The People's Perspective on Medicine

How Can You Make Your Lashes Grow Longer?

Should you use the prescription drug Latisse to make your lashes grow longer? It does work, but make sure to keep it out of your eyes.
Beautiful macro shot of female eye with extreme long eyelashes and black liner makeup. Perfect shape make-up and long lashes. Cosmetics and make-up. Closeup macro shot of fashion eyes visage

We don’t usually think of short eyelashes as a medical condition. Nonetheless, FDA has approved a prescription drug that can make your lashes grow longer. In some ways, we owe this medicine to serendipity, as it was originally developed to treat a serious eye disorder, glaucoma.

Latisse So Your Lashes Grow Longer:

Q. I love Latisse. I have been using it for over a year to lengthen and strengthen my eyelashes. The plastic surgeon who prescribed it for me told me that no one with blue eyes has had eyes turn brown WHEN USED AS DIRECTED. In other words, used at the lash line and not as eye drops.

I have always had lashes that hit my eyeglasses, and that was annoying. When they grew longer due to the Latisse, my lashes actually turned up and didn’t hit my glasses anymore. I have received unsolicited compliments almost daily, but I’ll admit I have experienced drier eyes with this product.

A. Bimatoprost (Lumigan) was originally developed to treat glaucoma. Then patients started reporting an unexpected side effect: their lashes grow longer while they are using the eye drops. People with blue eyes sometimes experienced a change in eye color, but that was usually after using the drops directly in the eyes. This medicine can also cause the eyelashes or the eyelids to turn a darker color as well.

Concerns About Latisse:

FDA approved the same medicine, bimatoprost, as Latisse in 2008. Thanks for sharing your experience. People who need to use Lumigan for glaucoma might not be able to lower their eye pressure as much if they also use Latisse. Consequently, they should discuss this possibility with their eye doctor and make sure that they measure their intraocular pressure regularly. In addition, some people using bimatoprost eye drops to treat glaucoma developed macular degeneration. As a result, people prone to macular degeneration might wish to avoid Latisse even though it can help eye lashes grow longer.

Sally reported on her experience:

“Latisse works well for me. I wear gas permeable contact lenses and am sensitive to eye makeup, even the hypoallergenic mascaras. This product has significantly lengthened/thickened my lashes, and darkened them a bit. At first, I used Latisse nightly; now that I am pleased with my lash growth, I use it every other night or so for maintenance – so, one $100 bottle lasts me about 6 months! (Still, that’s a lot of money to spend.)

“It is crucial to take good care of your eyes. Latisse is not intended for use in the eye, but just along the lash line – it doesn’t require much product, which helps save $; also, by avoiding overly-generous “dosage” you greatly reduce the chance of getting the product in your eye. The day after use, my eyelids are a bit pink in appearance. An esthetician and an eye doctor have both told me that eye redness is the most common side effect.”

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    About the Author
    Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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    Larissa and Rodan-Fields eye lash growing formula altered my green eye color and caused Brown pigment to appear. I have green eye color and this happened with both products.

    Get a RX for Bimatoprost from your doctor, a lot of insurances will cover it. It is the main ingredient in Latisse and much cheaper.

    It’s so funny that this article was in my email inbox this morning. This morning when I woke up I noticed my eyelashes were fuller and longer and were tangled a little in each other. I’m only taking three supplements right now, and I researched them all to find that the likely culprits for this boon are iron and vitamin c. I’m taking liposomal vitamin c and liquid iron. Both are highly absorbable formulas.

    I have always heard if you put castor oil on your eyelashes and eyebrows it will make them grow!

    But if your eyes are green doesn’t it still turn them brown?

    I used Lumigan for several years as treatment for glaucoma. My eyes are blue; they did not change color. At the beginning, my lashes grew so long that they were a nuisance because they hit my glasses. The side-effect lasted for less than a year. My ophthalmologist said that men are more prone to the long-standing side effect than are women. I was shocked when the FDA approved the drug for cosmetic use, and I think my ophthalmologist was, too. He changed my prescription to a different prostaglandin brand of drops for glaucoma.

    Latisse was prescribed for me by a dermatologist. Always research drugs before taking them whenever you can. I did not use it because the adverse events are listed as:

    Conjunctival Hyperemia (dilated blood vessels causing red eyes ) 25%-45% and ocular Pruritus in 15%-45%.

    But no worries, the other adverse event is a ‘good’ one: growth of eyelashes 15%-45%. Great, red itchy eyes for longer lashes. (Something doesn’t make sense here!). Amongst a list of warnings: “May permanently change brown pigmentation of the iris, eyelid skin, and eyelashes.”

    I think it is the MDs responsibility to warn the patient about this. What happened to risk versus benefit?

    Thank you, People’s Pharmacy!

    I have a medical condition that causes dry eyes. My optho recommended warm compresses. I went one step farther and ordered microwave-heatable eye pads online, which worked better, stayed warm longer and, to my amazement, made my eyelashes grow longer.

    Why use Latisse when Argon or Castor oil mixed in with Coconut Oil works just as well?

    I use castor oil nightly on my eyelashes and eyebrows. It is a know eyelash grower and thickener. Very safe and inexpensive.

    Latisse works great. Until it doesn’t. The I ternary is full of comments from people who used Latisse as directed for years with good results and then it inexplicably stopped working. This is my experience. Most say if you don’t use it for a couple of months you can then start again. I would love to see an explanation of this and a work-around, if there is one.

    Vision is much more important than how my eyelashes look. I don’t plan to use anything cosmetic that could harm me.

    * Be nice, and don't over share. View comment policy^