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New eyelash growth product shows the right way to launch a cosmetic drug

Longtime readers of the Beauty Brains are familiar with all that we have written about eyelash growth products. We were skeptical of claims by Jan Marini at first because there was no supporting data presented. Then we found a study that showed there was a material that seemed to have stimulated eyelash growth. We were still skeptical, but at least this was some supporting data. Then Jan Marini admitted that the product doesn’t actually make your eyelashes grow. Finally, their product was seized by the FDA and taken off the shelf for being an illegal drug. It was quite a mess, but an excellent example of how a cosmetic company shouldn’t market a product.

Cosmetics are not drugs

Cosmetics are not drugs. They are products designed to be put on your skin or hair to temporarily change the surface properties like make-up, cleansers, lipstick & lotions. Hair growth, skin lightening, and anti-dandruff products interact with your body’s metabolism and are drugs, not cosmetics. Drugs are much more dangerous, so they require more thorough testing before being approved by the government.

Allergan Launches Eyelash Growth

This latest announcement by Allergan of a new eyelash growth product demonstrates the “correct” way to launch a drug product in the US.

1. You accidentally discover an unexpected beneficial effect. (eyelash growth)

2. You conduct a clinical trial & safety tests following approved FDA protocols.

3. You file your results with the FDA and wait for approval.

4. After approval, you market your product.

Forging ahead without governmental approval can result in bogus products that don’t work or even worse, unapproved drugs that can have unexpected, dangerous side effects. When you create a product that is changing people’s metabolism, it is reasonable for the government to require appropriate safety & performance testing be done.

For your own safety, please stay away from cosmetics that make drug claims!

Incidentally, Allergan hopes to launch their approved eyelash product in 2009.

What do you use to make your eyelashes look longer and fuller? And would you buy an untested drug if it might help with your cosmetic problem?