Cosmetics & Your Eyes

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One of the many things I address in a dry eye or ocular discomfort evaluation is which cosmetics and products my patients are using on and around their eyes. Predictably, I find that my patients know very little about the products they are using. This is completely understandable. Before I became passionate and developed a career in dry eye management, I also did not know how to analyze my face and eye care products.

Cosmetic industries are loosely regulated, making it difficult to decipher which products are safe to have near the eye. Many products are falsely advertised as hypoallergenic, all-natural or organic. However, to truly know whether these claims are accurate, it’s best to verify the ingredients yourself.  While this may take more time and energy, it is well worth the effort when it comes to protecting your eyes.

See the list below of the top 10 offending ingredients found in common skin care products. These ingredients cause more inflammation/damage the longer they are on the eye. If a specific product you are using contains one of these ingredients, consider the amount of time it spends around/on your eye. If the product is quickly removed and present in a very dilute level it may be safe to use.

Top 10 Offending Ingredients

  • Alcohol

  • Argireline (acetyl hexapeptinde-3, Lipotec)

  • Benzalkonium Chloride (BAK)

  • Butylene Glycol

  • Ethylenediaminetetraacetic Acid (EDTA)

  • Formaldehyde and Formaldehyde donors

  • Isopropyl Cloprostenate

  • Parabens

  • Phenoxyethanol

  • Retinol


Learn more about cosmetics and your eyes by visiting our page dedicated to this topic.