Latisse for Eyelashes – Is Bimatoprost Safe & Does It Work for Lash Growth?

latisse for eyelashes
⏱️ 4 min read

Latisse bimatoprost eyelash serum is a prescription serum that will help you grow out longer and fuller eyelashes… emphasis on prescription.

The fact that it’s an official, FDA-approved sort of treatment means two things: it works, and you need to be careful.

Let’s delve into the details of how it works, whether you should try it and how you can get it, and all the other stuff you need to know before using Latisse for eyelashes.

What Is Latisse, Actually?

Latisse is actually a substance called bimatoprost, a medication used to treat eye pressure conditions. You may have heard of the magical glaucoma eye drops that make your eyelashes grow – this is it, only it’s used topically.

This serum is primarily used to treat hypotrichosis, a condition that results in a person not having enough hair on their head and face.

Doctors prescribe it to boost growth, specifically of the eyelashes, in order to keep the patient’s eyes safe from dust and other airborne particles.

Bimatoprost causes lashes to grow thicker, darker, and longer on everyone, regardless of whether they suffer from the condition. That’s why its topical form is sometimes used as a beauty product even by those who don’t suffer from any of those conditions.

So, Latisse for lash growth is used for medical reasons, but is it safe to use just for cosmetic purposes?

In short, any bimatoprost eyelash serum is relatively safe. However, you need to consult a doctor or pharmacist before using Latisse or a similar product.

Image source: Freepik

Side Effects and Safety Precautions

Since you need a prescription, the medical professional who you consult will inform you of the side effects and precautions of using bimatoprost for eyelashes in detail. But let’s do a quick overview anyway.

When it comes to the side effects, Latisse has been known to cause irritation, redness, and/or dryness around the eyes. If any of these occur, consult a professional and rinse the eyes with water as soon as possible.

Some long-term effects could include darkening around the eyelid or prolonged irritation. These are rare, but not impossible – so be cautious. The discolored skin should return to normal, but it may stay darker for weeks or even months.

To prevent any negative effects, here are a few safety tips:

  • Do NOT use on the lower eyelid,
  • Do NOT let it get into your eye – keep it on the outer skin layer of the upper eyelid,
  • Only apply with the sterile applicator that comes with the product,
  • Keep the applicator in sterile conditions between uses,
  • Read the storage and use instructions thoroughly,
  • Avoid having fingers or anything else touching the bottle to avoid the serum coming in contact with bacteria,
  • Remove your contact lenses when applying,
  • Do NOT use it while you’re pregnant.

If you have any history of abnormal IOP (intraocular, or eye pressure) or are currently using any other medication for it besides Latisse, disclose this information to the professional making you the prescription.

Although it’s not really a safety risk, it’s still important to note – after you stop using Latisse for lashes, they will gradually return to their previous appearance.

Prolonged use is safe, but don’t hesitate to call a doctor if anything looks or feels suspicious.

How Long Does Latisse Take to Work for Lash Growth?

Usually, Latisse takes 2 months to start visibly improving your lashes. After 4 months, you get the full effect. One prescription bottle lasts between 4 and 6 months, so you need regular refills.

The initiation phase lasts 16 weeks, and you’ll be using it daily during that time. After that, during the maintenance phase, you can use it every other day, so your bottles will last longer after Latisse achieves its full effect.

How Much Does Latisse Cost?

A 30-day supply is around $150, depending on your area. And it’s very unlikely that your insurance will cover it since it doesn’t treat serious conditions. (And they definitely won’t cover it if you’re buying it just for cosmetic reasons.)

Is Latisse Safe for Eyelash Extensions?

Yes. Latisse targets the skin from which eyelashes grow, so extensions won’t be affected.

However, you shouldn’t get your extensions wet or even damp for up to 24 hours after first getting them (how long depends on the glue used), so avoid Latisse during that time frame as well.

For more tips on lash extension care, check out our guide!

Image source: Freepik

Does Kim Kardashian Use Latisse?

Kim K has been heard talking about Latisse on some early seasons of Keeping Up with the Kardashians, which caused rumors about her using the product. But that was never actually confirmed, and she continues to praise other lash serums.

How Can I Get a Latisse Prescription?

Even if you don’t have any eye pressure-related conditions, getting a Latisse prescription isn’t too hard.

Since there aren’t many dangerous side effects, you can get it by filling out an online healthcare provider’s questionnaire. But, it’s still much safer to go to an in-person consultation.

In fact, the American Academy of Ophthalmology insists you see a doctor before you start using Latisse for lash growth. You can read their full statement here.

Can I Get Latisse Over the Counter?

No. Since it’s a prescription medical serum, it’s not possible to get Latisse OTC in the United States. However, you can look into…

Latisse Alternatives

If you’re feeling unsure whether Latisse is the right solution for you, that’s completely understandable. We’ve listed all the possible side effects, and that may be too much for some.

Or, maybe, you fall into one of those groups that are strongly advised to skip it (due to pregnancy or existing eye conditions).

Thankfully, there are other, similar and less medical-grade products.

Find our top picks below, or check out our full list of top 5 picks here!

Final Disclaimer

As we said, this is a prescription-only substance. So while a prescription may be relatively easy to obtain, we strongly advise you to consult a doctor before use.

Cover image source: Freepik



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