Q: Do eyelash growth serums work? What is the difference between prescription and over the counter products?
A: These serums contain ingredients which extend the anagen or growth period of the natural cycle of eye lash growth as well as conditioners to improve the look of the lashes. They have been proven to be very effective when used consistently.
Bimatoprost is the only ingredient proven effective by lab studies and currently, Allergan (the makes of Latisse) has exclusive rights to its use. It was originally used in glaucoma medication to relieve pressure in the eyes and a side effect was longer, thicker eye lashes. It has been proven safe to use for everyone except those with a history of glaucoma.
Latisse claims to make the eye lashes darker over time but I have not personally seen this result nor have any of my clients. Some people do experience irritation or a darkening of the skin along the lash line.
Consistency is key, you must use the serum daily for 90 days to achieve the maximum results then a few times a week for maintenance.
The over the counter products you see on the market are “lash conditioners” or “lash enhancers” and because of Allergan’s patent, they cannot contain bimatoprost. They might make your lashes healthier but not necessarily longer. Many popular companies have been forced to reformulate their products over the past few years, make sure to check the ingredients and read the label so you know what your are purchasing!