0815_coverLonger, fuller, thicker eyelashes are a highly sought-after beauty attribute and a big money maker for the cosmetics industry. A recent survey by the finance website Mint.com found that women spend an average of $15,000 on makeup in their lifetime, with $3,770 going to mascara alone.

The eyelashes are part of ocular adnexa, and as eye care providers, we should be talking to our patients about their make-up habits. Mascara, like most cosmetic products, is not regulated by the US Food and Drug Administration. It can contain waxes, pigments, resins, and even talc.

When mascara does not do what it is meant to do, many women seek some other means to grow their lashes longer, fuller, and thicker or add to their lashes to extend them. Vaseline (petroleum jelly; Unilever), lavender essential oil, coconut oil, talc powder, eyelash enhancing serums, lash extensions, and fake lashes are a few of the options available.

A side effect of the glaucoma medication bimatoprost (Lumigan; Allergan) led to the FDA approval of this prostaglandin analogue as Latisse (bimatoprost 0.03%) in 2008. Since that time more than 5 million bottles have been sold, with the average price per bottle ranging from $100 to $120…

Read full article by Dr. Leslie O’Dell at eyetubeOD