Eyelash serum that promises longer, thicker lashes is ‘banned over infection fears’

Eyelash serum that promises longer, thicker lashes is ‘banned over infection fears’Eyelash serum that promises longer, thicker lashes is ‘banned over infection fears’

Multiple women have also reported suffering with red, puffy and weepy eyes after using the product.

Rebecca Sullivan for news.com.au.

3 Aug 2018, 11:45 Updated : 3 Aug 2018, 14:25.

AN eyelash serum that promises longer, thicker lashes has been banned in Australia over fears it may cause infection.

The Department of Health down under has banned the sale of LiLash products in salons and spas as some of the ingredients in the serum require a prescription under Australian law.

Multiple women have also reported suffering with red, puffy and weepy eyes after using the product.

LiLash, which is available in the UK online and in salons, claims it takes three months of consistent daily use to see results.

It is supposed to be applied once a day to the eyelids, along the upper lash line, and one 2ml tube or “three month supply” costs £61.

The serum contains a growth hormone called prostagladin, which is commonly used to treat the eye condition glaucoma, but requires a prescription in Australia.

It works by lowering the eye pressure to relieve the pressure glaucoma puts on the optic nerve, but when used in a beauty product it can cause irritation.

Kim Ballesty was recovering from cancer treatment last year when she heard about a serum that could help her eyelashes regrow quickly.

“I just finished a round of chemo and radiation and I was given LiLash as a gift to try and help everything regrow,” Ms Ballesty, from Sydney, told news.com.au.

“You try to do anything to make yourself feel back to normal and prettier again.”

Ms Ballesty stopped using LiLash after the recommended three month period because her eyes became red and irritated.

“I looked like I conjunctivitis. I had big dark circles under my eyes. It looked like I had been crying,” she said.

“My husband would come home and say ‘What’s wrong, have you been crying?’ I had big red puffy eyes that were often stuck together in the morning if I used the serum the night before.”

Four days after Ms Ballesty stopped using LiLash, her eyes returned to normal.

“It all cleared up and I never touched it again,” she added.

Online reviews are mixed. The internet is littered with horror stories about irritated, red eye infections contracted after using LiLash.

But for every negative comment there is a ringing endorsement from a woman thrilled with her new long, thick lashes.In May the Australian Department of Health banned the product from being sold in salons.

Australian Society of Ophthalmologists president Dr Peter Sumich said the growth hormone in eyelash serums was commonly found in many prescription eye products.

“Prostaglandin is the growth hormone used to treat glaucoma. It lowers the eye pressure,” Dr Sumich said.

“I have patients who have been put on prostaglandin and their lashes start to grow just from using the eye drops.

“It definitely causes the lashes to grow longer, thicker, darker and curl upwards.

“I’ve seen patients with long curly lashes start to curl back on themselves. They end up having to trim them because they get so long.

“One of my patients was a beautician and she said ‘I want the drops that make your eyelashes grow’, because one of her clients at her salon had glaucoma and all of a sudden she had incredibly long lashes.”

While prostaglandin is definitely an effective ingredient, Dr Sumich said it should only be prescribed by a medical professional.

“I wouldn’t advise (people use eyelash serums). I understand why they do it, but we have strict regulations in this country and with good reason,” he said.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in Australia said products containing prostaglandin should only be obtained with a prescription.

In May the Australian Department of Health banned the product from being sold in salons.

An email sent to the “LiLash Pro Community” and obtained by news.com.au informed those that stocked the product that some of the ingredients in LiLash require a prescription.

“While there is nothing harmful in our products, Australia’s categorisation of some of our ingredients requires a prescription. Please remove all LiLash and LiBrow (eyebrow growth serum) from your shelves,” the email from LiLash head office read.

“The Health Department in Western Australia has visited a few accounts and has removed product from some salons. Rest assured, I have not provided them a list of accounts or any information regarding who is stocking our products.

“At this time, I don’t know how they determine who they contact and when. Other territories will follow eventually, so I am notifying all Australian accounts.”