For a year and a half in Russia there were dozens of new serums and gels, which in record time promise to make eyelashes thicker and longer. Allure figured out how to use these means and why the Internet is full of horror stories about the side effects.
“Hello, do you carry products for the growth of eyelashes?” – We asked, calling the usual Moscow pharmacies. “We ran out of them, try to call tomorrow,” – said the pharmacist. Gels, serums, conditioners and even eye drops that promise a “Malvina effect” today fly at a speed of a sent sms. Buyers are divided into two groups: some write rave reviews, while others complain of side effects.
How It Works
Most of the popular drugs are made on the basis of bimatoprost. It is an artificial analogue of prostaglandin – hormone-like substance contained in our body. Bimatoprost began to be used in medicine in the 1930s. Since 2001, it is officially approved for use in the United States as a cure for increased eye pressure. At the same time, American ophthalmologists have noticed a curious thing: the longer a patient used the pressure drops, the more luxuriant eyelashes the patient had. The baton was picked up by trichologists, adapting bimatoprost to treat hypotrichosis of the eyelids – lack of growth of eyelashes. At this point up the cosmetic industry woke up, and in 2005 eyelash conditioner Age Intervention Eyelash with bimatoprost was released. Later there were means RevitaLash MD and Lash Factor. In 2008, the USA Food and Drug Administration has authorized the use of bimatoprost in the means for the eyelashes of Allergan company, which once introduced cosmetic Botox. For all other producers this meant only one thing: the development of new synthetic prostaglandin, which would have the same effect as bimatoprost. So four years later, dozens of products with very different composition but similar scheme appeared on the market.
“In contrast to the scalp hair, eyelashes and eyebrows grow only up to a certain length, given by the nature, – says the trihologist of Kraftway clinic, PhD Daria Tiutcheva. – This length depends on the number of ciliated cells of papillae. Products with prostaglandins irritate the hair follicle, increase blood circulation and stimulate the ciliated cells of papillae – due to their rapid division the growth of eyelashes is accelerating and their length is increased. ” However, the body is a holistic system in which everything is interconnected: interfering in one process, you will inevitably work on others.
By stimulating the hair follicle, prostaglandins trigger inflammation in the cells. Apart from the fact that any inflammatory process is harmful itself, it also leads to dermatitis and sometimes to allergic conjunctivitis. “My eyes were red and itchy, tears ran like water” – so begin most reviews from girls who have used these products. “In addition to prostaglandins loading dose of oily plant extracts, vitamins and preservatives, which are also added to the funds for the growth of eyelashes, help allergic reactions, – says assistant of the department of dermatology, mycology and cosmetology RMAPO, MD Anastasia Bisharova. – Such a composition may clog the sebaceous glands in the corners of the eye and eyelid edge “.
Another side effect of prostaglandins is the reduction of intraocular pressure (as we remember, for this purpose they were originally used in medicine). The pressure in the eyeball must be constant, otherwise the metabolic processes in the retina and optic nerve are violated. Ophthalmologist, the head physician of the clinic “Sphere”, MD Eric Eskin explains: “Prostaglandins enhance the outflow of the circulating fluid in the eye – therefore pressure in the eyeball falls. Appointing ophthalmic preparations based on prostaglandin, I always warn patients that they may have a burning sensation in the eyes and eyelids, and pigmentation of the iris – they can darken or have spots. ”
The third most common side effect is vascular grid on the eyelids. “Skin of the eyelids is the thinnest, about 0.4-0.6 mm, the vessels are located very close to the surface. In response to the main effect of prostaglandins – increased blood circulation – the capillaries begin to proliferate. Some girls even have to mask the vascular net with foundation, – says dermatologist Bisharova. – No one would remove it using the traditional method of laser correction: it is dangerous not only for the finest eyelid skin, but also for vision. ”
Many girls get in addition to long eyelashes a “fuzz” around the eyes. “The drug should be applied strictly on the lash line, but since many people use it at night, and then sleep on the pillow, they smear it all over the face,” – says Tiutcheva. Manager Anne even had to do electrolysis around the eyes. “I bought NeuLash in the New York department store Barneys, – says Anna. – Applied it at bedtime. I did not feel any discomfort: there was no hurt, or redness. Two months later, the eyelashes really increased significantly, but there was also a rich dark fuzz on my cheeks and eyes. I was scared, threw out the tube, removed the fuzz, and the lashes became the same as they were before in a month: long ones fell, I had only to rub my eyes. ” Daria Tiutcheva believes that Anna hurried with epilation: most likely, some time the fuzz would disappear by itself. However, the Food and Drug Administration in April 2011 recognized NeuLash, which Anna used, to be unsafe. It can no longer be called cosmetics and is properly labeled medication that can be used only under medical supervision.
Finally, there is a risk that the eyelashes may simply fall out. Here on the forum irecommend.ru user kis kis kiss told her story: “Dryness appeared immediately, pain in the eyes – in the evenings and in the mornings. <…> But I continued to use it, hoping that I am just getting used to it. ” She complains that at some point the lashes fell out, and when it grew back again, then “turned into some kind of sticks.” Tiutcheva inclined to believe that, but she thinks, that she exaggerates about the “sticks”: “The bend of an eyelash depends on the shape of the channel, from which, in fact, they are growing. If it is straight by nature, then straight hair grows – and no cosmetic can affect it. ” Most likely, the user kis kis kiss has straight lashes, she just had never before had to watch as they grow back.
In addition to side effects, most means have an effect on prostaglandins cancellation. In this they are similar to hormones: stop using them, and the state can not just go back to the old, but also get worse. “If you avoided contact dermatitis and conjunctivitis, and still use the products for eyelash growth, you should not give them up dramatically – explains Tiutcheva. – When I treat the patients with hair loss on the head, I always explain to them that there is a powerful stimulant of growth that can not be simultaneously given up. With them it is necessary to gradually reduce the dose. Suppose you used serum once a day, then apply every two days, then twice a week and so on – till you finish the tube “.
And if you are experiencing side effects, first of all consult a doctor, and then the Society of Consumer Protection. “They work more efficiently and faster than government agencies, and in the case of serious consequences they can help file a lawsuit against the manufacturer and obtain compensation,” – advises the Deputy Chairman of the Russian Perfumery and Cosmetics Association Anatoly Semenov.
Experts who gave comments for this article unanimously recommended that we find out what do … psychologists think about the use of funds for the growth of eyelashes. “Many girls are clinging to some small disadvantage – for example, short eyelashes – and blame the issue for all her troubles” – says psychologist Catherine Dolzhenko. – “They naively think that long eyelashes will change not only their appearance, but also their life. But is it possible to change the fate by one stroke of the lashes?”
Allure warns you about the consequences:
- The effect of the cancellation. After giving up the product, the long and thick eyelashes on average in a month again become “normal”, although for some time they may fall out entirely.
- Hyperemia. Stimulation of the vasculature leads to its spread. Through the line of applying a pigment strip is visible.
- Conjunctivitis. An allergic reaction can cause inflammation of the eye.