One prescription eye product that’s known to change eye color change as a side effect is Latisse, which makes eyelashes longer but has also been known to darken eyes as well. It’s a “very infrequent” side effect, according to the company that makes it, but it can be permanent. The same active ingredients — prostaglandins, or hormone-like compounds originally intended to treat glaucoma — are found in some over-the-counter lash serums and enhancers, and that’s totally legal.
What will probably not change your eye color is a product that says it can lighten eyes, Tooley said.
Dr. Guillermo Rocha, an ophthalmologist and past president of the Canadian Ophthalmological Society, agreed. He said that while some glaucoma medicines have been known to darken eyes, there’s nothing that works the other way.
“Nothing that can be topically applied will produce an iris that will go from brown to light blue or blue-colored,” he said, adding that the claim from iColour is “I think a bit of stretch.”
He also noted that the iColour balm lists n-acetyl-glucosamine as an ingredient. He looked through the medical literature and found that although n-acetyl-glucosamine has used to treat hyperpigmentation of the skin, there’s no research regarding its use on eyes.
iColour has a legal disclaimer that says: “These statements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.”
Products that are marketed as cosmetics are not tested, approved, and regulated by the FDA in the same ways as drugs.