Do eyebrow serums *actually* work?

Lucy Hale eyebrow serums

Here’s what you need to know

Beauty Crew Beauty Writer / June 06 2019

If you were one of those rare creatures who never over-plucked your brows, we salute you. Because over-plucking brows is one of the most common beauty blunders almost all of us have fallen victim to at some point in our lives (hey, it’s almost like a rite of passage).

And if you’ve ever tried to come back from an over-plucking disaster (or just have really thin brows/are experiencing eyebrow hair loss), you’ll know how hard it is to get them to grow – it doesn’t happen overnight, and often the hairs can end up coming back sparse and uneven. Sigh.

The good news? There are a bunch of solutions that can help give you the appearance of fuller, thicker brows – from brow-enhancing makeup products, to castor oil (a DIY home remedy that acts like an eyebrow conditioner to support hair growth), and semi-permanent treatments like microblading, eyebrow feathering and henna tattooing. Not your cup of tea? Well, have you tried eyebrow serums?

Eyebrow enhancing serums have been everywhere as of late, and they’ve been touted as the easy solution to support brow growth. Sceptical as to whether or not they *actually* work? We spoke to Dermal Clinician Jodie King from Sydney’s Skin Clinic at Blyss, and Beauty Therapist and Cosmetic Tattooist Georgene Donegal from G&T Beauty to find out if they’re worth a try.

What are eyebrow serums?

“Eyebrow serums are a liquid that is lightly applied to the brow bone using an applicator wand, which is then absorbed into the hair follicles and existing hair,” explains Donegal. “Once absorbed, the ingredients in eyebrow serums enhance the thickness of the brow hairs you already have and help stimulate growth in areas that are sparse.”

Sounds pretty good, right? But before you rush out and buy one, it’s handy to know that similar to lash serums, there are two different types of brow serums: prescription ones and over-the-counter ones. According to King, prescription brow serums contain active ingredients that impact the brow hair’s growth cycle and results in new growth. “Bimatoprost is the only ingredient that is scientifically proven to grow lashes and brows – but it is prescription only,” says King.

While you generally need to see a licensed medical practitioner to buy these types of eyebrow growth products, there are some great over-the-counter eyebrow enhancer serums that contain essential oils (like argan oil and castor oil), hyaluronic acid and vitamin E to help improve the look of your brows by strengthening and conditioning them. “The key ingredients to a good [over-the-counter] eyebrow serum are those that are peptide-rich, which help to promote a healthy hair follicle. Vitamins like biotin and panthenol work to strengthen the hair, and antioxidants help to stimulate the hair growth,” says Donegal.

How long does it take to see results?

Eyebrow serums take time to work their magic, so don’t psych yourself up for instant results. “You need to give it time,” says King. “Eight to 12 weeks is the norm. Consistency of use is the key (a bit like going to the gym!). Once you stop, the growth cycle with revert back to normal.”

“Eyebrows have the slowest rate of regrowth on the body compared with scalp and body hair. It takes about 65 days for eyebrows to regrow after plucking as a teenager, and from the age of around 42, the more we wax, thread or pluck the hairs, the sparser they become," says Donegal.

“Depending on the product, it is generally advised to apply daily during this time and every third day following the initial eight weeks as continued maintenance. As products can vary, it’s best to follow the instructions as directed by the product you have purchased,” Donegal advises.

Are there any potential side effects?

It's important to keep in mind that your face and eye area are especially sensitive, so it’s crucial to do your research so you not only choose a product that’ll give you great results, but also one that is safe to use.

“Eyebrow serums (similarly to eyelash serums) can cause a range of serious side effects, including; itchy eyes, redness, eyelid discolouration, eyelid drooping and permanent change in iris colour. These side effects have been heavily linked to products that contain prostaglandins, which emphasises the importance of researching the ingredients of the products prior to use and stopping use immediately should any side effects occur,” says Donegal.

Both King and Donegal also suggest avoiding a brow growth enhancer that contains ingredients like isopropyl cloprostenate, saying this can also cause serious reactions and side effects. “Like anything, eyelash and eyebrow serums need to be used correctly. Hair is dead, therefore the serum needs to be applied to the root – so it’s important to ensure that you don’t get any in your eye,” says King.

Keen to give an eyebrow growth serum a try?

“One of my top picks is Australian-made Bold Brows,” says Donegal. “It’s designed to work with natural ingredients while still providing incredible results.”

We also like Elizabeth Arden Prevage Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum and Medik8 Full Lash & Brow Duo Advanced Serum.

Bold Brows

Elizabeth Arden Prevage Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum

Medik8 Full Lash & Brow Duo Advanced Serum

If you’re on the search for a beauty product that will give you fuller lashes and enhance lash growth, check out our picks for the best eyelash serums.

Have you tried any eyebrow serums before? What did you think? Let us know in the comment section below.

Main image credit: Getty

Erin Docherty is a Beauty Writer for BEAUTYcrew, Beauty Editor for Women's Health magazine and a Grooming Writer for Men's Health magazine. She has a keen interest in cosmeceutical skin care and is currently working on minimising her 9-step skin care routine – because ain’t nobody got time for that. When she’s not writing about the latest beauty news, or applying copious amounts of serum, you can find her spending all her money in Sephora.