This blog post was originally supposed to be a comparison of Rodan + Fields Lash Boost to prescription-only Latisse. Both of these products are supposed to lead to longer, fuller, darker appearing lashes. I was supposed to convince you that Lash Boost is a much better alternative, and then send you over to my consultant page so that you can purchase one (and I make commission). I am in fact a R+ F consultant. We sell the products in my dermatology office, so naturally I gravitated toward the business. I'm a fan of the products and I regularly use the 'Soothe' regimen for my sensitive skin.
Welp, my research ended up making me stop using Lash Boost. Let me tell you more about Latisse before I get into the “why”.
Latisse is a prescription-only medication that is used to grow longer, thicker, fuller eyelashes. The active ingredient is Bimatopost ophthalmic solution which is a prostaglandin analog that was first used topically as eye drops for glaucoma. It works to lower intraocular pressure. Many of these patients actually developed thicker, longer and darker appearing eyelashes. This was noted, and so voila, Latisse was created and manufactured by Allergan. The issue I had with Latisse is the fact that prostaglandin analogs can have certain side effects. It is well known that they can cause changes in iris color (the colored part of the eye) and changes in periocular skin pigmentation (changes of the skin color around the eyes) among other possible side effects.
Now let me tell you about Lash Boost. Lash Boost contains a peptide complex including keratin that moisturizes, nourishes and protects lashes thus making them less likely to fall out or break prematurely. Although the developers cannot claim to grow lashes (it's a cosmetic product, not an FDA-regulated drug), it appears that the growth phase is extended with the use of Lash Boost, which leads to longer, thicker, fuller lashes. It works quicker than Latisse, it’s more affordable, and it saves you a visit to the doctor’s office. The before & after photos that have been circulating the internet are really nothing short of impressive.
It was to my great distress that I learned of a less-talked about ingredient in Lash Boost. Isopropyl cloprostenate is a synthetic prostaglandin analogue, comparable to the active ingredient of prescription Latisse. Questionable if I do say so myself.
So what does that mean? Besides the fact that this synthetic prostaglandin analogue may very well be the reason why this stuff works despite all of what I described previously, I began to postulate whether or not Lash Boost may carry some of those same side effects that Latisse warns us about. I had been noticing that the dark circles under my eyes looked more dramatic than usual. In fact, I complained about it to my fiancé and to friends. So when I was deep into my internet research I was very upset, and I was convinced that Lash Boost was behind my ultra-tired appearance. I mean, don't get me wrong, I'm always tired. And I have always had pesky dark circles under my eyes. But I was full-on noticing it and talking about it to people before I had any suspicions, so it wasn't just something that I began to notice and wonder about after my research.
I immediately discontinued using it. I called my sisters and told them to do the same. I mean, we all have the dark circles and we've all talked about getting fillers, etc. So we don't need them getting worse. And I didn't want to be responsible. And after I discontinued the products I noticed an improvement of the darkness under my eyes. I felt disappointed but also relieved.
For one week my Lash Boost sat on my vanity collecting dust. Every evening I would see it and I would be disappointed. Every day I felt like my lashes were going back to their normal length. If you didn't know, you have to continue daily use of Lash Boost to maintain your results. And I had noticed that my lashes had gotten significantly longer while I was using it. Patients were commenting on them. Even my fiancé was noticing!
So I began to research whether or not anyone else had noticed this issue. A self-proclaimed ophthalmologist on 'RealSelf' commented in a forum in regard to Latisse. Okay, not the most reliable source, I know. But his recommendation made sense. He advised the person who originally posted the question to try using just a very small amount on the upper lid, to wipe off any excess, and to make sure it dries thoroughly before closing her eyes and going to bed. I was not necessarily doing these things; I would apply the Lash Boost product to my top lid and literally close my eyes to go to bed a minute later. I never blotted off excess product. Sometimes my eyelids even felt wet as I lied down in bed. The product was absorbing into my lower lash line, and my lower eyelashes were getting noticeably longer, too.
The funny thing is that this is what R+F recommends on the product description. Now this is not in their defense because I believe that these potential side effects should be noted as well in the product description. I believe it's something that consultants should be completely aware of and educated about so they are not blindly pushing a product that could have harmful side effects.
I started using my Lash Boost again a little over a week ago, and I'm applying it more carefully. I put a thin layer over my top lid and I make sure to blot off any excess. I also make sure that I apply it at least 20 minutes before I close my eyes to sleep so that it can fully dry. My under eyes look like my normal-tired self, not like that ultra-tired self. And my lashes are looking super long again.
The bottom line: I want to be transparent. I don't want to push a product that could cause more damage than good. That's the purpose of this blog post. I wanted to let people know about my experience and I wanted to make these potential side effects known. I am happy using my Lash Boost right now, and my sisters are using theirs without any noticeable issues. On a final note, you may be wondering "What about the iris pigmentation thing?!" This is from the FAQ on the R+F website:
Is it anticipated that ENHANCEMENTS Lash Boost might cause discoloration or change in the pigmentation of the iris?
No. ENHANCEMENTS Lash Boost does not cause discoloration or change in pigmentation of the iris. Those serious side effects are associated with the warnings on drug products only. The cosmetic ingredients used in ENHANCEMENTS Lash Boost have never been associated with reports of change in iris pigmentation or any discoloration.
By 'cosmetic ingredients' I believe they are referring to the synthetic prostaglandin analogue, isopropyl cloprostenate. So no changes in iris pigmentation have been reported, which is comforting to know.
Looking for a cheaper regimen similar to Rodan + Fields regimens? Check out my 'Alternative Rodan + Fields Regimens' post here!
Updated 9/16/19: Alright guys, here’s the FINAL update on this post! I am no longer using R+F Lash Boost… this time for good! Find out why HERE.