Give your lashes a lift with Latisse

January 28th, 2010

If you’ve always dreamed of having longer, fuller, darker eyelashes that rival your favorite celebrities’ then the prescription treatment, Latisse, may be the solution. Latisse is an FDA approved, once-a-day treatment that has been designed to help lashes grow.   

According to The New York Times, Allergan, the company that has created Latisse, originally used the formula for glaucoma eye drops.  

Glaucoma is an eye disease that damages the optic nerve and impairs vision.  

As a side effect, Latisse tended to make the patient’s eyelashes longer and fuller due to the active ingredient bimatoprost. 

Research suggests that bimatoprost increases the percent of hairs in the growth phase.

 “I think a lot of my friends would use this because they wear fake lashes so often,” said senior Anna McGuire.

Allergan decided to market these drops as an eyelash lengthener, because of people’s desire for improved lashes.

Although the product is expensive ($120 for a monthly dose), analysts claim that there is a huge market for a product of its kind. Five billion dollars a year is spent on mascara worldwide.    

The Latisse Web site claims that you will see results in just four weeks and full results will occur in 12-16 weeks; but, like any routine, Latisse must be applied consistently for great results.   

“This treatment seems so appealing because many believe long and full lashes are pretty,” said senior Alyssa Spall. 

To ensure results, one drop of solution must be applied to the applicator, which should then be brushed along the inner part of the lash line to the outer part.  

Only the sterile applicators provided should be used for application and Latisse should not be applied to the lower eyelid. 

According to Dr. Jeffrey Poole,  his patients find Latisse advantageous. “My patients have been thrilled with Latisse, being both very effective and rapid in onset. I have had virtually no complaints from patients to date, beyond some occasional eyelid irritation,” he said. 

In a clinical study done by Allergan, 78 percent of participants experienced a significant increase in overall eyelash prominence in 16 weeks. In that study, eyelashes typically grew 25 percent longer, 106 percent thicker and 18 percent darker. 

“People would say to me ‘Are you wearing false eyelashes?’ Even my own mother asked,” said Cindy Ross, vice president for sales at Young Pharmaceuticals in Wethersfield, Conn., who participated in the Latisse clinical trial. 

However, the product takes time to work effectively, so the site recommends that its users have patience and don’t overuse the solution which may cause eye redness or itchiness.  Four percent of patients experienced this side effect in the initial trials.  

Latisse solution can also cause less common side effects, including skin darkening, increased brown iris pigmentation, eye irritation, dry eyes or redness of the eyelid.   

“The incidence of side effects, such as pigmentation of the eye or surrounding skin is exceptionally rare,” said Dr. Christine Brown.  “The most common side effect is redness, which is a transient problem. Latisse works well, especially under the supervision of a dermatologist.” 

It is also important to note that when this medication is stopped, the eyelashes will return back to the way they looked before using the product.  

Therefore, maintaining the Latisse treatment could get very pricey. 

“Having long lashes is great and I am always trying to find new mascaras to make my eye lashes look their absolute best,” said junior Gizelle Tohme. “A lengthener sounds superb, but I would not spend $120 on it.” 

However, there are products similar to Latisse that are within a college student’s budget.  

Some of the over-the-counter lash boosting serums are: RapidLash Eyelash and Eyebrow Renewal Serum ($44.00),  L’Oreal Renewal Lash Serum ($21.74), or Ardell Lash Growth Accelerator ($3.99).  

None of these serums require a prescription and can be found at local drugstores.

As with all products, everyone reacts differently to certain ingredients that may be used.  

If using any of the products discussed causes a change in vision or any type of negative eye reaction, one should immediately discontinue the use of the product and seek their doctor’s advice right away.