Not everyone is satisfied with the way their eyelashes look, and while there are a variety of ways to improve the look and density of your eyelashes – like mascara or false lashes – these are only temporary fixes.
Options to help grow full and luscious lashes exist, but not all are created equal. Latisse (bimatoprost) is the only FDA-approved treatment for inadequate eye lashes, and while over-the-counter products like Lash Boost and neuLash may be able to help, they’ve not undergone quite the same scrutiny as bimatoprost.
Here are the differences: Latisse vs neuLash vs Lash Boost.
If you’re looking for a product with a proven track record, look no further than Latisse (bimatoprost), the only FDA-approved eyelash treatment.
According to one published study, researchers using a saline solution versus a bimatoprost solution — the active ingredient in Latisse — found that participants using the bimatoprost solution experienced nearly twice the lash growth as those who weren’t.
Latisse was originally created by the drug company Allergan. In 2001, the company developed a medicated bimatoprost eye drop to treat elevated intraocular pressure. Many patients using it also began to grow longer, fuller, and darker lashes as a side effect. Recognizing the potential, Allergan then began studying the medication specifically for growing lashes, and after a clinical trial, it was approved by the FDA in December of 2008 for the treatment of underdeveloped eye lashes.
Since then, it’s been the only FDA-approved eyelash enhancer on the market, though generic versions of bimatoprost have come to market at lower prices than the original branded version.
Ease of Use
As a medication, Latisse requires a prescription; it’s not an over-the-counter treatment. Despite the more restricted availability, the treatment is no more difficult to use than any other eyelash growth enhancer.
The prescription comes with a bottle of the serum and several sterile applicators. You want to use one application for each eye. You dip the applicator brush into the medicine and carefully apply it to your upper eyelid. You can dispose of the brush after application. Do not apply to the lower lash.
Because Latisse is an FDA-approved medication, it underwent a series of clinical trials. According to the results of these trials, people using the serum consecutively for 20 weeks experienced eyelash growth, demonstrated using the Global Eyelash Assessment scale, when compared to those receiving a placebo.
Unlike other growth enhancers, Latisse is an approved medication. The FDA approval process presents many hurdles to manufacturers to ensure the safety and efficacy of their products.
As with any other medication, the use of Latisse can cause side effects, but research suggests potential risks are minimal. Currently, Latisse is the only eyelash enhancer with results approved by the FDA.
As far as the cost of Latisse, it is similar to other products on the market; however, as a prescription, you will need to talk with a doctor before purchasing it.
The standard-sized bottles come in 5 ml and 3 ml. Depending where you find it, the larger size can cost as much as $150 and lasts approximately 10 weeks.
Generic bimatoprost is available at half the price or less depending where you find it.
Another popular product on the market is neuLash. When discussing neuLash vs Latisse, it’s necessary to talk about the lack of FDA approval. NeuLash is an over-the-counter (OTC) cosmetic product, meaning you do not need a prescription.
Unlike Latisse, the primary ingredients in neuLash are sodium hyaluronate and biotin, among others. Biotin deficiencies have been linked to hair loss.
Like Latisse, it is applied to the upper eye lash and intended to produce the appearance of thicker lashes.
Ease of Use
NeuLash, like other serums, is easy to use. The product comes with a single applicator. The application brush is similar to those you find included with mascara bottles.
Like most OTC eyelash enhancers, neuLash contains ingredients claimed to promote overall hair health, not eyelashes specifically. Unfortunately, while you can find consumer studies talking about the efficacy of such products, clear-cut scientific data is a little lacking.
The product does not meet the same level of scrutiny as Latisse and cannot claim the ability to grow eyelashes. It is a serum designed to “enhance the appearance of lashes.” Latisse, meanwhile, can “grow lashes longer, fuller, and darker.”
Most of the language used to promote eyelash enhancers is marketing focused, and cosmetic enhancers have not been evaluated by the FDA for efficacy.
In general, OTC eyelash enhancers like neuLash are safe; however, neuLash and others contain isopropyl cloprostenate that has demonstrated to have adverse side effects in some people. In addition, isopropyl cloprostenate can cause irritation or discoloration of the iris.
As neuLash is not a medication, it is available as an OTC solution online and in stores. Because a prescription is not necessary, the product does offer convenience, but be sure to research the price. Many places offer it for around $50, but in higher-end retailers, it can be found for as much as $150 (quite the markup).
Like neuLash, Lash Boost is an OTC product; additionally, the ingredients in lash boost are also more focused on general hair growth and health, like biotin. While Lash Boost is a popular product, it too is not intended to treat a condition like Latisse, and most claims have not been evaluated by the FDA.
Ease of Use
Lash Boost, like all other eyelash enhancers, is applied with an applicator brush. The included brush is similar to a mascara brush. Next, you apply the serum to the lash line. Lash Boost is a quick-drying treatment, typically requiring only 90 seconds before completely drying.
Again, as an OTC product, Lash Boost does not meet the same level of scrutiny as Latisse. Because it has not been approved by the FDA, there is less scientific research on the product or its ingredients’ efficacy on eyelash enhancement or growth. As with other OTC eyelash enhancers, many of the ingredients in Lash Boost may be effective in improving general hair health.
Lash Boost is considered safe for consumer use, but that does not speak to its effectiveness as an eyelash treatment. The product also contains isopropyl cloprostenate, which is linked to potential adverse side effects, including irritation and iris discoloration in some people.
Lash Boost does not share the same reach as other OTC eyelash enhancers, like neuLash. It is only sold through the Rodan + Fields store or their affiliates. Lash Boost sells for $155 per bottle, which is enough for two months of applications. Lash Boost is on the higher end of pricing for consumer products in the OTC market.
Other Eyelash Products
Start poking around online and you’ll find a variety of eyelash enhancement products that are similar to neuLash and Lash Boost: OTC treatments with little support from placebo-controlled clinical trials. There are no other eyelash enhancers with the same credibility as bimatoprost, which is the only medication approved for use to “grow and darken” eyelashes. That doesn’t mean these products aren’t helpful; it only means they’ve not been through quite the same rigorous process.