In 2001, a drug named Lumigan was approved by the FDA for the treatment of Glaucoma. Glaucoma is a disease of the eye that produces fluid build up in the front of the eye, which in turn creates pressure on the optic nerve.
The active ingredient in Lumigan is Bimatoprost, which is the strongest molecule in the family of molecules called Prostaglandins. Not only did prostaglandin eyedrops help to relieve the pressure on the optic nerve for glaucoma patients, they had the wonderful side effect of giving those patients crazy long eyelashes!
The company that produces Lumigan (Allergan) decided to duplicate the prescription drug, re-word the protocol on how to administer it and repackage it under the name Latisse. Which is only available through a doctor.
Just like most drugs, generic prostaglandins have been produced. These generics are a synthetic version of a natural fatty acid compound with hormone like effects. They are what is added to the list of ingredients in all these eyelash serums on the market currently. They accompany ingredients like ginseng root, ginko biloba or papaya for moisturizing the hair follicle and of course, water.
Now, How they work…..
Hair growth has 3 cycles, Anagen (growth), Catagen (hold) and Telogen (shed). Typically, all growth cycles in the human body are controlled by hormones. When prostaglandins are introduced to the eyelash area, it creates a molecular response that keeps your lashes in the Anagen phase of hair growth. That’s why your lashes go back to normal after you stop using a lash serum, the growth cycle continues through holding and shedding, as it should.
I suggest that clients use a growth serum for 3 months and then come in for a lash lift.