In the midst of a brow renaissance, us beauty gals are using more brow products than ever before. Which is great for our fuller, darker, and more sculpted arches...but wait a second, are we actually supposed to be *removing* all this gunk every night? Are we compromising the health of our brows by letting this stuff marinate? And if so, does our everyday face wash do the trick?
If you're pondering these questions like we are, here's what you need to know about keeping your face-framers in tip-top shape:
"Brow hairs are a much softer, more delicate follicle than the hairs on your scalp," explains tamer-to-the-stars Sania Vucetaj. This said, they're just as susceptible to dirt, oil, and dandruff, which means they're in need of a proper, albeit gentle, cleanse. The silver lining?
"You're covering this step by simply washing your face," says fellow NYC brow expert Joey Healy. "Any more washing and you could strip them of their natural lubricating oils—just like the hair on your head!"
Vucetaj's face-cum-brow-cleanser of choice? Seabreeze, because it's formulated for sensitive skin and is "light on the brows."
If you're worried about brow dandruff, the first thing you should consider is what's causing it. Often times, it's the result of residue from products, like fill-in color, gels, or waxes.
As far as conditioning goes, opinion tends be split on the matter, but the common denominator is that you have to be very careful. On one hand, Vucetaj believes the best way to achieve stronger, fuller, and healthier brows is by leaving them alone.
"Products seep into and block the follicles and prevent hair growth," she says. "If you think about it, as we get older and start using more creams we also see our brows thinning out—the two go hand in hand. If you are careful to let the follicles breathe, brows grow stronger and come through."
On the other hand, Healy has formulated his own Brow Renovation Serum with peptides, amino acids and hyaluronic acid to nourish the brows for thickness, fullness, and growth. Furthermore, he believes deep conditioning with tea tree oil can be the key to getting rid of brow dandruff as it removes dead skin while nourishing the hairs.
"Using a disposable mascara wand with a little bit of tea tree oil on, make small circles with the wand, being careful not to use too much friction," he advises. "Wash away with warm water and pat dry."
All in all, our biggest takeaway is to very careful not to overdo it in any capacity of brow grooming, and to pay close attention to how our brows react to products, whether they're for styling, cleansing, or conditioning. And when in doubt, heed Vucetaj's warning and just leave 'em alone. (Seriously, stop messing with them.)
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