Longer Lashes in a Bottle?

Today I’m going to talk about Latisse– I think most of us have seen the commercials with Claire Danes, where she develops the most amazing eyelashes, just by putting a drop of Latisse on each eye every night.  And unlike most mascara adds, the Latisse before and after pics are not digitally altered, nor do the models have any eye makeup on.  So here are some of the questions I’m commonly asked about Latisse:

courtesy of office.com

courtesy of office.com

1. Does it work?  To this, I can emphatically say YES!  It does work as advertised.  I have personally used Latisse for nearly two years, and my eyelashes are looong.  When I have mascara on, they actually touch my eyebrows.

2.  How long does it take to see results?  Here is where you have to be patient- it really does take the 2-4 months advertised to see the results.  And yes, it gets difficult remember to use a medication every night when you don’t see results for several weeks.  Using Latisse more than once a day does not make your lashes grow longer or faster- it just wastes the medication.

3.  Do you have to keep using it?  Again, yes.  If you stop using Latisse, your eyelashes will  gradually return to the length and thickness they were prior to treatment.

4.  Is it hard to get the medication on that little brush?  Surprisingly, no.  Water has high surface tension, which is what holds it in a drop.  This surface tension also pulls that little drop right onto the brush.  From there, you brush it onto your upper lash line just as if you were applying eyeliner.  And if a little drips into your eye, remember; Latisse was originally developed as a medication for glaucoma, so it’s perfectly safe to get into your eye.  But you should remove your contacts prior to use, as the medication can absorb into your contact lenses.

5.  Does Latisse change your eye color?  The most common side effect of Latisse is minor eye irritation and itching, which occurs in about 4% of people.  But the eye color change is what I find people really worry about.  So can it change your eye color?  Yes.  Does it?  What happens most often is that you will see a slight darkening of the skin on your upper eyelid along the lash line.  This skin pigmentation fades if you stop using Latisse.  The eye coloration changes in the iris are far less common, and were largely reported in patients who used bimatoprost ophthalmic solution for glaucoma- these patients were applying drops of medication directly into the eye, which is not at all how Latisse is applied.  The color changes that can occur in the iris are permanent, however.  So even though having your eyes change color is extremely unlikely, if this is something you absolutely cannot deal with, don’t use Latisse.

Overall, Latisse is a great product, that works as advertised. It is a prescription medication, but many physicians carry in their offices, meaning you don’t have to make a separate trip to a pharmacy.

Do you have any questions about Latisse?  Or any experiences of your own you’d like to share?

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Disclaimer: This webpage is for general information only. It is not intended to diagnose or treat any medical illness, or give any specific medical advice. Because medical knowlege is constantly evolving, I cannot guarantee the accuracy or timeliness of any information in this blog.

5 thoughts on “Longer Lashes in a Bottle?

  1. Hello,
    Just an FYI; my insurance did cover my prescription. My copayment was $38.00. I did receive my prescription from my eye doctor. I can’t wait to see results.

  2. Thanks for the info Dr. Greer! After having gastric bypass and turning 50, my hair and eyelashes have become very thin and short. It’s great to know there’s at least hope for my eyelashes. Is it possible that insurance will cover the cost?

    • Unfortunately, insurance doesn’t cover the cost of Latisse. But I have found you can get a bottle to last longer than it’s supposed to if you’re careful. The manufacturer gives you a separate applicator for each eye (and specifically instructs you to use a separate applicator) so that you don’t contaminate the bottle with bacteria. But if you don’t touch the tip of the bottle to the applicator, you could theoretically use the same applicator on both eyes. I’ve also found that once your lashes have grown out to full length, applying Latisse every-other-day seems to be enough to maintain the growth. Any questions, though, and I would always recommend referring to the package instructions. Since the bottle does last longer than a month, the cost of Latisse is probably similar to a gym membership, and the results are very noticeable!

Questions? I'll do my best to answer any questions left in the comments!