Latisse is a growth treatment for hypotrichosis, referring to inadequate or not enough eye lashes. Originally used as a glaucoma medication, Latisse (aka bimotoprost) is the first FDA-approved treatment clinically proven to grow lashes. While the mechanism of action isn’t entirely understood, it is effective in not only growing new lashes, but also to dramatically thicken and darken existing lashes. It is an exciting alternative for those looking to grow their own lashes for a healthy, youthful and natural look.
Whatever the reasons for your sparse lashes, Latisse can help you get the lashes you’ve always wanted. With this simple at-home treatment you can build thick lashes, with results visible in as little as six to twelve weeks. Over 12 weeks of nightly application, you will see a significant improvement in your lashes.
Latisse® is only available through cosmetic physician offices, not pharmacies. It is an FDA approved medication used to treat an inadequate amount of eyelashes (i.e. hypotrichosis). If you weren’t born with a gorgeous set of your own, Latisse® treatments will give you longer, thicker lashes that are naturally yours and it’s a safe and effective method!
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You can expect to see increased eyelash growth after about 2 months of nightly treatments. You’ll notice your eyelashes gradually become longer, thicker, and darker. Once treatment stops, your lashes will gradually return to their original state. Most patients report that they can see some change in their eyelash length, fullness and/ or colour (darkening) by eight weeks. Full growth is typically achieved in 16 weeks.
You may experience some eye redness, itching, dryness, or puffy eyelids after using Latisse®.
Application is simple:
- Clean your face and remove all makeup.
- Remove contacts if necessary.
- Dab the product along your upper lash line with the sterile applicator and go to bed.
- The serum will transfer to your lower lash line as you blink, so it isn’t necessary to apply it there.
- Never reuse an applicator, or you risk irritation and infection.
- Repeat nightly. If you experience irritation, stop using until the irritated area calms down and you can begin to slowly incorporate it back into your routine.
Eyelash growth is a cyclical process, where each lash may be in a different phase of growth. In the growth phase, a new lash begins growing and pushes out the older lash in front of it. The length, thickness and darkness of the lash are determined by how long it spends in the growth phase. LATISSE®prolongs this active growth phase, so that your lashes have more time to grow. LATISSE® is a once-a-day, at-home treatment, applied topically. Results appear gradually, reaching full results at 16 weeks.
Over-the-counter eyelash products focus on conditioning and moisturizing lashes to increase the health and length of the lash. LATISSE® has been clinically proven to actually grow lashes noticeably longer, fuller and darker.
Yes. However, you must remove your contact lenses prior to application of LATISSE® and reinsert lenses 15 minutes after application. LATISSE® contains benzalkonium chloride, which may be absorbed by soft contact lenses if left in during application.
Common side effects are itchy eyes, redness of the eyelid and/or skin darkening, which has been observed in approximately four per cent of clinical trial patients (please call our office for more information on LATISSE® clinical trial results). There is a very small potential for increased spots of brown iris-pigmentation in persons with light-coloured eyes, which may be permanent. This increased iris pigmentation is associated at a very low incidence when the active ingredient of LATISSE® (bimatoprost) is instilled directly into the eye.
Over several weeks to months, eyelashes will return to their previous appearance.
Some of our patients wonder about wearing makeup when using Latisse® to grow their eyelashes, namely if they can still wear mascara while using Latisse®. You can, but not at the same time. We’ll get to that in a second.
First, Latisse® doesn’t necessarily replace mascara. If you wear mascara every day, you’ll probably continue doing so. Latisse® helps your eyelashes grow by keeping them in the anagen/growth phase. Mascara will highlight your new longer, darker, thicker eyelashes that Latisse® is boosting.
But you don’t want to wear mascara and Latisse® at the same time. It’s not as if this is life and death or anything, but it’s not ideal to get the most out of Latisse®. Latisse® works best when it is applied to clean, dry skin. You want to remove all of your eye makeup and take out contact lenses (if you wear them) before applying Latisse®. You want to make this part of your nightly routine before bed or relaxing. You can put on mascara in the morning, as you normally would.
As with many things such as Velcro, Latisse® was discovered when scientists were researching something else. You may have heard of the company Allergen, the makers of Botox®. Their scientists were working on an eyedrop to relieve intraocular pressure in the eye. Subjects in the test found that their eyelashes grew during the study, so the company began testing the active ingredient, bimatoprost, specifically for growing eyelashes. It proved effective and the FDA approved it in December 2008. It is believed that the bimatoprost increases the anagen phase (that’s the growth phase) of the eyelashes.
But Latisse® requires consistent, diligent application; it doesn’t work overnight. The active ingredient, bimatoprost, is the key. When you apply Latisse nightly on the upper lash, just like you do with eyeliner, the bimatoprost in Latisse® stimulates the lashes to grow. The treatment works gradually, and your eyelashes will experience real growth over time, generally 12 to 16 weeks. But you must stay with it — once you start the treatment, the topical solution must be applied continuously each night until you achieve the desired results.
People confuse hypotrichosis with alopecia, but the two conditions are quite different. Hypotrichosis describes areas of the body that never experience hair growth; alopecia describes areas that experience hair loss.
In the eyelashes, hypotrichosis means the patient has an inadequate amount of eyelashes. Eyelashes that are there tend to grow slowly, are brittle, and are thin.
Latisse® does help with hypotrichosis by encouraging dormant hair follicles to return to hair growth. It also helps follicles transitioning to dormancy to remain active.
You should apply Latisse® at night before you go to bed or otherwise settle down for the night. You want to remove any mascara or eyeliner, as Latisse® needs to interact directly with your skin and the hair follicles.
Latisse® should be stored at a temperature between 36 and 77 degrees. You can store the small Latisse® bottle in your medicine cabinet and the applicators, in their box, in a clean bathroom drawer. The applicators are wrapped in sterile plastic wrap.
The FDA has not approved Latisse® for use on the eyebrows, but it is used off-label for regrowing eyebrows. Studies, such as this one, have shown that Latisse® can be effective for growing eyebrows in addition to eyelashes. It’s assumed that the FDA will eventually add this use to its approval, but it has not at this point.
Latisse® is intended for use on the skin of the upper eyelid margins at the base of the eyelashes. The product specifically warns that it should not be applied to the lower eyelids.
If you miss a night in your regular Latisse® application, that’s not a big deal. Don’t try and catch up by doubling up on treatments. Use only the prescribed amount the next evening and restart your schedule.