a product that’s been formulated and tested for both. This way, you’ll cut down on one step, saving space and cash.
  • Price point: Your ideal price point will also naturally guide your decision. Luckily, there’s a few budget-friendly options that are backed with lash-loving goodness to get you started.
  • Decide when to see a derm: As King mentioned before, these OTC serums are great for nourishing your lashes (and occasionally your brows), but true prescription-strength growth-enhancing serums may require the help of a dermatologist. If you’ve tried the OTC route and still come up short, you may want to take a trip to the derm to discuss prescription options.


How often should you apply a growth serum?

It’s important to note that lash growth serums should be used as instructed. Generally, this means one swipe of the product along the lash line once daily. If you use a serum more often than instructed, you may risk increased irritation and sensitivity.

Can castor oil make your lashes grow?

“Castor oil is not damaging to the hair and can provide some conditioning that improves the flexibility of the hair fiber. And castor oil has been shown in a study to increase hair luster,” says King. You can read more about castor oil for lashes here.

Is eyelash serum safe?

There are plenty of safe eyelash serums on the market like those above. However, be mindful of which retailers you buy these serums from (i.e., avoid discounted or unauthenticated products from third-party retailers). With a product so close to your eye, it’s essential to be extra cautious.

Can you use lash serum with makeup on?

It’s best to put lash serum on freshly cleaned skin. This way, the ingredients won’t interact with any makeup you have on at the moment. Plus, a lash line covered in eyeliner won’t allow the nutrients to penetrate as easily.

mbg review process.

At mbg, high standards are earned and there are no shortcuts. Our beauty editors stay up to date on the latest ingredient research and innovation. It’s a dynamic, continuously evolving space, and it’s important we look into the science so we can make informed choices about which formulas earn our stamp of approval (figuratively speaking).

Our high standards also come from testing products—many, many products. Our editors and writers rigorously test and research the products featured in our roundups to offer you the best, most informed recommendations. When we write reviews, you can trust we spend quality time with the formulas: We don’t simply rave about products we’ve slathered on the back of our hand. We endorse products we’ve tried and loved. 

Learn more about our testing process and clean beauty standards here

The takeaway.

Eyelash serums can offer a boost of nourishment that will encourage healthier-looking lashes, which can appear longer, thicker, and even darker. OTC products will not be as effective at actually stimulating growth, but dermatologists can provide prescription-grade products if need be. Otherwise, look for lash serums with clean, hydrating ingredients, and always remember to check before you buy to avoid less than stellar formulas. And remember: A high-quality mascara can help your lashes look even more fluttery on the road to lash transformation—here are some of our favorites if you’re on the hunt.