Bimatoprost is a prostaglandin analog that works by increasing the percentage of eyelashes in the anagen (growth) phase of their cycle. This results in eyelashes growing longer, thicker and darker – noticeable after 10 days with full effect at 16 weeks. It has also been clinically proven to increase the thickness of eyebrows and is now available for prescription in the UK under the brand name Lumigan – see below.
It’s not unusual for a medically-approved product to become a beauty treatment as well – and the popularity of this eyelash serum demonstrates that there is demand for something that delivers what the drug-based formulas cannot, without risking health problems. While Latisse has been around for a while now, many other brands have launched to great acclaim with PGA-free formulas that promise the same lash-enhancing benefits.
Unlike the peptides and other natural ingredients used in the above serums, these PGAs work by mimicking the effects of a naturally occurring hormone known as prostaglandin F2. Essentially, they boost the production of a protein called prostaglandin E2 which in turn activates hair follicles to grow hair faster. However, while a handful of these non-prescription lash growth serums may be effective, it’s not possible to achieve the same dramatic results as seen in Latisse – or indeed with a more clinically tested formula.
The best way to achieve longer, fuller and darker lashes is with the help of a prescription ophthalmic solution containing the active ingredient bimatoprost – known as Lumigan in the UK. It was developed by Allergan, the same pharmaceutical company that produces Botox, and it has been FDA approved in the US for hypotrichosis, the condition of sparse / thin eyelashes.
Lumigan is applied like an eyeliner on the upper eyelid at night after ensuring your face is clean and make-up if any is removed. It’s important to note that it takes up to four months of daily use to get the best results and it’s essential that you continue using it once you reach your desired level of lash growth. There have been reports of mild irritation to the skin of the eyelid where Lumigan is applied, redness and itching but these symptoms tend to wear off over time.
It’s also worth mentioning that while the lash-enhancing benefits of the drug have been established, there are no plans to develop a similar product for scalp hair loss, as it would require extensive testing. Nevertheless, bimatoprost is already licensed as a drug for the treatment of glaucoma and, as such, its use (and side-effects) are closely monitored by doctors. This is unlikely to change any time soon, although there are rumors that a bimatoprost hair loss treatment is in the pipeline. We’ll keep you posted. bimatoprost eyelash serum uk