Side Effects

Eyelash Growing Products-Are They Safe?

+ CV Skinlabs Team

Seems mascara just isn’t enough to accentuate the windows to the soul, so cosmetic manufacturers have come out with products that actually stimulate the growth of our natural lashes. The question is, are these products safe, especially for people going through chemotherapy?

These serums actually came about when patients using glaucoma eye-drop drugs noticed a happy side effect-longer lashes. When the drugs were applied to the lash line, lashes grew. Now, the drugs were supposed to be applied into the eye to help reduce the pressure of glaucoma, but of course the side effect of longer lashes caught everyone’s attention.

Since then, several eyelash-growing formulas have hit the market, many having nothing to do with the original glaucoma drug. The Ardell Brow and Lash Growth Accelerator, for example, is mostly extracts, proteins, and vitamins. Other brands use peptides, amino acids, and other nutrient combinations to help fortify lashes. However, the most popular brand-Latisse-is sold by prescription only, and uses “bitamaprost,” a glaucoma drug.

Bimatoprost is clinically proven in a number of studies to increase eyelash growth, and is FDA-approved for use as such. In one study, volunteer’s eyelashes grew about 25 percent longer, over 100 percent thicker, and around 18 percent darker. However, like any drug, bimatoprost comes with potential side effects, including eye itching, red eyes, and a possible change in iris color, though less than 5 percent of patients experienced these effects. The problem is the change in eye color, if it happens to you, could be permanent. Those with light-colored eyes seem to be more at risk.

It’s certainly popular, and is making Allergan-the parent company-lots of profits. A monthly dose will cost you around $120. If you use it, you need to be cautious, as it can spur hair growth in other areas of the body. If too much ends up on your cheek, for example, you could end up with more hairs there. There’s also no guarantee that both eyes will grow eyelashes at the same rate and length, so your eyes could differ slightly.

Cinco Vidas would prefer that you wait until treatment is over to try a product like this. One, there is risk of allergic reactions and eye irritation, and since your eyes are already probably drier than usual, you don’t want to add to the problem. Second, there is an increased risk of eye infection, particularly if your blood count is down, as the applicator may come in contact with your eyes and then contaminate the medication. If you wear contact lenses, your risk of irritation is higher, as they can absorb the medication and then continually subject your eyeball to it.

If you’re struggling with thinning or missing eyelashes as you go through treatment, check out our post for more information, and then consider one of the safer eyelash-growing treatments that don’t use the bimatoprost ingredients.

What do you think of the new eyelash-growing trend? Please share your thoughts.

Photo courtesy jomak14 via