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

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Eyelashes & Brows
Reviewed by Marta January 18, 2008 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="" rel="nofollow">June 2009 update</a>

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