What Is Latisse? And Does It Really Work to Grow Your Lashes?

What Is Latisse? And Does It Really Work to Grow Your Lashes?
Dima Ali Dermatologist Reston, VA

Dima Ali, MD, is the founder of WellMedica in Reston, Virginia.  WellMedica is devoted to anti-aging aesthetics in dermatology. These practices commonly include laser surgery, facelifts, Botox and other fillers.  Dr. Ali is an internationally known figure, who has been featured in the Washington Post as one of the Top Medical... more

Latisse is a prescription eye solution used to grow eyelashes making them longer, thicker and darker. Yes, it works. My sister is an eye doctor so I had the inside scoop a long time ago and tried it myself it really does work!

The chemical name for Latisse is bimatoprost and it was discovered in the 1930s as a new class of drugs called prostamides (yes, as in derived from the prostate–my goodness what we’ll do for beauty...). By the 1970s, there was widespread use of the drug for the treatment of glaucoma (hypertension of the eyes). Since December 2008, it has been marketed by Allergan (the makers of Botox and Juvederm) as a topical prescription approved by the FDA to “stimulate eyelashes to grow longer and thicker.”

Please note that it is a prescription and therefore only available through physicians.

Prior to its FDA approval as Latisse, bimatoprost was marketed as Lumigan eye drops and prescribed by eye doctors for glaucoma. It was noticed that patients being treated for glaucoma were developing thicker, longer eyelashes. I recommend applying it to the base of the eyelashes in the morning to clean lids (it comes with a little application brush). Although it is not recommended for the lower lids or eyebrows (the FDA is picky), it is safe for use in those areas as well.

You should expect to see eyelash growth within 60 to 90 days. This is probably the biggest complaint...”why does it take so long??” We all want that instant gratification. If you are one of those people you’d better keep your expectations in check because it is unlikely to work before that time frame. That’s human physiology. If it causes you anxiety to apply Latisse daily and have to wait to see a visible result, either get false eyelashes or lash extensions. If you are compliant and patient, YOU WILL SEE RESULTS. For maintenance, I recommend treatment 2-3 times per week. Please note that if Latisse is discontinued completely your eyelashes will shed and return to normal in about 60 days. Latisse has been reported to cause increased brown pigmentation in the area used but this should not be permanent or cause for concern.