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Here's how these formulas really work—and why using one is worth it.

By Jaclyn Smock
May 11, 2020
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woman touching face with good eyebrows
Credit: Getty / Westend61

Good news: The days of pencil thin eyebrows are long gone. We say good riddance, since full brows serve as the foundation of your face. It's no surprise, then, that we're always looking for ways to enhance our natural set. Doing so begins with a strong baseline—something that today's best eyebrow serums can help you achieve. Here, several reasons why experts want you to invest in one.

Know what brow serums do.

The latest options on the market—we love Revitalash's Eyebrow Conditioner ($110, dermstore.com) and Grande Cosmetics' Brow Enhancing Serum ($70, sephora.com)—are both effective and innovative; plus, both were "designed to help promote the appearance of fuller, bolder brows over time while enhancing the thickness of the brow hairs you already have even if they are thin or previously over-plucked," says Alicia Grande, the founder and CEO of Grande Cosmetics.

Here's how they work.

Healthy hair begins from a healthy scalp—and the same can be said for lashes and brows. Brow follicles have growth stages, "so a brow serum will contain peptides and growth factors that nourish and support the hair cycle," explains Dr. Jessie Cheung, a board-certified dermatologist. These nutrient-packed ingredients create an optimal environment, leaving eyebrows moisturized and shiny.

It's all about peptides.

Peptides are the building blocks of protein and "help promote healthy hair follicles by conditioning and protecting the brows from damage, similar to a conditioner for your hair," explains Ginny Naylor, the brand manager at Babe Lash. Formulas packed with these powerhouse ingredients are typically gentle enough for those with sensitive skin—as opposed to more intense formulations which might involve prostaglandin, a hormone-based drug sometimes prescribed to promote lash and brow growth, explains Faith Kim, the founder and creative director of LASHFOOD.

Exfoliate first.

For the best results, exfoliate the face first, paying extra attention to the brow area. "This will allow the products to penetrate deeper," explains Dr. Simon Ourian, a cosmetic surgeon.

Apply consistently.

Consistency is key to achieving fuller brows, so it's important to apply your serum as directed—preferably at night, so the product has time to work. "Due to the length of the brow cycle, apply nightly for a full four months. Allow up to two minutes for the serum to dry after application," shares Grande. And while brow serums do work well to enhance existing brows, "they can't affect areas that never had hair in the first place," she adds, noting that scarring will also prevent the growth phase.

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