It’s no wonder that coconut oil has become a staple in health and beauty products given its many proven benefits. From moisturizing and protecting your skin and hair to having antimicrobial and antifungal properties, the many benefits of coconut oil may extend to your eyelashes, too.
Coconut oil may help keep your eyelashes healthy, resulting in fuller lashes that can stand up to cosmetics and eyelash styling tools.
Human and animal studies show that virgin coconut oil is safe for use around the eyes. Along with being safe to use in this delicate area, coconut oil can work double duty and provide benefits not just for your eyelashes, but also the skin around your eyes.
There’s evidence that coconut oil can protect hair against damage from washing, hair products, and styling. Though the evidence available all focuses on the hair on your head, it may in theory, also apply to eyelash hair.
Coconut oil contains fatty acids, mainly lauric acid, which appears to help coconut oil be more easily absorbed by the hair shaft, according to research. This may be why coconut oil appears to provide better and longer-lasting protection compared to other oils.
One study found that applying coconut oil to hair before or after washing protected hair by reducing protein loss. In regard to eyelashes, this may help protect your lashes from damage that could result from washing your face or removing eye makeup.
Protection against bacteria
Microbial organisms are naturally present on your eyelashes and have the potential to cause bacterial and fungal infections. Medium-chain fatty acids, such as those found in coconut oil, have antimicrobial and antifungal properties that can protect against them. Lauric acid has the greatest antibacterial activity of all medium-chain fatty acids.
Applying coconut oil to your eyelashes and the skin around them may protect you from skin infections, including folliculitis, which is inflammation of the hair follicles.
This is really good news for people who wear mascara. The microbes on your eyelashes have the potential to contaminate your mascara, especially if you use the same tube of mascara for more than three months, according to a study.
The pilot study examined the microbial growth of two brands of mascara used every day for three months and found microbial growth in 36.4 percent of the tubes. They found various organisms, including Staphylococcus epidermidis, Streptococcus species, and fungi.
Coconut oil is able to moisturize and protect hair from protein loss and damage. Assuming that these benefits also extend to eyelash hair, this could result in fewer eyelashes falling out so your lashes appear thicker and fuller.
There are a couple of ways that you can use coconut oil for your eyelashes, including eyelash serums or virgin coconut oil applied directly.
You can find dozens of eyelash serums for purchase online or at beauty counters. Many of these serums contain coconut oil, along with other ingredients, such as essential oils and castor or mineral oil.
The benefits of using an eyelash serum is that it usually comes with an applicator that makes it easy to apply without making a mess. The downside is that they’re not necessarily 100-percent natural. They can also be pricey, depending on the brand.
Virgin coconut oil is available online and in most health food and grocery stores. It can be easily applied using a clean finger, an eyelash brush, or mascara wand. Disposable eyelash brushes and mascara wands can be bought online or at cosmetic stores.
To apply coconut oil using your fingers:
- wash your hands.
- take a small amount out of the container using your index finger.
- rub the coconut oil between your two index fingers.
- Close your eyes and rub the oil gently along your lash lines.
To apply with an eyelash brush or mascara wand:
- dip a new brush or wand into a container of coconut oil.
- carefully apply the oil to your eyelashes as you would mascara.
- apply to top and bottom lashes.
- use a cotton swab or pad to gently remove any excess oil from your lashes or skin.
Coconut and coconut oil allergies are very rare but can still happen. Virgin coconut oil is generally safe for use on the skin and around the eyes, but you should still be careful to not get it in your eyes.
Using 100-percent organic virgin coconut oil is your safest bet, as other products may contain ingredients that could cause irritation or an allergic reaction.
Use a clean, damp washcloth to remove any excess oil from around your eyes. If you happen to get the oil in your eyes and feel any irritation, flush your eyes with water right away.
Just like coconut oil, castor oil may also have some benefits when it comes to hair, though evidence is limited to scalp hair rather than eyelash hair. Castor oil is a popular home remedy used for conditioning and growing hair and there is some evidence that it may help reverse hair loss.
Castor oil is generally safe, but coconut oil may be the better option when it comes to your eyelashes. Animal studies have shown that undiluted castor oil can cause severe skin irritation.
In 2017, a case report published in the International Journal of Trichology found castor oil to be responsible for acute hair felting in a 20-year old woman. Hair felting is a rare disorder of scalp hair that’s characterized by severe hair matting.
Coconut oil offers an inexpensive and generally safe option if you’re looking for a natural way to improve the health and appearance of your eyelashes.