Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop Take Me To The Shop
Face

The Dark Side Of Lash Serums

by theSKIN

• By theSKIN

Falsies, extensions, tints and lifts, millions of mascaras — the list of ways to achieve long, lush lashes goes on and on. Another popular option? Lash serums. Many people opt to dab a serum like Latisse or GrandeLASH on their lashes at night to encourage natural eyelash growth in lieu of synthetic options. Yes, the promise of falsie-like natural lashes is pretty enticing. But those lashes may come at a price. Nancy Samolitis, MD FAAD, aka Dr. Sam, fills us in on why you should think twice before using lash serum.

TS

How do lash serums even work?

NS

Bimatoprost serum, long used to treat glaucoma, was known to have the side effect of lengthening lashes. Because of this, it became the popular prescription product Latisse. Bimatoprost is a synthetic prostaglandin. Prostaglandins are lipid compounds that have hormonal effects on animal tissue — it can affect blood flow, muscle contractions, and more. It has been proven to be effective in making lashes longer, thicker, and darker.

TS

What are the risks or side effects of using a lash serum?

NS

The most well-known side effect of lash serums is stimulation of pigment. This leads to darker lashes (yay), but also darker skin on the eyelid and possibly darker eye color if the serum gets into the eye by accident. Because prostaglandins also dilate blood vessels, they can cause redness and enlarged vessels on the eyelids and chronic redness of the eye itself. Prostaglandins also can affect the activity of the oil glands around the eye, leading to dry eyes, painful bumps on the eyelid, and even permanent thinning of the eyelid skin. One much lesser-known side effect of these serums is the loss of fat around the eye, which causes the appearance of sunken eyes and premature aging.

“Some side effects may be reversed by discontinuing use of the lash serum, but there are no guarantees.”

TS

Are certain kinds of serums, like an over the counter one, safer than others?

NS

Unfortunately, the over the counter products are not necessarily safer than the prescription option. OTC products contain prostaglandin analogs that lead to similar lash growth, and many products that list “natural” ingredients in fact have the same hormonal effect. For example, castor oil is considered a natural remedy for lash growth, but it is known to have prostaglandin effects. That’s also how it works for constipation and inducing labor.

TS

Are side effects permanent, or will they go away once I stop using the serum?

NS

Some of the side effects, such as fat loss, may potentially be reversed by discontinuing the serum, but there are no guarantees.

TS

Are there any safe alternatives that still stimulate lash growth?

NS

There are several products on the market that do not have prostaglandin analog ingredients, but there is really no scientific evidence that other ingredients are as effective. There is also no FDA regulation of over the counter lash products, so those alternative ingredients may cause irritation or other side effects on our delicate lids.