Drugs to make your eye lashes grow

Sarah-Belle Murphy
Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Get lovely, long lashes. Image: Getty

Cosmetic companies spend millions trying to formulate lash-enhancing mascaras which we inevitably snap up in the quest for the perfect flutter. However a recent discovery might change all that.

A medication used to combat the eye disease glaucoma has been found to have a more cosmetic side effect. The drug makes lashes grow noticeably thicker, longer and darker.

In a trial carried out at Miami University, the drug, known as bimatoprost was combined with gel and applied to the eyelids. When the concoction was applied the eyelashes grew around 2mm in six weeks. This is twice the normal growth rate.

Why they drug lengthens lashes is not clear but one line of thought is that its hormone-like formulation stimulates growth. In terms of its original purpose, treating glaucoma, it lowers a build-up of pressure that can lead to blindness.

Needless to say, at this point the drug cannot be used for cosmetic purposed but its maker is planning to apply for a cosmetic licence in the US. If given the go-ahead, it is though it may also benefit those who have lost lashes due to conditions such as alopecia.

If all goes to plan, the lash enhancers could be on the market within the next year. Until then, mascara it is.

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