3 secrets for healthy lashes

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Killer lashes start with strong, healthy ones. We asked Whitney Bowe, clinical assistant professor of dermatology at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, for the lash word.

1. BE GENTLE. Especially when you're taking off your makeup. "The hair follicles where the eyelashes grow are very fragile," says Bowe. "Just that trauma of rubbing off eye makeup can cause the hairs to fall out and thin over time." Use soft cotton pads and gentle eye makeup removers and press and hold-don't rub like crazy-to get rid of your shadow, mascara, and liner. Try Lierac Eye-Makeup Remover, which contains lash-loving ingredients like peptides, panthenol and coconut oil.

2. CONDITION. Just like the hair on your head, the strands on your lids need TLC, too. Bowe recommends applying a hydrating product like Vaseline or Aquaphor before bed to soften lashes and prep them to grow longer and stronger. "Put it where you put eyeliner-not on your actual lashes," says Bowe. "You want it right at the base of the follicle where new lashes are generated." Or try eyelash conditioners, which are packed with moisturizers like ceramides, plus ingredients such as peptides, which Bowe says may help promote hair growth. We like Prevage Clinical Lash + Brow Enhancing Serum.

3. SEE YOUR DOCTOR. Prescription products can give skimpy lashes a major makeover. "Latisse definitely helps thicken lashes," says Bowe. "Hair usually stays in a growth phase for three months, but with Latisse that growth period is extended to six or seven months, so you get thicker, denser, darker, longer lashes." Applied diligently every day, you'll start to see your Bambi-like results in six to eight weeks.

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