Do All Eyelash Growth Products Contain Drugs to Make Them Work?

Luscious lashes have been desired and coveted since ancient times. As technology continues to progress, so do lash enhancement treatments. Every week, there seems to be a new eyelash growth serum, eyelash stimulator, eyelash conditioner, or other type of eyelash enhancement product on the market. Are eyelash growth serums safe? Do they contain drugs to make them work? What are the side effects? Are there natural alternatives?

When it came to recommending an eyelash growth stimulator to my brides, I certainly had an opinion on what works and what doesn’t, but decided to do some further research. I was immediately overwhelmed with the amount of information out there regarding eyelash, everything. WOW! Lawsuits, formulation changes, and the use of drug-based ingredients, oh my! Could the eyelash trend become any more complicated?

That’s when my article took a different turn. Below is a compilation of information regarding eyelash conditioners and eyelash growth products. I hope people find this information useful in sorting through the plethora of eyelash information that is out there.

What is an Eyelash Conditioner?

An Eyelash Conditioner is a product that is designed to help you achieve longer, thicker, fuller lashes. Not to be confused with Eyelash Extensions, Eyelash Conditioners usually come in a tube and are applied directly to your eyelashes or to the base of your eyelashes.

Do some Eyelash Conditioners contain “Drugs” to make them work?

Yes. Some Eyelash Conditioners do use a “drug” to make them work. The only FDA (Food and Drug Administration) approved lash enhancement treatment is Latisse which is manufactured by Allergan, Inc.(the people who make Botox). Latisse contains a drug called Bimatoprost. In simple terms, Bimatoprost is a prostaglandin analog used to control the progression of glaucoma and to lengthen eyelashes.


  • Increases the eyelash length and increases the number of eyelash hairs resulting in Longer, Thicker, Fuller Lashes.
  • May permanently darken eyelashes
  • Particularly beneficial to people with Hypotrichosis (another name for having inadequate or not enough eyelashes).


  • NOT a drug-free solution
  • Many potential side-effects including irritation, skin hyperpigmentation (skin turns brown), and potential permanent darkening of the iris to brown.
  • Only available by prescription
  • Cost is over ~$100

Other cosmetic companies who previously used the prostaglandin analog Bimatoprost in their formulations and/or were perceived by the FDA to have made “drug” claims have now been required by the FDA to change their formulations and/or repackage their products.

Besides Latisse, do other Eyelash Conditioners contain a prostaglandin?

With all of the lawsuits and the publicity regarding the use of prostaglandins, the answer to this question actually did surprise me. Yes, besides Latisse, there are Eyelash Conditioners still on the market which use a prostaglandin in their formulation. The most popular of these include: RevitaLash and LiLash. So…my recommendation is to research the side-effects before using one of these products or any eyelash growth product for that matter.

Where can I find additional information regarding the Best Eyelash Conditioners?

After scouring the internet, I found this article the most helpful. It is very comprehensive and pretty much covers the majority of all eyelash conditioners on the market as well as includes customer reviews:

Are there Prostaglandin-Free Eyelash Conditioners out there that really work?

Yes! Among my personal favorites are Marini Lash and Dermalash. These products use peptides and plant extracts among other non-drug classified ingredients.

In 2005, Jan Marini Skin Research (JMSR) pioneered and revolutionized eyelash enhancement treatment products. While a dispute with the FDA required that the original formulation (which did contain a prostaglandin) be pulled from the market, I believe Marini Lash is one of the best Prostaglandin-Free eyelash enhancement products available on the market today.

Another of my preferences is Dermalash which is manufactured by one of my favorite skin care companies, Dermaquest, Inc. I absolutely love all of their products including Dermalash. Also available, are Dermalash Color which are colored formulations and Dermalash Mascara. In summary, if you are OK with potential side-effects, I would suggest RevitaLash. If you are looking for a drug-free eyelash growth product, Marini Lash and DermaLash get my vote.

Article Source by Terri Anne Meyer

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