Long, full lashes are coveted by all. Fans of strong lashes surrounding the eyes makes them more appealing to everyone. However, some circumstances cause lashes to become brittle and sometimes break off. Consider these good habits and home remedies that can help keep lashes in top shape, as well as some unhealthy habits to avoid.

The Basics

Like the hair on your head, your lashes need to be nourished, and that comes from within. It is important to maintain a healthy diet full of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as lean proteins, so that the hair follicles are fed by nutrients. Certain supplements also can help fight brittleness, such as vitamins C and E.

Always get plenty of rest. The eyes are very sensitive, and after an uneasy night’s sleep, they may be puffy and irritated, tempting you to rub them. Unfortunately, it takes only a few slight tugs to pull lashes out.

Be sure to use gentle products when you are removing makeup from the eye area. Do not use plain soap. Soap is not designed to dissolve eye makeup, so it will take several attempts and excessive rubbing for successful removal, all the while drying your lashes and irritating your eyes. Therefore, be sure to use an eye makeup remover as part of your skin care regime.

Lash Conditioner

While there are many lash conditioners on the market, you can easily make one at home using a type of oil that’s suited for healing drying hair. Two of the most popular are castor oil and almond oil. While most of these products don’t have tremendous scientific proof to back them up, they have been used for centuries as beauty secrets in many different cultures.

The basic idea is to coat the tips of the lashes with nourishing oil. It is important not to overdo it. You don’t want the oil to get near the roots or into the eye and cause irritation. A quick tip is to make use of a thoroughly cleaned old mascara tube.

Rinse it out completely. To do this properly, unscrew the wand, take out the rubber stopper the wand goes into, and rinse with soap and hot water until the water runs clear. Pour a small amount of castor or almond oil into the tube and replace the rubber stopper. Insert the mascara wand–which you also have thoroughly cleaned–into the tube to coat it in the oil.

Apply just a bit to the tips of your lashes as if you were applying mascara, but be sure not to go down to the root. You can do this each evening before bed or just a few nights a week to keep lashes well moisturized.