Can an Eyelash Mascara Make Your Lashes Grow?

Women will go to great lengths to have luscious, long lashes. Dark, full lashes highlight your eyes and can be stunning.

Now a company has created an eyelash conditioner that doesn’t merely make you look like you have fuller, longer lashes, it actually makes you grow fuller, longer lashes.

But there’s a catch, (isn’t there always a catch?).

The story is that Jan Marini, a skin care company based in San Jose, CA, released a “miracle” eyelash conditioner about a year ago that they claimed made eyelashes fuller. It turned out that the mysterious conditioner really did give you fuller lashes because it made eyelashes grow. However, as I wrote about in an earlier post, this can be a problem for a cosmetic. If a cosmetic actually has an physiologic effect, like making your eyelashes grow, then the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) no longer considers it a cosmetic; rather, it considers the product a drug. This is significant because a drug is subject to much more FDA scrutiny than a cosmetic.

So how did this lash-lengthening liquid work? They used an actual drug, latanoprost (Xalatan®), in their formula. Latanoprost, which lowers prostaglandin levels, is prescribed as a drug in drop form to treat glaucoma patients. It has been known for some time to have the interesting side effect of causing eye lashes to grow. Jan Marini capitalized on this side effect by putting it in their eyelash conditioner.

When the FDA realized that the miraculous eyelash growing conditioner actually contained an active drug, the company had to withdraw the product from the marketplace.

The latest news is that Jan Marini has developed a new eyelash conditioner that does not contain any prostaglandin inhibitors (or probably any other drugs for that matter). According to the company’s website, they have “… uncovered a recently discovered proprietary peptide which when combined with other essential factors produces extraordinary eyelash and brow enhancement.”

Notice that they (wisely) do not claim that their new product causes your eyelashes to grow. I don’t know if it will or not. It is possible though that the original formulation using a latanoprost will be available again as an over the counter eye lash treatment. But, it will have to pass the FDA first.

Post written by Jeffrey Benabio, MD. You might also like:

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5 Tips to Grow Beautiful Hair

Do Peptides in Skincare Products Really Work?

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Photo credit: Kaibara87, Flickr.com

20 thoughts on “Can an Eyelash Mascara Make Your Lashes Grow?

  1. I work in a health clinic and read this to a coworker whose sister, unbeknownst to me, sold Jan Marini cosmetics. Ironic. Are there any more unfortunate side effects of Latanoprost?

    Oh, and I was just curious, I recently bought the Murad Acne Complex kit and am having great success thus far… what’s your opinion on their unique ingredient list? There are a quite a few that I’ve never seen before in acne products.

  2. Dr. Benabio, I am a 68 year old woman,and half of my upper lashes fell out. Any idea why this could have happened?

  3. Enormous Lash does the same thing, gives you long and think eyelashes BUT doesn’t contain prostaglandin so it’s 100% safe to use!! i saw results after 2 week of use with out any eye irritation! Enormous Lash is amazing!

  4. Revitalash was created by a doctor, and it contains that same drug used in jan marini’s old formulation. it is sold over the counter and in doctor’s offices. it produces amazing results.

  5. I really appreciate the information about the ingredients and the effect of this product. Aging does cause eyelashes to look shorter and to be more sparse in more mature women. We need a product like this. Thanks!

  6. i realy like the idea of eyelash growing it would eb a big hit! so..do they sell it? because i will definitly buy some!!!

  7. ActivLash is an Eyelash Growth Serum does the same thing as Latisse, Revitalash – long and think eyelashes BUT doesn’t contain prostaglandin so it’s 100% safe to use (no darkenining of your eye color, no irritations, no blurry vision)!! i saw results after 3 week of use with out any eye irritation! No wonder that there is a Rave about ActivLash!

  8. @stella
    You’re right, ActivLash and Latisse Revitalash do NOT contain prostaglandin, but NEITHER DID Jan Marini’s product. “Latanoprost, which LOWERS [key word there] prostaglandin levels, is prescribed as a drug in drop form to treat glaucoma patients.” Did you even read this article?

    Aspirin, also, lowers prostaglandin levels.

  9. @Shelby
    This article did not say that latanoprost was dangerous–it merely said that the formula is under review by the FDA, because it is a drug, not a cosmetic. Read more carefully.

    Also, there was nothing “ironic” about your sentence. The situation described was merely coincidental. Perhaps you should look up the definition.

  10. I ordered a product called multipleye from Tarte Cosmetics that works with peptides and no side affects. I am seeing lenght on my lower lashes and my upper lashes are thicker after about 2 weeks.

  11. Pingback: A New Drug, Latisse, Makes Eyelashes Grow Longer, Thicker | Acne Free In 3 Days

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  13. I’m also trying this mascara out and am loving it already even though I’m only 10 days into using it! My lashes look longer and feel healthier! Am excited to see the results if I keep on using it! ^_^

  14. actually there is a mistake in the article as xalatan IS a prostaglandin and in no way lowers prostaglandin levels it lowers intraocular pressure in glaucoma patients…

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