How Applying Skincare Products Over Your Brows Can Affect Their Growth

Hair loss is enemy number one when it comes to your eyebrows. Whether you're still striving for Cara Delevingne-level thickness or considering the '90s thin eyebrows comeback, unevenness and sparse spots can wreck your look. That might explain why methods like microblading and microfilling have taken off in recent years.

Causes of brow hair loss vary by person. According to Healthline, conditions like thyroid imbalances, autoimmune diseases, and eczema may lead to thinning. Lifestyle-related factors like chronic stress or a diet lacking in key nutrients can also trigger hair loss.

In some cases, hair growth issues can even be caused by the products you apply over your brows. And though this may not be a surprise when it comes to brow makeup — anyone who's ever used a rough pencil knows how quickly it can rip out precious hairs — your skincare products may also be to blame. Here's what to watch out for when slathering on your favorite lotions and serums.

Here's what happens when you put skincare products on your brows

Skincare staples may do wonders for your complexion, but they might be responsible for slowing eyebrow hair growth. For one thing, thick, heavy products can overload your brow hairs, as brow expert Sania Vucetaj shared with MindBodyGreen. The result: brows that are weighed down and difficult to shape. Vucetaj also believes that keeping skincare products off your brows may speed up regrowth.

There's some evidence to back up this theory. Dr. Mia Jing Gao, a dermatologist, says that fragrances, alcohol, detergents, dyes, retinoids, acids, and heavy moisturizers like mineral oils — all ingredients commonly found in skincare formulas — can cause a skin condition called seborrheic dermatitis (via Get The Gloss). And as it turns out, seborrheic dermatitis is a known culprit of eyebrow hair loss.

Besides thinning hair, signs of the condition, according to Healthline, include redness, itchiness, excess oil, and dandruff (yep, you can get dandruff on your eyebrows, just like your scalp!).

Which products are safe to use on eyebrows?

Letting your brows breathe can be a smart move if you notice irritation, but in most cases, you don't have to swear off skin and brow products forever. Eyebrow and eyelash growing serums are one way to speed up growth while protecting fragile hairs, but if you prefer to stick to skincare that can do double duty, try using a small amount of moisturizer on your brows. Azi Sacks, an eyebrow expert, explained to Coveteur, "I believe more in moisturizing the brows than anything else brow-related. Brow hairs tend to be delicate in texture, and, like the hair on our head, we shed brow hair naturally all the time. When the brow lacks a barrier, it slowly shatters. A well-moisturized brow, however, invites quick turnaround in new growth, no matter its natural texture or density level."

However, it's essential to avoid overdoing it. Steer clear of dense moisturizers that weigh down hairs or trigger skin irritation. And if you still notice flakes, redness, and other symptoms — or if your sparse brows never bounce back — make an appointment with your doctor or dermatologist.