Did you know that eye color isn’t just about aesthetics? It can also reveal intriguing insights about our health. Dark brown-eyed individuals are more prone to cataracts, while those with albinism often exhibit blue eyes due to a lack of melanin. Additionally, heterochromia, a condition where a person has two different eye colors, can signal underlying medical issues. But what about altering eye color intentionally?

Latisse, the FDA-approved solution that revolutionized eyelash growth. Originally developed to treat elevated intraocular pressure, Latisse’s active ingredient, bimatoprost, unexpectedly led to longer, fuller, and darker lashes as a side effect. It’s prescribed to enhance inadequate lashes, prolonging their growth phase and transforming eye appearance. But how does it work, and what are the risks?

In this article, we will delve into the science behind Latisse, explore its effects on eye color, and address safety considerations.

Key Takeaways

  • Latisse, a popular treatment for hypotrichosis, has been associated with the side effect of eye color change, particularly darkening of the iris.
  • The active ingredient in Latisse, bimatoprost, causes this phenomenon by increasing melanin production in the iris.
  • Understanding the mechanism and prevalence of this side effect is crucial for patients considering Latisse to make informed decisions about their treatment.

About: Medical Spa RX provides medical practices with premium products at the best prices. If you’re looking to buy Latisse for your practice, the sales representatives at Medical Spa RX can give you guidance.

What is Latisse?

Latisse, known as bimatoprost ophthalmic solution 0.03%, gained FDA approval in 2008 to treat hypotrichosis of the eyelashes by enhancing eyelash growth. This medication is a game-changer for those with sparse eyelashes, including individuals experiencing eyelash loss due to chemotherapy.

Proven safe and effective, Latisse has been backed by substantial clinical support and user satisfaction since its introduction over fifteen years ago. Latisse offers a promising solution for patients seeking improvements in appearance or recovering from medical treatments that have affected their eyelashes.

The Role of Bimatoprost in Latisse

Bimatoprost is a crucial ingredient in Latisse, an FDA-approved eye solution from 2008 that treats hypotrichosis by making eyelashes grow fuller and longer. While effective, it can have side effects like changing the iris color.

Initially used in Lumigan to treat glaucoma by reducing eye pressure, bimatoprost also promoted thicker and longer eyelash growth. Patients should apply Latisse daily for 16 weeks to see full results. Contact lens wearers should remove lenses before application and wait 15 minutes before reinserting them due to the presence of benzalkonium chloride.

Mechanism of Eye Color Change

Latisse can cause a rare but permanent change in eye color by affecting the iris. This risk is low for people with blue eyes but higher for those with hazel or green eyes. The active ingredient, bimatoprost, can darken the iris, especially around the pupil’s edge.

Studies show about 1-2% of patients using bimatoprost for glaucoma experience this cosmetic shift, but no cases have been reported of using Latisse directly on eyelashes in the United States. This suggests that the change is more likely when bimatoprost is applied directly to the eye, highlighting Latisse’s safety profile for eyelash enhancement while emphasizing the need for user awareness regarding potential iris pigmentation changes.

Biological Process

Prostaglandin in products like Latisse or Revitalash plays a significant role in making melanin, which gives color to our eyes. The bimatoprost in Latisse can make the iris darker by acting on cells called melanocytes. These cells are critical because they make more melanin when bimatoprost is present.

Melanocytes in the iris play a crucial role in eye color. These cells make melanin, the pigment that gives color to our eyes, skin, and hair. In the iris, more melanin means darker eyes.

The interaction of bimatoprost with these cells can lead to an increase in melanin production. For patients using Latisse, their eye color could change—especially if they have green or hazel eyes. These colors indicate a more significant presence of melanosomes than blue eyes, which have fewer.

Prevalence of Eye Color Change

Most patients observe that Latisse significantly increases lash thickness in four months and darkens them. Still, many worry that their eye color might change because of the consistent use of Latisse. However, this side effect is more likely to affect people with green or hazel eyes. The change starts around the pupil’s edge but doesn’t prevent patients from using it. 

This side effect is also rare and has only been observed in 1-2% of glaucoma patients who also use bimatoprost. This suggests the risk exists but remains low for most users. Furthermore, less than 4% of those who apply Latisse face any side effects. 

Patient Cases and Experiences

Latisse is known for enhancing eyelash growth but can have unexpected side effects. One notable side effect involves changes in eye color, particularly in users with lighter eyes.

Image Courtesy of Celibre

Before the eyelash improvement treatment, patients often have sparse or thin lashes, which can impact their overall eye appearance. After the treatment, the before-and-after photos show a remarkable lash volume, length, and thickness enhancement. Patients typically achieve fuller and more luscious lashes, framing their eyes beautifully and enhancing their natural features.

Image Courtesy of Celibre

Patients in the before photos may exhibit short or brittle lashes lacking volume and definition. Following the eyelash improvement treatment, the after photos reveal significantly thicker, longer, and darker lashes. This transformation not only enhances the attractiveness of the eyes but also reduces the need for mascara or false lashes. Patients often experience a boost in confidence with their enhanced eye appearance.

Implications for Patients

Latisse contains benzalkonium chloride, a preservative that contact lenses can absorb. Because of this, you should remove your contacts before using Latisis and wait 15 minutes before putting them back in.

Choosing treatments means looking at all options and risks. Using multimedia tools like videos and booklets can help explain things better than just words or pictures alone. This way, patients understand what might happen with their eyes and feel ready for any changes from using Latisse.

Monitoring and Addressing Eye Color Change

Patients using Latisse should know the potential risk of eye color changes, especially those with hazel or green eyes. It is essential to apply Latisse precisely as directed, ensuring the solution is placed only on the upper eyelash line and avoiding contact with the eye or lower eyelids. Here are some essential guidelines:

  • Application Precision: Use the sterile applicator provided to apply Latisse on the upper lash line. Avoid letting the solution drip into the eye or the lower lash line.
  • Contact Lenses: If you wear contact lenses, remove them before applying Latisse. You can reinsert them 15 minutes after application to avoid irritation from benzalkonium chloride.
  • Monitor Changes: Regularly check your eyes for any color changes, particularly if you have hazel or green eyes. Look for darkening of the iris.
  • Consistency and Timing: Apply Latisse once daily, preferably in the evening. Consistency in application can help achieve the best results while minimizing risks.
  • Hygiene: Ensure the applicator and the surrounding area are clean to prevent contamination and potential eye infections.

When to Seek Medical Attention

If you notice any changes in your eye color or experience adverse reactions while using Latisse, it is crucial to seek medical attention promptly. Here’s when you should contact your healthcare provider:

  • Eye Color Change: If you observe darkening of the iris, mainly if it spreads or intensifies, consult your doctor to discuss whether to continue treatment.
  • Severe Irritation: A healthcare professional should evaluate any persistent or severe irritation, redness, or swelling around the eye area.
  • Allergic Reactions: Symptoms such as itching, rash, or difficulty breathing could indicate an allergic reaction and require immediate medical attention.
  • Vision Changes: Any changes in vision, such as blurriness or decreased vision, should be promptly addressed with your eye care provider.
  • Unusual Symptoms: If you experience any other unusual symptoms not typically associated with Latisse use, contact your doctor to ensure they are unrelated to the treatment.


Latisse, the eyelash growth serum, can change eye color. This happens because of a substance called bimatoprost. It affects melanin in the eyes, making them darker for some people. Most often, only those with lighter eyes see this change.

Knowing about this helps you decide if Latisse is right for you.


1. Can Latisse change the color of my eyes?

Yes, Latisse can change your eye color, making it darker.

2. How does Latisse cause eye color to change?

Latisse affects the pigment in your eyes, leading to a darker shade over time.

3. Is the eye color change permanent?

Yes, it’s permanent once your eye color changes from using Latisse.

4. Will everyone who uses Latisse experience a change in eye color?

No, not everyone will see their eye color change; it varies from person to person.

schedule a meeting with sales representative MedicalSpaRX
Need help or additional information?

Our sales representatives are here for you!



Hill, A. (2024, February 20). Eye color statistics: What’s the most popular eye color? Vision Center. https://www.visioncenter.org/resources/eye-color-statistics/

Vohnoutka, E., & Silvestro, S. (2021, August 12). Can Latisse change your eye color? Ro. https://ro.co/latisse/latisse-eye-color-change/

Allergan. (n.d.). LATISSE®: Mechanism of action. Retrieved from https://professional.latisse.com/About-Latisse/Mechanism-of-Action