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Eyelash growth product roundup: do they work and are they safe

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Eyelashes & Brows
January 18, 2008 Reviewed by Marta 35 Comments

This post has been updated June 2009.

I know that batting her eyelashes is supposed to be the best weapon in a girl's artillery, but I can't get over the amount of interest in eyelash growth products. Ever since I wrote about Jan Marini's Age Intervention Eyelash Conditioner being recalled by the FDAand then the product coming off the market altogether a couple of weeks ago, this is by far the most popular topic on Truth In Aging.

So I have decided to do a quick summary of eyelash growth products available and note whether the ingredients are safe and whether they really work.

Jan Marini Age Intervention Eyelash Conditioner. It certainly worked; my eyelashes were growing like weeds after three weeks of use. However, it was yanked off the market at the beginning of January. It contains prostaglandin (an analogue to be precise), a powerful drug used to treat glaucoma. The positive side effect is that it makes your eyelashes dark, thicker and longer. Bad side effects can be burning/itching and change of eye color. I stopped using it as soon as I found out about prostaglandin.

UPDATE June 2008: Marini Lash. Jan Marini has a new lash product without prostaglandin. You can read about it by clicking here. And look out for my review in about three weeks (I've just started using it).

MD Lash Factor. This product also reportedly works. It too contains prostaglandin. See Jan Marini, above.

Revitalash. Some reviewers report a burning sensation when using Revitalash. If it doesn't bother you, it does seem to work. Revitalash used to be based on an ingredient called bitamoprost (this is what prompted the FDA recall of Jan Marini's original product). Revitalash (like Marini) reformulated the product to use  prostaglandin.

Keracyte-B. Keracyte-B uses elastatropin, a synthetic form of elastin. There are some anti-aging ingredients mixed in too. It does not contain prostaglandin. I haven't tried it, but have heard that it works.

Renew Eyelash Revitalizer. For some reason, persons under 18 can't use Renew without a doctor's prescription. I haven't used it and haven't come across anyone who has. Renew doesn't contain prostaglandin. It really seems as though it is a hair regrowth product that is being marketed for eyelashes. The main ingredients are: tripeptide-1, a kind of protein used to prevent the breakdown of collagen; biotin, a B vitamin used in hair regeneration products.

RefectoCil Longlash. This has the benefit of being cheap (about $20) and RefectoCil does not contain prostoglandin. I can't imagine that it works since it is just a concoction of plant extracts. If your esthetician tries to get you to try it, bear in mind that the maker markets it to salons by saying they can expect a 300% profit margin when they sell RefectoCil.

Lilash.This was developed by a doctor in Scotsdale. I haven't been able to find anything about it other than it makes a big deal out of not containing salt. Deathly silent on what it does contain, however.
UPDATE: 6/23/2008 A reader sleuthed the ingredients for Lilash and it contains a prostaglandin analogue.


Talika. The best thing I can say about Talika is that it comes with a nice origination myth (a young French doctor treating World War II casualties in Paris in 1948 finds her potion of plant extracts heals wounds and makes eyelashes grow). I have read a review saying it doesn't work. Quelle surprise.

Mavala. This product is applied like mascara (most of them are applied like an eye-liner). Anyway, it doesn't work.

Lumilash. Reportedly in the works by Allergan. Not yet on the market.

Dermaquest's Dermalash. I recently tries this and it does work - although not quite so spectacularly as Jan Marini. On the other hand it does not contain drugs.

FNS Nutrilash. I spent a month trying this. It didn't work at all for me. Perfectly safe though, using amino acids and vitamins.

Peter Roth Thomas Lashes To Die for. Contains a prostaglandin analogue.

  • March 30, 2011

    by Beth

    How do you think Idol Lash and Lashipix stack up? They are rated the best on other Best Eyelash products charts. Do either of these contain prostaglandins or any other harmful substances?

  • July 23, 2010

    by Emily

    I went to Neiman Marcus and purchased Neu Lash. The next day my eyes were EXTREMELY red and irritated. It's now day two, they are still red/irritated and it's soothing for me to keep them closed. Horrible day!

  • June 19, 2010

    by Hollywood

    I used Nuelash and my eyelashes grew like weeds in only 2 weeks and were dark black. I got compliments on them daily and fell in love with the product...BUT...then I noticed dark circles forming under my eyes. There were dark blue circles unlike anything I have EVER experienced before. I noticed them in pictures and had a hard time covering them with makeup. I also noticed that a lot of the gold in my eyes was gone...darkening of the eyes, yep, it really happens. I stopped using it and am looking for a new product. It did make my lashes so crazy long and dark though. bummer.

  • January 25, 2010

    by Isabel

    I started using the new MD Lash Factor (no longer works because they changed the formula. Same thing with Revitalash stopped working long before MD Lash Factor. I love latisse. in December (got it from a friend for Christmas who also used it) and I honestly have been shocked by the results.

  • June 29, 2009

    by marta

    Jess for Tarte and many more please see our <a href="http://www.truthinaging.com/2009/06/eyelash-growth-products-are-they-safe-and-do-they-work-2009-update.html" rel="nofollow">June 2009 update</a>

  • June 29, 2009

    by Jess

    What about tarte multieye? Is there any products that helps grow more lashes not just change their apperance? Thanks.

  • June 22, 2009

    by Isabel

    My sister uses Activlash and i use md lash factor. I will begin using activlash soon as md lash factor will be no longer available in its old formula. MD lash factor has reformulated the product and does not conatin the ingredients to make them longer. My sister likes Activlash and she has eyelashes touching her eyebrows. I'm so jealous.

  • June 3, 2009

    by JoeActionHero

    I'm treated with Rx Lumigan 0.03% (Allergan) for increased intraoccular pressure.
    The change in my eyelashes over five years of use testify to it's cosmetic effectiveness. Eyes wide open my lashes touch my brows!
    The iris color change doesn't occur in the blue eyed. The burn/sting is minimal and transient: if this degree of discomfort would put you off your goals I think you must be a real wuss.
    With eye-health such an enormous factor in quality of life (and the legal stakes so high for the producer/marketers) I am confident this preparation is safe for prolonged use.
    I am fortunate to live in Canada: this medicine has no direct cost to me. Used for cosmetic reasons, it's cost is extreme. To prevent blindness, it's essential for many who can not afford ~$200/mo.

  • May 19, 2009

    by HaeRim

    I have used this product for three months now and have seen awesome and amazing results~! I'm asian and had relatively short and thin lashes... I cut my lashes a bit after hearing a story from a girl with these gorgeous luscious lashes. (her father had cut her lashes when she was a baby three times) and then instantly regretted it. I hadn't heard of any of the lash growing products on the market at that time, so I just had to wait for my lashes to grow back.... Well, All in all, I think they did grow back, but they never grew back to be as long as they were before (which wasn't that impressive anyways). I heard of enormous lash and was hesitant to try it because it was $95.00 (I was a freshie in college) but I bought it because of their awesome 100% 12 month money back guarantee~! :) I bought it and diligently used it for 4 weeks before seeing results. I've been using it for three months now and have seen great changes in my lashes. They are longer, fuller, and are even curling up by themselves a bit at this point!! I tried lilash before I tried enormous lash but had to stop because they irritated the sensitive skin around my eyes and would make my eyes become bloodshot and reacted like an ugly allergic reaction. I don't have that problem with enormous lash at all~! If you need to buy it, I would suggest buying it straight from the company. If you try to buy it on ebay or amazon, you don't know how long they've had it in stock or you might even get the old formula, which has progesterin. You can order it if you go to website to try it and fall in love with it. :) Its such an awesome product

  • April 22, 2009

    by Linda

    I used Enormous Lash for several weeks and noticed my eyelashes getting longer. I quit using it but noticed after a month or two passed that I began losing my eyelashes. I've lost chunks in a couple of areas. I'm wondering if that may be a side effect of Enormous Lash. Has anyone else had a similar experience? Nothing else has changed regarding my makeup, etc.

  • March 16, 2009

    by Marie

    I have a friend that has no eyelashes. Is there something available for her that will actually stimulate eyelash growth?? Not just to apply and make her lashes look good? She dos'nt have any. Thanks!

  • February 27, 2009

    by marta

    Barbara
    Neulash does contain prostaglandin. We wrote about it here: http://www.truthinaging.com/2008/07/neulash-eyelash-enhancer-contains-a-prostaglandin-derivative.html
    I am afraid I don't how it stacks up against the others. There is one reader comment that isn't very positive

  • February 27, 2009

    by barbara mccoy

    What do you know about Neu Lash, that they are selling at Saks? Does it contain
    prostagladin? Does it work as well as some
    of the others?

  • February 23, 2009

    by Katie

    I have tried many of the different "eyelash growth" products out there over the last year or so. I had limited (if any) results from most of the products that I tried, until I started using LiLash. I was fortunate not have had any irritation with it at all. Within a few weeks, I could tell a big difference in both length and fullness. I'm definitely going to keep using it.

    Oh- and it is a little more expensive compared to some of the other products, but if you sign up for the mailing list or keep an eye on the site, they will run specials pretty regularly.

    Good luck!

  • February 5, 2009

    by Gina

    I am a little confused because there are so many different products, so in your opinion, which one is the best for the money? Revitalash, Enourmous Lash, SD (not even sure what this is) LiLash...etc.
    Could you post which one you use and which one you think is good.

    Thanks.

  • January 17, 2009

    by marta

    Belinda, you should be aware that Enormous Lash contains 17 phenyl-13, 14-dihydoro trinor PGF 2 (Alpha). This is an analogue for prostaglandin, the glaucoma drug. There can be side effects with this drug - irritation, effects on vision, changing color of eyes. However, many people use it and are fine. The choice is yours.

  • January 16, 2009

    by marta

    These eyelash growth products generally work by speeding up the growth cycle, so it may be that its making you shed your older lashes and then new ones would grow relatively quickly. Having said that, I'll take a look at the ingredients in Enormous Lash and get back to you.

  • January 16, 2009

    by Belinda

    I have use the New Enormous Lash starting on 12/28/08 and now my own lashes are short and have falling out ?????

  • January 9, 2009

    by Veronica

    I heard a lot about these products and was totally interested but very skeptical. After seeing my mom's results with Revitalash I tried it myself and am sooooo happy I did. I don't have to wear false lashes ever, I get compliments all the time about how sexy my eyes are, and It wasn't even that expensive if I compare it to how much I was paying for falsies! I definitely recommend Revitalash.

  • October 31, 2008

    by Mrs. Schwartz

    <p>Hi! I started using NeuLash on Monday night... and by Tuesday morning, my eyes were red, dry and irritated. I tried it again Tuesday night and by Wednesday, my eyes were even more red (I looked like devil eyes!) :-( Anyway, I stopped applying it and am wondering...</p>

    <p>has anyone else experienced this? Will it go away?</p>

    <p>I have a friend who's been using it consistently for a few months now and she has had no issues! Is it just me? </p>

  • October 2, 2008

    by Esther

    <p>Hi Marta,<br />
    I came by here to see if anyone knew when the effects would stop- and it was already answered!<br />
    I tried Lash Lengthener from HolisticSerums. <br />
    I've used it close to 2 weeks and there is a noticeable, but not huge like weeds, difference. :) Kinda thicker too, it seems. </p>

    <p>I've stopped using it since a month, they still look the same- maybe my rest cycle takes longer, or maybe I can give breaks to it.<br />
    Only thing is it is half the bottle- although they say it is enough, I had misgivings till I tried it. Its about 50 bucks, and they say it doesnt have chemicals - or hormones! So thats good, right but believable?<br />
    </p>

  • September 29, 2008

    by marta

    <p>Well in the current economy, Ardell's price tag of $3.99 is attractive. Looking at the ingredients, its hard to see anything that would make lashes grow: Water (aqua), Paeonia Suffruticosa Extract, Panthenol, Polytetrafluoroethylene, Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, VP DMAPA Acrylates Copolymer, Polyquaternium 37, Propylene Glycol Dicaprylate/Dicaprate, PPG 1 Trideceth 6, Ricinus Communis Seed Oil (Castor), Iodopropynyl Butylcarbamate, DMDM Hydantoin.</p>

    <p>Polytetrafluoroethylene is used in Teflon (non-stick cookware). Along with VP DMAPA Acrylates Copolymer, it might stop lashes from being brittle. Panthenol (vitamin B) is associated with hair growth but it is not easily absorbed and its certainly not going to make your lashes grow like weeds. Peony is an anti-inflammatory.</p>

  • September 29, 2008

    by Marta

    <p>what about ardell lash growth accelerator?</p>

  • September 25, 2008

    by Jes

    <p>I have been using SD Lash and Brow for a month now just on my eyelashes and do notice my lashes are longer.</p>

    <p>It took at least 3 weeks for me to notice a difference.</p>

    <p>I have not tried any other eyelash conditioning/ growth product and ordered SD from theskinspecialist.com. They seem to have it cheaper than any other place. </p>

    <p>I am glad this site was there for me to read about eyelash growth products that contain that glaucoma drug. I was going to order LiLash but stopped after becoming educated from this site.</p>

    <p>Thanks!</p>

  • September 23, 2008

    by Marta

    <p>What an interesting question. The answer is that you don't stop shedding completely. What happens is that the rest cycle of the hair follicle - known as telogen is being shortened, while the hair-growth cycle - known as anagen - is lengthened. </p>

    <p>You will revert to your original cycle after you stop using the growth product.</p>

  • September 23, 2008

    by Lim

    <p>Everyone questions if these lash products work and I've read many reviews that some of these lash growing products do indeed work. But no one questions what will happen after you've stop using these products. Say you've been using it for 4 months, is it the lashes from the begining of your regiment that continues to grow? If this is the case, then your shredding cycle didn't kick in. Then what happend after a year of usage without a proper shedding cycle...then what. It's a scary thought? This bring 2 questions to mind. 1)Since there's no turn over of lashes, will your body think since your last lash cycle continues to grow, there's not need for production? 2) Will all your lashes fall out after you've stop using the product? Thanks in advance for looking into this...Poor, short, and skimpy lashes asian woman waiting for your respond.</p>

  • August 16, 2008

    by marta

    <p>I haven't tried it. It contains a prostaglandin, so it probably does. Try it at your own risk: prostaglandins are drugs to treat glaucoma. One side effect is that eyelashes grow. Other, less desirable, ones are blurred vision, irritation and the risk of your eyes changing color. In my book, all of that makes the question of whether it works rather moot.</p>

  • August 16, 2008

    by Debbie

    <p>Do you know if Neulash works?</p>

  • July 19, 2008

    by caitlins

    <p>Please don't take your chances with enormous lash, it irritated my eyes terribly!<br />
    Dermalash i tried and it took FOREVER to see a result, Marini lash and SD lash and brow gel are the only 2 without prostanglandins I understand. My sister tried SD in her brows and Marini lash her lashes and both are working, it's about 3 weeks, she sees a difference already...I just ordered both from theskinspecialist like she did as they have a coupon and another gal pasted on here about them, they knew their stuff!.</p>

  • July 7, 2008

    by marta

    <p>I think you have to give all of them about three weeks.</p>

  • July 7, 2008

    by silvana

    <p>Martha,</p>

    <p>thank you for your comments. I think i will take the chance. How long had you used the Jan Marini product before you saw results!</p>

    <p>thank you again<br />
    Silvana</p>

  • July 7, 2008

    by marta

    <p>Thank you!</p>

    <p>I would take a chance. Indeed I did with the original Jan Marini prostaglandin product and it did a good job on my eyebrows with no discernible unwanted side effects. </p>

    <p>I am now using Dermalash on my eyebrows with results just as good (no prostaglandins, just amino acids and vitamin B).</p>

  • July 7, 2008

    by Silvana

    <p>I have question concerning the MD Lash Factor (This product also reportedly works. It to contains prostaglandin) product or any of the products listed above that contain protaglandin. I would like to use it on my eyebrows (to grow a patch that was damaged). Do the side effects also apply if the product is used on the eyebrows? By the way this site is amazing. It is so helpful and informative in knowing what works and what does not!. Bravo !!!!!!</p>

  • February 10, 2008

    by bonnie

    <p>I started using Enormous Lash in December (got it from a friend for Christmas who also used it) and I honestly have been shocked by the results. honeslty...i used to have stubs and now I'm so excited I bought 3 tubes of mascara and a lash curler today...I've never had lashes I could play with. Just thought you'd like to know about it. There is a direct link on my personal website...I think I'm in love! ha!</p>

  • February 10, 2008

    by bonnie

    <p>I started using Enormous Lash in December (got it from a friend for Christmas who also used it) and I honestly have been shocked by the results. honeslty...i used to have stubs and now I'm so excited I bought 3 tubes of mascara and a lash curler today...I've never had lashes I could play with. Just thought you'd like to know about it. There is a direct link on my personal website...I think I'm in love! ha!</p>

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