If you’ve ever noticed your eyelashes falling out at a quicker rate than normal, it can be quite alarming, to say the least. This is because it directly conflicts with one of the most timeless beauty looks: long, thick eyelashes. Just take a look at the endless amounts of eyelash-enhancing products and beauty treatments out there. From at-home eye makeup products like lash primer, mascara, eyelash curlers, and eyelash serums to professional services including eyelash extensions and tinting treatments, the quest for lengthy, healthy eyelashes is at an all-time high. Basically, it’s easy to see where the world’s priorities lie when it comes to the eyes, which brings us back to the distress caused by losing eyelashes. The thing is, as stressful as eyelash fallout feels, you shouldn't panic. If you’ve been researching and asking everyone you know, “why are my eyelashes falling out?” there are actually a number of reasons that could be causing your lashes to fall out. Here, we’re explaining the most common reasons for losing eyelashes and offering up a few tips for caring for your lashes.
WHY ARE YOU LOSING EYELASHES?
Not all eyelash fallout is cause for concern—healthy lashes naturally shed on their own! According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology (AAO), the natural cycle in which eyelashes grow, fall out, and replace themselves lasts between six to ten weeks. It’s actually the same rate at which the hair on your head naturally cycles, too. Therefore, it’s considered normal to lose between one and five eyelashes every day.
If you’ve noticed that you’re losing more lashes than average, it could be a signal of a larger, underlying health problem—either in the eye or elsewhere in the body. And, as stressful as it is to your appearance, losing eyelashes can also present another issue: It leaves your eye vulnerable. That’s because eyelashes, in addition to their aesthetic value, are also necessary to protect the eye from things like debris, which can cause infection or injury. So, what causes eyelashes to fall out at a quicker rate than normal? According to the AAO, it could be any of the following reasons.
1. GENERAL IRRITATION FROM COSMETICS
The potential for eyelash loss is yet another reason to never, ever sleep with your makeup on! According to the AAO, leaving eye makeup on for too long can cause harm to your lashes and speed up their natural shedding cycle. So, always remove your eye makeup at the end of the day. Eyeliner, eye shadow, mascara, and concealer, take it all off! If you need a quick option to do so, try using a micellar water, like the L'Oréal Paris Micellar Cleansing Water Complete Cleanser Waterproof – All Skin Types. After removing your makeup, you can apply a nourishing and conditioning lash serum like the L’Oréal Paris Lash Serum Solution Eyelash Serum with Lash Caring Complex.
The AAO also recommends practicing smart eye makeup safety measures, which include never sharing your eye makeup with anyone—or using anyone else’s eye makeup—and replacing eye makeup products every three months since infection-causing bacteria can grow in creamy and liquid eye makeup formulas.
2. ALLERGIC REACTION TO CERTAIN COSMETICS
Another type of irritation leading to eyelash loss can be allergic. Per the AAO, eyelash loss can also be caused by allergies to mascara or the glue used to apply eyelash extensions.
3. A MEDICAL CONDITION
If your eyelash loss is accompanied by itchiness or burning, as well as redness or swelling of the eyelids, you could be suffering from a condition called blepharitis. According to the Mayo Clinic, this condition is marked by inflammation of the eyelids. While blepharitis doesn’t cause permanent damage to eyesight, it is extremely uncomfortable, often chronic in nature, and can be really difficult to treat. If you’re experiencing multiple symptoms of the disorder, make an appointment with your doctor ASAP.
LESS COMMON CAUSES OF EYELASH LOSS
Additionally, there are many other causes of eyelash loss, although they’re considered to be less common in occurrence. These include alopecia, an auto-immune disease that causes the body to attack its own hair follicles, as well as thyroid disorders. Eyelash loss can also be caused by chronic inflammatory diseases, such as psoriasis and rheumatoid arthritis, as well as chronic stress, nutritional deficiencies, and hormone changes.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR ABOUT EYELASHES FALLING OUT
With all of these possible causes, it can be confusing and stressful to figure out which eyelash loss symptoms warrant an immediate appointment with your doctor. According to the AAO, you should consult a physician right away if the lash loss is happening on both eyelids (upper and lower), you’re also experiencing hair loss on your scalp or eyebrows, you have other skin changes like itching or redness, you have a feeling of pressure around your eyes, or you’re experiencing any vision loss. In the end, it’s better to be safe than sorry, so make a doctor’s appointment if you have any concerns about your health.