For those of you who have been living under a rock for the past few months, Latisse is the new FDA approved lash enhancing drug. It is the first cousin of a drug called Lumigan from Allergan, the makers of BOTOX, that has been used to treat glaucoma and was discovered to cause eyelashes to grow thicker, longer, lusher and darker.
PART ONE – LATISSE LASH DIARY
I finally got my first precious vial of Latisse – the long awaited miracle cure for puny eyelashes. Like most modern urban women, I didn’t really need one more step to add to my every growing laundry list of daily beauty routines, but how could I resist! I have seen the results in the proverbial flesh – on female dermatologists who were trialing the drug and on some of the study patients – and they are compelling.
At $120 for a one month supply and the need to have a prescription to get it, it is not the most user friendly lash enhancer I can think of. The actual Latisse drug comes in a teeny (0.3 ml) white plastic bottle packed in a huge box complete with 30 pairs of 3 inch plastic applicators that look like the paint brushes from a toddler’s art set.
The whole process take about a minute per eye. The protocol goes like this – after removing every trace of eye makeup, you hold the bottle upside down and squeeze a drop onto the brush, paint one stroke to your upper eyelid where the lashes meet your skin or where eyeliner would normally go, discard the brush and take out the second brush to repeat on your other upper eyelid. The drug is only intended for the upper eyelids, and using it for your lower lids is not FDA approved or recommended, but what you do in the privacy of your own bathroom mirror is between you and GOD. Believe me you don’t want to use more than that one drop because your supply will run out before the 30 days. However there is some early indication that after using it for awhile, you may be able to skip a day or two in between applications and maintain your long lashes, just like with BOTOX. Fingers crossed.
And so my journey to full blown lash bliss began…I am now 3 weeks into the process and wait with eager anticipation for my lashes to bloom every day. I have only missed a few days because I forgot to bring it with me on a business trip. P.S. Note to Frequent Flyers – Latisse is technically a ‘liquid’ and should be carried on board in your plastic Baggie! At the current time, Latisse is not available outside of the USA, but somehow I don’t think that will stop anxious lean lashed beauty junkies from across the Atlantic, Pacific or a few borders from getting their hands on it.
Check back with me in another 5 weeks (April 21) for PART TWO -LATISSE LASH DIARY.
DR. STEVEN FAGIEN, THE RENOWNED BOCA RATON EYELID SURGEON AND FILLER INJECTOR PAR EXCELLENCE, AND ONE OF THE CLINICAL INVESTIAGATORS ON LATISSE, GIVES US THE ANSWERS TO THE QUESTIONS EVERY WOMAN IS DYING TO ASK
Who is the ideal candidate?
Anyone who wants longer, thicker lashes can use Latisse. You should also not have any known sensitivity to the active ingredient bimatroprost, or drugs like this (called prostaglandin analogs) or any of the non-active ingredients (preservatives), no chronic eye problem (that you would probably already be aware of) that might cause your eye care physician not to recommend its use (usually not an issue). And you have to be compliant with the prescribed dosage and be able to follow the simple directions.
Is anyone too old or too young to use it?
No, but I believe that as with other cosmetic treatments, I advise my patients (and their parents) that they must be able to sign their own consent for treatment (i.e. at least 18 years old).
How long does it take to see results?
Some people see results as early as 4 weeks. Most, if not all, people will see a definite improvement within 8 weeks.
Is it better to use it in the AM or PM?
I would not recommend using Latisse when your eyes are red or irritated. Most people prefer to use it at night after they remove their eye makeup.
What are the most common side effects?
Transient eye irritation, redness, feelings of dryness and itching, but fortunately these are not common and are usually self-limited as the body “adjusts” to the medication
If you get some in your eye, what should you do?
If you get it into your eye, it may sting slightly. It has been proven to be safe as an eyedrop, but Latisse when used appropriately is a topical medication applied to the skin just above the upper eyelid lashes, much like how you apply eyeliner. If you apply too much and some strays away from the intended area, simply take a clean cotton swab and dab away the excess solution. You can also put a cool compress on your eyes momentarily if needed.
If your eyes get irritated, should you stop for a day or discontinue completely?
Actually discontinuation for a day or so would not be a big problem, but most eye irritations resolve even when you continue Latisse. It seems that agents like bimatoprost, a prostaglandin analog, can in rare situations cause eye irritation related to the nature of these drugs that regulate physiologic functions. The body seems to adjust to this agent and these irritation issues resolve even with continuation in most people. If it persists, a break from the medication can be helpful but actually might not allow for this adjustment. If irritation becomes a problem or persists, you can stop the drug completely without any risk and the irritation and symptoms will completely subside.
Who should not be using it?
If you are already on a prostaglandin analog drug (eye drops for glaucoma for instance) you should not add Latisse without consulting your eye care physician to monitor your intra-ocular pressure. If you have a known chronic eye inflammatory condition, you should also consult with your physician. If you cannot comply with the prescribed dosage, you may not receive the benefits, as well as increase the risk of local side-effects if you use more than prescribed. (Translation: Use only once a day!)
Do you have to stop using any other lash conditioning products?
No, except you might not want to use any other product that claims to have prostaglandin analogs contained in it (although most other products have been pulled from the market as Allergan owns these exclusive rights). Other lash products would not be a problem, but are probably unnecessary. Using mascara with Latisse does not pose any problem, and in fact, most women get even more enhancement.
Is there any danger in using it long term?
Even in the glaucoma trials for bimatoprost, long-term side effects were extraordinarily rare.
When you stop using it, how long before your lashes to back to the way they were?
It usually takes about the same time as it does to get the benefits, so most people will note their lashes returning to normal within 1 – 2 months.
TIP: We found Latisse for $109.99 for a one month supply, and it goes down to $100 if you get 3 or more at one time. www.drugstore.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION, WWW.LATISSE.COM