Latisse is being touted as one of the biggest beauty innovations of the decade. With the ability to give women longer, thicker lashes – it’s no surprise that more and more people are looking into alternatives. Latisse requires a doctor’s prescription and many patients who are enamored by the lash lengthening fluid want to get their hands on it without consulting their doctor. Many websites now actively sell bimatoprost (the active ingredient in Latisse) and advertise it as an easier way to lengthen lashes without a prescription. Many of these sites that sell bimatoprost are internationally based as to avoid US FDA laws that forbid the selling of the fluid to consumers without a prescription.
Using bimatoprost 0.03% ophthalmic solution as an off-label method of growing longer lashes can be dangerous for patients. The ophthalmic solution is meant to be used on the eye as an eyedrop as a treatment for glaucoma. The usage of ophthalmic solutions such as Careprost and Lumigan as a substitute for Latisse can be harmful – even when both contain the same percentage of bimatoprost as Latisse.
Using Careprost or Lumigan to imitate Latisse can lead to serious complications such as renegade lash growth, red eyes, irritation, and infection. While Latisse comes with disposable applicators, Careprost and Lumigan do not. Instead of using disposable applicators, users of Latisse substitutes will use q-tips or eyeliner brushes to apply the solution. Not sterilizing these tools can lead to bacteria build-up, increasing the risk of an eye infection.
It’s important to remember that the FDA approves these drugs for their intended purposes only. Lumigan and Careprost were created to treat glaucoma and were not created to lengthen lashes. Although all three do contain bimatoprost this does not mean that they all work to grow lashes in the same manner. Saving a few dollars may seem like a steal, but when it comes to the health of your eyes it is a high price to pay.