Women desire long and thick eyelashes as they make the eyes look bigger and brighter. Various eyelash growth serums claim to increase the length and volume of eyelashes. To understand their secrets, it is important to know the growth cycle of eyelashes.
The growth cycle of eyelashes is shorter than other hair, but like other body parts, eyelashes also go through a cycle of growth (anagen), resting (telogen), and shedding (catagen). The growth phase of eyelashes is extremely short, only lasting around one month, whereas the resting phase can last for three to five months and the shedding phase lasts for about three to five days. More than 90% of eyelashes are in the resting state, which is different from hair as more than 90% of hair is in the growth phase and lasts for several years. This explains why eyelashes seem to never grow long enough.
There are many types of eyelash growth serums available on the market, but only prescription drug Latisse®, which contains bimatoprost, is approved by the FDA to treat hypotrichosis (sparse eyelashes). Originally used to treat glaucoma, bimatoprost was found to increase eyelash length and thickness. This is because bimatoprost can prolong the growth phase of eyelashes and increase the number of new eyelashes during this period. In clinical studies, participants saw significant eyelash growth within three to six months. The Latisse® treatment is applied daily, following a doctor’s instructions, to the skin at the base of the upper eyelashes. Continued use results in noticeable effects within a few weeks, with eyelashes appearing longer and fuller.
As a prescription drug, Latisse® must be obtained through a doctor. Clinical observations have shown that more people experience localized skin darkening after use, similar to the appearance of eyeliner. Some may experience redness, stinging, mild itching, dryness, tightness, and changes in pigmentation. Consult a doctor if needed.