Latisse eyelash serum has gained attention for its ability to promote eyelash growth. It was approved by the FDA in 2008 for this purpose and offers an alternative to temporary solutions like mascara or eyelash extensions. In this article, we explore the science behind Latisse lash serum, if it works for eyebrows, where to get it in the UK, how to use it, downsides and side effects as well as alternatives.
What is Latisse?
Latisse is a prescription only medicine in the UK that stimulates eyelash growth. Its active ingredient is bimatoprost. This is a drug that was originally developed to treat a dangerous eye condition called glaucoma. Doctors and patients noticed that one of the side effects of bimatoprost was the growth of longer, fuller and darker eyelashes. This led to the creation of Latisse lash serum which wad approved by the FDA for the cosmetic purpose of enhancing eyelashes.
How Does Latisse Work?
Bimatoprost, the active ingredient in Latisse, is a prostaglandin analog. It directly affects the growth cycle of eyelash hair. Latisse lash serum enhances the appearance of the lashes through three main ways:
- Extending the Growth Phase: the natural growth cycle of eyelashes consists of several phases, including a growth phase (anagen), a transition phase (catagen) and a resting phase (telogen). Latisse specifically extends the anagen phase. This allows the lashes to grow longer before transitioning to the telogen phase.
- Increasing the Number of Hairs: Latisse not only extends the anagen phase but it also increases the number of hairs that grow during this phase. This causes eyelashes to look fuller.
- Improving Pigmentation: some users have reported that Latisse also makes the lashes appear darker. This indirectly makes the lashes appear longer and thicker by making them more noticeable.
The results from Latisse are gradual, with initial changes often noticeable around four weeks. Full results are usually achieved in about 16 weeks. It’s important to note that you need to keep using Latisse if you want to maintain your results. If you stop using Latisse, your eyelashes will gradually return to their previous appearance.
How to Use Latisse Eyelash Serum
Its very easy to use Latisse but there are a few things you need to be careful about. Latisse is an at home treatment and comes in a box with the medication (a small dropper) and sterile applicators. You typically apply the serum along the base of the upper eyelashes once daily using a sterile applicator. Whilst the box will contain manufacturer instructions, you should use Latisse as your doctor specifically advises you to as this will be tailored to your needs. As a general rule, below are the steps most people use for their routine:
- Cleanse the face and remove all traces of makeup especially on the eyes.
- Apply a single drop of Latisse lash serum to a sterile applicator.
- Gently apply it to the base of the upper eyelashes and avoid the eyes, bottom lashes or skin around the eyes.
- repeat steps 2-3 for the other eye using a new sterile applicator.
- Use daily for optimal results. Can be applied mornings or evenings but leave to dry for at least 15 minutes before applying any eye makeup.
Latisse Side Effects & Downsides
Latisse, like all medications, has potential risks and side effects. Although many users experience little to minimal adverse effects, it’s important to be aware of the possibilities and consult with your healthcare provider if you have concerns. Below is an overview of the most commonly reported side effects and downsides of Latisse:
Irritation or Infection
Some users experience redness, itchiness, or dryness in the eyes or eyelids. This is typically mild but can be bothersome. Whilst Latisse doesn’t itself cause infection, if you don’t use a fresh sterile dropper for each eye or if the medication isn’t stored properly and becomes infected, you can transfer infection to your eyes.
Darkening of the Eyelid Skin
The skin around the application area may become darker over time. This effect is usually reversible after discontinuing the product.
Changes in Eye Color
There have been reports of increased brown pigmentation in the coloured part of the eye, particularly in users with hazel or green eyes. This is a rare side effect but this change can be permanent.
Hair Growth Outside the Treatment Area
If Latisse comes into contact with other skin areas, it may stimulate hair growth there. You need to apply it very carefully to avoid this.
As with any product, there may be a risk of an allergic reaction to one or more of the ingredients in Latisse.
Latisse is a prescription product that is only available privately for cosmetic purposes. As such, the cost can be relatively high. This is especially important considering that you will need to use it continuously to maintain results.
The effects of Latisse are not permanent. If you stop using it, your lashes will return to their original state.
As a whole, Latisse can significantly enhance eyelash growth. However, it’s important to fully consider its potential risks and downsides before starting. Latisse is a prescription medicine in the UK so you should consulting with a qualified and experienced doctor who can advise if it is suitable for you, how to use it to get the best results and they can provide help if you experience any side effects.
Who Can Use Latisse lash Serum?
Latisse lash serum in the UK is a prescription treatment that is generally considered safe for use by most adults who wish want to enhance the growth of their eyelashes. However, it is not suitable for everyone, and there are certain restrictions and considerations:
- Eye Health: people with certain eye conditions including dry eyes, macular oedema, chronic inflammation or infections may not be suitable for Latisse. A thorough consultation with a doctor or other healthcare provider is necessary before starting the treatment.
- Pregnancy and Breastfeeding: Latisse is not recommended if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, as its effects on the baby are not well-studied.
- Allergies: those with known allergies to one or more of the ingredients in Latisse should not use it.
- Age Restrictions: Latisse is typically only prescribed to adults.
- Medications: tell your doctor if you are using other eye medications or have specific eye conditions as Latisse is may overlap or interfere with some medications.
- Eyelash Growth Problems: Latisse is designed for cosmetic enhancement of natural eyelashes. It’s not intended as a treatment for medical conditions that affect eyelash growth such as alopecia areata, scarring or Trichotillomania.
Latisse for Eyebrows
Latisse is specifically approved for the treatment of insufficient eyelashes, known as hypotrichosis. However, some healthcare providers have used Latisse off-label to encourage eyebrow growth. The mechanism by which Latisse works on eyelashes is believed to be the same for eyebrows. Whilst it may stimulate hair growth in the eyebrow area, the safety and efficacy of Latisse for eyebrow growth have not been extensively studied.
As with the use of Latisse on eyelashes, side effects such as skin darkening, irritation, or unwanted hair growth in areas where the solution contacts could occur when using latisse for eyebrows. In addition, the hair that grows on the eyebrows might be thicker, courses and curlier than normal brow hair. If you are interested in this, make sure you discuss with your doctor whether it is suitable for you to use Latisse for your eyebrows and only do so if they recommend it.
Where To Get Latisse Lash Serum in the UK
You need a prescription to get Latisse lash serum in the UK. It is available through specialised aesthetics and dermatology clinics as well as certain pharmacies. You will need to have a consultation with a doctor, dentist or nurse prescriber fiirst who will determine if it’s appropriate for your individual needs. Usually you will pay for the consultation and the cost of the product. One box of Latisse is designed to last around 3 months.
Alternatives to Latisse Eyelash Serum
Whilst Latisse is easy and convenient to use, it is not appropriate for everyone and some people maybe put off by fact that it is a prescription medicine in the UK and the need for continual use. There are many alternatives to Latisse for enhancing eyelashes and possibly eyebrows like Obagi Nu-Cil. Generally options range from over-the-counter (OTC) serums to professional skin treatments procedures and lifestyle changes.
Over-The-Counter Eyelash Serums
Many brands offer non prescription eyelash serums that can improve the appearance of lashes. These usually contain peptides, biotin or botanical extracts. Whilst they don’t actually affect eyelash growth like Latisse does, they can nourish and condition your lashes which may make them look healthier and fuller.
Some mascaras are also formulated with peptides and vitamins to support lash growth. They work similarly to eyelash serums and improve the condition of the lashes to make them look thicker.
Another temporary alternative is eyelash extensions. This is a cosmetic procedure where individual synthetic lashes are attached to your natural lashes. This provides an immediate and dramatic increase in the length and thickness of your lashes. However, eyelash extensions can be costly and require regular upkeep and maintenance.
Eyelash Tinting and Lifting
Tinting darkens lashes with dye, whilst lifting alters the shape of your lashes. These both indirectly give the lashes a fuller appearance. These are both temporary procedures and can be done at beauty salons.
Nutrition and Self Care
Ensuring a well-balanced diet that supports healthy hair growth and taking care of your lashes can promote natural lash health and make your eyelash look fuller. Supplements like Biotin can also help improve the condition of your hair, skin and nails.
Some natural remedies, such as castor oil and Rosemary oil, are anecdotally thought to promote lash growth. Scientific evidence to support these claims is limited, and as such individual results may vary.
Although Latisse is unique in its FDA approval for eyelash growth, some healthcare providers might prescribe other prostaglandin analogs off-label for this purpose. They work similarly to Latisse but are typically used to treat glaucoma and not approved for this purpose. If your practitioner recommends this, please discuss with them in detail any risks or side effects as these may not be exactly the same as Latisse.
Microneedling and PRP Therapy
Though more commonly used for skin rejuvenation, some practitioners have explored microneedling and platelet-rich plasma (PRP) therapy for eyelash and eyebrow growth. This is an emerging area and not widely studied. As such these are experimental treatments and if you are considering them ensure that it is with an experienced doctor or other medical provider operating in a clinical setting.
Latisse is a safe and effective serum for enhancing the eyelashes if used correctly and appropriately. To get Latisse in the UK, you will need to have a consultation with a medical practitioner as it is a prescription only medicine. They can advise you on the suitability and safety of this treatment specifically for you. They will also advise on how to use it to achieve your goals. There are several alternatives for eyelash enhancement that ware worth considering if you can not use Latisse for any reason. Each of these alternatives has its own set of benefits and limitations. Remember, what works best for you will depend on your individual needs, lifestyle and health.
We passionately believe that beauty and skincare are deeply personal. That’s why we offer personalised prescription treatments like Tretinoin and Hydroquinone through our virtual clinic. We treat conditions like acne, hyperpigmentation, melasma and skin ageing. Book a virtual consultation today to take your first step towards great skin.