If you’re reading this, the chances are you’re tired of using false eyelashes or layering on coat after coat of mascara to achieve fuller, longer lashes.
If you’re looking for a permanent solution to give your eyelashes the thickness you’re after, read this comprehensive guide to Latisse. In it, we will give you all the latest information, from the science behind how this FDA-approved treatment works and how to best use it to maximise growth. So read on to find out if Latisse can help you to get the lashes you’ve always wanted.
Latisse for eyelash growth – how it works.
The active ingredient – Bimatoprost
Latisse, also known scientifically as bimatoprost, is a medication originally used to treat glaucoma, which is a build-up of pressure in the eye that can damage the optic nerve and lead to visual impairment. Researchers also noticed an intriguing and potentially useful side effect – patients using the medication experienced significant eyelash growth. Why? Because it affects the eyelash growth cycle.
This eventually led to the FDA approving Latisse for the treatment of eyelash hypotrichosis, a condition characterised by inadequate eyelash growth. Latisse contains 0.03% bimatoprost, which makes it identical to the ophthalmic solution used to treat glaucoma.
Effects on the eyelash growth cycle.
Hair follicles have a distinct growth cycle pattern, and the length of the cycle varies based on the place in the body. For eyelashes, a lifespan of 3 to 6 months is normal.
The anagen phase (growth phase) of the eyelash hair follicle lasts approximately 30 days. After the growth cycle, a 15-day transition stage (catagen) takes place with a shortening of the hair follicle. Finally, the eyelash enters the resting phase (telogen) for a length of around 100 days after which the eyelash detaches. (link)
In the scalp, follicle growth and hair loss are related to the levels of androgens or sex hormones such as testosterone and dihydrotestosterone (DHT). Eyelashes do not seem to be sensitive to these hormones, instead, Latisse is thought to work by interacting with the prostaglandin receptors in the eyelash hair follicle and stimulating the resting follicles to move into the growth phase, prolonging the growth phase of the eyelash hair cycle, which results in longer and more numerous lashes. (link)
Timeframe for visible eyelash growth
When taking Latisse, eyelash growth can be slow, so it’s important to be diligent and take Latisse every night as directed for at least 4 months. Some patients may notice an improvement in their lashes after about a month while others may need to wait until around four months to see complete benefits. If Latisse treatment is discontinued, eyelashes will revert to their original appearance over several months.
How to Use Latisse for eyelash growth.
If you want to use Latisse for eyelash growth, you’ll need to obtain a prescription. So you’ll need to consult a healthcare professional to make sure it is the right treatment option for you. To maximize effectiveness and minimize the potential side effects, follow these steps:
Step-by-step instructions on how to use Latisse
- Clean your face and remove any makeup such as mascara or eyeliner before applying.
- Remove contact lenses if you are wearing them. You may put them back in again 15 minutes after applying.
- Use the sterile applicator provided with Latisse.
- Apply 1 drop of Latisse solution on the area of the applicator closest to the tip but not the tip itself
- Draw the applicator across the base of the upper eyelashes, where the roots of the eyelashes meet the skin, moving from the inner lash line outwards. Use a different applicator for each eye to minimize cross-contamination between eyes.
- Blot any excess solution away with a clean paper towel.
- Apply the solution along the upper lash line only (avoid applying to the lower lash line to prevent excess hair growth in unintended areas)
- Dispose of the single-use applicator
Frequency of application and maintenance.
Latisse should be applied once daily, preferably at night. Once the desired results are achieved, you can discuss maintenance plans with your healthcare provider.
Benefits of Latisse
The science behind Latisse for eyelash growth – what the clinical evidence says.
Studies into Latisse have demonstrated the following effects
- Increased Eyelash growth and length
- Increased eyelash thickness and fullness.
- Darkening of eyelashes
In a randomized study evaluating the safety and efficacy of Latisse (bimatoprost) for eyelash growth, 278 adult participants with inadequate or not enough eyelashes applied bimatoprost solution or a control nightly for 4 months. Effectiveness was assessed using eyelash growth, prominence, and length measurements. The results of the study indicated that bimatoprost-treated participants experienced significant improvements in eyelash growth, prominence, and length compared to the control group. At 16 weeks, 78% of participants in the Latisse group had a 1 grade or higher increase in their global eyelash assessment. (link)
In the same study assessing Latisse for eyelash growth, the length, thickness, and darkness of patients’ eyelashes were also assessed. Increases in all three were more prominent in the Latisse group after 2, 3 and 4 months of treatment. These included a 25% (1.4mm) increase in length, a 106% increase in fullness/thickness and an 18% increase in darkness.
Additionally, side effects were mostly mild and well-tolerated, with no significant differences in eye pressure between the two groups.
In another trial looking at Latisse for eyelash growth, 173 patients with eyelash hypotrichosis, subjects received 0.03% bimatoprost or a control. 77.3% of the patients treated with bimatoprost experienced a 1 grade or more improvement in their global eyelash assessment. Bimatoprost-treated subjects had significantly greater increases in eyelash length, thickness, and darkness by month 4. Adverse events were similar between the two groups and reductions in eye pressure were within normal limits. (link)
Who can use Latisse for eyelash growth?
Research suggests that an intact hair follicle is necessary for medications such as Latisse to be effective in the promotion of hair growth. This means that while it is effective in promoting increased growth of healthy eyelashes, the effectiveness in patients with other conditions affecting the growth cycle of the eyelash such as alopecia areata is not clear and its protective effects in patients with eyelash loss secondary to radiation or chemotherapy are not yet confirmed. (link)
Potential Side Effects and Precautions
While Latisse for eyelash growth is generally safe, it’s essential to be aware of potential side effects and take necessary precautions:
Common side effects: FDA studies found that the most common side effects (affecting about 3-4%) are itchiness and redness of the eyes and increased pigmentation of the skin around the eyes. These side effects will stop and reverse when you discontinue Latisse. (link)
Rare but serious side effects: Eye color change (particularly for users with light-coloured eyes) and allergic reactions are possible though rare. Eye colour changes are typically permanent and may not resolve or reverse even after stopping Latisse. (link)
Latisse is not recommended for Pregnant or breastfeeding women, and individuals with glaucoma or other eye-related conditions should consult a healthcare professional before using Latisse.
If you are currently taking a prostaglandin analog, concurrent use of Latisse may interfere with the desired effect on eye pressure and its use should be closely monitored by an ophthalmologist.
If you have intraocular inflammation (uveitis), consult your ophthalmologist before using Latisse, as it could make the inflammation worse.
If you have or are suspected of having risk factors for macular edema, consult your ophthalmologist as bimatoprost has been associated with the formation of macular edema.
Latisse for eyelash growth vs. Over-the-Counter Eyelash Serums
Over-the-counter serums promising to imitate the benefits of Latisse for eyelash growth may be found in beauty and cosmetics stores. Nonetheless, it is important to note that there are significant distinctions. Only Latisse contains bimatoprost, the FDA-approved prostaglandin analogue with proven clinical studies demonstrating benefits in eyelash growth.
Over-the-counter medications, contain Isopropyl cloprostenate, a prostaglandin analogue which is not clinically proven, or FDA-approved. Medicines which have not been evaluated by the FDA do not have full safety and effectiveness data. Generally, Latisse is more expensive than over-the-counter serums however this is balanced by better efficacy.
European health agencies and the FDA have warned against eyelash serums containing synthetic prostaglandins due to limited research on effectiveness and the risk of side effects such as eye irritation, eye colour change, and even changing the fatty tissue around the eyes, which can cause the eyes to sink in.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Latisse be used on eyebrows?
Latisse is FDA-approved for eyelash growth only, but some off-label use on eyebrows has been reported. Consult your healthcare provider for personalized advice.
What happens if I stop using Latisse?
Once you discontinue Latisse, your eyelashes will slowly return to the pre-treatment state within a few months.
Can I wear makeup while using Latisse?
Yes, you can wear other makeup while using Latisse. However, it is important to ensure that you have no makeup in or around your eyes and take out any contact lenses.
If you want to try a proven medication that can help you get your eyelashes to grow longer, fuller and darker, Latisse may be the solution you’ve been after. With proven efficacy and a relatively low risk of side effects, this FDA-approved treatment can help you achieve just that. It’s essential to consult a healthcare professional before starting Latisse to ensure its suitability for you and discuss any potential concerns.
Now that you know how Latisse works, how to use it correctly, and its potential side effects, you can make an informed decision about whether this eyelash growth treatment is right for you. If you want to take a step toward luscious lashes, consult with one of our healthcare partners today.