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I survived Prostaglandin addiction

Iola Ciavarra
Director, Reveal Australia

The modern aesthetic has spoken. Leave your short stumpy lashes at the door and enter the long and fluttery, wide-eyed Bambi-esque blinkers we all just can’t seem to get enough of. Lash extensions, lash lifts, false lashes…the blink-enhancing options are endless. Recent research has shown that thick and long lashes are associated not only with beauty but with trustworthiness and even fertility. They have the ability to transform your appearance in the proverbial blink of an eye.

Then there’s just plain fashion. The checkout chick’s got them, your barista’s got them and your ever-strong anti-ageing brigade has embraced luscious lashes too. And with mascara still taking up almost one third of all makeup purchases in Australia, it’s clear that the lash movement is here to stay.

Enter the lash growth serum. It’s a natural lash lover’s best friend. For those that want their own long and lush, bright-eyed peepers, this wonder serum delivers. Just a swipe along the lashes, once or twice a day and va-va-voom – natural, long and lush lashes are yours, in a matter of weeks.

For me, long lashes were just part of my aesthetic ‘self care’. Except it turned out, they ultimately weren’t.

Being in the cosmetic and beauty industry for over 30 years, I know the aesthetic ‘self care’ I enjoy. Lashes are just one of my ‘things’. And that’s what led me down the path of prostaglandin-based eyelash growth serums.

Available only by prescription here in Australia, Canada and in many other parts of the world, this special hormone is actually a topical drug that forms the base of many an eyelash serum. And it WORKS, in just a few weeks to boot. It’s a multimillion dollar ingredient in so, so many lash growth products, available worldwide. Imagine having to cut your eyelashes down they grow so long? This stuff is like magic. And well, then, it isn’t.

Some beauty does come with a cost. Intended as a glaucoma medication, prostaglandin (prostaglandin analogue) is an ingredient that happens to also have the effect of supercharging your lash growth. Its side effects are clear. Dry eye syndrome, styes, darkening of the iris and lash line, iris colour change and inflammation, to name a few. Over the years, I experienced a few of these effects but figured the outstanding effect was worth it. Until it wasn’t. I ended up in emergency surgery to have a fleck of mascara removed that had embedded itself under the mucosal layer of my eyeball. It had to be surgically removed. Could happen to anyone right? Except it happened to me because I had compromised eye function due to dehydrated or ‘dry’ eyes. A common side effect of prostaglandin lash growth serum.

I did survive though, and I even got my lashes back and then some. After a long search for a true, prostaglandin and hormone free, Australian regulatory approved, value chain verified, lash growth serum (yes, some are actually illegally ‘spiked’ can you believe it?) my compromise was no more. Naturally long lashes I did find. I no longer have dry eye, I no longer suffer styes and what’s more I have natural but long fluttery lashes that allow me to entertain that little bit of keratin-centric self-care that I enjoy. It may have been a more gradual movement to the results finish line, but the reward was well worth it. Oh and I grew my bald-patched brows back in the process. Thanks to those who came along for the crazy ride with me.

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