If you’ve searched online for information about growing longer, thicker eyelashes, you may have heard about a treatment called Latisse.
Latisse is an FDA-approved medication that’s designed to increase the length and thickness of your eyelashes. First approved in 2008, Latisse is the only treatment that’s scientifically proven to improve the growth of your lashes.
In short, it’s a safe, effective option for giving your eyelashes greater length, thickness, volume and darkness, all without the need to use falsies or mascara.
As a relatively new medication, finding reliable information about Latisse online can be a fairly difficult process. Below, we’ve explained what Latisse is, how it works, how you can get it and the potential side effects you could experience while using it.
We’ve also covered the basics of using Latisse, making it easy for you to take action if you’re looking for a treatment that can give you longer, thicker and darker eyelashes.
Latisse is an FDA-approved medication that can improve the growth of your eyelashes. It’s a topical solution that’s applied daily to your upper eyelashes with a sterile applicator.
Used daily, Latisse can help you grow longer, thicker and darker eyelashes. If your eyelashes are overly thin and you find that you need to use lots of mascara to make them look thick and dark, Latisse could be a solution.
Latisse contains the active ingredient bimatoprost. It’s designed to treat the growth condition hypotrichosis, which causes inadequate growth of the eyelashes.
It takes about four weeks for Latisse to produce a noticeable improvement in the length and thickness of your eyelashes. If you apply Latisse daily, you’ll usually notice the final results in about four months.
Like many other medications, Latisse was originally developed for a different purpose. Allergan, the pharmaceutical company that first developed Latisse, originally intended for bimatoprost to treat ocular hypertension, a risk factor for glaucoma.
During testing, researchers found that patients given bimatoprost started to grow longer, thicker and darker eyelashes. Bimatoprost was then adapted into a new treatment designed specifically to improve the growth of the eyelashes.
Experts aren’t aware of exactly why Latisse works to change the thickness, length and color of your eyelashes. Based on the current scientific data, the active ingredient in Latisse is believed to change the way your eyelashes behave during the anagen (growth) phase of the hair cycle.
As we’ve covered in our guides to female hair loss treatments, each of your hairs goes through a growth cycle with four distinct stages. Bimatoprost, the active ingredient in Latisse, may cause more hairs than normal to enter the anagen — or growth — phase of this cycle.
Latisse may also increase the length of the growth phase of the cycle, meaning your eyelashes grow for longer and reach a greater length than they normally would.
Yes. Most people who use Latisse experience a significant, measurable improvement in eyelash growth over the course of several months.
In a 2010 study, participants were treated for six weeks with a gel solution that either contained bimatoprost (the active ingredient in Latisse) or normal saline. One solution was used on the left eye and the other used on the right eye to accurately measure any change in growth.
Progress was measured weekly using calipers throughout the study, as well as at one and three months after use of the medication discontinued. The eyelashes treated with bimatoprost grew an average of 2 mm over the course of the study, compared to just 1.1 mm with the saline gel.
In short, the gel containing the active ingredient in Latisse almost doubled the level of eyelash growth in this study’s participants.
In a 2014 study from Japan, participants with chemotherapy-induced eyelash hypotrichosis who received treatment with a bimatoprost showed significant increases in eyelash length, thickness and darkness over the course of four months.
Another study from 2016 also demonstrated that bimatoprost is effective at increasing eyelash prominence. The researchers found that 70.8 percent of adolescents treated using bimatoprost grew more prominent eyelashes after four months of use, versus 26.1 percent who were given a placebo.
It’s worth noting that although Latisse is effective at helping you grow longer, thicker and darker eyelashes, it’s not always effective for everyone. In the studies listed above, researchers noted that certain forms of eyelash loss, such as alopecia areata, may not improve with bimatoprost.
According to data from the FDA, about 79 percent of people who use Latisse experience at least a single grade increase in Global Eyelash Assessment (GEA) score — a scale used to measure eyelash growth.
In short, Latisse is highly effective for most people. However, if your eyelash loss is caused by an autoimmune condition such as alopecia areata, it might not be fully effective for you.
Latisse is a prescription medication, meaning you’ll need to see your doctor before you can buy it. We offer Latisse online, subject to doctor approval and an online consultation, with discreet delivery to your door.
Because Latisse is designed as a cosmetic treatment, it usually won’t be covered by your health insurance plan. However, if you have a medical condition such as hypotrichosis, your insurance provider might provide some level of coverage for Latisse and other medications.
Latisse is a liquid solution that’s designed to be applied to the base of your upper eyelids. Using it is simple:
It usually takes about two months before Latisse produces noticeable improvements in your lash length, thickness and color. Most people see the full results of Latisse after using the medication daily for three to four months.
If you don’t notice results immediately, hang in there and keep using Latisse daily as prescribed by your doctor. Latisse does work, but its results aren’t immediate. If you don’t see any changes in your eyelash length, thickness or color after two months, it’s best to talk to your doctor.
Latisse is effective for as long as you use it, meaning you can keep your results by continuing to use the medication. If you stop using Latisse, your eyelashes will gradually return to their normal length, thickness and color.
Yes. It’s completely okay to use mascara and other eye makeup while using Latisse. The easiest way to wear mascara and other makeup with Latisse is to apply Latisse at night, when you aren’t wearing any makeup.
Applying Latisse at night means it won’t interfere with your makeup. It’s also a good practice in general, as the risk of the Latisse solution getting into your eyes is lower while you’re sleeping than when you’re awake.
If you prefer to use Latisse in the morning, wait for the solution to dry completely before using any mascara, eye shadow or other cosmetics. Applying these products before Latisse has dried can prevent the medication from being fully absorbed by your skin, making it less effective.
Latisse is a safe, effective medication that’s been thoroughly tested and approved by the FDA. The majority of people who use it experience an increase in eyelash length and thickness with no serious side effects.
However, like other prescription medications, Latisse can occasionally cause side effects. Most of these side effects are mild and only affect a small percentage of people who use Latisse. The most common side effects include:
If you have persistent eye issues, such as uveitis or conjunctivitis, your doctor may recommend against using Latisse. If you use any medications for ocular hypertension and/or glaucoma, it’s important that you tell your doctor about these before discussing Latisse.
If you’re pregnant or nursing, you should not use Latisse. Although Latisse isn’t associated with any major birth defects in humans, there simply isn’t enough data on its use in pregnant women for it to be considered safe.
Used daily, Latisse can produce a marked improvement in the length, thickness and color of your eyelashes after about three to four months.
While Latisse doesn’t work for everyone, it’s effective in almost 80 percent of people. If you have thin eyelashes and want to improve their length and thickness without relying on mascara or false eyelashes (or both), it’s worth considering Latisse as a treatment.
Latisse is a prescription medication, meaning you’ll need to talk to a doctor before you can buy and use it.
Interested in using Latisse to improve your eyelash length, thickness and color? Our Latisse vs. Lash Boost and other eyelash growth products guide goes into detail on how Latisse compares to the competition in terms of results, ease of use and more.