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Why Cleansing Oils are Better for Eye Care Than You Think

In 2016, I was the first optometrist to bring the concept of oil cleansing for eye care to the market. It all began with my stubborn patient that refused to remove her eye makeup, lol. I couldn't find anything to help her, so I made her a cleansing oil. The rest is history. 

So why is oil cleansing better than traditional, soapy style cleansers? And why is this concept significant for eye care and those that have problems with dry eyes and blepharitis? Let me explain.


The eyelid skin is exceptional because not only is it coated with a natural layer of sebum, but it neighbors structures of the eye that interact upon every blink. The eyelid area has oil glands, sweat glands, hair follicles, and a tear film. In addition, there is good bacteria and a balanced tear film that is unique to each person.

Traditional soapy cleansers with surfactants, emulsifiers, and preservatives tend to strip away the good bacteria and the lipid layer of the tear film. This ultimately creates a shift in the natural pH of the sebum and tears, creating an imbalance which over times leads to inflammation and eye problems. 

The most significant benefit of oil cleansing is that this style of cleansing does not change the natural pH of the skin and tears. This is truly significant. A cleansing oil allows the skin and tears to do what they are meant to do - defend against bad bacteria and inflammation. I call this a microbiome in balance. Again, it's important to repeat that the stripping away of the sebum and tear lipids creates imbalance which leads to inflammation. Over time, this leads to chronic problems such as intermittent blurry vision, dry eyes, and blepharitis. 

Using cleansing oil for the first time to clean your eyelids and eyelashes? Let me be frank. It's weird. It feels greasy and messy. With some helpful tips, cleaning your eye area with We Love Eyes cleansing oils will become a life hack you can't live without.


TIP #1. Since cleansing oil does not contain an emulsifier (an ingredient that helps oils and waters blend), it cannot be rinsed away with just water. Here you will need some help from a washcloth, cotton pad (not cotton ball), or better yet – a We Love Eyes cleansing brush. 


TIP #2. Using your cleansing oil right before bedtime will help with the occasional blurry vision. If you plan on working, reading, or watching TV before bed – oil cleanse after these activities, not before. 


TIP #3. A little is all you need. 1 drop. 1-2 drops. 3-5 drops. Use as little as possible to get the clean you are looking for. Also, it's important to adjust the number of drops depending on the We Love Eyes cleansing brush you're using.


Oil cleansing is an ideal vehicle for eye care. Respecting the pH, microbiome, and turning off that pathway to inflammation have keep my patients happy.


Love + Healthy Eyes,

Dr. Tanya Gill, OD