Eyelid Hygiene. It’s A Thing And You Need To Know

Eyelid hygiene. As odd as it sounds, it’s a thing. An important one too, if you want to keep your eyeballs clean and bacteria free and we, eh hem, think you should. So does Dr. Brisco, OD, FAAO, CCH, FCOVD and a Los Angeles-based optometrist. According to this City of Angels eye guy, things like pollutants, pollens, dander and anything else you may be allergic to love to stick to your eyeballs and create problems. Here’s what you need to know.

Your eyes are prone to bacteria infections
Your eyes are wet, mostly open during the day (at least we hope you’re staying alert and paying attention) and are, well, exposed to bacteria every single day. “Bacteria lives in the hair follicles and the oily tear glands, your sebaceous glands,” explains Dr. Brisco. “That’s why many people, as they get older, can have crusty lids or their lids look a little thick and heavy or their eyes look tired, red, dry and uncomfortable.”

Water and blinking isn’t enough
Sometimes, in cases like dirt and debris, you can blink or cleanse the area clean, but with bacteria? Not so much. “The bacteria and dirt and even, makeup can clog your tear glands,” says Dr. Brisco. “So first and foremost, clean your eyelids every day with a skincare product like makeup wipes.”

Prevention is key
Even if you’ve been cooped up indoors, say during a pandemic, your eyes can still be susceptible to infection, because you’ve been staring at a computer screen. And yes, you just read that last sentence correctly. Dr. Brisco says that working at a computer can slow your blink rate by 67 per cent and potentially cause your tear gland to fill with oily tears and clog them. Applying a heated eye compress “can melt any oily tear glands away,” says Dr. Brisco. Alternately, adding a drop or two of hydrating natural tears eye drops into your eyes a couple of times a day can also help prevent bacteria from forming.

Create a skincare routine for your eye area
Gently exfoliating, cleansing and moisturizing the under eye and surrounding eye area with eye specific grooming products gives the skin around your eyes the attention it needs. It creates optimum epidermal health, stimulates collagen growth, eliminates skin stressors, such as pollution, the sun’s UVA and UVB rays, dirt and more and acts as a protectant by stimulating and strengthening the skin’s natural barrier. And it feels good and makes your skin look even better. Using quality skincare products can “leverage carotenoids and fatty acids to stimulate collagen actively and soften wrinkles,” affirms Dr. Brisco. “They can also protect vulnerable eye areas from environmental stressors and stimulate the production of structural skin proteins.”

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