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Eyelash growth products - are they safe and do they work? 2009 UPDATE

June 27, 2009 Reviewed by Marta 31 Comments

There seems to be a new eyelash growth product every week and the old ones keep changing their formulas, so here's our latest and greatest eyelash (and brow) growth product round-up. The major distinction between them is whether they contain glaucoma drugs called prostaglandins. These will certainly make your lashes grow, but there are potential side effects, such as irritation, damage to sight, or even change of eye color.

Give us a shout if you know of any products that we've missed and we'd love to hear what works (or doesn't) for you.

Ardell Brow and Lash Growth Accelerator ($2.98). Well you can't quibble with the price. The main ingredient is peony extract with some wheat protein. Not terribly convincing - although the reviews (if they are genuine) are raves.

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

Billion Dollar Brows ($20). I haven't tried this, but my guess is that it might work. Saw palmetto extract is strongly associated with hair growth as is biotin. Proline is one of four amino acids that have used in hair growth trials. Glycosaminoglycans are naturally in skin and hair follicles and the amount varies throughout the hair growth cycle.

Deionized Water, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate, Propylene Glycol, Saw Palmetto Berry Ext, Biotin, Saw Palmetto Lipidic Sterolic, Proline, Glucosaminoglycans, Water (and) Hydrolyzed Soy Protein, (and) 3 Aminopropane Sulfonic Acid, (and) Sodium Chondroitin Sulfate, Riboflavin 5 Phosphate, Hydroxyethylacrylate / Sodium, Acryloyldimethyl Taurate Copolymer, (and) Squalane (and) Polysorbate 60, Xanthan Gum, Triethanolamine, Citric Acid, DMDM Hydantoin, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Propylparaben

B Kamins Chemist Lash Fortifier ($72-$90) Natural ingredients of the kind found in hair growth products. More details here.

Cargo Lash Activator ($35). A mascara that claims to grow lashes by 169%. The peptide that is supposed to prevent eyelash loss is at the very end of the ingredients. The peptide in question, biotinoyl tripeptide-1, turns up in quite a few hair growth products. More info on Cargo LashActivator.

Dermaquest Dermalash ($95). This also worked for me (see review). Longer lashes and some new growth. It has done a very good job of filling in my eyebrows as well. No glaucoma drugs (it uses amino acids and vitamin B) and I had no allergic reactions to it. In addition to neutral, there are color formulas that will look as if you have applied eyeliner.

Enormous Lash Eyelash Enhancing Serum ($95). Made by Intuit Beauty, which has brought out a new prostaglandin-free, paraben-free formula.
Water, Butylene Glycol, Glycerine, Potassium Olivoyl PCA, Arginine, Alanyk Glutamine, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Phospholipids, Sphingolipids, Panthenol, Caprylyl Glycol, Phenoxyethanol, Isopentyl glycol, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Trisoium EDTA.

FNS Nutrilash Lash & Brow Enhancer ($41.99). I tried this and it didn’t work after four weeks (read the review here). Perfectly safe though.

Folligen ($17.99). This is a copper peptide solution that I have found works well for hair, eyelash and brow growth. The color is a but alarming , but fear not as it does not stain.

Hydropeptide Lash ($130). I tested this for a month and my lashes got longer and blacker - read my review of Hydropeptide here.  Prostaglandin-free, this has heavy-duty moisturizers with 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.

Keracyte-B ($98). This is a scalp conditioner that uses elastatropin, a synthetic form of elastin. This is aimed at stimulating the hair follicle. There are some anti-aging ingredients, such as matrixyl 3000,  mixed in too. It does not contain prostaglandin. I haven’t tried it, but have heard that it works for brows.

Jan Marini Marini Lash. Jan Marini virtually pioneered the eyelash growth market and about a year ago launched a new lash product without prostaglandin, the glaucoma drug that was in the original formula. I posted a review after trying it for three weeks. It works and it’s safe.

Lashfood Eyelash Conditioning Stimulant ($115). Annie, our reader reviewer, took photographic evidence to demonstrate that it, well, doesn't really work. Prostaglandin free. Read our review here.

Latisse. Made by Allergan (the nice people behind Botox), this has FDA approval for prescription-only sale. It contains Bitamaprost, a glaucoma drug. Check out the side effects here before you head to your doctor.

Lilash Eyelash Growth Stimulator ($119). This was developed by a doctor in Scotsdale. Thanks to a reader’s sleuthing skills, we now know that the ingredients for Lilash contain a prostaglandin analogue. Librow (for brows) is a similar formula. Mixed reviews (our comments range from the delighted to the disappointed victims of allergic reactions).

Lipocils Eyelash Conditioning Gel by Talika ($40). The best thing about this botanical cocktail is that it comes with an origination myth - supposedly invented by accident by some French nurse during the Second World War as she tended to a wounded soldier. It doesn't work.

Mavala Double Lash ($11.54). This product is applied like mascara (most of them are applied like an eye-liner). Anyway, it doesn’t work.

Metics Renewlash Eyelash Stimulator ($68.99).  This product has been reformulated and no longer contains a prostaglandin. However, one reader complained of blurred vision.

Water (aqua), glycerin, sodium hyaluronate moisturizer, mineral oil, apigenin, palmitoyl oligopetide, palmitoyl tetrapeptide-7, camellia sinensis, horsetail extract, chamomilla recutita (matricaria) flower extract, nettle extract, aloe barbadensis (aloe vera) gel, biotin, methionine, panthenol (vitamin B5), tocopherol acetate, retinal palmitate (vitamin A), hydrolyzed glycosaminoglycans, phenoxyethanol, cyclopentasiloxane, benzoic acid, triethanolamine and sodium EDTA.

MD Lash Factor ($99.99). This product reportedly works. It too contains prostaglandin.

ModelCo Lash & Brow Growth Stimulator ($42). Prostaglandin-free, this is a new find. It looks a bit like Hydropeptide Lash with its hexapeptides, biotin and inositol.

Water (Aqua), Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Dipropylene Glycol, Phenethyl Benzoate, Polysorbate 20, Pentylene Glycol, Ethoxydiglycol, Hydrogenated Lectithin, Inositol, Glyceryl Laurate, Tocopheryl Acetate, Brassica Campestris (Rapeseed) Sterols, Xanthan Gum, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Peel Extract, Hexapeptide 17, Biotin, Gynostemma Pentaphyllum Leaf Extract, Tetrahexyldecyl Ascorbate, Folic Acid, N-Acetyl Cysteine, Citrus Medica Linonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Butylene Glycol, Glycerin, Cetearyl Alchohol, BHT, Phenoxyethanol, Methylparaben, Ethylparaben, Butylparaben, Isobutylparaben.

Neova Advanced Essential Eyelash Conditioner ($140). Neova's signature ingredient is copper and has center stage in this eyelash product. Copper does have a proven track record of stimulating hair follicles and speed up the hair growth cycle. For a cheaper version, see Skin Biology's Folligen below.

Water (Aqua), Panthenol, TEA-Carbomer, Alanine/Histidine/Lysine Polypeptide Copper HCl, Hydrolyzed Glycoaminoglycans, Sodium Hyaluronate, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Guar Hydroxypropyltrimonium Chloride, Dimethicone, Copolyol, Ethylhexylglycerin, Phenoxyethanol, Sodium Benzoate

Peter Thomas Roth Lashes to Die For ($119). This contains a prostaglandin analogue listed in the ingredients as 17-Phenyl Trinor Pge2-Sa.

Rapid Lash Eyelash Renewal Serum ($48). This contains a prostaglandin analogue called isopropyl cloprostenate. There is some evidence that copper tripeptide-1 improves hair growth by strengthening the follicle and speeding up the growth cycle. Indeed, I have used Folligen, a copper peptide lotion on hair and lashes with great success.

Refectocil Longlash ($20). This has the benefit of being cheap 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.

Renew Eyelash Revitalizer ($80). 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, and biotin, a B vitamin used in hair regeneration products..

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 reformulated the product to use prostaglandin. The newest version is claimed to be 100% safe. Read Copley's review here.

SD Lash & Brow Conditioning Gel ($90). Supposedy developed by an RN, this has natural ingredients with the active being hexapeptide 11 (derived from yeast). Some readers have reported good results.

Water (Aqua), Glycosaminoglycans,  Saccharum Officinarum (Sugar Cane) Extract, Citrus Medica Limonum (Lemon) Fruit Extract, Betaine, Hexylene Glycol, Pyrus Malus (Apple) Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinesis Leaf Extract (Green Tea), Hexapeptide-11, Paeonia Suffruticosa Root  (Peony) Extract, Ricinus Communis (Castor) Seed Oil, Panthenol, Sodium Hyaluronate, Glycerin, Tromethamine, Disodium EDTA, Chlorphenesin.

Skin Research Laboratories Neulash $139).This contains prostaglandin analogue. More details here.

Skin Biology’s Folligen ($17.99). A copper peptide cream that is primarily designed for hair growth. It works by strengthening the hair follicles. I have had really good results on brows and lashes.

Tarte Multipleye ($65). This claims to be all natural and has no prostaglandins. However, Copley was less than impressed in her review.

  • August 1, 2013

    by lori

    I've been using revitalash for over a year and love the results but just stopped since learning about the side effects. I'm trying to do all my research before buying another lash enhancer. It's been 4 days since I stopped ueing revitalash and don't want to lose all my lashes and don't want my blue eyes to change..So I am seeing from the above the only products that DON'T have prostaglandin or ingredients like it that actually work are:
    hydroPeptide, Metics, KGF, mavala and fabulash? with this be correct. I would love a list of the safe ones so I can decide - it all gets so confusing. please answer and help!

  • September 23, 2011

    by Cosmetic Formulation Products Science Technology » Beauty Product Reviews For Women & Men

    [...] After scouring the internet, I found this article the most helpful. It is very comprehensive and pretty much covers the majority of all eyelash conditioners on the market as well as includes client reviews: [...]

  • September 14, 2011

    by Do All Eyelash Growth Products Contain Drugs to Make Them Work? « Idollash

    [...] After scouring the internet, I found this article the most helpful. It is very comprehensive and pretty much covers the majority of all eyelash conditioners on the market as well as includes customer reviews: [...]

  • August 3, 2011

    by Do All Eyelash Growth Products Contain Drugs to Make Them Work? | Corrective Make Up

    [...] After scouring the internet, I found this article the most helpful. It is very comprehensive and pretty much covers the majority of all eyelash conditioners on the market as well as includes customer reviews: [...]

  • December 26, 2010

    by Do All Eyelash Growth Products Contain Drugs to Make Them Work? | Eyelash Growth Products

    [...] After scouring the internet, I found this article the most helpful. It is very comprehensive and pretty much covers the majority of all eyelash conditioners on the market as well as includes customer reviews: [...]

  • January 19, 2010

    by marta

    You could take a look at our Five Best eyelash growth products:

  • December 2, 2009

    by Cassie

    Mavala Double lash *does work. I lost half my eyelashes 2 years ago and ordered this product out of desperation on ebay, and have been using it ever since. Not only did the lashes stop falling out & grew back, but I have grown a second set of lashes, just above the original lashes, that make my fringe look thicker, and richer. I will say it didnt make my eyelashes crazy long, but I prefer the thick, lush looking fringe.

  • November 22, 2009

    by Leslie

    I've always had from my short, thin, pale eye lashes so naturally mascara is my favorite cosmetic. However, I was fairly apprehensive about applying something that may or may not have horrible side effects on my eyes. Driven by my vanity, I decided to try Revitalash after comparing user reviews, product ingredients, and price. I was skeptical I would see any noticeable results, but after 4 weeks I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised. My lashes were noticeably longer on both top and bottom after the 3rd week, and are just now beginning to look fuller. Luckily, I haven't experienced any adverse reactions. I've recommended this product to friends and will continue to buy it in the future.

  • November 11, 2009

    by Skin Actives

    Marta, please send me your shipping address. i would like to send you a sample of our Brow and Lash Serum with KGF (

  • October 23, 2009

    by Junko

    A year ago I bought Revitalash. It did lengthen my eyelash's, and did leave a slight red mark for the first week on my eyelid where applied. When I used up the Revitalash, I wanted something better! We always want something BETTER! So, I bought MD Lash Factor. MD didn't work as well as the Revitalash, so I bought another tube of Revitalash when the MD ran out. This tube is not giving me the same results as it did a year ago. I'm wondering whether the first tube was perhaps an older formulation and perhaps what I have now is a newer less effective formulation? I don't feel like I really know which batch/lot/formulation it is I'm purchasing when I purchase now.

  • September 27, 2009

    by Sondra

    I have been using MD Lash Factor for 16 months and got phenomenal results, even lashes growing back in where there were none. I actually had to trim some of them occasionally as they were so long. The last tube of MD that I bought said "new" formulation. After using it for a couple of weeks, my long, thick, dark lashes were gone. The cosmetic surgery office where I bought it has discontinued selling it. They said it continues to be sold as a lash conditioner!

  • September 26, 2009

    by Gwen

    I was wondering if you have any feedback on MD Lash now that they have changed their formula and no longer use prostaglandin. Thank you!

  • September 25, 2009

    by marta

    Hi Leanonme,
    I've tracked down the ingredients so will post something this weekend. Thanks for bringing it to us.

  • September 25, 2009

    by leanonme

    I was wondering if you could do a research on beauticontrol replenishing conditioner for eyelash and brow.

  • September 23, 2009

    by Jill Johnson

    FabuLash was just introduced by L'Bri. It is the only safe eyelash growth serum that has succeeded in using Aloe as the first ingredient and that does not contain prostaglandin.

    FabuLash contains recently discovered proprietary peptides when combined with other essential factors produces amazing eyelash and brow enhancement. FabuLash also contains a special nutrient blend to help condition brittle lashes and eye brows.

    Not only does FabuLash produce results on both upper and lower lashes, it is considerably more affordable at $64 a tube. Each tube of FabuLash will last approximately 4 to 5 months if used only on the lash line.

    In clinical trials every individual who used FabuLash saw results. Some results were more dramatic than others, while 100% of every participant reported more beautiful lashes.

  • September 23, 2009

    by ellen forset

    Great article! Side effects are really a turn off. I never want to lose my sight. I have been using Revitalash for a little over a couple of months now. Found no side effects. Just longer, thicker lashes!!!

  • September 12, 2009

    by admin

    This is a question that comes up a lot. The short answer is if you stop using these products, your eyelashes will go back to their normal growth cycle. For a longer answer, read our post on <a href="" rel="nofollow">how hair grows</a>.

  • September 12, 2009

    by Hadia

    Hi! Well I'm looking for a product that will make my eyelashes grow longer and thicker fast. But I don't want to risk my eyelashes falling off or anything. And I was wondering what would happen if I only used it for a month and then stopped, like will my eyelashes still stay long and thick or no? Well, hope you can help! Thanks.

  • August 16, 2009

    by Sunshine27

    Folligen is not meant to be used around your eyes. I just want everyone to realize that despite the raves it's gotten here, the product stings & itches. It doesn't come with any list of ingredients or instructions. Visit their website for more info, but this is NOT an eyelash growth product. Please save your money on this one.

  • July 28, 2009

    by marta

    I think the best results have been with Hydropeptide Lash. My review is just published today. Click here to read my <a href="" rel="nofollow">Hydropeptide review.</a>

  • July 27, 2009

    by Michelle

    Marta, can you tell me out of all the products you have reviewed, which lash growth product you feel works the best (without having the ingredients used in glaucoma drugs)?

  • July 27, 2009

    by anne

    I was using a lash growth product that was really giving me good results (sorry, I forgot which one) but when I ran out the saleswoman at Sephora convinced me to buy Peter Thomas Roth Lashes To Die For. I used it regularly for 2 months and saw no results and started slacking off after that. My impression is that, even if used regularly (3 month expiration after opening) it would not do much of anything.

  • July 15, 2009

    by marta

    Trinh, I'm not sure what happened, but Folligen is back in the list.

  • July 15, 2009

    by Trinh


    How come you removed the post for Folligen? Is it unsafe or you get some kind of side effect down the road? Thanks.

  • July 14, 2009

    by Vicky

    I have been using LiLash for over a month now and started getting dark coincidence under my eyes. I am wondering if it's just a coinsidence or if they ARE being caused by LiLash.

  • July 13, 2009

    by Marta

    I have used Rapidlash and will continue to use it. I work in a cosmetics store and people often stop me and ask me which fake eyelashes i have on. I hope they never stop making Rapidlash.



  • July 5, 2009

    by Madison Sinclair

    Thanks for your reviews, great info. I did research on these products before I bought and decided on Revitalash which I've used for 6 months now with great success. My lashes are thicker, curlier and longer. The ingredients are safe, as they were developed by an eye doctor. I haven't had any of the nasty side effects I've heard about with other products. Best of all, the company donates to breast cancer research!! This one's a keeper!!!

  • July 3, 2009

    by Ann Stewart

    I've been using LiLash for over 6 months. It works great. Also LiBrow, although it won't make brow hairs grow where you don't have any (Lilash will make eyelashes grow where you don't have any). I suspect I just don't have any follicles where I'd hoped LiBrow would make new hairs grow. Anyway, they use a prostaglandin "analog", what ever that may be. If I get it in my eyes, it stings slightly. I just make sure not to get it in my eyes (e.g. don't press eyelids together while it's wet). The only adverse side effect has been a reddening of my eyelids but you can use coverup for that. Sometimes one of my lashes grows so long I have to cut it back. So this stuff does work, but the price is like a kick in the gut: $120. I think the brow stuff is a little less. After using it for so long, though, I only have to apply it once or twice a week to keep my lashes/brows full.

    My fingernails are very thin & fragile. I was using LiLash at the base of the fingernail for a while, like a couple of months, but didn't see a difference. I think I'll start doing that again, now that I'm not using so much of it on my eyelashes.

  • June 28, 2009

    by Eileen

    I have been using MultipEYE Lash Enhancer for the past 6 weeks and found that it does not work. In fact, the lashes on my right eye have fallen out and the replacements are the shortest lashes I have ever had! I have also used Jan Marini--the newer, safer version, and have found it does not really work either, although I didn't loose lashes.

  • June 27, 2009

    by Sandra

    I have not tried Billion Dollar Brows for lashes, but it does work for eyebrows. The Folligen cream works extremely well, but it stained my brows that funky swimming-pool green, so I tried BDB as an alternative. This works just as well with no stain. This has a sponge-type tip, so I'd recommend an eyeliner brush for application if you're using it for lashes.

  • June 27, 2009

    by laura carson miller

    I used Neulash and it worked. It made my eyes itch and left a slight discoloration where I applied it to my eyebrows but it went away when I quit using the product. It took about 3 months for to see good results but I didn't use the product every night. Probably 3 or 4 times a week. Filled in spot on brow and gave me longer fuller lashes.

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