From coconut oil to castor oil, many swear by the powers of natural ingredients for boosting the lushness of their eyebrows. Recently, however, some have touted the brow-boosting benefits of Vaseline – yup, the greasy balm we reach for the most when our lips are chapped. But does it actually work to give us fuller brows?
To get some answers on the effects of putting Vaseline on our eyebrows, we reached out to accredited dermatologist and medical director of TWL Specialist Skin & Laser Centre, Dr. Teo Wan Lin.
What is Vaseline?
A derivative of oil refining, Vaseline (a.k.a. petroleum jelly) is a mixture of mineral oils and waxes. A household staple for many, it’s been used to heal all sorts of injuries, such as minor cuts and scrapes.
“It’s essentially an occlusive,” Dr. Teo shares. “This means it prevents transepidermal water loss or evaporation of moisture.” An excellent skin protectant, 100% petroleum jelly or petrolatum is great for dry, cracked skin or lips. When you apply it on your skin, it creates a film to protect a weakened moisture barrier and prevent water loss.
Can Vaseline actually help brows grow fuller?
According to Dr. Teo, probably not. Despite its array of skin perks, it won’t grant you Cara Delevingne-like arches overnight. “When styled, [Vaseline] can give the appearance of lesser gaps between your brows. It doesn’t actually have cosmetic benefits of increasing the rate of growth of your brows, [but] it does help to keep your brows looking sleek and it can keep your hairs in place,” Dr. Teo clarifies.
However, what Vaseline can do is condition your brows, which is an important aspect of hair growth. If you’re using Vaseline to groom your brows, pick up the tiniest amount with a clean eyebrow brush or mascara wand and brush it upward to coat every strand.
When asked how it compares to castor oil – a popular ingredient that purportedly promotes the growth of brow hairs – Dr. Teo shares, “I think that a lot of plant-derived oils have been overlooked. Castor oil very likely has phytoceramides and all plant seed oils contain lipids that are helpful for the skin barrier.”
“The ingredient is also rich in antioxidants, which help to stimulate the growth of skin cells and prevent environmental damage,” she lets on.
“But until there is a specific study that investigates the correlation between this ingredient and the growth of brow hair, generally dermatologists will not be able to comment on that.”
Side effects of using Vaseline on your brows
Since Vaseline forms a barrier on the surface of your skin, you may be worried about developing milia around your eyes when you apply them on your brow area.
“In theory, it shouldn’t give rise to milia around the eye area,” Dr. Teo states. “The occurrence of milia is actually idiopathic, which means we don’t know the exact cause, so I don’t think applying petroleum jelly can cause milia.”
Since petroleum is a derivative of oil refining, you should be mindful of the brand of petroleum you use, as it can be found in different grades of purity. “Mineral oils in petroleum jelly are actually completely safe for skin. As long as they’re approved for cosmetic use, [they’re] not going to cause any damage on your skin,” Dr. Teo assures.
Other uses of Vaseline
Most recently, Vaseline was trending on social media as more people started trying out the “slugging” trend. This involves slathering your face with petroleum jelly as the last step in your nighttime routine, which creates a protective barrier to seal in all the benefits of your skincare products.
“What dermatologists recommend for those who suffer from severe body eczema, for example, is to first apply a ceramide-dominant moisturiser – one that is formulated correctly with the lipid ratio,” Dr. Teo explains. “Then, [petroleum jelly goes on] as a final layer. This can help to maintain moisture in the topmost layer of the skin.”
Before you slather your face in a thick layer of Vaseline, however, Dr. Teo warns that it isn’t actually recommended for use on facial skin, especially in humid climates like Singapore. “This is because the face is greasier due to the distribution of the oil glands. So if you produce quite a bit of oil or if you have acne, this is not a good idea,” she says.
Alternative brow growth solutions
To give your brows a boost, Dr. Teo recommends a peptide-based lash lengthener, which can also be used on the eyebrows. “That has been proven in clinical studies to stimulate the growth of eyelashes and can be used on brow hairs as well,” she elaborates.
Ahead, we’ve rounded up our top three favourite eyebrow serums to give you fuller arches fast.
Cangro Bold Brows Eyebrow Enhancer
Cangro Bold Brows Eyebrow Enhancer is an eyebrow growth serum that nourishes, strengthens, and conditions your eyebrows.
The four peptides in the formula stimulate hair growth and help every strand reach its full potential, while antioxidant-rich vitamins and plant extracts soothe sensitive skin and retain moisture for shine and fullness.
You’ll see thicker, fuller-looking brows in as little as four to eight weeks and maximum results after 12 weeks.
Cangro Bold Brows Eyebrow Enhancer retails for S$89.90. Click on the link below for the most updated price.
Xlash Xbrow Eyebrow Conditioner
The Xbrow Eyebrow Conditioner works to give you fuller, thicker brows in four to six weeks. When the serum sinks into your hair follicles, it nourishes and strengthens your brow hairs from root to tip.
It’s even able to stimulate hair growth in sparse patches that have been barren for aeons.
Xlash Xbrow Eyebrow Conditioner retails for S$89.90. Click on the link below for the most updated price.
LashFood BrowFood Phyto-Medic Natural Eyebrow Enhancer
Designed to reduce hair loss and promote growth, LashFood’s eyebrow enhancer has a non-irritating formula that’s perfect for those with sensitive skin and eyes.
The soy protein, adenosine, and peony root in the serum work together to moisturise and strengthen existing hair follicles. With continued use, you can expect bushier, more defined brows.
LashFood BrowFood Phyto-Medic Natural Eyebrow Enhancer retails for S$131. Click on the link below for the most updated price.