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Lash Enhancers: Do They Change Your Eye Color?

Editor's Note: This article has been recently updated with latest information and research studies.
Q: I have heard that the active ingredients in some lash enhancers can change the eye color. Is it really true? Which ingredients should I avoid while choosing an eyelash enhancer?
Expert Answer

The beauty of eyelash enhancers rest on the fact that they give you longer eyelashes without the need of falsies or extensions, the lashes are all yours, no need for any artificial help. Eyelash enhancers have become increasingly popular because of its promise* to turn drab, sparse and brittle eyelashes into sultry, lush and long eyelashes by the simple process of applying serums to the eyelash area. However convenient, it is important to be knowledgeable of the side effects that plague these products. Yes, you will get longer lashes but at what cost?

We found it best not to discuss only one facet of eyelash enhancer side effects so we mentioned ingredients other than bimatoprost, which causes the pigmentation, so that you can become more informed as to the ingredients in these seemingly harmless beauty products.

Some eyelash enhancers are specifically made to treat* hypotrichosis or the condition of having inadequate or sparse lashes. This means that some of these products are not over the counter treatment and they have to be used along with guidance from your doctor. If used properly, they promise* to give you eyelashes that are longer, fuller and darker.

There have been reported side effects such as a brown pigmentation in the iris of the eyes which can become permanent. Eyelid skin darkening is also another concern but this can be treated easily by just stopping the use of these products immediately. The most common culprit to iris and skin pigmentation in the use of eyelash enhancers is bimatoprost. Although admittedly pigmentation is not the most common side effect, the more common side effects are irritated and red eyes but other symptoms such as rashes, red itchy welts, wheezing asthma symptoms, or dizziness or feeling faint have been reported as well. If these symptoms occur it is advised to consult with your doctor.

What is commendable about these products is the fact that they have made this information easily accessible in their website in order for you to properly make an informed decision as to buying it or not.
It isn’t only pigmentation that you should worry about but other effects such as redness of the eye area and even itching have been reported. Another side effect is irregular eyelash growth which just defeats the purpose of buying an eyelash enhancer really. These side effects are attributed to the fact that the product contains prostaglandin analogue.

Although some eyelash enhancer manufacturers now claim* to be bimatoprost free, there is the concern of it having chlorphenesin in its list of ingredients. You see, this ingredient has been tested and it was found to cause drowsiness, dizziness and it can even interact with other drugs. If mixed with phenoxyethanol, it can cause vomiting and diarrhea in infants and can depress the central nervous system which can then have the effect of facial dermatitis.

Not all eyelash enhancers are filled to the brim with scary ingredients. We listed a couple of ingredients below that you should actually look for in eyelash enhancers since we already discussed those that you should avoid.

  • Panthenol
  • Phenoxyehtanol- an anti-bacterial agent
  • Chlorphenesin-a muscle relaxant not commercially available in the US
  • Trifluoromethyl Dechloro Ethylprostenolamide-It’s a lipid compound that is also associated with increase* in hair growth
  • Hyaluronic Acid-as a potent moisturizer this will ensure that your lashes are not only beautiful but healthy as well
  • Glycoproteins-The potent ingredients in Maxolash is a plant derived glycoprotein formulation that functions the way some lectins do to encourage* growth and strength of hair. It has also been found to stimulate hair follicle activity which encourages* hair growth
  • Pro-vitamin B5

So there you have it, the number 1 ingredient that you should avoid in eyelash enhancers is bimatoprost. This ingredient not only causes skin pigmentation but also iris pigmentation. In more serious cases, it can become permanent. We also listed for you other ingredients you should watch out for. On a lighter note we have also included in this article, several ingredients that you should look out for but in a more positive light. Choose eyelash enhancers containing panthenol, hyaluronic acid and etcetera.

The main thing to remember here is that not all eyelash enhancers are bad. A lot of women have actually found success in the use of these products. The most important thing to do with regard to these cosmetic marvels is to make informed decisions before buying them and to do the proper patch tests first. It is always better* to be safe than sorry. Ask around, research, ready up about the product you want on the internet. You will thank yourself one day.