Now that Jan Marini's Age Intervention Eyelash Conditioner has been withdrawn from the US market, the most worrisome question is whether all the other eyelash growth products that are still available are safe.  I mentioned MD Lash Factor in my last post and then a reader asked: what about Revitalash?

Revitalash, made by Athena Cosmetics, was launched to compete directly with Jan Marini's product at a slightly keener price point. Copley reviewed it and her verdict was that it works, but at what price. You can read her Revitalash review here.

The Revitalash story is very similar to that of Jan Marini. Mind you, it does come with a much better 'origination myth' that is worth a quick detour. The story goes that Revitalash was invented by Dr Michael Brinkenhoff as a "special gift" for his cancer stricken wife (Gayle), whose once luscious lashes were rendered sparse and brittle by the disease.

Anyway, Dr Brinkenhoff's special gift was, just like the Jan Marini product, based on bitamoprost. This is the glaucoma drug that can cause side effects and prompted the FDA to seize the Marini eyelash enhancer last November. Details are here.

Following in the footsteps of Marini, Athena Cosmetics pulled Revitalash and replaced it in mid-December with a new formula that is still on sale today. The new Revitalash is based on a mysterious ingredient called " Formula Lashgro (proprietary formulation)". So what is it?

You guessed it. Revitalash 2 is based on the same key ingredient as the reformulated Jan Marini product; when Marini replaced the bitamoprost-based eyelash conditioner it was with one that contained prostaglandin. The Revitalash currently on sale is also based on an analogue for prostaglandin. According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, prostaglandin can cause irritation and change the color of the eyes.

Given the controversy and concern around these products, as well as potential competition from Allergan's Lumilash, Revitalash may go the way of Jan Marini's Eyelash Conditioner and be withdrawn altogether. In the meantime, I am certainly not going to use any of them.