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Eyelash growth products- do they work and are they safe 2010

Reviewed by Marta January 11, 2010 52 Comments

Many readers are curious about whether eyelash growth products really work and whether they are safe. In our latest round-up  we explore the ingredients in eyelash growth products and assess whether they are safe and effective.   Please let us know if we have left out any eyelash and eyebrow growth products and we'll be sure to add them.

Adonia Lash Alive ($135). Claims to be a "natural" and "organic" eyelash growth product, but we haven't been able to track down the full ingredients list. You can read my assessment of Adonia Lash Alive here.

AminoGenesis Lash Garden ($90). Like Marini Lash, Tarte Multipleyes and (see below), this eyelash growth product has myristoyl pentapetide-17 as the active ingredient plus amino acids (although we are not told which ones).
Ingredients: Water, Magnesium, Ascorbyl Phosphate, Myrisotoyl Pentepeptide-17, Adenosine, Amino Acids, Calcium Chloride, Glucose, Ribose, Sodium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Hydroxyethyl cellulose.

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.
Ingredients: 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

Beauticontrol’s Replenishing Conditioner for Eyelash and Brows ($28.50). The most promising ingredient is biotinoyl tripeptide-1, which shows in OOKISA’s hair thickening products and in the Lilash and Cargo eyelash growth products. There is niacinamide, part of the B family of vitamins that are generally considered good for the hair. Note that phenoxyethanol can be an irritant to the eyes.

Billion Dollar Brows ($20). I haven’t tried this lash growth product myself, 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 been 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.

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.

Cilea ($69.99). This eyelash growth product has peptides, vitamins and botanical extracts. But none come with much proof that they encourage hair growth. Lash Extend Serum ($115). There is also a lash primer and a brow growth product. The active is a blend of peptides and in the serum they are at a 30% concentration.

Dermaquest Dermalash ($95). This lash and brow growth product also worked for me (see review). Longer eyelashes 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.

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Enormous Lash Eyelash Enhancing Serum ($95). Made by Intuit Beauty, which has brought out a new prostaglandin-free, paraben-free formula.

Ingredients: 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 eyelash growth product 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 bit 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. This is one of Truth In Aging's best products of 2009.

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 is an eyelash growth product that 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 to effectively grow eyelashes. Prostaglandin free. Read our review here.

Lash Allure ($49.50). Launched this year. Does not have prostaglandins. The active seems to be a peptide plus some amino acids (although how many and which ones are not specified).
Ingredients: Water, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Amino Acids, Adenosine, Ribose, Hydrolyzed Lecithin, Butylene Glycol, Saccharomyces/Copper Ferment, Sodium Chloride, Disodium EDTA, Glucose, 1.6 Fructose Bisphosphate, Caprylic/Capric Triglycerides, Hydroxyethylcellulose, Phenoxyethanol, Caprylyl Glycol, Panthanoil.

Latisse. Made by Allergan (the nice people behind Botox), this eyelash growth product 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 analogueLibrow (for brows) is a similar formula. Mixed reviews (read our comments here from the delighted, disappointed and 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 to grow eyelashes.

L'Oreal Lash Boosting Serum ($14.99). This eyelash boosting serum has panthenol, which when it penetrates into lower skin layers, is absorbed into skin cells and processed into pantothenic acid (commonly known as vitamin B5). Plus some amino acids. It also has sodium hydroxide, a known irritant. Studies by the National Institute for Occupation Safety and Health found that this ingredient causes “Irritation eyes, skin, mucous membrane; pneumonitis; eye, skin burns; temporary loss of hair” and recommends that consumers prevent skin and eye contact.

Mavala Double Lash ($11.54). This product lash boosting 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 eyelash growth product has been reformulated and no longer contains a prostaglandin. However, one reader complained of blurred vision.
Ingredients: 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 lash growth 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.
Ingredients: 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.

Nutra-Lift Lash Renue ($49). Launched this year, this lash growth product has peptides and B vitamins. It doesn't have a prostaglandin. It doesn't even have a nasty preservative.
Ingredients: Aqua (Deionized Water), Vegetable Glycerin, Myristoyl Pentapeptide 8,Cyclomethicone, Bis-Vinyl Dimethicone Copolymer, Dimethicone, Biotin (Vitamin B7), dl-Panthenol, Cucurbita Pepo (Pumpkin) Seed Extract, Cyanocobalamin (Vitamin B-12), Allantoin, Pyridoxine HCl (Vitamin B6), Hesperidin Methyl Chalcone, Steareth-20, Dipeptide-2,Palmitoyl Tetrapeptide-7, Polysorbate-20, Xanthan Gum, Sodium Hyaluronate, Retinyl Palmitate (Vitamin-A), Punica Granatum (Pomegranate) Extract, Cucumis Sativus (Cucumber)Fruit Extract, Camellia Sinensis Leaf (White Tea) Extract, Ethylhexylglycerin

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 lash renewal serum 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 eyelash growth product 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 claims to be 100% safe. Read Copley’s review here.

SD Lash & Brow Conditioning Gel ($90). Supposedy developed by an RN, this eyelash and eyebrow conditioner has natural ingredients with the active being hexapeptide 11 (derived from yeast). Some readers have reported good results.
Ingredients: 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 Actives with KGF. The main active is keratinocyte growth factor. This is a protein in humans that is encoded by the FGF7 gene. Studies on mice suggest that this gene is responsible for  hair development. After testing this for eight weeks, it didn't work for me at all.

Skin Research Laboratories Neulash $139).This contains a 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.

Skin Blends Lashes LTD ($70). The active ingredient is methylamido dihydro noralfaprostal - a prostaglandin derivative.

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

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  • November 18, 2014

    by Lynn

    I lost nearly all my lashes last year. No idea why. Just woke up one morning and suddenly noticed really sparse lashes with empty areas and only a few lashes on the bottom. Did a bit of research and bought Lipocils by Talika on eBay - it was something like $20 and free postage. Fast forward 3mths and my lashes were back AND fuller and longer! I've always had one tiny spot on my left lashline that was missing a lash - been like that for as long as I can remember - but now I can't even tell where it was!

    I don't write reviews because most beauty products I buy usually end up being empty promises but this definitely gave results! It's been over a year now and I use it about once a week, just to play it safe.... :)

  • April 11, 2014

    by S

    Lipocils by Talika DOES work. Visibly. On me, on a lot of people. They have clinical studies, and look at the before/after pictures on Google !

  • January 4, 2014

    by Wendy

    Thank you so much for this comprehensive list Marta! I am wondering if anyone has tried the following, it's $95 at Nordstrom so very spendy. Only 3 reviews too. Does it contain any harmful prostaglandins or preservatives? Seems like prostaglandins have so many cousins that I don't know what to look for anymore. I want to make sure before investing all this money that at the least it's not harmful, thanks!

    Le Métier de Beauté

    'Peau Vierge' Lash Growth Serum

    Active ingredients:
    - Syntoc Actif Complex: Potent form of vitamin E to assist the absorption of key ingredients for fast, effective, lasting results.
    - Myristoyl pentapeptide-17: 5-amino acids to help strengthen lashes.
    - Dimethyl isosorbide: Promotes the effective delivery of key ingredients for quicker lash growth.
    - Panthenol: Non-irritating form of vitamin B to correct dryness and add moisture.
    - Aloe barbadensis: A natural conditioner and anti-irritant.


    Syntoc Actif, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17, Dimethyl Isosorbide, Panthenol, Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Juice.
    Ingredients are subject to change at the manufacturer's discretion. For the most complete and up-to-date list of ingredients, refer to the product packaging.

  • September 16, 2013

    by Carly

    Hi! Can you please include City Lash? I've been seeing some mixed reviews.

  • August 1, 2013

    by binnie

    I REALLY want to know, which prostaglandin-free product is one with lasting results?? A lot of products work, but within a few weeks of attaining gorgeous lashes, they all fall out. I've tried Ardell, which was fantastic, but everything fell out later. I've used Folligen, Vicki LaMotta, RapidLash and NONE of these work.

    PLEASE, which is recommended for the most permanency?????

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