Although it may seem like science fiction, it is actually science fact: There is a product that can allow you to grow thicker, longer, more beautiful eyelashes.
It is called Latisse (bimatoprost). This is a drug that was originally developed to treat glaucoma. In its original formulation, it was a drop that was directly placed in the eyes. However, several people that were using it for glaucoma noticed that their lashes were getting longer, thicker, and darker – and they liked it. This led other companies to develop products that mimicked the behavior of these drops. Unfortunately, many of these drops had various compounds in them, with varying degrees of efficacy.
Latisse is not a drop, but a brush-on topical treatment that is applied to the upper lashes once a day. After about eight weeks lashes will start to get fuller and longer. This will continue and get more pronounced until about the 16th week.
What many of my patients are doing is using the product daily for the first few months and then using it as a maintenance program every other day or twice per week. The vast majority of people who do this are pleased with their lashes.
Side effects noted with the product are rare but can occur. The most common – in my experience it occurs only with the original eye drop formulation of the drug – is eyelid irritation with some redness and scaling. In patients that get this, I stop the drops and give them a week or two off. I then start the drops again on an every other day schedule.
One other side effect that has been noted in some patients that used the product in its eye drop form (but not to my knowledge in the Latisse topical brush-on formulation) is a change in eye color. While it is extremely rare, the change in color can make green eyes turn darker and become brown. The change is permanent so it is something to consider if you have green eyes. The possible change does not occur in people with brown eyes or blue eyes and is specific to green eyes.
There are some remaining questions that need to be answered about this product. Selfishly, I want to know whether it can grow scalp hair and if so, does it work better when combined with Rogaine? (If so, I start today!) Does it work for other hair loss such as the eye lashes or diseases that cause the hair to fall out? Can it prevent chemotherapy associated hair loss? I have a lot of questions about the product and look forward to more clinical information.
Full disclosure: I am a paid investigator for Allergan, the maker of Latisse.
There are many advantages to this product, the most significant of which is that people love it. When compared with false eyelashes, Latisse-enhanced lashes are more durable, more time efficient and far less likely to cause irritant reactions such as from glue used for false eyelashes.
People that stop using this product will gradually go back to the lashes they had previously. They won’t lose more than they started with.
Latisse is a prescription strength product, and therefore you will need to see a physician to begin treatment.
For more information about Dr. Beer's practice or his line of skin care products, go to: palmbeachcosmetic.com or www.scientificskin.com