Latisse (AKA bimatoprost) is the most likely of all eyebrow growth products to actually grow eyebrows back. So, if you’re looking for a product that really works, maybe it’s the one for you. Or maybe not. Read on for more about Latisse, including its pros and cons.
What is Latisse?
Latisse is a trade name for the topical medication bimatoprost, approved for the cosmetic purpose of treating insufficient eyelashes. It’s a man-made version of prostamide, a naturally occurring substance in the body.
Bimatoprost was first used as a treatment for glaucoma, to reduce pressure in the eye. Patients and doctors noticed the side effect of longer, thicker, more plentiful eyelashes. Later, bimatoprost got approval under the name Latisse for the cosmetic use of improving the appearance of the eyelashes.
How Does It Work?
Latisse makes eyelashes and eyebrows more noticeable by boosting their length, thickness, and darkness.
A precise explanation for its effectiveness is not known, but Latisse is thought to work by triggering the growth phase in resting hairs and also by lengthening the growth phase of the hair growth cycle. (Read more about the hair cycle here.)
It is also believed that Latisse enhances cell-to-cell communication. This process could stimulate keratinocytes (cells that produce keratin, the key protein in hair) to increase hair growth. It could also trigger melanocytes (cells that produce our natural skin and hair color) to deepen pigmentation. Latisse is also suspected to increase the size of the dermal papilla (which nourishes the growing hair) and hair bulb. All this translates to thicker, darker hairs.
Latisse comes in a bottle with sterile disposable applicators for one-time use. After removing makeup and contact lenses and cleaning eyes and hands, a patient applies Latisse once daily on the upper lashes and/or eyebrows. Contact lenses can be put back in 15 minutes later.
It typically takes 3 to 4 weeks for Latisse to start showing results and 16 weeks to get full results. When people stop using Latisse, their eyelashes or eyebrows will return to their previous condition.
Does Latisse Grow Eyebrows?
While Latisse is approved and marketed to enhance eyelashes, many people want to know whether Latisse also helps eyebrows grow back. Research has been done to answer this question, and it was found that Latisse does indeed help eyebrows grow, through the same mechanism as the one that helps eyelashes grow. For more in-depth information, read this article.
What Are the Benefits of Latisse?
There’s a lot of clinical evidence to support the effectiveness of Latise. It’s no snake oil. That’s saying a lot when it comes to eyebrow treatments. Many other treatments have little if any clinical evidence to support their claims to regrow eyebrows, and many tend to work for some people and not for others.
Another plus for Latisse is that it’s been used for many years. Its benefits and risks are well known.
And, while some may consider the need for a prescription to be a negative, there is an upside to having a doctor or other prescriber monitor the health of your eyes.
What are the Drawbacks of Latisse?
Latisse is a drug available by prescription only. As such, users should be aware of and monitored for possible side effects, including the following:
- Portions of the iris can change in color to brown, in some cases permanently
- Skin may darken close to the site where Latisse was applied
- You may have to trim your brows (If only I had that problem, you may be thinking)
- Conjunctivitis (pink eye) occurs in about 10% of patients
- Dry eye, eylid redness, blurred vision, and eye discomfort may occur
Because Latisse is a prescription medication, you have to make an appointment and visit a doctor’s office, then have a prescription filled. These tasks take valuable time and cost money. Latisse is expensive at about $90 to $150 for a month’s supply, and insurance doesn’t cover it because it’s used for cosmetic purposes.
Latisse is a man-made substance. Using a synthetic compound may not appeal to people trying to stick with natural or organic foods and personal care products.
Based on the benefits and risks, you might like to consider the following questions:
- Are you willing to risk the small but serious possibility that you’ll experience changes (possibly permanent) to the color of your eyes or the surrounding skin?
- What does your doctor suggest, based on your medical history?
- Will you use Latisse hygienically and prevent infections by not reusing applicators?
- Will you contact your doctor when you have any problems with your eyes?
My Own Experience With Latisse
You may know that I have problems with sparse and patchy areas in my brows. A few years ago, I chose to give Latisse a try. A possible change in the color of my iris was not a factor in my decision because my eyes are dark brown. I decided that darkening of the skin around my eyes and brows was a risk I was willing to accept. Having been a contact lens wearer for many years, I understood the possibility of infection and the importance of cleanliness.
Even though I was told not to expect any results for 3 to 4 weeks, growth began almost immediately upon starting Latisse. I experienced a lot of lengthening in my eyelashes and eyebrows. The radical lengthening and slight thickening of the hairs were most noticeable in hairs that were already substantial. My eyebrows are plentiful near the bridge of my nose, but sparse towards the middle and tail. The eyebrows near my nose (where there were already many dark, thick hairs) responded much better to Latisse. I started to use Latisse because I wanted the tails and sparse patches to look fuller, but unfortunately these areas, for me, were the least responsive to the treatment.
I used Latisse for about six months and then decided the overall appearance of my brows and lashes hadn’t improved enough to justify continuing the routine. However, Latisse certainly worked to regrow hair.
Of course, everyone is different, and my experience may not be the same as what you could expect.
Let Me Hear From You
Have you ever tried Latisse on your lashes or brows? What happened?
Do you still have any questions or doubts about Latisse? Leave them in the Comments section below, and I’ll respond.
Best of luck in getting the eyebrows of your dreams!
For research about the clinical effectiveness of Latisse, see this article .
For information about the cost of Latisse, see this article .
For research about how bimatoprost works, see this study .