Eyebrows play several crucial roles. They frame your face and help you express emotions, like surprise, happiness and anger. They also help protect your eyes from moisture and light.
But as you get older, you may notice your eyebrows start to look a little wispy.
“It is true that most people will develop sparse eyebrows as they age,” New York-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Lian Mack told HuffPost. “With age, the eyebrow hair follicles become senescent, often producing thinner, finer hairs.”
Around the time you reach your 40s, your levels of the hormones estrogen or testosterone start to decline. And with that comes hair thinning and hair loss.
Along with your hair’s natural reaction to aging, several other factors can cause your eyebrows to thin. “It may be related to age, over-plucking, treatments like chemotherapy, thyroid disease, hormonal fluctuations or an unbalanced diet,” Mack said.
Dermatologists say there are several ways to deal with thinning eyebrows, including at-home remedies and doctor’s office treatments. Here’s how to handle sparse eyebrows.
Why do your eyebrows get thinner as you age?
The natural aging process affects the hair-growth cycle, said Dr. Ife Rodney, a board-certified dermatologist. This can decrease eyebrow density and thickness.
“Aging can also cause a decrease in the production of melanin, the pigment responsible for hair color, resulting in lighter and sparser eyebrows,” Rodney said.
Hormonal changes, including a drop in estrogen and testosterone, can contribute to the problem. Nutrient deficiencies, including of vitamin A, vitamin B7 (biotin), zinc and iron, can slow hair growth. Thyroid disease may lead to eyebrow hair loss and skin conditions, like eczema or psoriasis, or the autoimmune disease alopecia areata could affect your eyebrows.
Genetics play a role, too. Mack said the number of hair follicles you have and your eyebrow thickness are genetically predetermined.
“If an individual is starting out with fewer eyebrow hairs, it may simply appear as if they are losing hairs more rapidly than someone who biologically has more hairs from birth and is of a similar age,” she explained.
And if you’re prone to genetic hair loss, you might be more likely to experience thinning eyebrows, Rodney said.
How to slow eyebrow thinning.
If you’ve already noticed your eyebrows are looking thin, dermatologists say there are a few things you can try to slow the process:
Keep a healthy diet that’s rich in antioxidants, including a rainbow of fruits and vegetables.
Take vitamin E, biotin and iron supplements to speed up hair growth.
Apply sunscreen to your eyebrows, as UV rays can damage sensitive hair follicles.
Avoid using scrubs or other skin care and cosmetics with harsh chemicals and opt for all-natural products.
Use a serum to encourage eyebrow growth (see more below).
Talk to your dermatologist about the best course of action.
How to fake the appearance of fuller brows.
There are a couple of things you can do to address eyebrow thinning and make your eyebrows look a little fuller.
Use an eyebrow conditioner or serum.
Rodney said these products contain ingredients like peptides, biotin and panthenol, which promote hair growth and improve the appearance of your eyebrows. She recommends RevitaLash RevitaBrow Advanced Eyebrow Conditioner ($111) with biotin, green tea and ginseng.
Mack said one of her favorite eyebrow serums is RapidBrow Eyebrow Enhancing Serum ($39.99). “The formulation contains a number of peptides and conditioning ingredients to improve eyebrow density,” she said.
Try a pencil or gel to add volume.
Eyebrow pencils, gels and powders can fill in sparse brows and create the illusion of fullness, at least temporarily, Rodney said. She recommends the Charlotte Tilbury Brow Cheat Micro Precision Brow Pencil ($40.50).
“When choosing an eyebrow pencil or powder, select a shade that closely matches your natural eyebrow color for a more natural look,” she said.
A beautician prepares for a microblading session.
Determine whether you should see a professional about thinning eyebrows.
Dermatologists can offer treatments for your thinning eyebrows, depending on the cause, Mack said.
“A board-certified dermatologist can diagnose and work up the underlying cause of your eyebrow thinning,” she added. “Once the diagnosis is confirmed, he or she can create a customized treatment to target the cause of your eyebrow thinning.”
Intralesional Kenalog injections, or tiny diluted steroid injections, can help reduce inflammation around the hair follicle, Mack said. This procedure is often used when eyebrow thinning is related to an underlying autoimmune issue.
Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections can address thinning related to natural aging. Mack said this involves drawing a patient’s blood, spinning it down in a centrifuge, and then isolating the PRP, which is injected into the skin to revitalize hair follicles.
Dermatologists can also prescribe medication, like minoxidil (Rogaine), to stimulate hair growth and thickness, Rodney said. Other treatments include laser or light therapy or KeraFactor treatments.
“Remember that the effectiveness and availability of these treatments will vary from person and doctor,” Rodney noted.
Professionally trained microblading treatments are an option that purely fixes the aesthetics, not the actual thickness of your brows. The procedure is a semi-permanent cosmetic tattoo that involves using tiny needles to create hair-like lines along your eyebrows that give the appearance of fullness, Rodney said.
“Microblading is an effective tool for semi-permanent, natural-looking enhancement,” she said, adding that her own eyebrows are microbladed. “It’s safe when done by a qualified technician, effective and long-lasting.”
But microblading does come with a few risks, such as allergic reactions, scarring, infections and the potential that you just might not like the results, Rodney added. You’ll likely need touch-ups every couple of years, too, Mack said.
Below, check out beauty products that reviewers over 50 swear by.
HuffPost may receive a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.
A brightening, firming, and rejuvenating eye cream
Promising review: "I have been using this daily for about eight months now. I am 60 years old. It reduced the puffiness and bags under my eyes. I am Sicilian and had dark circles. It has brightened up my eye area. I am very surprised as I have paid much more for eye creams that have done so much less. I recently had pre-cancerous cells removed at the bridge of my nose. After healing, I was left with a dark scar. The dermatologist told me that it would heal over time. Since I began to apply this eye cream, the mark has almost disappeared entirely. I shop constantly from Amazon. This is the first time that I have taken the time to write a review. That's how impressed I am with this product. If you decide to purchase this, you won't be sorry." — Lynda M.
A dermatologist-recommended Elta MD tinted sunscreen
Promising review: "Finally a sunscreen that doesn’t make my face itch all day! Sure wish they would bring the price down. Love how it blends in and is soft and moisturizing. I’m 59 and this goes on smooth and doesn’t ball up under my makeup." — Melony Phillips
A versatile, creamy, and beautifully blendable multi-stick
Available in 12 shades.
Promising review: "The quality and ease of use. It goes on like silk and stays on all day. It is hydrating and so natural looking, especially on my mature skin." — Deborah M.
An eyebrow tint
Available in four shades.
Promising review: "I'm so glad someone came up with an affordable product for people like me that have a very thin line for eyebrows due to YEARS of pulling them out. In my childhood years I had (what I thought) was 'thick' full eyebrows. I spent years pulling them out to have a thin brow (wish I still had them). Now that I'm older (I'm 53), they stopped growing back where I NEEDED them to grow and only grew where I don't want to grow. I can't afford microblade so this product adds a brow to where I have NONE and darkens the fine line I have. I do have to leave it on twice as long as it's recommended. I just wash my face around my brow area and it will last for at least 48 hours (some times longer) for me. I'm sure it does better for someone that actually has brows and just needs areas to be darker and fuller. I love it." — Robin Thomas
A low-stakes NYX tinted brow gel
Available in five shades.
Promising review: "Wow, I am surprised! I finally have eyebrows again. This looks so natural. My eyebrows have begun to thin. I'm in my 50s, and I look washed out with no brows. This is so easy to use and doesn't rub off. Glad I tried this before going to one of the pricier brands." — Leslie B
A clear eyebrow gel
Promising review: "I am 65 and my eyebrows are becoming sparse. Besides the challenge of finding an acceptable brow color in silver/gray, I have discovered that my eyebrows have become rather wild. I was hoping this product would keep them in place. It did. It’s colorless so there was no problem there. The product works. That’s all I hope for. Good choice." — MarloJones
An 8-second moisturizing hair treatment
Promising review: "I am 66-years-old. I have fine thinning hair. Followed instructions. Blew dry my hair. How awesome was it? My hair now feels regular in thickness and holds a curl and actually has body. I wish for a lifetime supply. Will use this from now on." — Mortimer Brewster
A Revlon hot air brush
The brush has special vents that allow air to flow so hair dries faster. Plus, it's quicker than using a dryer and then a flat iron or curling iron, which equals less heat damage.
Promising review: "First time review and it’s because I’m so happy with this dryer/styler! My hair is about shoulder length, very fine with a slight curl, and now it has some gray to it. It’s also frizzy, no matter what I use. I’m 61 years old so trust me, I’ve used a lot of products! Never have I been able to get my hair to look like it did after leaving the salon, EXCEPT after using this. I watched some YouTube videos first for some pointers, and then I gave it a try. It’s easy to use, even though it’s bigger than I thought it would be. My hair came out beautiful! Smooth, soft, no frizz and lots of volume. Hope this review helps you anyone out there that have similar hair!" — Anon anon
A reparative cuticle oil
Promising review: "I was skeptical that this would do anything for my fragile nails. Four months later I'm stunned that my nails are not chipping and peeling like they used to, and even the ridges are diminishing. When I look at the quarter-inch or so of growth from the nail bed that has occurred since I started using this product, I see nice smooth healthy nails. I can't wait to see what they look like several months from now when the entire nail has had a chance to grow out. I apply the oil all around the nail including under the tips of the nails before I go to bed most nights and massage it in while I watch the evening news. It is good to know nice nails are not a thing of the past even though I'm over 50 years old." — All His 247
Glossier Ultralip, a nourishing balmy lipstick
Available in nine shades.
Promising review: "This product does everything Glossier says. Goes on easy, moisturizing but not oily, sticky, or greasy. No lip liner needed (unheard of at my age, 59). Beautiful buildable color. I am a G10 and bought Ember and it is perfect." — Susanne
A powerful snail repair cream
Promising review: "I'm 55 years old and my skin is a bit sensitive. I don't have a lot of wrinkles, but I'm definitely noticing a few more laugh lines and forehead crinkles than I had a few years ago! I've tried several moisturizers and have not been terribly impressed with any of them until now. This stuff really is great — incredibly hydrating without feeling greasy and it absorbs quickly. It feels great on my skin. In just a few short weeks, I definitely notice an improvement in my skin tone and fewer lines and wrinkles! Plus, the customer service is great. I had questions when I first received the product and got followup response immediately. I will definitely be ordering this product again. I use it in the evening and morning; no need for two different moisturizers. Very pleased!" — sbakey
A NYX buttery gloss for rich, creamy, high-shine color that doesn't feel sticky
Available in 36 shades.
Promising review: "I like the buttery feel, and that this Butter Gloss lasts longer than other regular lip gloss and is more moisturizing than other glosses. I still use a nourishing rosehip lip oil beneath it for added moisture. I am 50 and my lips are thinner, more wrinkled, and dryer than my younger lips. Overall this provides more moisturizing and longer lasting gloss than other lip 'glosses.'" — elemental em
Bek O'Connell / BuzzFeed
A collagen-coating hair treatment
Promising review: "This product has a light but really lovely scent. I absolutely love it! My almost waist-length hair was seriously damaged by my last hairstylist. I've tried everything to make my hair shinier and more manageable, with less frizz. I've been through countless deep conditioning treatments with little results...till I found CER 100! I'm in my early 50s so I have far from 'virgin' hair. If mine looks this great, that says a lot! My only wish? That it came in a bigger tube/bottle!" — C. Fordham
A bond-repairing Olaplex hair treatment
Promising review: "For the price of this small bottle I had very high expectations, and it truly delivered! This is not a hair conditioner. As it says on the bottle, it is a 'hair bonder.' I am 55 years old and I dye my gray Asian hair every 3–4 weeks. This makes my hair very frizzy and dry-looking no matter how much I condition. After using this twice — I washed my hair first, towel dried it, applied Olaplex, left it on for 10–15 minutes each time, did a quick rinse, towel dried it, and then blow dried it — the result is just amazing! No more frizz and fly-away hair. That was two days ago and still looks good." — SusannaF
Three dermaplaning razors to rid your face of peach fuzz
Promising review: "Just used this amazing little razor on my face for the first time and I am hooked! I am 58 years old and battle the peach fuzz especially on my lip and chin....this was super easy and effective! The exfoliation alone is fantastic! Grab some of these for your beauty arsenal!" — Cisami
A lightweight and smoothing primer
Promising review: "I won! This primer not only has a pleasant, light, and delicate smell, but it actually works very well too. I have a really oily T-zone and and really dry aging skin everywhere else. Somehow this primer seemed to do whatever my skin needed to keep the makeup in place. I live in a very humid, sub-tropical climate so finding a primer that holds up in nearly 100% humidity is amazing! I had two events to attend two nights in a row and they both lasted too long....hours! My makeup looked as good at the end of the night as it looked when I first put it on and set it that morning. It also made my skin feel so soft. I've been wearing it most of the time without adding any makeup and it really improves the look of my 64-year-old skin. Try it. I think you'll be as pleasantly surprised as I have been." — JanJan
An eye primer to make eye shadow last all day
Promising review: "I feel so stupid...I'm 65 years old and have always been annoyed by the fact that by mid-afternoon, my upper lids would be oily, shiny and sporting a stripe from my eye liner. I didn't think there was a cure. Then stumbled upon the idea of using a primer/foundation designed for the eyelids. What? How BRILLIANT!! Who would have thought? I dipped my toe into the water and purchased one tube of the Thank Me Later Eye Shadow Primer. I don't use eye shadow on my lids, but I do use it as a liner on my lower lashes. (I add water to compressed eye shadow and put it on my skin with a sponge-end pencil thing). This stuff ROCKS!! At the end of a hot Texas day, my lids are still as fresh and dry as they were at 6 a.m. And it only takes a pinhead-sized drop to cover one entire lid from lashes to eyebrow, with enough left to cover the lower lid area as well. It's creamy, but dries very quickly. Awesome! The only thing that keeps this product from being 100% perfect is that it has a chemical smell when you first put it on...BUT...after a few minutes, the smell is gone and my eye makeup looks impeccable for 12+ hours. Obviously, I highly recommend this product. They've found a lifetime customer with me." — ShortieTX
Impurity absorbing hydrocolloid acne patches
This set includes 40 round patches.
Promising review: "These are the best. I’m 65 years old and still experience frequent breakouts. Pop on one of these and your zit heals in half the time. The package has several different sizes so you can use really small ones for average pimples or on small places like the tip of your nose. It also comes with big ones for those zits that look like a light in the middle of your forehead. They’re practically invisible so you can wear them during the day." —Terry L. Burgess
A cruelty free vitamin C serum
Promising review: "This serum is just as amazing as everyone says it is. I am 67 years old, and I have light melasma on both of my cheekbones. I have done *everything* to get rid of it (microdermabrasion, other serums, clarisonic exfoliation, and on and on ad nauseam). I wear SPF 50–70 on my face 365 days a year, and I've done that for decades. I also drink a lot of water. It looked as good as it was going to get. Now, my skin looks even better, and the melasma has never been lighter. Overall, my skin tone just looks very even and smooth. Every morning when I look in the mirror at my face, I marvel at how smooth it looks for my age. This is such a terrific product. I just finished my first bottle and I'm on to my second one!" — Rabid Reader
A cruelty-free lengthening mascara
Promising review: "I am 68 years old and have been using makeup for 52 of those years. I have tried many mascaras over those years, from inexpensive to very expensive. I cannot say that I have ever been really happy with the results. I had reached the point where I thought that, it does not matter the cost, they are pretty much all the same. This changed my mind. I put on two coats and it made my lashes look so thick. If I did not know better, I would think that I had on false eyelashes. I used baby shampoo, as I always do and I always lather with the baby shampoo twice, to remove the mascara, and it came off easily. I will look no more for a new mascara. I cannot imagine a mascara better than this." — Piaget
An anti-fungal dandruff shampoo
Promising review: "This is without a doubt the best dandruff shampoo ever. I am 50 years old and have had very bad dry scalp and dry skin on my face and ears all my life. I have tried everything on this side of the moon without any success until now. This stuff truly works and is amazing. I literally put it on my face and even on my ears where I’ve always had problems with dry skin, and after even the first use I saw amazing results — no more itching no more flaking. I can actually wear a black shirt now with confidence; no flakes to worry about . I truly highly recommend this product and the only downfall I can think of is where was it when I was a teenager and had to endure many embarrassing moments. Thank you so so much for this shampoo. It’s worth every last penny!" — stacy
A winged eyeliner stamp
Available in three sizes.
Promising review: "I am a 50-year-old woman who is ridiculous about trying out new makeup trends. I have been wearing my eyeliner winged since my teen years, and although I have gotten pretty good at applying my wings, I always seem to have one thicker than the other, or at an odd angel, most likely due to my eyes not being perfectly even. So when I saw a review of this product, I thought, what the heck, I will try it. Well, ladies (and guys who wear liner), this winged liner set is one of the best purchases I have ever made in the cosmetic world. It is so simple and I can't believe how quickly I was able to give myself the absolutely, flawless wings! If eyes could fly....worth every penny." — Molly A. Kasdan
A cult-favorite French moisturizing cream that doubles as a makeup primer
Promising review: "So far I am loving this lotion. I put in on every morning under my makeup and it leaves my face perfectly moisturized all day long. I also noticed I use less foundation because it’s so moisturizing. I don’t believe there is any miracle moisturize that will ever get rid of our crows feet, laugh lines, neck sagging, etc. but this moisturizer helps reduce the look of these problems as long as they’re not deep surface. I’m 68 years old and never was someone who was a 'sun worshipper' and, fortunately, stopped smoking in 1980 after smoking for 15 years. Those two things do a lot of damage to your skin, so to all young women reading this who are doing these two things, take it from me, if you want to retain healthy, youthful skin, stop these too harmful habits. Use sunscreen when you are in the sun and use moisturizer now. Embryolisse seems to be a good place to start!" — Janet Cahill
A box of eight pore-tightening, skin-lifting face masks
Promising review: "At 60 years old I have tried SO MANY products...anything short of surgery to lift and tighten my face. Around the age of 57 my pores became larger and larger. I tried product after product and spent hundreds trying to find that fountain of youth. There is nothing like going into a store with sales people younger than my grandchildren telling me what I'm doing 'wrong' with my skin care regime. They had never seen a wrinkle in their lives. I thought I would give this face mask a shot. I mean what did I have to lose? Immediate results! I couldn't believe it! My pores were small; my face was different...and in a good way..lol. I can't believe my skin looks so good. I'm so excited. I had to write a review. I don't think you'll be sorry if you decide to try this. I know I sure wasn't!" — Judi Bragg
A beloved tightening cream
Promising review: "I never write reviews and I created this account just so I could write this one. I am 53 and I have never had a problem with aging skin until the last two years where I noticed my skin is not as firm. After just a week my crepey skin is tighter and I can actually see a significant difference. It looks like my skin from five years ago. This cream may not do much if you're in your 20s or 30s, and may not be worth the price if you have young skin, but it is amazing if you are older! I love this product so much I started the auto renew so I know I won't run out. And I personally love the smell, though I see some people do not; I think it smells delicious." — kaprn
A pair of exfoliating mitts
Promising review: "This is by far the cheapest and most effective product I’ve ever used!! I’m 54 and don’t take the best care of my skin. Even if I used a brand new razor, I couldn’t get a close shave, and even after lotion, my skin was still rough! First use, not so much. Two days later, second use, and ugh tons of dead skin came off!! Shaving was a dream!! Forget body dry brushes and gooey scrubs, this is the magic!" — Melissa Vizzaccaro
A set of 42 flexible, heatless curling rods
Promising review: "I love these rollers. My hair is very thin and the hot rollers and dryer that I have been using further destroyed my hair. These rollers are easy to use. I put a little water on each section, roll, and usually wait two hours. My curls are great and stay all day. I am 70 years old." —The Sutherlands
A non-cakey concealer that masks under eye circles
Available in 18 shades.
Promising review: "Best under eye concealer ever. I am 67 years old and have tried them alI. I wouldn't go out without applying this concealer. It blends nicely with my foundation and has never caked. The sponge applicator is soft and makes application quick and easy. I will continue to use this product and hope, like many products I've used over the years, that it doesn't get discontinued." — Morty
A circulation-promoting in-shower scalp massager
Promising review: "I notice a difference in using this for about a month, twice a week. I am 58 and have had thinning hair for a very long time, this brush seems to be thickening the spots where I have hair, I see why so many people are very happy with it." — J. G.
A pack of 100 bamboo oil-blotting sheets
Promising review: "At 68 years old, I am making my first purchase of 'oil blotting' papers. I must say I was skeptical. But, I was quite pleasantly surprised that the 'papers' do remove the oil that causes the shine. Admittedly, I handle things awkwardly (probably using more 'papers' than necessary). However, the product does work. And work well." — John R. Spencer
A crème to powder waterproof eyeshadow stick
Available in 31 shades.
Promising review: "I'm 52, with crepey eyelids and they itch and water if a smidge of eye product gets in them. Powder shadow is a complete no-go! Just bought two of these and I am so happy! After years of not wearing shadow, I am back in the game! It goes on creamy exactly where you put it. The smudger works beautifully and it stayed put all day with no creasing, no watery or itchiness. Didn't use any primer, just on clean, moisturized skin Thank you! I will definitely be getting more colors!" —Tania Nicholson
A weightless hydrating squalane oil
Promising review: "I'm, well, a senior citizen and have used many products and many moisturizers over the years. My daughter introduced me to this product. I love it. Frankly, I've thrown out almost all other moisturizers. I use this product for my arms, my legs, my feet, my hands, my cuticles, and my face. Oh, yes, and when there is still some left on my hands I run it through my hair, just enough to help tame my frizz. It's light; it absorbs quickly. Fragrance free is a plus for me. If you like a heavy lotion feel, then this product isn't for you. I've tried squalane from other suppliers. This one is the best." — mcmorgan
Taylor Miller / BuzzFeed
A super soft MakeUp Eraser cloth
Promising review: "I'm impressed. The Makeup Eraser removes my makeup easily and completely. I wear waterproof mascara, water-resistant foundation, and fairly heavy eyeshadow and brow powder. I was tired of using up cotton pads and remover liquid to get my makeup off at the end of the day — it was time-consuming, expensive, and not always effective. This cloth and some warm water solves the problem. I'm 60 years old and I try not to subject my skin to undue pulling and stretching. The Makeup Eraser requires only a gentle circular motion, and maybe a little extra wiping right at the eyelash edge. My face comes out makeup free and gently exfoliated, ready for moisturizer. What a great product!" — A. Hawley