Are Eyelash Serums Safe?

How Safe Are Eyelash Growth Serums? What You Need To Know

Are you tired of looking for an eyelash growth serum that actually works? How about one that is also safe to use, and doesn’t come with serious side effects warnings?

Come along with us into our deep dive into eyelash serum ingredients. Keep reading to find out how they work, safety concerns, and our lash serum recommendations for healthy, long lashes.

This post contains affiliate links. This means that we’ll make a small commission on qualifying purchases at no cost to you.

Table Of Contents

In this post we will talk about 3 different types of eyelash growth serums. They are grouped by their active ingredient – the secret sauce that makes your eyelashes grow!

  1. Lash Serum With Bimatoprost (Latisse)
  2. Lash Serums With Isopropyl Cloprostenate
  3. Lash Serums With Peptides (No Prostaglandins)


Prostaglandin Eyelash Serum – Bimatoprost

Latisse is the only prostaglandin eyelash growth serum that’s been approved by Health Canada, and the first to be approved by the FDA. It’s also the only lash serum that has been clinically proven to make your lashes grow longer, thicker, fuller, and darker. 

The magical ingredient in Latisse is called bimatoprost. It’s a prostaglandin, which has hormone-like effects on our bodies.

The reason why you need a prescription for Latisse is because bimatoprost is a medication. It was originally made for people with glaucoma (an eye condition caused by abnormally high pressure in the eye) under the name Lumigan.

How does Latisse work on eyelashes?

Bimatoprost, the medication in Latisse, affects the anagen or growth phase of your eyelashes. This results in thicker and longer eyelashes.

Are there side effects to Latisse?

Yes, there are side effects to using Latisse. That’s one of the main reasons it’s a prescription-only lash serum. When you see your doctor, he or she will make sure you understand that using Latisse could cause the following side effects:

  • Changes to your eye pressure
  • Permanent darkening of the iris (the coloured part of your eyes)
  • Darkening of the eyelids that could be irreversible
  • Hair growing beyond the lash line
  • Itchy eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Dry eyes
  • Irritation or discomfort in eyes
  • Red and/or swollen eyelids
  • Watery eyes

Who should not use Latisse?

If you are allergic to any of the ingredients found in Latisse, you shouldn’t use it. Here are some other reasons why your doctor may not prescribe Latisse to you:

  • Pregnancy – There hasn’t been enough research done on the effects of Latisse and pregnancy in humans
  • Breastfeeding 
  • If you have existing health problems with your eyes
  • If you had a recent eye surgery

Can Latisse cause blepharitis? 

Yes, Latisse can cause blepharitis (inflamed eyelids). This was one of the negative reactions reported in a clinical trial of 278 adult patients using Latisse.

Which lash serums contain bimatoprost? 

Latisse is the only lash serum that contains Bimatoprost – a prostaglandin that has been clinically proven to make your lashes grow.

Does Latisse stop working after a while?

No, the effects of Latisse won’t stop as long as you are using it. If you stop using Latisse, you’ll notice that your eyelashes will return to their normal state within 3-24 weeks.

Lash Serums With Isopropyl Cloprostenate

What is isopropyl cloprostenate?

Isopropyl cloprostenate is a synthetic prostaglandin analogue. Similar to bimatoprost, it was originally used to treat glaucoma. As a side effect, glaucoma patients found that their eyelashes became longer and thicker.

Is isopropyl cloprostenate FDA approved?

Isopropyl cloprostenate has not been FDA approved for use in cosmetic eyelash growth serums. In fact, in 2011, the FDA issued a warning letter to the company behind RapidLash, NeuLash, and NeaveauBrow for violating this. Lash serums containing isopropyl cloprostenate are considered drugs, and need to be proved to be safe and efficacious. In addition, they must be used under the guidance of a doctor and side effects must be listed.

In Canada, isopropyl cloprostenate is banned for use in all cosmetic products – eyelash serums included.

What are the side effects of isopropyl cloprostenate?

The side effects of isopropyl cloprostenate include:

  • Macular edema (Build up of fluid in centre of the retina)
  • Dry eyes
  • Red eyes
  • Inflamed eyes 
  • Irritated eyes
  • Colour change in iris
  • Low pressure in eyes

Which lash serums contain isopropyl cloprostenate?

According to INCIDEcoder, the following eyelash, eyebrow and hair growth serums contain isopropyl cloprostenate:

  • Babe Lash Eyelash Growth Serum
  • Babe Lash Essential Serum
  • Borboleta Lash Serum
  • Grande Cosmetics GrandeLash MD
  • Grande Cosmetics Hair Serum
  • Grande Cosmetics Grande Brow Enhancing Serum
  • Lilly Lashes Level Up Lash Enhancing Serum
  • NeuLash Lash Enhancing Serum
  • Rodan and Fields Lash Boost
  • Rapid Lash Eyelash Enhancing Serum
  • Rapid Brow Eyebrow Enhancing Serum

In Canada, EyEnvy Eyelash & Eyebrow Conditioner was recalled in April 2022 because it was found to contain isopropyl cloprostenate.

Prostaglandin Free Eyelash Serums

So what do you do if you want longer lashes, but without the potentially harmful side effects of prostaglandins?


Peptides are chains of amino acids that create protein. Our skin and lashes are made of protein, so it’s beneficial to apply peptides to encourage growth. In skincare products, peptides are very popular because they encourage the production of collagen, which helps to reduce the appearance of wrinkles!

Since peptides naturally occur in our bodies, they are generally safe to use. Peptide eyelash serums don’t have the same concerning side effects (like altering the pressure of your eyes) compared to lash serums containing prostaglandin. 

Do peptides make eyelashes grow?

Yes, an eyelash serum with peptides can help your lashes to grow. Since our lashes are made out of protein, giving them a supply of protein fragments (peptides) can promote growth in the hair follicles.

Which lash serums do not contain prostaglandins?

One of our recent favourite prostaglandins free lash serums is LashLuxury Daily Eyelash Serum. It contains clinically tested peptides (Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17) and ingredients that help to soothe sensitive skin. 

With this eyelash serum, you’ll see a major lash boost in about 6 weeks of regular use – or your money back!  We love how confident LashLuxury is with the quality and efficacy of their product.

If you’re into clean beauty products, this is one of the best lash serums with peptides to try. LashLuxury is currently having their Black Friday 2022 Sale – EXTENDED TO DEC 27, 2022! Don’t miss out on getting 30% off + a FREE lash and brow kit + FREE SHIPPING!


Which lash serums have prostaglandin?

Some of the most well known eyelash serums that contain prostaglandin include Babe Lash Eyelash Growth Serum, Borboleta Lash Serum, Grande Cosmetics GrandeLash MD, Lilly Lashes Level Up Lash Enhancing Serum, NeuLash Lash Enhancing Serum, Rodan and Fields Lash Boost, and Rapid Lash Eyelash Enhancing Serum.

If you’re looking for a lash growth serum without prostaglandin, take a close look at the ingredients list. These hormone-like ingredients can be listed as:

  • Bimatoprost (Latisse)
  • Isopropyl cloprostenate
  • Isopropanol Phenyl-hydroxyl-pentene Dihydroxy-cyclopentyl-heptenate
  • Dechloro Dihydroxy Difluoro Ethylcloprostenolamide
  • Trifluoromethyl Dechloro Ethylprostenolamide

Does Lash Boost have hormones?

Rodan and Fields Lash Boost lash conditioning serum contains isopropyl cloprostenate. This chemical compound is a prostaglandin and has hormone-like effects on humans.

Is GrandeLASH a prostaglandin? 

Yes, GrandeLASH MD contains isopropyl cloprostenate, which is a prostaglandin.

GrandeLASH TD has a different formula and doesn’t contain prostaglandin. It’s sold in Canada where isopropyl cloprostenate is banned for use in cosmetic products.

Does RevitaLash contain prostaglandins?

Yes, RevitaLash Advanced Pro contains Dechloro Dihydroxy Difluoro Ethylcloprostenolamide, which is a prostaglandin analog. 

Is RevitaLash safe to use?

RevitaLash Advanced Pro contains Dechloro Dihydroxy Difluoro Ethylcloprostenolamide, which has been banned for use in cosmetic products in Canada. 

Is using eyelash serum safe during pregnancy?

Eyelash serums containing prostaglandins are not safe to use during pregnancy. This ingredient can be listed as many different names. The most common are bimatoprost (Latisse) and isopropyl cloprostenate. It’s best to consult your doctor before using any eyelash serum while pregnant or breastfeeding. 

Which lash serum is best for sensitive eyes?

LashLuxury Daily Lash Serum has a non-irritating formula and has been tested on sensitive eyes. It also contains aloe and cucumber extract, which are effective soothing ingredients.

Can eyelash serum cause eye problems?

Yes, the side effects of prostaglandins containing eyelash growth serum can cause eye problems such as irritation, redness, and low eye pressure. 

If you’re looking for a safer and effective eyelash growth serum, we’d recommend using one that has peptides. While Latisse does work well, its active ingredient, bimatoprost, comes with side effects that can cause eye health problems, and should be used only under supervision by a doctor. For over-the-counter prostaglandin containing lash serums? If health and safety is a major priority, we recommend skipping them altogether!

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About the Author Catherine

As a kid, I discovered the world of Japanese nail art through a magazine and since then, I haven't been able to stop thinking about anything related to nails! After following a more traditional educational path and earning my Bachelor's of Science in Food and Nutrition, I decided it was time to pursue my childhood passion. In 2015, I earned my diploma from Blanche Macdonald’s Nail Technology Program. After that, I got certified with YUMI Lashes and opened Sunday Beauty Boutique in 2017. These days, I'm focused on providing a 'no rush' experience to a select clientele, teaching as a nail instructor at Blanche Macdonald, as well as providing resources on beauty related topics to clients and estheticians on my blog.

Leave a Comment:

Cher says

This was super helpful! I’ve always wondered how they all work and now I know that my favorite “ eye envy “ was pretty risky business. Maybe I’ll try the luxury one next. Thanks for the tips! Sunday beauty!

    Catherine says

    I’m glad this article was helpful to you!

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