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L'Oreal Lash Boosting Serum

Is a Solution for:
Eyelashes & Brows
December 29, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 16 Comments
It was Frieda Pinto's eyelashes that drew me towards an ad for L'Oreal's New Lash Boosting Serum. They were thick and woolly, like shagpile. The Slumdog Millionaire star looked as if her lids were too heavy to open, let alone that she would ever bat those lashes. L'Oreal's message was far subtle. Talk about lashing out at Bollywood. I had to know more.

The first thing that is a bit confusing is that Boosting Serum seems to be called Renewal in the UK. Although the Boosting Serum can be bought alone for $14.99, it also comes in a kit with a "top coat" and a "primer". In addition, L'Oreal recommends using it with its Double Extend Lash Boosting Mascara. No wonder Frieda looks a little weighed down.

L'Oreal isn't quite marketing Lash Boosting Serum as an eyelash growth product. It doesn't boast an eyelash growth stimulating ingredient such as the prostaglandins of Lilash or Revitalash. Nor does it come with the fashionable peptides and botanicals of the non-prostaglandin alternatives like Hydropeptide. L'Oreal says it will prevent eyelashes from falling out when removing makeup. However, it does have a handful of actives that typically condition hair and may help it grow.

The closest thing to an active for eyelashes is panthenol, which when it penetrates into lower skin layers, is absorbed into skin cells and processed into pantothenic acid (commonly known as vitamin B5). Madecassoside is gotu kola, a plant used in Chinese medicine. It is an anti-inflammatory, but I haven't found much that associates it with hair growth. There are useful amino acids including arginine which, according a Japanese study, can protect the hair from the effects of chemical coloring, even bleaching. So it might be useful against all those pigments in mascara.

I am surprised to see sodium hydroxide. This is, however, a known irritant. Studies by the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health found that this ingredient causes “Irritation eyes, skin, mucous membrane; pneumonitis; eye, skin burns; temporary loss of hair” and recommends that consumers prevent skin and eye contact.

Ingredients in Serum:

Aqua (Water), Alcohol Denat, Glycerin, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Panthenol, Polysorbate 21, Madecassoside, Acrylamides/Sodium Acryloyldimethyltaurate Copolymer, Methylparaben, Octyldodecanol, Isohexadecane, Sodium Hyaluaronate, Arginine, Serine, Citric Acid, Glutamic Acid, Polysorbate 80, Sodium Hydroxide, 2 Oleamido 1,3 Octadecanediol.
  • October 5, 2014


    this product did nothing for me...

  • January 5, 2013

    by Silvia

    I have been using this producet for the past two years. My haridreser has been telling me for the past year and a half that my hair was thinning. Now I'm seeing a Dermatoligist to determine why my hair is disappearing. It's not falling out in clumps, just a patch here and there. I've stopped using this product. I hope that it is not the cause of my hair thinning.

  • January 31, 2011

    by Lyn

    I began using this product last week and saw a change almost instantly! I've not experienced burning or irritation and I am sure that is a most unpleasant side effect, but I'm VERY pleased with the results!

  • November 12, 2010

    by li'el

    I have been using it and fortunately I have not experienced any side effects. I also notice that my lashes are longer, thicker. Even my friends start noticing it too..

  • September 2, 2010

    by isha

    I started using the product a couple weeks ago, and I had one eye with shorter eyelashes than the other. When applying I had a tiny tad irritation, but its because I dabbed it by mistake in my eye.

    After 3 or so applications, I have seen results. my eyelashes are indeed longer. They arent fuller, but they are longer indeed. Now my eyelashes on both eyes equal in length.

    I hope this isn't temporary. That would be unfortunate.

  • August 25, 2010

    by Joseph Krahn

    Sodium hydroxide is obviously just there to balance the pH, and probably not at all related to eye irritation. It is only an irritant alone because it is alkaline. It can be added to an acidic solution to neutralize the pH, thus *preventing* irritation from an acidic solution.

  • July 4, 2010

    by Shuyi

    I think they used sodium hydroxide because if an irritation occurs blood will flow to that area and stimulate the roots of your eyelashes and causing the hair to grow. It's what I'm thinking really, nothing is proven except for the fact that blood rushes to an irritated area of your skin.

  • June 23, 2010

    by Robin

    I have very thin lashes since using this product I have lost almost all of my lashes every day they are falling out.

  • June 1, 2010

    by julie

    I just started using the serum 4 days ago w/o any stimulator. I bought it thinking it would grow lashes, but based on the above info I guess I misread. I haven't experienced any burning or adverse symptoms and have been using it in the am under mascara and before bed. Too soon to know if it'll work.

  • May 10, 2010

    by Felicia

    Do not use! Contains sodium hydroxide, which causes eye irritation. My eyes are soooo irritated; wish I read before using!

  • May 9, 2010

    by Louise

    I have been using the serum only under my mascara during the day and stimulash at night before I go to sleep. I have experienced slight irritation/redness but overall nothing major. As far as the results; I have very short sparse lashes and in three weeks have noticed some growth (nothing earth shattering) and a little improvement in volume. Hopefully in the next 3 - 4 weeks the trend will continue. I can also say that may lash do feel very soft and not dry and brittle as was the case in the past.

  • February 18, 2010

    by Mary

    I have experience the burning ocassionally, I just make sure I don't put on too much. I have to say that after three weeks, I am quite please with the results. My lashes are definitely fuller and longer. I will purchase again.

  • February 7, 2010

    by Susan

    I have been using L'Oreal Lash Serum for about a week and have been experiencing burning in my eyes. I also thought it would enhance growth in my lashes - disappointed that it will not. I like the idea that it is suppose to protect your lashes from eye make-up removers etc. but concerned about irritation. I'm discontinuing use. Thanks for info.

  • February 2, 2010

    by Paz

    I have purchased the L'Oreal serum, have been using it for about 1-week, my lash seem a bit thicker this week. I too am contact lense wearer, and have applied the serum while wearing my contacts,and have not had no adverse reactions. I am a bit disappointed in that, this article states, the serum is not intended for growth purpose. Well I am going to remain optimistic and see how my lashes look in 3 weeks....

  • January 31, 2010

    by Patricia

    My eyes are bloodshot, painful and itching. I recently started using L'Oreal lash boosting serum along with the accompanying mascara. I found your site when I Googled "irritation from L'oreal eyelash serum"

    I am about to rinse my eyes to try and get some relief. I will be returning this product to Walmart in the morning.

    I have bookmarked your site. Thank you so much!

  • January 30, 2010

    by marguerite brown

    thank you for your informative web site. i was considering purchasing rapid lash, but have decided against it due to the fact that i have very sensitive eyes and also wear contact lenses.sounded like an irritation waiting to happen. also appreciated the info on the new l'oreal product for lashes and think i will skip that, also. i will definitely be returning to this web site for more info in the future

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