If you could get substantially longer, thicker, darker lashes, but the process risked permanently darkening your irises, would you still do it?
Earlier this month, the FDA approved the very first drug for use promoting eyelash growth, according to Allergan, the company that makes the drug.
Latisse, available by prescription early in 2009, contains the same active ingredient in the glaucoma drug Lumigan, which is also made by Allergan.
Eyelash growth has long been a known side effect of Lumigan, so Allergan figured they’d take advantage of the side effect, repurposing Lumigan as Latisse.
While Lumigan is an eyedrop, Latisse gets dabbed along the lash line on the upper eyelids, where it goes to work promoting longer, thicker, darker lashes.
How well does it work?
Allergan claims that Latisse users can expect longer, fuller and darker eyelashes in as little as eight weeks, with full results in 16 weeks, and one clinical study involving 278 adult patients (here’s the product information PDF) backs up the claim.
After 16 weeks, participants in the trial saw an average of 25% longer and 106% thicker lashes than before. Unfortunately, once treatment stopped, the effects began to subside, with eyelashes gradually returning to normal as new ones grew in.
A side effect with some side effects…
Back to its side effects, Latisse has some doozies worth mentioning. The product may cause darkening of the eyelids, a potentially reversible condition, but even worse, it might make your irises turn brown (iris pigmentation), and if that happens, it’s likely to be permanent.
The company says the drug may also promote hair growth upon skin areas that come in frequent contact with Latisse. Note to self: do not blot Latisse on your upper lip, LOL!
According to Allergan, Latisse was well-tolerated in its clinical trials, with the most common side effects being eye redness, itchy eyes and skin hyperpigmentation.
I don’t plan to test Latisse, but I’d like to hear from anyone who does.
Beyond its use for cosmetic reasons, the drug might be a huge help to people who’ve lost their lashes to disease or chemotherapy.
Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,