RapidLash is a cosmetic product claiming to grow lashes. Like many companies with their version of lash-growing products, RapidLash seems in to compete with Allergan’s expensive prescription-only version called Latisse ($160 for 0.1 ounce). Most of these Latisse-wannabes are nothing more than colorless liquid eyeliners with some peptides or plant extracts thrown in even though these have no research showing they can affect hair growth.
RapidLash stands apart not only because it costs considerably less than Latisse but it does, at least in theory, work to grow lashes.
A serious distinction between Latisse and RapidLash is Latisse, as a prescription-only drug, is subject to intense scrutiny, proof of safety and efficacy by the FDA that RapidLash is not. Rocasuba, the company that distributes RapidLash, has done some amount of their own testing, but it pales in comparison to the level of testing Latisse went through to prove what it can and can't do and what risks accompany its benefits.
Claims for RapidLash are carefully worded so they remain strictly cosmetic and not like a drug but here's the difference: RapidLash does contain an ingredient that quite possibly allows it to work like Lattise.
The active ingredient in Latisse is bimatoprost. Bimatoprost is the active ingredient in the prescription medication Lumigan used to treat glaucoma. Patients with glaucoma who used Lumigan noticed their eyelashes really grew and got darker. Allergan owns Lumigan and so they took advantage of this side effect and obtained FDA approval to sell the active ingredient as a lash growing treatment.
RapidLash contains an ingredient called isopropyl cloprostenate, which has some distant molecular similarities to bimatoprost. While there is no published research showing isopropyl cloprostenate can grow lashes its relation to bimatoprost clearly exists.
This association is the likely explanation behind RapidLash’s runaway success. A quick Google search produces thousands of online “fans” all attesting to its efficacy. Given there is evidence that RapidLash could work similarly to Latisse, it is therefore quite possible that the same side effects associated with Latisse could occur when using RapidLash as well.
Bimatoprost can cause irritation, redness, a bluish skin discoloration around the eye that could be permanent, and a permanent change in eye color among other potential problems anyone considering Latisse should be told about.
The company selling RapidLash says they have no research or evidence showing these risks exist for their product, but their research is not reviewed by the FDA nor are they required to perform the mandatory safety and efficacy tests for drugs required by federal law. However, it is reassuring that the company has made the efforts to ensure the safety of RapidLash, and they willingly provided these documents to us.
So should you consider trying RapidLash for longer lashes and fuller eyebrows? The Paula's Choice Research Team has used this product with much success, though some of us get a bluish-red discoloration along the lashline.
Ultimately, there just isn't enough substantiated information to make a surefire recommendation, so it's your call.
For your own eye health, if you do decide to try RapidLash, or Latisse for that matter, watch for any negative side effects as mentioned above and it never hurts to check with your doctor first.
Bottom line: RapidLash should work, at least in theory, to provide the lash- and brow-enhancing results you want, but do be mindful of any undesirable changes. NOTE: A pricier version of RapidLash is sold as Neulash. These lash-enhancing products are nearly identical so there's no need to spend almost twice as much on Neulash (you may see it on cosmetic counters at Neiman Marcus department stores).
Note: The version of RapidLash sold in Canada has a different formula that does not contain the isopropyl cloprostenate ingredient. Because of this, the likelihood of it working the same as the U.S.-sold version of this product is slim.