Prostaglandins in lash serums - are they damaging your eyes and eyelashes?
Our new Agent lash and brow serum has been flying since we launched it, and the feedback has been phenomenal. I can honestly say I have done so much research behind this formulation. I never really found a product on the market globally that I thought was exceptional or clean enough for me to use personally, and that's always the first incentive for me to create my own version.
On top of that, so many of the lash serum products out there on the market are full of chemicals and toxins, particularly prostaglandins. Prostaglandins is one of the most common active ingredients in Eyelash serums, but is it actually safe? Hell no. These prostaglandins are a real hidden danger in so many serums, and what's even weirder to me? NO ONE IS TALKING ABOUT THE DANGERS! Anyone who knows me knows I love to tell the truth so let's get into why I think prostaglandins must be avoided at all costs.
So, back to basics. Prostaglandins are the ingredient most commonly used in glaucoma medications that many people use today. Prostaglandins are made up of 'hypotensive lipids', derived from fatty acids and the reason they are used for glaucoma is because they relieve pressure in the eye. However, along the way, it was also realized by beauty companies that these prostaglandins interfere with the hair growth cycle - and then formulated with it.
So, today, a ton of companies formulate their lash serums with prostaglandins because of their hair growth stimulation capabilities.
The compound works to extend eyelashes and eyebrows by:
- Stimulating and prolonging the active growth phase of the hair follicles (known as the anagen phase);
- Stimulating melanin, producing darker eyelashes; and
- Increasing the size of the hair bulb and dermal papilla, increasing lash thickness too.
Sounds good, right? Particularly when you see people sharing their results on social media, or hear of friends and family using them.
Prostaglandins are chemicals naturally produced by our body, so initially, you would be forgiven for thinking that they are natural, fine and normal and aligned with the Agent ethos. The problem is that prostaglandins behave like hormones, so they can impact our body in major ways - and not just in the area where they are applied - like the eyelid or the eyebrow area.
Research has also shown that these prostaglandin compounds can interfere with the whole body - particularly the uterus, uterine cramping, contributing to full-body inflammation - and more. And as someone who once identified as being an endometriosis sufferer, this is an even bigger no for me and I hate the thought of people using lash serums pumped full of prostaglandins that might be making their chronic health challenges even worse.
The side effects of prostaglandins for the direct eye area are becoming clearly documented too. It thought that prostaglandins can cause and/or lead to:
- Allergic reactions - one of the most common side effects and can show up as irritation, redness, itchiness, and inflammation around the eye, as well as 'ocular dryness' and swelling in the eye area. It's thought that 1 in 25 people experience this which is quite a high number;
- Hyperpigmentation - prostaglandins are also known to darken eyelids and surrounding eye skin because they interfere with pigmentation. It's thought that this normally resolves after stopping using the serum, but this is not something I'd want to mess with, and I've heard of lots of people who have experienced darkened eyelids are using prostaglandin-based serums;
- Changing your eye color - yes, really. Some doctors have noted that prostaglandins in the traditional bimatoprost ophthalmic solution can change the color of a patient's iris, so this is something to really and seriously consider. Changes to the iris are also not thought to be reversible, which is concerning, and the likelihood of getting these lash serums into your eye is quite high.
- Interference with blood vessels in the eye area - because prostaglandins also dilate blood vessels, they can cause redness and enlarged vessels on the eyelids and chronic redness of the eye itself.
- Sunken eyelids and premature aging - one much less discussed side effect of prostaglandin-based serums is the loss of fat around the eye, which causes the appearance of sunken eyes and premature aging. This is everything that we aim to fight against at Agent, so clean beauty brands creating prostaglandin-based serums feels super wrong to me.
- Hair stimulation in unwanted areas - now this is not the look that anyone is going for! No one wants excessive hair growth outside of your eyelid or eyebrow region. One research study found that a patient using a prostaglandin medication for glaucoma ended up with noticeable hair growth on her chin and upper lip due to the hair growth capabilities.
- And a ton of other effects - prostaglandins also can affect the activity of the oil glands around the eye, change the functioning of the eye area, leading to dry eyes, painful bumps on the eyelid, and even thinning of the skin on the eyelid. No, thank you.
The side effects of prostaglandins on the eyelid area are no joke and this was made shockingly clear to me when I looked into LATISSE® - an FDA-approved treatment formulated with prostaglandins for eyelash growth. It says that it will help 'to grow eyelashes for people with inadequate or not enough lashes,' but that side effects may include 'eyelid skin darkening', 'brown darkening of the colored part of the eye', and hair growth outside of the treatment area'.
So, when most people start formulating, and they immediately go to prostaglandins? I hope you can now see why I think this is awful.
They might be chemical compounds that are naturally produced within our bodies, but this doesn't make them something I want to formulate with or that I want near or in my body.
Once I learned all of this, I set out to create a healthier and more powerful lash serum, formulated with better, cleaner, higher quality ingredients that do what they are designed to do, without the side effects!
I have formulated with key active ingredients which replace prostaglandin and are backed by clinically, peer-reviewed, scientific research. The key active ingredients are hella powerful and include:
- Follicusan™ (the first patented, active ingredient) is a milk-based bioactive, containing active signaling molecules, which clinical studies have proven to stimulate cells and vitalize eyelash follicles, helping to improve both eyelash density and volume.
- Capixyl™ - a second, patented, active ingredient Capixyl™ is a peptide combined with a plant-based red clover extract (densely rich in Biochanin A) that has been scientifically proven to work deep into the hair follicle to stimulate, strengthen and regenerate eyebrows and eyelashes, to deliver a thicker, more luxurious and longer look.
- Finally, Redensyl™ - the third active ingredient, Redensyl™, is also called 'human hair galvanizer' and targets the root causes of unhealthy hair. Made up of pure plant extracts and fully natural ingredients (including DHQG and EGCG 2), Redensyl™ works to promote and activate the division of bulge stem cells, helping to promote hair growth.
The plant-based botanicals also make this product so insanely beautiful, luxurious, and powerful and they are backed by decades of ancient wisdom too. My favorites are hibiscus, amla, and bhringraj, and I love how I combine science with ancient wisdom and restorative and healing ingredients.
For me, it's the perfect combination. What more can you ask for? Safe, effective ingredients that truly make a difference - with no prostaglandins in sight.
You can buy yours here.
***THESE STATEMENTS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED OR REGULATED BY THE FDA. WE ARE NOT DOCTORS; THEREFORE ALWAYS CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR FIRST****