06 January 2009

Allergan, the company behind Botox, has won approval to sell a new product that lengthens eyelashes. The non-surgical cosmetic treatment, dubbed Latisse™, has been created to treat a condition called hypotrichosis - when a person has fewer than the normal amount of eyelashes - but is also likely to appeal to people who desire thicker, more lustrous lashes.Latisse™ has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which means that it will be available through prescription from early this year. According to the Telegraph, a 30 day supply is expected to cost $120 (£82). The treatment must be applied once daily to the eyelashes with a disposable applicator, and could spell the demise of mascara for many women. Prior to the FDA's positive vote for the product, its Dermatologic and Ophthalmic Drugs Advisory Committee (DOMAC) voted unanimously to recommend that the body approve Latisse™. Following DOMAC's decision, Scott Whitcup M.D., Allergan's Executive Vice President of Research and Development, said: "Recently, unapproved eyelash products containing active drug ingredients have appeared on the market... "Latisse™ will offer consumers an FDA-approved product which has been extensively studied in well-controlled clinical trials, is manufactured to pharmaceutical standards, is appropriately labelled for use, and is regulated as a prescription product." Estimates currently suggest that sales of Latisse™ could exceed £300 million a year. The eyes continue to be an area in which both women and men seek aesthetic improvement. One of the most popular anti-ageing cosmetic surgery solutions, for example, is eye bag removal or blepharoplasty, through which surplus fatty tissue under the eyes is removed and loose skin is tightened.