Do Eyelash Serums Melt Fat?

There has been a recent trend of the use of prostaglandin analogues (PGA) lash lengthening serums to achieve long, thick, voluminous lashes. However, in some cases, the ingredient lists shown on these lash-lengthening products have no mention of PGAs. It was only identified after careful interrogation of the separate product information sheets. Because of this discrepancy, these lash serums are not fully tested for safety and efficacy. Do you know the side effects of lash-lengthening serums?

What are PGAs?

PGA is a family of drugs, prescribed in eyedrop form, to provide efficient and stable control of intraocular pressure with relatively few side effects. They are now a popular antiglaucoma treatment. Many patients prescribed PGA eye drops note lengthening, thickening, and darkening of their eyelashes. It has been long-established that these topical PGAs have a common side effect of periorbital volume loss. In other words, the fat pads under your eyes are deteriorating. A study was conducted to further investigate the validity of PGA causing periorbital volume loss through a series of grading “before and after photos”. 

Popular Brands That Contain PGA in Their Eyelash Serums:

  • Rodan and Fields R+F Lash Boost
  • Babe Lash Essential Serum
  • GrandeLASH-MD Lash Enhancing Serum
  • Revitalash Advanced Eyelash Conditioner
  • RapidLash Eyelash Enhancing Serum
  • NeuLASH Lash Enhancing Serum
  • UKLASH Eyelash Serum


Case Study of Ceasing PGA Treatment 

In a case study, a 35 year old female developed thin, wrinkled, darker skin, and periorbital hollowing after 10 months of PGA treatment. Thankfully, the effects of PGA were reversible 6 months after discontinuing use of the treatment. The patient reported a 90% to 95% return to her pre-PGA appearance.

A blinded, randomized, controlled study was conducted consisting of 5 graders (3 experts and 2 laypersons) grading 15 “before and after pictures for various categories. The images were divided into 3 groups:

  • Treatment group (prostaglandin analogue lash lengthener [PGALL]).
  • Control groups (non–prostaglandin analogue lash lengthener [NPGALL]).
  • False lashes [FL]) extracted from lash lengthener websites based on the presentation of the under eye.


The PGALL and NPGALL images were directly extracted from the website advertising the lash lengthening products. The grading scales ranged from 0 (no changes), 1 (only one change), and 2 (more than one change). It was found that the average score was 8.2 (of 19) in the PGALL group, 2.3 in the NPGALL group, and 3.2 in the FL group. PGALL scores were significantly higher than scores in the NPGALL and FL groups. Therefore, it can be concluded that these lash-lengthening serums containing PGA do significantly hollow the under eye.  

Treatment for PGA Periorbital Hollowing

Although these eyelash serums are deemed relatively safe, deciding whether to continue or cease using eyelash growth serums will depend on your individual risk factors including skin sensitivity and condition. The best treatment if you have been using PGA-based eyelash lengtheners is to stop using them entirely.

In the case study, the pre-orbital fat pad under the eyes was restored after discontinuation. While some eyelash lengthening serums do not contain PGA, it is extremely important to read labels and fully research the side effects based on the ingredients.  

It is equally as important for consumers to be made aware of the possibility of periorbital volume loss before commencing treatment with PGALLs. Regardless, it is always good to do your research before trusting products or procedures advertised to you. They may give you the results you desire but there are consequences that advertisers choose not to tell us.

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