Everyone loves a set of long, luscious eyelashes. Yes, we
all know that they make your eyes look beautiful, but until recently, we knew
very little about what exactly our eyelashes are for.
Fortunately, science has given us the answer: They exist to
protect our eyes from drying out.
Scientists performed a series of tests on mammals who have eyelashes,
conducting wind tunnel experiments and complex air flow studies. They found
that eyelashes slow down the air around the eyes, reducing evaporation, and
hence, helping to prevent the eyes from drying out too fast.
Longer is not always better
Another interesting fact is that eyelashes perform their
function the best, when their length measures one third the eye width. At this
length, they effectively create a stagnation zone above the eye surface,
decreasing the sheer stress caused by wind. Conversely, eye lashes which are
too long have the opposite effect: they can channel air flow towards the eyes,
causing them to dry out faster.
Eyelash Aesthetics: The Ideal Eyelashes
We associate long, thick eyelashes with femininity and
attractiveness. The late Elizabeth Taylor was always admired for her beautiful
eyelashes. In fact, she was born with Distichiasis: a condition which gave her
double rows of eyelashes! False eyelashes are an easy way to obtain
E.Taylor-esque lashes. More recently, Latisse, an FDA approved medication
allows you to literally grow your eyelash length by up to 25% with continued
Fortunately, there is a correlation between aesthetics and
functionality: while long eyelashes are beautiful, too long, and you will look
strange. In our opinion, the ideal eyelash length is between 50 – 80% the width
of the eye – Never longer. Eyelash hair density should be sufficient, with no
gaps in between, to give a dark, full and thick, appearance. Finally, the
perfect eyelashes are upturned so that they frame the eyes, but do not obstruct
the eye aperture. A good mascara such as Bare Escentuals Buxom
Lash Mascara will work wonders to give upturned, thicker eyelashes.
The eyes are the windows to the soul, and the eyelashes- the
frames to the windows. A good frame will enhance the eyes, making them look
more youthful and lively.
(Latisse is available on prescription at The Sloane Clinic. www.sloaneclinic.com)
divert airflow to protect the eye
Guillermo J. Amador , Wenbin Mao , Peter
DeMercurio , Carmen Montero , Joel Clewis , Alexander Alexeev , David L. Hu
DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2014.1294 Published 25