By now you’ve probably heard of the new eyelash enhancer, Latisse®, having been on the market since FDA approved in December 2008. Latisse® solution promises longer, fuller, thicker and more luscious lashes.
Today, celebrities such as Jenny McCarthy and Brooke Shields are endorsing the product, but the question is, should you? Here, we break down the facts on this fast-growing product.
What is Latisse®?
Latisse® (bimatoprost ophthalmic solution) 0.03% is the first and only FDA approved eyelash enhancement product on the market. It is a prescription treatment for hypotrichosis, the technical term for having too few eyelashes. Latisse® is manufactured by Allergen, the same company that produces Botox.
A version of a glaucoma drug, with the active ingredient bimatoprost, Latisse® was discovered after doctors noticed a side effect of increased lash growth when treating the eye with the drops.
Is it right for me?
Latisse® is not a cosmetic, it is a drug created for the treatment of inadequate lashes therefore requiring a prescription from a doctor. It should not be sought out as a replacement for mascara, although mascara can be applied in addition to it.
If you are looking for a natural lash boost and to decrease the number of coats of mascara you apply, Latisse® proved effective in 80% of patients, according to its Web site. Do not use Latisse® if you are allergic to one of its ingredients.
How does Latisse® work?
In ways that are still unknown, Latisse® works to both prolong the growth phase of the eyelash and increase the number of hairs grown during that cycle.
Latisse® is applied once each evening by dabbing the solution on the upper eyelid with a sterile, disposable applicator. Before applying, your face must be clear of any makeup and your contact lenses must be removed. It is not necessary to apply to the lower lashes because the drug naturally spreads to them as you blink.
After the first four months, users often enter into a maintenance phase, applying the solution every 2-3 days rather than everyday.
When will I begin to see results?
According to its Web site, Latisse® results vary from user to user but generally can be seen initially at 8 weeks with full results around 12 to 16 weeks. The results are not permanent, however, and if application stops your eyelashes can be expected to return to their pre-prescription length after their natural lash cycle of 1-2 months.
What should I know beforehand?
While it is ok if Latisse® gets in your eye it is important to note the possible side effects of repeated exposure to the solution. According to its site, the most common side effect is itching and/or eye redness, reported in roughly 4% of patients. Other, less common side effects, typically occurring on the skin close to where Latisse® is applied, include hyperpigmentation, eye irritation, dryness, hair growth and eyelashes falling out. While all of these side effects are reversible, in some cases, Latisse® may cause a permanent increase in brown pigmentation of the iris.
How much does it cost and where can I get it?
A bottle of Latisse® solution, a 45-day supply, generally runs between $110 and $150. To get a prescription of Latisse® you must consult your doctor. Because it is relatively new, cosmetic surgeons, like those of Still Waters Cosmetic Procedures Group, as well as dermatologists, and eye doctors will be more likely to know of the drug’s availability than other doctors.
◊ August 2010
You might also enjoy: