Want longer lashes without the hassle of using mascara? If yes, then I’m sure you’ve thought of using latanoprost. If you’ll ask your dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon, they’ll tell you it’s a drug that was originally used to treat glaucoma by facilitating the outflow of fluid in the uveoscleral tract. It is actually a prostaglandin analog and is available in ophthalmic solutions. However, its side effect—eyelash growth—was discovered and since then it has become known as an ingredient for beautiful thick eyelashes!
Latanoprost has recently been discovered to stimulate eyelash growth and some sources say it can be a treatment for alopecia of the eyelashes. Another prostaglandin analog that is effective for eyelash growth is bimatoprost. The latter has greater or similar efficacy than latanoprost in lowering intraocular pressure and also works better for eyelash growth; the bad news is that hyperemia or reddening occurs more often with bimatoprost.
Eyelash growth enhancers not only lengthen lashes, they make them thicker as well. Additional rows of hair grow and the color becomes darker. What once were vellus hairs now become terminal hairs. Vellus hair refers to the ones that are thin and barely noticeable; with prostaglandin analogs like latanoprost and bimatoprost, these become terminal, meaning, thicker and longer.
But exactly how do these phenyl-prostaglandin analogs work for your lashes? Answer: latanoprost stimulates resting hair (resting hair is in the phase called telogen) to re-enter the anagen or growth phase of hair. To give you a better understanding, there are actually 4 phases of hair growth; namely, anagen (3-6 years), catagen/transition phase (1-2 weeks), telogen (5-6 weeks) and return to anagen. Latanoprost works on the dermal papilla and boosts the return to anagen phase. Scientists have also observed that hair follicles become bigger and the growth phase is prolonged.
Now, does lash growers sound perfect for you? Well, everything is not peachy. Watch out for its side effects! If it accidentally comes in contact with your eyeballs, it may irritate and cause it to redden which medical professionals call conjunctival hyperemia. Your iris and nearby skin can get darker, too.
When buying random eyelash growers, always check the ingredients listed at the back and know the active ingredient. If it has latanoprost or bimatoprost—and almost all eyelash growers do–well, at least now you know what to watch out for. Apply eyelash growers carefully to your lashes close to the roots but avoid smudging it too much on your skin. Choose the non-irritating brands if you have sensitive skin; LiLash and Latisse are popular in the market today. However, if you think prostaglandin analogs are not for you, there’s Idol Lash and Etude House’s Dr. Lash Ampoule. These products have several plant extracts designed to make your lashes healthier, thicker and longer; although I’m not sure if they could give you dramatic results.
So the bottomline is, be careful and bat an eyelash before using cosmetic products. Choose wisely and think before buying