Ask An Expert: Your Latisse Questions Answered

The days of skimpy, barely there lashes are over, thanks to the recent boom in eyelash lengthening and thickening products. And while many of these products really do work, the one that seems to get the most attention is Latisse. With celebrity spokesmodels that have included Christina Hendricks, Claire Danes and Brooke Shields, it's no wonder that this serum stands out. But do luscious lashes come at a cost?

There were so many questions about Latisse in response to our video about eyelash extensions, we decided to make it the topic for this week's “Ask an Expert.” Beverly Hills, CA, plastic surgeon Leslie H. Stevens, MD, is here with the answers.

First, Latisse works by prolonging the growth cycles of your eyelashes, making them longer, thicker and darker over time. Noticeable results typically occur after six weeks, with full results after 14 weeks.

Kristen asks, What are the side effects of Latisse and what is the percentage of women who usually see these side effects? I'm very interested, but worried about potentially changing the look of, or causing damage to my eyes.

According to Dr. Stevens, there are very few side effects. “Transient irritation of the skin or pigmentation of the skin that is reversible are the most common. There is a very, very small chance (less than 2 percent) of permanent darkening of the iris in people with green or hazel eyes.”

Another question comes from Melissa who asks, Is Latisse something you have to continue to use forever if you want to keep long, full eyelashes? Or do you use until you get your lashes where you want them to be, and then stop?

Unfortunately, if you stop using the product, your lashes will slowly return to their previous state. “Just like eyelash extensions, one needs to continue using the product to maintain the results.”

Will you try Latisse to lengthen your lashes? Don't forget to keep sending us those questions on Facebook
and Twitter, and we'll keep getting you expert advice.

Related Links:
Claire Danes is Batting a Thousand Lashes With Her Newly Luscious Lashes
Look Younger With Longer Lashes

23 Comments
  • ann
    Posted on

    I have been using Latisse for many years now. There is a huge difference in the length of my lashes when I follow the instructions. I was and am pleased with the lash growth. However, after many years of use, I have developed complete redness around my eyes. I had not noticed the redness until someone mentioned it to me. It did not go away, at first I thought I had allergies. Now I realize it may very likely be a result of using the Latisse for such a long period of time. If that is a face if I stop using the Latisse, which I have for the last month will the redness go away?

  • Adriana
    Posted on

    I have used Latisse for on year, now I have had several sub conjunctival haemorrhages on one eye, I wonder if this could be related to Latisse

  • jerica
    Posted on

    hey guys! I'm on my 8th week today and I have noticed a difference in my lashes but not enough for others to notice. Will they keep growing or is week 8 the week were your lashes will stay the length they are? Getting impatient!!! Help!

  • Mishel
    Posted on

    I tried latisse and its really works for me.Latisse is generally applied once a day and at the base of upper eyelashes. Its eyelash enhancing quality is due to Bimatropost. Latisse is the first FDA approved eyelash enhancer on the market.

  • Joseph Eviatar Joseph Eviatar
    Posted on

    I often suggest Latisse to my patients who I feel will be good candidates for eyelash lengthening and darkening. My practice consists largely of surgical and non-surgical rejuvenation around the eyes, eyebrows, and eyelids, and I have found Latisse to enhance the effects of surgery and fillers. I have not seen any patients who have had any irreversible problems with it. However, I always caution them to use Latisse as directed and not to put it directly in the eye. Many patients use different products to improve the appearance of the lashes, and it is important to remember that those products can also have side effects. And because these alternative products are not medicinal, they have not been studied in a rigorous fashion by the FDA. Therefore, we are not aware of the potential side effects of these products. Latisse is a medication that has been studied and approved by the FDA, so it has proven to be extremely safe when used correctly. It also has a high level of patient satisfaction. I have even had patients use Latisse on their eyebrows or other areas where they want to increase hair growth. However, because it will only grow hair where there are existing follicles, it will not work in areas where there is complete hair loss. Be aware that using the product in any area other than the base of the eyelashes is considered an off-label use for the product.

  • Caligirl23
    Posted on

    My aunt gave me Latisse as a gift for x-mas I am on avonex as I do have ms so I am scared, to try it I have not spokend to my dr., yet as hollydays etcs I am 23 and I my eyelashes have always been very thin any one can help me have any suggestions? Always struggled with thin eyelashes unfortunatly I got sick so I will be on this meds for awhile... Thanks a bunch ladies

  • Chloe
    Posted on

    I've been using Latisse for 2 years and love the results. I add one drop to the cap and then use a brush to apply to my upper lash line only. I have noticed a few side effects like eye dryness, redness on my upper lid near the lash line and it also seems like my eyes get red easier. However, the one symptom I'm very concerned about is that I've had a subconjunctival hemorrhage (small burst capillary) in one of my eyes occur twice in the last few months. My doctor thinks it's from the Latisse. Has this side effect been reported?

  • Erica
    Posted on

    I began using Latisse one week ago and am now completely broken out in cystic acne. I haven't had zits in Years and am in my late 20's. My face, chest and back are covered. Latisse is the only change in my routine I've made at All. I looked it up and read that 3% of Latisse users developed acne. Why is this? So disappointing ):

  • Kris
    Posted on

    Can you use latisse and tan? Or should I stay out of the sun?

  • Anonymous
    Posted on

    I have been useing Latisse for some time now and there is a BIG differance in my lashes before I had skimpy ones and now I am really impressed ! and my eye color has not changed what so ever

  • Julie Hodge Anonymous
    Posted on

    If your eyelashes are really falling out you may have a condition called alopecia areata. Check with a dermatologist. If your eyelashes are "normal" they should respond to Latisse.

  • anonymous
    Posted on

    Hello! Please help me, I used the analog of Latisse for 6 months, lashes grew well at first, then after 6 months began to fall. I stopped to use it for 2 months, and again started, but the lashes do not grow, apparently accustomed to this method, if I change it on Latisse, will my eyelashes grow? Or never grow? please help, thanks in advance!

  • Kim Grotz
    Posted on

    I have been using Latisse for over 2 years now. I have blue eyes & have never had any of the side effects mentioned. I will purchase it when they have a special of of buy one get one free. Once my lashes are to my desired length, I only use every 2 to 3 days, so my bottle lasts longer.

  • Debbie from AZ
    Posted on

    Here are MY thoughts only, I have been using Latissee for over 3 years now. I haven't had any side effects except that when I did discontinue using it, I did have to start back from scratch. My eyelashes went back to normal. For me, this product has given me fuller, thicker and longer lashes. I get asked almost on a daily basis what kind of false latshes I use. All I say is "they are God given with a bit of help". Love it, love it. Wish I could find someone who is offering specials or rebates, need to stock up !!!!!!

  • Julie Hodge Anonymous
    Posted on

    I think there is less response when you cut back to fewer times a week and so you may have to increase to every night again. Remember when you go back to every night you have to give it the 2-4 mos to see the full effect again. After applying the smallest drop in the cap you can, you barely need to get the applicator wet and then apply. This will extend each bottle well past a month and it prevents irritation.

  • Laura Root, CST, CIDESCO Diplomate
    Posted on

    One way to extend the 3 ml bottle of latisse past the nominal 30 days of use is to discard that horse-leg that they include for application purposes! If you use it, you waste product! Qosmedix (part #19818-Precision Swab with Rectangular Tip )has aavery cost-effective applicator, that even if you used two per day, it is still more efficient to use them than the Allergan applicators. Using the appropriate applicators will allow the 3 ml bottle to last more than 5 months (up to 7 if you use a single applicator every night). Just changing the applicator makes this product cost equivalent to any of the other, less expensive non-prescription products...and Latisse works!

  • lashlover
    Posted on

    Docs I could use your advice. I have used latisse for about a year. Initially I saw great results and the surgeon I purchased from said I could easily pull back to every other day or even every two days. In the last month or so, however, I've noticed my lashes don't seem to be as long and even when I went back to daily application nothing changed. Does your body become immune? If so, should I stop using for a while?

  • Julie Hodge Anonymous
    Posted on

    Yes you should see your dermatologist about Latisse. The side effects of Latisse are due to it stimulating melanin. This is what makes your lashes darker. This is what can cause the skin of the eyelid to get darker- generally a good effect, it's mild and looks like eye shadow. Blue eyes don't have melanin so they don't change, brown eyes could get darker but you won't notice. If you have speckled iris- i.e. some brown spots they could get darker. This has not been reported with proper use of Latisse which is not put into the eye like the glaucoma medication drops it came from. After you get the desired result, use Latisse 2-3 times a week to maintain the effect.

  • Richard Baxter Anonymous
    Posted on

    An important point of clarification on the iris color change issue: The 2% number comes from the use of Lumigan,a glaucoma medication containing the same active ingredient as Latisse, but applied directly into the eye. Eyelash growth was observed as a side effect so the activie ingredient - bimatoprost - was reformulated as Latisse for eyelash growth. Because Latisse is not applied into the eye the risk of iris color change is extremely small, in fact to my knowledge it has never occurred. The FDA requires the warning only because another product with the same ingredient can cause it.

  • SammySwarez
    Posted on

    Hello LadiesI have been using for about 18 months now. My lashes are great. I used it daily for about 4 months and then I tried backing off to every other day which has worked great for me. I am always concerned about price. Every other day use has helped me. I also purchase through a physician online all my friends are using for the last year. latisse.bzI am loving it. Thanks for listening.

  • Jane
    Posted on

    I love how you ladies have posted legitimate questions and no one provides feedback. Sad. I can give the following thoughts. 1) I'm not willing to try something that has even a slight side effect and the ability to change eye color. Holy crap! Some thing can actually do that? What else could it do? 2) I have tried Lash Abundance by AVEDA ($75/tube - lasts 8 weeks) and have seen results. It's a natural product and does not change your eye color. It did make my eyelids a little itchy after a few weeks so I cut the application back to once per day and all is fine. 3) Regardless of what you choose, if you stop using the product your eyelashes will revert to their natural length/thickness over time. Be careful, ladies. And enjoy!

  • theresa
    Posted on

    Is there a maintenance dose for Latisse? If I use it every day for 14 weeks and get the lashes I want can I reduce the frequency of application?

  • Kerry
    Posted on

    I'm very interested in trying Latisse, but like Kristen I worry about damaging or changing the color of my eyes. My eyes are blue which doesn't seem to be an issue. Do I speak to my dermatologist about Latisse?

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