Eye Lash Conditioners – What is the price of long lashes?

We all want beautiful long lashes! A lot of us spend time every morning applying mascara to enhance those lashes. Some of us might use eye lash extensions ( of course long term use of extensions will certainly damage lashes). Now we also have Lash Lift technology which allows us to have our own lashes curled and tinted. But wouldn’t it be great if there was a way to make our own lashes grow longer and thicker! Enter the Eye Lash Conditioners!

There are many of these products on the market. It seems like a simple thing – if the local beautician has lashes like Bambi and uses a particular lash conditioner then why wouldn’t you grab some?

Let me tell you its not that simple. In Australia there are regulations prohibiting the sale of some lash growth serums. Of course you can buy them on line,  but why are we making it so difficult here? It is because there are actual significant side effects with ongoing use of some of these products.

So what is the price of long lashes?

Latisse in the USA is approved for prescribed use. The purchaser is supposed to have an eye examination including eye pressures prior to use and every 12 months after that. This is because of the active ingredient, bimatoprost. This is a prostaglandin analogue, and is the ingredient in some glaucoma drops. This chemical or synthetic versions are what is the active ingredient in products like Revitalash Advanced, GrandLash, XLash enhancer, NutraLuxe MD Lash, Rodan and Fields lash Boost etc. If you are checking ingredients lists, Isopropyl Cloprostenate is a synthetic prostaglandin. So all the same side effects.

Prostaglandins are chemicals found naturally in all our body tissues and are responsible for the inflammation response within the body. So its no surprise that these products have been associated with inflammation around the eyes (chemosis), redness, itching and watering. About 4% of users experience these things. It has also been known to darken the eyelid skin and colour the iris in people with light coloured eyes. Over time, it can also make the eyes appear sunken, by breaking down the layers of orbital fat around the eye socket.

You might think, that dark spots in your iris aren’t a big deal to you, and a bit of irritation can be put up with, and 4% is pretty low. BUT that ongoing irritation can cause ocular surface dysfunction and chronic permanently dry eyes. Permanent dry eyes are not only uncomfortable, but predispose you to eye infections,  ulcers and visual problems. In fact just under 50% of people using glaucoma drops with prostaglandins in them have dry eye disease.

Inflammation on the eye surface by prostaglandin analogues can disrupt the tear film production at all layers. We have glands in many areas around the eye that make mucin and oils that keep our eyes moist and produce tears when we need them. ( lacrimal glands and meibomian glands). All these glands can be affected. Every time we blink, the meibomian glands secrete their oil. If that oil is too thick, it is difficult to spread – more like toothpaste than olive oil. It can even get so thick that it blocks the gland, damaging it permanently or leading to infection. A 2015 study showed that 91.7% of patients treated with prostaglandin analogue drops for glaucoma, had meibomian gland disease. ( Of course the dose that gets into the eye from lash serums is much smaller, but shows cause and effect).

SO – if you choose to use these prostaglandin related products, you will probably get Bambi eyelashes, but understand you may be risking permanent damage to your ocular surface. Just because a product is easy to get, does not make it safe.

Do you have any options?

Well, yes! There are many Eyelash Conditioners that are just that, no prostaglandins in sight! But do they work? If you read reviews on line there are very mixed opinions. That is what you would expect. These products  support healthy strong flexible hair growth. Some do that better than others but that’s the idea. If you have damaged, dried lashes from too much mascara, or lash treatments then these products would be great for you and you will see a noticeable difference. We would never not use a conditioner for our hair when we wash it, so why would we expect great eyelash hair if we don’t look after it?  But if you have genetically short thin eyelashes, that are healthy otherwise, then you may not see as much change with these products usually. But we are seeing advances with safe conditioners all the time, EyEnvy is a good example.




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