This article summarises some of the products currently available to help grow longer lashes and fuller brows.
1. Is it safe to use?
Some eyelash & eyebrow growth products contain prostaglandin analogues or other potentially risky ingredients. These are types of lipids created by fatty acids that can be found in most tissues and organs in the body. Specifically these prostaglandin biomolecules control processes in the body including blood flow, clotting and inflammation, as part of the natural healing process.
Side effects of prostaglandin
The first use of prostaglandin analogues was to help cure an eye disease called glaucoma. However by coincidence scientists discovered that they also have the surprising side-effect of increasing eyelash growth. But unfortunately prostaglandins can also permanently change eye colour (blue eyes become brown) or tint eyelids too. And in addition they can cause more serious side effects including blurred vision, increased light sensitivity, stinging, itchiness, redness and a burning sensation.
Other names for prostaglandin?
Consequently, if you want to avoid prostaglandin analogues you need to look out for ingredient names that mean they’re prostaglandin, like Bitamoprost, Isopropanol Phenyl-hydroxy-pentene dihydroxy-cyclopentyl-heptenate. Alternatively don’t use products with these ingredients either: Dechloro Dihydroxy Difluoro Ethylcloprostenolamide or Trifluoromethyl Dechloro Ethylprostenolamide.
Moreover steer clear of these other ingredients in eyelash products, or any other cosmetics you buy: parabens, phthalates or sulphates (sulfates), as they can seriously disturb your skin’s microflora. A quick Google search will highlight the issues with these!
2. Is the product going to help eyelash & eyebrow growth?
Ingredients found in eyelash and eyebrow products include hyaluronic acid, castor oil or panthenol. Even though these are good conditioners and help strengthen lashes against breakage, they won’t stimulate hair growth.
3. How long do I need to use it for?
Importantly to maintain hair growth benefits from prostaglandin eyelash products you need to keep using them continuously or their benefits will start wearing off. At the same time countries like Australia ban the continuous use of prostaglandin products for more than 12 months.
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Really helpful advice thanks. There are heaps of eyelash products out there and putting harmful chemicals any where near my eyes is way too risky.