We discuss DIY solutions for hair growth (especially pertaining to our eyebrows) at length here at Byrdie HQ. From castor oil to coconut oil, many swear by the potent powers of the inhabitants of our kitchen cabinets for boosting the lushness of our natural fringe—but do they actually work? According to experts, probably not. The same, unfortunately, goes for our beloved, ridiculously huge tub of Vaseline. Sorry, despite its large array of magical skin perks, it won't grant you Rapunzel-esque strands overnight. However, it will help condition them—an important aspect of hair growth, eyebrows included!
To get some answers on the effects of putting Vaseline on eyebrows, we reached out to trichologist Isfahan Chambers-Harris as well as board-certified dermatologist Zain Husain.
Meet the Expert
Keep reading to learn whether Vaseline can benefit your eyebrows.
What Is Vaseline?
Vaseline is a petrolatum-based product that has a wide array of uses in skin care, including moisturizing, healing wounds, protecting the skin from environmental elements, reducing friction, and serving as a physical barrier. Just like our sacred collections of oils, Vaseline will infuse dehydrated strands with a powerful punch of moisture. Plus, the fragrance-free salve can help relieve pesky scales and flakes and other topical skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema, which can hinder healthy-hair efforts.
Benefits of Using Vaseline on Eyebrows
- Moisturizing: The primary benefit of using Vaseline is that it's incredibly moisturizing.
- Smoothes: As it smoothes onto and over your brows, Vaseline works to make even sparser brows feel and look much fuller. But it can also help the skin underneath by relieving dry skin or any redness.
Does Vaseline Work For Brow Growth?
If you're wondering how to make eyebrows grow faster with Vaseline, both experts note that there are no scientific studies proving it actually works for brow growth. That said, the salve can give your brows a fuller appearance. "Even though Vaseline has many beauty perks, including relieving topical skin conditions, it doesn’t do much to stimulate hair growth for your eyebrows," notes Chambers-Harris. "However, applying Vaseline can give the appearance of fuller brows because it can coat each strand making them seem thicker. It can also work as a brow gel, helping them stay in place."
FYI: The hair on your eyebrows grows through a regular growth cycle just like the rest of the hair on your body. Chambers-Harris notes that eyebrow hair grows actively for about three to four months, and is then followed by a resting phase, after which the hairs are shed from the skin. "So, if you’re suffering from overplucked or sparse brows, I suggest, first and foremost letting your brows grow without plucking," she says. "Also, you can try an all-natural oil–they work by nourishing the hair follicle and speeding up the renewal process for thicker, fuller brows."
How to Apply Vaseline to Brows
There are different schools of thought when it comes to applying Vaseline pre- or post-makeup. Either way, a small amount should be used and it's best applied with a tool. "First, you should comb the eyebrows with an eyebrow brush or clean mascara wand, then pick up a small amount of Vaseline and take the brush upward," says Husain.
Is Vaseline Safe to Use On Eyebrows?
While Vaseline (aka petroleum jelly) is regarded as safe to use on things like cuts and scrapes, it is a derivative of oil refining and is also a mixture of mineral oils and waxes. Of course, precautions should be taken to make sure that Vaseline doesn't hit too close to the eyes, but because petroleum is a derivative of oil refining, Chambers-Harris also says to be mindful of the brand of petroleum you use, as it can be found in different grades of purity. If you suffer from breakouts or sensitive skin around the eyes, stick to a fragrance-free option.
What Vaseline Can't Do for Your Brows
As discussed above, Vaseline can't necessarily spur your brows to grow. In other words, applying Vaseline won't mean your hair will start growing at a rapid pace. What it can do is smooth brows into place and help moisturize. And, because moisturized hair tends to grow stronger (and not break off easily) it can help ensure hair stays longer and fuller.
Potential Side Effects of Using Vaseline
Applying Vaseline to your eyebrows can create the illusion of moisturized, hydrated hairs and skin, but it could come at the expense of your pores. "It’s water-repellant and not water-soluble, meaning it will create a barrier so that moisture does not leave the skin," explains Chambers-Harris. "So, initially, you may feel instant gratification of a softened moisturized eyebrows, but prolonged use can lead to blocking moisture from getting to your brows and skin, which will ultimately lead to dry brows and skin." These clogged pores could lead to acne, milia, and bacterial contamination from unclean handling.
Husain says that if you have a history of allergic reactions to petrolatum or if you have acne-prone skin that could break out from application, steer clear of Vaseline.
Other Brow Growth Solutions
We're fans of incorporating lash- and brow-enhancing serums into our beauty routines, many of which are packed with shine- and growth-boosting vitamins, peptides, and other nourishing ingredients. We've rounded up all of our favorite eyebrow serums and salves. Keep scrolling—fuller arches await.
This eyebrow conditioner from RevitaLash is one of the most well-known on the market—and for good reason. It features a powerful BioPeptin Complex, unique to the brand, which combines peptides and botanicals to help transform sparse-looking brows.
Celebrity brow wiz Stevi Christine (who also keeps my brows in top-notch shape) recommended this brow serum to me, telling me it's one of the only formulas she swears by for enhancing the look and fullness of brows ASAP.
Chock-full of vegan and natural ingredients, this pretty, gilded tube is our go-to whenever we want to give our brows a marketable uptick in lushness. The MVP roster includes skin- and hair-enhancing fares like hyaluronic acid, amino acids, ginseng, chamomile, and bearberry-derived compounds to help fortify brow follicles in as little as one to two months.
There's nothing we appreciate more than the perfect multitasking beauty product, and this brow miracle from Charlotte Tilbury is one of the few to make our most-loved list. Not only does it instantly fill in and define our arches for pristine brows stat, but its nutritional profile features growth-encouraging ingredients to help keep our brows full and fabulous long-term.
The Final Takeaway
Bottom line: Vaseline isn't a proven solution for eyebrow growth but can make brows look fuller if you're looking for a quick fix, otherwise you're better off using a brow serum. And as always, if you're experiencing serious hair loss, it's best to speak to your doctor to figure out a long-term solution for hair growth.
How quickly do eyebrows grow?
Eyebrow growth takes between three and four months total. Those who use a hair-growth product have found more significant growth, in a faster time (a 2014 study of those who applied the lash-growth product Latisse to their eyebrows found that their hair grew in six weeks, for instance).
How long does it take for Vaseline to grow eyebrows?
There are no scientific studies to show that Vaseline can spur the growth of eyebrows.
What makes your eyebrows grow faster?
With the exception of some lash-growth products like Latisse (which can be prescribed off-label for brow growth), your best bet for brow growth is a healthy, balanced diet, keeping your skin clean and healthy, and keeping your brows moisturized (with, for instance, Vaseline). Moisture helps protect against breakage and eyebrows should grow within three to four months, naturally.
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Chularojanamontri L, Tuchinda P, Kulthanan K, Pongparit K. Moisturizers for acne: what are their constituents?. J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2014;7(5):36-44.