Why Your Eyelashes Look Longer After A Good Cry

They say the cure for anything is salt water — sweat, tears, or the sea. When something bad happens, most people cry. Happy tears are obviously also a thing, but more often than not, a harder cry is courtesy of a sadder situation.

Crying is an emotional outlet no one is stranger to, and there are reasons why it's so important to cry. A good cry can make you feel better and help you release whatever emotions you've been storing internally. However, it's usually not a pretty sight. The eyes swell up, turn red, tears stream down the face, and eyelashes kind of steal the spotlight.

If you've ever looked into a mirror after a good cry, you've probably noticed your eyelashes looking particularly good. It may seem superficial, but after being upset, it can only be a plus to notice a good thing. Your eyelashes will usually look longer and darker after crying, which is an amazing beauty benefit, but is it real?

Science weighs in on post-cry eyelashes

Tears are your eyes' friends, so to speak. Board-certified dermatologist Marisa Garshick, MD, FAAD, explains to Byrdie, "Tears help to protect the eyes from irritants. With crying, the tears help to clear debris from the eyes, including particles and dust." If you have oily skin, tears also might help with your complexion. "[F]or oily skin types, the salt in tears can likely benefit the skin by drying out excess oil and potentially killing bacteria on the skin that can cause acne," board-certified dermatologist Erum Ilyas, MD, tells Shape.

However, the post-cry eyelash effect is an illusion. "Crying does not make the eyelashes grow but the eyelashes may appear darker or straighter as tears lubricate the lashes," Garshick reveals to Byrdie. So, your eyelashes definitely look longer after you've cried, but they haven't really grown in length — they're just moisturized. "There is no evidence that crying actually increases eyelash growth," says Rebecca Marcus, MD, a board-certified dermatologist and founder of Maei MD.

Unfortunately, crying your way to luscious lashes isn't happening. Before you try to make yourself cry on purpose to get the look of longer lashes, consider an emotionally easier route.

How to actually get longer lashes

There's a product for almost every beauty need you might have, including longer eyelashes. False ones are maybe the simplest way to achieve the longer look, but if you opt for that route, make sure you know how to apply false eyelashes properly. A more permanent solution might be to get eyelash extensions. However, eyelash extensions can ruin your natural eyelashes if you regularly go overboard with the length and thickness.

If you prefer a more natural look, achieving longer eyelashes is still possible. A popular, science-backed treatment to try is Latisse. "Latisse's active ingredient is bimatoprost, a prostaglandin analog, which has been shown in clinical studies to make eyelashes grow longer, thicker, and darker," board-certified dermatologist Hadley King, MD, shared with Camille Styles. "It works by lengthening the time the follicle stays in the growth phase," she explains.

Since Latisse is only available via prescription, turning to lash serums and oils is also a good way to try lengthening your eyelashes. If all of this sounds like a lot of work, crying your eyes out might do the trick for a hot second. So, next time you cry for no reason, there's the illusion of lengthy eyelashes to look forward to.