A month or so ago, I was given Hydropeptide's Complete Eye and Lash Restoration Kit ($150). A lucky reader has the eye cream, which is supposed to be good for dark circles, to review and, in the meantime, I have been trying the eyelash growth product. I must admit that I applied it mechanically for a few weeks without bothering to take note if anything was happening. But three weeks into my trial, I found myself before the mirror and was struck at how black, long and healthy my lashes looked. I couldn't help but bat them.

I should add that I have a couple of little gaps on my lower lashes and Hydropeptide Lash has been slower at filling them in than it has been at improving existing lashes.

What I like best about it is that it does not contain the active ingredient, prostaglandin, which is used in products such as Revitalash, LiLash and Rapid Lash, and which can cause side effects. What it does have is plant stem cells and growth factors. Xylitylglucoside anhydroxylitol xylitol sounds like a song from Mary Poppins, but is in fact a sugar found in wheat and olives that really helps skin retain moisture and boosts the skin’s natural hyaluronic acid. It also improves the skin's barrier function increasing ceramide synthesis. Inositol, which is a vitamin B complex nutrient that has a direct impact on hair growth. Biotin is also associated with promoting hair growth.

There are also a couple of hexapeptides, synthetic peptides that behave like growth hormones. One growth factor, Octapeptide-2 may act as a stimulator of hair growth, at least in part by antagonizing the inhibitory effects of something called BMP4 on hair follicle development. It is also supposed to stop depigmentation in hair.

By the way, the first time I used Hydropeptide Lash, I found that it made my eyes water. It didn't really sting or hurt, but it was uncomfortable for about 20 minutes. Over the following days the period of discomfort reduced to a matter of minutes and then went away completely. UPDATE 2011: the peptide power of Hydropeptide Lash has been boosted and the ingredients listed below are the latest formulation

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Ingredients in Hydropeptide Lash: Water (Aqua), Glycerin, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon Bioflavonoids) Peel Extract, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Myristoyl Hexapeptide-16, Octapeptide-2, Sodium Hyaluronate, Biotin, Folic Acid, Glycine Soja (Soybean) Oil, Hydroxyethylcellulose, 1, 2-Hexanediol, Caprylyl Glycol, Disodium Phosphate, Disodium EDTA, 2-Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Phosphate, Hydrogenated Lecithin, Methylisothiazolinone, Tropolone, Sodium Hydroxide