Why Are My Eyelashes Falling Out? (Australian Women's Health)

 Our eyelashes go through a lot. They get glued, they get curled, and they get smothered on the daily by a few coats of mascara. But for some reason, we just don't treat those hairs (that are super important as they actually protect your eyes from irritants like dust, sweat, and even the sun) like the hair on our heads.

Sure, it's natural for eyelashes to thin—just as the strands on your head do—as you mature, but there are definitely ways to encourage growth and avoid unnecessary fallout.

To find out more, we spoke to Natasha Creasey, the founder of AGENCY Skin, about eyelash loss and what you can do to reduce loss and regrow your lashes. 

Why are my eyelashes falling out?

According to Natasha, finding an eyelash or two on your cheek is no cause for alarm if it is only happening every now and then. However, if you are noticing several eyelashes falling out at a time or bald patches appearing in your lash line – the sirens should start wailing.

“So much of our beauty routine is centered around maintaining full and fluttery lashes; we curl them, add extensions onto them, enhance them with mascara and put falsies on top. It is no wonder we are quick to panic if our lash line starts to thin with unusual sparseness,” Creasey said.

“Similarly to the hair on our head, our eyelashes go through phases of shedding, rest and growth. It is when the shedding phase starts to overpower the growth phase that we begin to feel concerned. If the problem persists, it is time to closely examine your beauty routine and overall health so that you can identify any potential triggers.”

Creasey has outlined the reasons your eyelashes may be falling out: 

  • Bad beauty habits. Going to sleep with your makeup on isn’t only costly to your skin, leaving mascara on for long periods of time can actually damage your eyelash hair follicles.
  • Lack of proper cleansing. Allowing the build-up of product around your eyes and lashes causes pore blockages which can lead to infections, bacteria issues, and more. This results in lash loss.
  • Ageing. Similar to the hair on your head, your eyelashes will naturally thin as a part of the ageing process.
  • Aggressive face washing. Excessively rubbing your eyes when you are cleansing your face or removing makeup could also be causing your lashes to fall out.
  • Stress. The hormones in our body that are associated with increased levels of stress can trigger a reaction that leaves our lashes looking thinner.
  • Allergies. The products in your beauty routine could be causing an allergic reaction that can lead to eyelash loss. Eyelash glue and extensions are common causes for allergic reactions.
  • Medication.  Some medications affect your body’s natural processes causing issues such as hair loss including lash loss
  • Hormone changes.  Hormone changes affect the body in different ways.  Monthly menstrual cycles and life changes such as menopause cause significant changes in hormone levels – all of which affect hair growth and loss.  Estrogen levels are at their lowest when your period first start and as they dip, the level of iron in your body dips too, causing you to lose more hair than normal. In fact, in some cases, heavy bleeding triggers hair loss and thinning. 
  • Medical and health conditions. Alopecia, thyroid disorders and inflammatory diseases can all cause your eyelashes to thin and should be treated with the help of a general practitioner. Chemotherapy and radiation are also known treatments that can negatively impact your lash count. 

How can I combat eyelash loss?

According to Creasey, there are number of at-home remedies, and lifestyle and beauty changes, that you can implement to promote eyelash growth and combat eyelash loss. She has collated her top six tips for achieving naturally luscious lashes.

Creasey also recommends reviewing your diet and seeing your GP.  Vitamin deficiencies and other underlying issues can cause hair loss. 

  1. Stop rubbing your eyes. “A blotting technique is much gentler on our sensitive eye region. Rubbing, scrubbing and dragging are not required to cleanse your eye area – you just need a gentle eye makeup removing product and patting with a towel after washing your face,” Creasey said. 
    “Your eye area is delicate. Not only will rubbing your eyes lead to irritating your lashes, it can also escalate the ageing process that will result in wrinkles.
  2. Be cautious when curling. According to Creasey, mechanic eyelash curlers are safe to use in small doses; you should limit eyelash curling to no more than 10 to 20 seconds. Heated eyelash curlers however should be avoided at all costs – otherwise they will cost you your lashes.
  3. Keep track of your product inventory. “Every makeup and skincare product in your collection will have a use-by date clearly stipulated on its packaging. A general rule of thumb, however, is that your mascara should be renewed every three to six months. Products that are not fresh will transfer bacteria from the tube to your lashes, which can lead to lash loss,” Creasey added. 
  4. Never rip off your false lashes. According to Creasey, picking out your lash extensions and ripping off your falsies will traumatize your lashes and take out natural ones along with the faux ones.
    “The best at-home technique for removing lashes is gently tapping an oil-based, eye-safe cleanser onto your lash line and massaging it in. Using a warm cloth, pat the area with water to gently loosen the glue and break down the adhesive,” Creasey explained.  
  5. Add an eyelash serum into your beauty routine. “Our AGENCY Skin Lash Serum was developed to help people regrow and strengthen their lashes after experiencing lash damage and lash loss through lash extensions, false lashes, chemotherapy and radiation, and other medical and health conditions,” Creasey emphasized.
    “Our Lash Serum is now used all over the world and loved by many for its results. It is a universal product that can be used by anyone to achieve lash length and definition. Thanks to its proven scientifically formulated ingredients, it delivers longer, stronger, and more resilient lashes. It helps to reduce breakage and creates a defined lash line.” 
  6. Use a mascara with built-in eyelash serum. “While using a lash serum is a good idea and an important part of your skin care regime, you will probably still want to continue to use mascara.  Rather than use any old mascara that may continue to damage your eyelashes, use a mascara that contains eyelash serum support.  Our Agency Advanced Mascara is ideal to use while also using an eyelash serum,” Creasey said.

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