Many of you have probably seen the commercials for Latisse. They originally featured Brooke Shields and now Claire Danes and looks like this:
Latisse is the only FDA approved medication proven to grow lashes longer, thicker and darker. Quite a statement, right? Well, how did they come up with Latisse. Latisse is the brand name for bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03%. And, what exactly is that? Well, it’s the same medicine as Lumigan, a glaucoma drop. And, it’s similar to Xalatan (latanoprost ophthalmic solution) and Travatan (travaprost ophthalmic solution). All three are known as prostaglandin analogues, and are a specific type of glaucoma medicine. Each differs slightly and is made by different manufacturers. Well, we ophthalmologists began prescribing these medicines for glaucoma, we noticed that patients reported that their eyelashes got longer. For men, this was an unwanted side effect. But, someone had the bright idea of repackaging Lumigan (which you can still buy for glaucoma) and selling it as Latisse. Instead of placing the drop in the eye as you would for glaucoma, you place it on the lashes (I’ll get to that later).
So, how does Latisse promote your lashes to grow? Well, that’s kind of unknown. If you go to the Latisse website, you’ll find this diagram. All this tells you is that each hair follicle undergoes a cycle of growth and death. For some reason, Latisse makes the growth phase of lashes longer, but it isn’t known why.
So, on to the third and final, and most important question.
Does Latisse work?
The FDA clinical trials actually proved that lashes did grow significantly with the use of Latisse, after 16 weeks of use. Here are the pics from the clinical trial.
But, I think it’s more impressive when you see pics of real people using Latisse.
This is Christina, my receptionist.
And, here’s Kelley, one of our technicians.
This is what she says about Latisse:
” I started using Latisse about a year ago and have definitely noticed an improvement in the length and fullness of my lashes. I have noticed a slight darkening of the skin on my lash line, but I don’t mind. It looks like I have on a little eye shadow, or perhaps eyeliner, without the hassle of putting it on! I am using less mascara and can even go without it now and still have long, lush looking lashes! I am not the kind of person w ho does anything regularly with my hectic schedule, so it’s difficult for me to remember to use it every day, but I have still gotten excellent results. People compliment me on their beauty when I’m in stores and I always have the same reply, “Thanks, I use Latisse”
And, last, another employee – Shawna. She uses Latisse two to three times a week and these are her lashes.
My mother uses Latisse and she barely uses any cosmetics. She noticed during my wedding when the make-up artist was putting false eyelashes on her that it made her eyes look the way they did when she was young. She commented that the loss of eyelashes as you age is so gradual, you don’t notice it at first. Once she started using Latisse, she saw a dramatic difference within 4 weeks (the label on the box says you’ll see a change in 16 weeks, though most of my patients report seeing an increase in lash growth and thickness even within the first month) and it restored a youthful appearance to her eyes.
Before we discuss how to apply Latisse, I want to briefly review the potential adverse effects of it. It is a medication, which is why only a doctor can prescribe Latisse. And, I do recommend purchasing Latisse from your eye doctor so that they can perform an eye exam on you before and during Latisse use.
- Change iris color – this is what most people really worry about and it actually wasn’t shown to happen in the FDA trial at all. But, the glaucoma medicine (when you put the drop in your eye instead of on the lashes) can cause hazel eyes to turn darker brown. Blue eyes remain blue and brown eyes remain brown
- Skin pigmentation – if you don’t apply Latisse correctly or put it on the lower lashes (not supposed to), then you may get darkening of the skin of the lower lid. This happened in about 4% of patients
- Uveitis – this is inflammation of the eye. This is why I like to do an eye exam on anyone who requests a prescription for Latisse. Many doctors may not and since there are many non-ophthalmologists prescribing Latisse (internists, OB/Gyn, etc, they wouldn’t know how to check for uveitis anyway), it may get missed. However, I like to be careful
- Skin irritation or redness
- Macular edema – this is swelling of the retina of the eye. Again, this can only be detected by an ophthalmologist or optometrist
How to Apply Latisse
The above is what you’ll find on the Latisse website, but I’ve made a little video to make it easier. Sorry if I seem a bit serious in here, it’s weird talking to yourself in the bathroom.
So, I’m starting the Latisse challenge. Yes, I know it’s not like a marathon challenge or anything really important, but still…For years, I’ve wanted to try Latisse. Honolulu Eye Clinic was one of the first clinics in Hawaii to dispense Latisse, but because I was pregnant with my first son at the time, I was never able to try it (it is contraindicated in pregnant and nursing mothers). But, I will no longer have lash envy of the other women in my office. I’m going to start using Latisse and will post weekly pictures on the blog and you can follow along.
I almost forgot, right now we have a
Buy one box of Latisse, get one free
So, if you’ve ever wanted to try Latisse, hurry on over to Honolulu Eye Clinic, while supplies last. Once we run out of the special, we still offer $25 off each box of Latisse. Yes, Latisse is expensive – $125/ box full price. But, unlike lash extensions, these are your own lashes and they never look artificial. I’ve had many patients tell me that once they reach the length they desire, they are able to taper down to using Latisse a couple times a week instead of daily (again, this is not the FDA recommended use of the product).