The Unspoken Truth About Prostaglandin (Hormone-Based) Lash Serums

prostaglandin lash growth serum

The Temporary Hormone Driven Results Behind Permanent Beauty Damage

Choosing the right serum amongst multiple brands available on the market might be challenging. From prostaglandin or peptide-based serums to castor oil, the choices are endless. Each of them comes with pros and cons. The hormone (prostaglandin) based serums are effective but come with multiple side effects that can damage your beauty permanently. The peptide serums are the medium of clinically proven and effective but producing results in a longer manner. The castor oil splits the audience in half, where some say that it is great for hair growth, while others say that there is a lack of scientific evidence for using castor oil for lash growth. 

The prostaglandin serums use chemical compounds with hormone-like effects. One of the most recognizable brands that use Bimatoprost (prostaglandin) is Latisse. However, you can also find serums that use synthetic prostaglandins called as:

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

These ingredients are prohibited from using in cosmetics based on Health Canada guidelines. You can only purchase a prostaglandin-based serum via your doctor as a prescription is required. These products are sold as a medication, and not as a cosmetic for legit reasons. There are also no long-term tests for prolonged growth hormone application other than random images on the web of drooping eyelids, skin darkening, and change of iris colour.

prostaglandin latisse rodan fields side effects

Photo Credits: Buzzfeed News, Strategy Im, Keller Rohrback Law Offices,

Before deciding about what type of lash serum to use, ask yourself a question:

Is it worth, considering all permanent side effects, to use prostaglandin serum to achieve longer lashes temporarily?

If you are still undecided, below we gathered all side effects of prostaglandin-based serums in comparison to our ADOREYES peptide-based serum.

What are the active ingredients?

PROSTAGLANDIN SERUM: Bimatoprost, sold under the trade name Lumigan among others, is a medication used to treat high pressure inside the eye, including glaucoma. During the clinical study, some patients noticed increased length in their lashes, and hence LATISSE came to life as a medicated cosmetic. Bimatoprost is believed to prolong the anagen (active growth) phase. According to the Latisse website, the exact way it works is unknown. The synthetic prostaglandins work similarly. 

ADOREYES: Triple Peptide Complex (Acetyl Tetrapeptide, Biotinoyl Tripeptide-1, Myristoyl Pentapeptide-17) that acts on all three lash and hair brow  phases. Eyelashes, just like hair, are made up of protein. In fact, they are over 90% protein. This is where amino acids (peptides) come into play. Not only are amino acids the building blocks of protein (and thus your eyelashes), but they also nourish and repair damage. Using peptide-based infused formulas is safe as it assists a natural process of eyelashes' lifespan and thickens them in the anagen phase. During the catagen phase, peptides deliver nourishment to prolong this phase. In the telogen growth phase, your lushes lashes appear to be longer, and sturdy foundation for the new lashes is established. 


Can my eyelid or iris change colour while using the serum?

PROSTAGLANDIN SERUM: Yes. According to LATISSE website, it may cause darkening of the eyelid skin, which may be reversible. It can also cause increased brown pigmentation of the coloured part of the eye, which is likely to be permanent.

ADOREYES: No. ADOREYES serum does not cause discolouration or change in pigmentation of the iris. Those serious side effects are associated with the warnings on drug products that use prostaglandins, including synthetics.  


Can I use the serum with lash extensions?

PROSTAGLANDIN SERUM: Yes. No additional information provided by the manufacturers.

ADOREYES: Yes. ADOREYES serum has a water-based formula, so it is safe to use with lash extensions, false lashes, and contacts. Using serum will strengthen natural lashes, and protect them from breaking (less shedding equals extensions for longer), and will help minimize the damaging effects often seen with the prolonged use of lash extensions. If you're looking to lengthen the eyelash lifespan for better retention of your lash extensions, using our lash serum will help you to achieve that.


Can I use the serum with permanent or semi-permanent makeup?

PROSTAGLANDIN SERUM: No. Bimatoprost or analogues are known to be capable of inducing melanogenesis and atypical melanocytes resulting in hyperpigmentation of the skin around the treatment area. This has potential implications relating to unexpected colour change after tattooing and or triggering melanin hyper-pigmentary halos around the site of tattooing. Prostaglandin analogues can also cause excessive bleeding during tattoo treatments.

ADOREYES: Yes. The use of ADOREYES serum should not affect your permanent or semi-permanent makeup. However, if you have just recently finished getting your treatment, please make sure the area has completely healed before applying the serum. 


Can I use a serum while wearing my contact lenses?

PROSTAGLANDIN SERUM: No. Most of the prostaglandin-based serums contain benzalkonium chloride, which may be absorbed by and cause discolouration of soft contact lenses.

ADOREYES: Yes. ADOREYES serum is safe and non-irritating, making it ideal for contact lens wearers as well.


Can I use serum during pregnancy?

PROSTAGLANDIN SERUM: No. Prostaglandin analogues can induce labour, cause an abortion (1–4 mg/day) and can stimulate uterine muscle contractions.

ADOREYES: While ADOREYES serums contain no ingredients that have any known harmful effects on pregnant or nursing women, please consult a doctor before using.


Are serums cruelty-free?

PROSTAGLANDIN SERUM: No. Every drug, according to FDA guidelines and approval process, must be tested on animals before introducing the product to the market. However, some imported prostaglandin analogue serums do not follow FDA and might be cruelty-free. 

ADOREYES: Yes. Our products are tested on happy volunteers during clinical trials. 


What are the side effects of serum?

PROSTAGLANDIN SERUM: Multiple side effects, including:

  • Pigmentation of the iris (likely to be permanent)
  • Conjunctival hyperemia (pinkeye; incidence approximately 10%; )
  • Pruritus (itchiness)
  • Eye drooping 
  • Eyelid skin hyperpigmentation (incidence approximately 6.1%)
  • Hair growth outside the treatment area
  • Intraocular inflammation (e.g. uveitis)
  • Blurry Vision
  • Cataract
  • Headache (1%)
  • Nausea (1%)
  • Macular edema (eye swelling)
  • Dry eye symptoms
  • Periorbital erythema (swollen red eyelid)
  • Discolouration of contact lenses by preservatives (e.g. benzalkonium chloride)
  • Corneal Alterations


ADOREYES: Some people might experience a brief sensation of stinging when the serum is accidentally applied to the eye.  


Any advice on switching from a hormone-based eyelash treatment to peptide serum?

ADOREYES recommends waiting at least 2 months before using Plus Lashes serum or any other lash-enhancing product after using a hormone-based eyelash treatment. As your eyelids will no longer be receiving an exogenous supply of hormones, it's crucial to allow the glandular function in your eyelids to return to normal to experience expected results from other treatments.