Serums for the eyes are advertised as ways to improve and speed up the development of your own lashes.  Most of these products are used topically, and they all promise longer lashes after only a few weeks of regular use.

The eyelash growth craze can in part be traced back to Latisse Generic, an eyelash serum. But is it safe and does it works?

Does the eyelash serum Latisse really work?

Only Latisse contains the active component bimatoprost, which has been shown in studies to promote hair growth, making it the only proven eyelash serum.

Patients who took the drug, which had been created to treat elevated ocular pressure, reported that their eyelashes grew in longer, darker, and fuller than before. The outcome was the 2008 US release of Latisse, an eyelash-enhancing treatment that quickly gained celebrity endorsements and satisfied consumers reported that their lashes had grown so long they needed to be trimmed.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has mandated that Latisse, a drug that helps restore hair growth in persons with hypotrichosis, be made available only with a doctor’s prescription. Despite this, you can get medicines similar to Latisse or generic versions from overseas without a prescription on certain websites.

How secure is it?

Although Latisse has the best chance of success, there are some unattractive drawbacks to consider.

If the serum goes into the eye, it reduces intraocular pressure.

The coloration of the eyelids

Altering eye color irreversibly (long-term use may cause blue eyes to turn brown).

You can get hair where the serum lands if you accidentally get it on your face while applying it. Cheek hair, anyone?

Other lash-enhancing oils

There are several more lash-enhancing serums (Careprost Lash Serum) available besides Latisse at drugstores, department stores, and pharmacies, as well as on the internet.

However, Desiree Stordahl, a US-based author and cosmetics expert with Paula’s Choice Skincare, claims that, with the exception of Latisse, most eyelash serums are ineffective.

Most lash-growth cosmetics fail to deliver the results they promise.

Desiree Stordahl, cosmetics expert Both the Swedish Medical Products Agency and the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) have issued warnings about eyelash serums containing synthetic (or analog) prostaglandin due to the lack of data on their effectiveness and the potential for side effects such as eye irritation, a change in eye color, and even a shift in the fatty tissue around the eyes, resulting in a sunken appearance.

What about the other options out there that make the same claims about lash length and strength? They are not likely to function, according to Stordahl.

“Most cosmetic products claiming to grow lashes typically don’t work,” she explains. Although ingredients like “exotic plant extracts,” “peptides,” and “conditioning agents” may seem appealing, research has shown that they have little effect on lash growth.

Is it safe to use an eyelash serum?

Experts we consulted advised consulting a physician before beginning the use of an eyelash growth serum.

Sydney eye doctor Brad McKay says that while OTC products won’t make your eyelashes grow longer, you should still be aware of when they expire to avoid the risk of bacterial conjunctivitis due to the preservative wearing off.

He also warns against using glaucoma treatment drugs for cosmetic purposes.

“Eye drops normally used for glaucoma can be used ‘off license’ to enhance your eyelashes, but that risks affecting your vision, so it’s kind of important,” he says.

It’s also possible that employing eyelash growth products will result in irritation, redness, and itching. If you want to be safe, talk to your doctor first.

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