Dr. Melissa Toyos - National Speaker for Latisse and Board Certified Surgeon
You’ve been there. Standing at the bathroom mirror, searching for the problem. You’re not happy with your appearance, but what, exactly, is the problem to be fixed? In these moments, I have shopped drugstores clean, made hair appointments I lived to regret, and contemplated facial surgery on almost every feature.
Aging can take a subtle toll on our faces and bodies. Gradual changes in hair or skin can be the hardest to notice. We are often aware that we are unhappy with “something” even if we can’t pinpoint the source. Our eyelashes, like the hair on our heads, becomes progressively thinner and sparser after our 20s. Long, dark, full eyelashes radiate a sense of youth and make our eye color “pop.” Eyes are often the first thing people notice about us, so this focal point can set the tone for a first impression.
There are many ways to enhance eyelashes depending on your needs and your budget. Mascara is a multi-million dollar business and an easy if temporary way to enhance eyes. Many women restore vibrancy and color to their hair, brow or even lashes by applying color. Dyeing eyelashes (only by a professional) can temporarily improve the color but does not restore the fullness or length of eyelashes that we naturally lose as we age and like, mascara, can damage natural lashes. False eyelashes are often expensive, clumsy and mishaps can end up on YouTube forever. Mascara, eyelash dyeing and false eyelashes all have the potential to damage natural lashes.
Latisse (Allergan, Irvine, CA) remains the first and only FDA approved product to treat hypotrichosis (inadequate or not enough lashes). The active ingredient, bimatoprost, is a prostaglandin and is similar to a naturally occurring chemical in the body. Although no one knows exactly how Latisse works to grow lashes, when used as directed, eyelashes treated with Latisse will become gradually longer, thicker and darker over 16 weeks of usage.
Latisse is generally applied at bedtime over the top lash line with special brushes included with the purchase of the product. Side effects are minimal but can include redness, irritation or eye inflammation. Caution should be used in people with eye conditions such as uveitis, glaucoma and whenever eye surgery is a possibility.
Patients using Latisse daily can expect to see some increase in length in the first month. I knew it was working when I felt my eyelashes graze the inside of my sunglasses for the first time. On average, lashes will grow an additional 25% longer than normal. Continued use of Latisse will, generally, result in a doubling of lash thickness, which is the effect that most women say is most important to them. Lashes may also darken by about 20% depending on your skin type and ethnicity. Many lighter pigmented users of Latisse say that they are especially aware of the effects when they use their mascara.
You should discuss with your doctor whether Latisse is right for you. Most women I know believe that you can’t be too rich, too thin or have too many lashes. Using Latisse can reverse and improve aging eyelashes that result in a tired, washed out appearance. With Latisse in your beauty arsenal, growing old is mandatory, but aging is optional.