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:
Photo credit: Kaibara87, Flickr.com