Beauty products for thicker, fuller, longer lashes ranging from lash extensions to false lashes, to products to increase the lash growth. are currently all the rage in beauty salons around the world.
So now we have another body part that can be enhanced. One of the most popular treatments is a glaucoma drug has been modified to help eyelashes grow longer and rapidly.
Eyelash hair grows at its own rate, as does hair on other body parts. Unfortunately, those who naturally have scant body hair may also have scant eyelashes. Eyelashes cosmetically enhance the eye as well as serve as protection from foreign bodies.
Brush-on Medicine to Grow Lashes
The medication was discovered by accident when glaucoma patients noticed longer lashes after a time using their glaucoma medication. The medicine, a prostaglandin analog, was altered so that it can be applied to the lash line with a q-tip like applicator.
Lumigan off-label gives noticeably longer lashes in weeks. Allergan (of Botox fame) originally said it didn’t approve of the off-label use but soon developed their own product called Latisse. It is approved for hypotrichosis of eyelashes, meaning hair loss. The price is high for the promised result of longer or thicker real eyelashes.
Some Brands of Eyelash Growth Stimulators
Some products are copycats, some are useless, and some are moisturizers. Experiment with caution. New brands are marketed all the time. Prices vary considerably depending on who sells the product, how it is marketed, and what it contains. Price does not always reflect quality.
- Lilash- Claims to contain no salt and cost about £160 for a 6-month supply
- Latisse- promises longer darker eyelashes to the point where mascara may not be needed. A prescription is needed since Allergan likes to be sure physicians sell their products. This increases the cost and theoretically puts the buyer under medical care. Progressive growth up to 4 months.
- Long lash MD – warns to beware of cheap imitations (4 weeks to see progress)
- Renew eyelash revitilizer (3 months)
- LashAlive- an organic eyelash enhancer promises growth in 3 weeks.
- Rapid lash- TV brand
Side Effects from Prescription Lash Enhancers (Other Than Longer Lashes)
- Safety is a concern with any new product. Placing a solution near the eye does have side effects.
- Due to prostaglandin’s activity there may be eyelid skin darkening
- Similarly, possible increased iris brown pigment may become visible in lighter eye colours.
- Must be used continuously for effect to last: an expensive lifelong process
- Blurred vision
- It is a thickening and moisturizing product – growth isn’t necessarily what is occurring
- Red eyes
- Hair growth elsewhere or ingrown lash hair
- Eyelash growth interfering with wearing glasses
- Double rows of eyelash and possible cilia scratching the cornea.
Allergan is actively watching those who copy its product with patent infringement lawsuits. Don’t expect prices to drop soon when there is a monopoly.
Alternatives for Eyelash Enhancement
- Permanent eyeliner- a tattoo at the base of the lashes to give the illusion of thicker darker lashes.
- Eyelash Tinting- advisably done in salon, costing approximately £25 a time
- Eyelash extensions: These must be maintained after an initial cost of around £100; maintenance can run about £50 twice a month.
- Fake eyelashes- These can be purchased at beauty supply stores and drug stores and can be self-applied with glue.
- Mascara- Simply colour makeup often added lubricants
- Conditioners- Some eyelash growth medications are simply moisturizers packaged to compete with the more expensive tubes. The philosophy is like hair care: moisturize the hair and it will be healthy and lustrous. Vaseline falls in this category.
- Eyelash transplant- a surgical procedure using donor hair.