Dry, flaky eyelids can be so frustrating, and they can really mess with your confidence. We know how it feels to worry about your eyelids and how they look, so we’re going to help you get to the root of the problem today. We’ll discuss not only the symptoms of dry, flaky eyelids and eyelid dermatitis, but the treatment options as well.
Some of the symptoms you may notice when you have dry, flaky eyelids include:
- Itching – Irritation of the skin on the eyelids can cause you to itch. Scratching can then lead to cuts, redness, inflammation and other problems including infections of the eyelid.
- Pain – Irritation of the eyelids can hurt! The pain can disrupt your life, make you unable to work, and impact your overall mood. You may also find yourself rubbing your eyelids in an effort to relieve the pain, but the rubbing could lead to even more redness and flakiness.
- Flakiness – The skin on the eyelid is smooth, thin, and sensitive. When it becomes irritated, it can flake, meaning tiny pieces of skin dry and peel off. The flaky eyelid skin may feel rough as well.
- Burning – You may experience a burning sensation if your eyelids are flaky and dry. The burning can range from mildly irritating to very painful. It could even make your eyes water and negatively impact your vision.
- Dryness of the skin – Our skin, including the skin on our eyelids, must maintain a certain level of moisture to stay elastic, smooth, and healthy. But the skin can become dried out, which leads to flakiness, scaling, irritation, and redness.
- Redness – As with most cases of eyelid dermatitis, the skin on the eyelid could become red and may even display bumps or a rash. Skin rashes, particularly those on the sensitive eyelids, may itch and burn or be painful. Unfortunately, with rashes, the more you rub and scratch the skin to ease the itching and pain, the more the rash will spread, causing even more irritation and pain.
- Swelling – Swelling or inflammation is a common symptom that accompanies pain, rash, itching, and burning. The affected area increases in size and, most often, increases in temperature, too.
- Thickening of the skin – Particularly with chronic dermatitis or dry, flaky eyelids, the skin may become thicker and less flexible. This is a result of scar tissue that forms due to damage to the skin.
Why are my Eyelids Dry? 6 Reasons You Have Dry, Flaky Eyelids
There are quite a few reasons why you may be suffering from flaky eyelids. All of the following can contribute to this:
Washing your face on a regular basis with hot water can also cause your eyelids to appear dry. Try turning down the heat when you are washing your face or taking a shower, so your skin can retain more moisture and not get irritated as easily. Even better, use cold water occasionally!
Cold or Dry Climate
If you reside in a cold or dry climate, even during only certain parts of the year, your eyelids can be affected. Cold and dry climates can cause exposed skin to not retain enough moisture and even make the skin crack or bleed. Do your best to increase the humidity in the area you can control...your home.
If you are 40 or older, chances are you are already using anti-aging moisturizers. The skin on your eyelids is affected by the aging process. Your skin naturally thins with age. Applying a daily moisturizer can help your skin retain moisture and even rebuild cells that are starting to decrease as we age.
Blepharitis and Dermatitis
If the above factors do not pertain to you or your symptoms persist beyond over the counter products, you may have a more serious condition such as dermatitis or blepharitis. Blepharitis is also associated with other skin conditions such as ocular rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis, and psoriasis. While these are separate conditions, a person suffering from one condition may simultaneously suffer from another. Other conditions contributing may include contact dermatitis, seborrheic dermatitis, and atopic dermatitis.
Demodex Eyelash Mites
As much as we don’t want to think about it, our bodies play host to a number of unseen organisms, including eyelash mites and even lice. Among these can be demodex, a family of tiny mites that live on the skin adjacent to hair follicles. The mites prefer the eyelash area because of the high moisture. Your skin reacts to the mites by triggering an allergy-like reaction, with redness, itching, and swelling. This can lead to blepharitis, meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD), and eyelid dermatitis (or dry, flaky eyelids).
Cosmetics and Lotions
This last one might be something you never think about. The contents of makeup products can be questionable and may lead to allergic skin reactions, especially for people who have sensitivity to substances that come in contact with their skin. It is good advice to be cognizant of the substances that you put on or near your eyelids.
How To Get Rid of Dry Eyelids | 7 Best Home Remedies for Your Dry, Flaky Eyelids
1. Anti-Inflammatory Diet
We place this at #1 for the treatment of most disease because it’s so important and can really help you get to the root of the problem. If you’re filling your body with processed junk food, baked goods high in sugar, food allergies, too much salt, and unhealthy oils, your body is going to be suffering from inflammation.
Do your body and your eyes a favor and move to a plant-based anti-inflammatory diet. All you need to do is start with one meal per day, and we recommend breakfast. Replace whatever you’re eating with a green smoothie. Click here to read more about this and download the helpful smoothie charts and meal plans. Next, get rid of anything that you’re drinking besides water and plain black coffee. It sounds awful, but your health will thank you! Don’t forget to grab our new book, Rethinking Dry Eye Treatment, to learn more about making healthy changes to your diet.
Treatment for ALL disease should start with drinking plenty of water daily. At least seventy-five percent (75%!) of us walk around dehydrated. You should be carrying around a reusable water bottle with you at all times (do yourself and our planet a favor and avoid disposable plastic water bottles).
If you’re wondering the correct amount to drink, in general you should be drinking half your body weight in ounces of water per day. That's 75 ounces of water for a 150 pound person. Are you drinking this much? If you have questions about how much to drink, or if you suffer from kidney disease, please discuss this with your doctor beforehand.
3. Gentle Facial Cleanser
In addition to the above, you want to avoid touching your eyes or your eyelids as much as possible. Bacteria from your fingers can easily spread to the eye and the skin around your eyes. If you must rub or touch your eye area, always wash your hands first to make sure they are clean.
If you wear makeup, especially eye makeup, make sure you are taking all of your makeup off before you go to bed at night with an oil-based eye makeup remover. Makeup can get into your eyes or irritate your eyes while you sleep. The makeup can also get on your pillow or sheets where bacteria can grow, and it’s truly pretty unhygienic to leave any makeup on while you sleep at night.
Finally, make sure you’re cleaning your skin with a gentle facial cleanser that can remove stubborn bacteria. Tea tree oil soap is great because it’s gentle yet effective for removing contaminants from your skin, including bacteria and demodex eyelash mites that can contribute to flaky eyelid skin. In addition, tea tree oil soap can be beneficial for rosacea, psoriasis, and eczema.
4. Hypochlorous Acid Eyelid Cleanser
This is arguably the most important step in treating flaky eyelid skin and dermatitis. Get rid of the baby shampoo you might be using! A hypochlorous acid cleanser can be used twice per day to remove contaminants on the skin and mucous membranes, including around the eyes. It provides an ideal way to thoroughly clean around your eyes to fight bacteria growth on the skin of the eyelids.
We love to recommend hypochlorous acid because it’s gentle on the skin and very effective for cleaning. It does this while remaining a 100% organic and 100% vegan product that is alcohol free and fragrance free. Eyelid hygiene is going to ensure that you’re not providing a breeding ground for bacteria, demodex, and other microorganisms that can lead to that dry, flaky skin. Click here to check the price of our recommended hypochlorous acid cleanser.
This is an easy to use formula. First, clean the area that you wish to use the product on. Then, spray on the cleanser. There is no need to wash it off; you can allow it to air dry. This product can be used on the eyes and eyelids, or anywhere else on your skin where you need extra cleaning. This is a fast-acting formula that gets to work as soon as you apply it to the skin.
5. Facial Moisturizer and Eyelid Serum
Once you’ve changed your diet, amped up your hydration, and cleansed your skin properly, you need to moisturize! We highly recommend using only organic, natural products for this because you want to avoid anything that can cause a reaction (arguably, anything can...but YOU know what’s best for you). The moisturizer we recommend is made from all-natural and certified organic ingredients, which have been clinically proven to naturally aid in the reduction of fine lines and wrinkles while deeply moisturizing the facial, eye, neck and décolleté areas of your skin.
This deeply penetrating moisturizer locks in the moisture and leaves your skin feeling and looking radiant and youthful, without the flakiness. It’s suitable as both a day or night cream, and is made with Distilled Water, Organic Aloe Juice, Organic Coconut Oil, Organic Sweet Almond Oil, Raw Shea Butter, Emulsifying Wax, Stearic Acid, Germail, Jojoba Oil, Non-GMO Vitamin E Oil, Tea Tree Essential Oil.
6. Wear 100% UV Protected Sunglasses Outdoors
We love this bonus tip! Everyone should be wearing 100% UV protected, polarized sunglasses while outdoors, even on cloudy days. This is because UV light has the potential to cause not only damage to the eyes and vision, but wrinkles, aging, and flaky skin around the eyes as well.
Do yourself a favor and purchase a pair of high-quality polarized sunglasses. You can choose any style and any lens color you like, as long as they’re 100% UV protected and truly protect your eyes. Be wary of cheap sunglasses, as sunglasses that are merely dark can actually be more harmful for the eyes and vision. Click here to shop polarized sunglasses.
7. Consult your Eye Doctor
I know you might not want to hear this one because you want a home remedy that works, but if you’ve tried all of the above and nothing is working it might be time to consult your doctor. You may have other conditions contributing to your dry, flaky eyelids. Your doctor will be able to thoroughly examine your eyelids and lashes, search for culprits, and give you a treatment plan that really works.
It can be super frustrating to deal with dry, flaky eyelids, especially when you also suffer from dry eyes or other inflammatory conditions. However, know that all inflammation is best dealt with at the source. We continually recommend an anti-inflammatory diet as well as hydration because these two can prevent a whole host of issues leading to chronic disease.
You do not have to suffer any longer! By following the tips noted above, it’s possible for you to gain back your glowing skin, healthy eyes, and much needed confidence.
Do you have flaky eyelids? Do you have any tips for treating this that may have worked for you? Let us know in the comments below!
FAQs About Dry Eyelids
What can I put on my eyelids for dryness?
For eyelid dryness, we suggest using one of two things. First of all, if you are very sensitive to many products on the market, use organic, cold pressed jojoba oil. This oil is very close in consistency to the sebum of our own skin, making it a wonderful moisturizer. If you suffer from demodex or rosacea, we recommend the Heyedrate Eye Cream and Face Moisturizer, which contains small amounts of tea tree essential oil to calm these conditions while moisturizing your delicate eyelids.
What is a natural remedy for dry eyelids?
When dealing with dry eyelids, we always recommend using natural products because the skin of the eyelids is so thin and delicate. Using organic, cold pressed jojoba oil is a great remedy because jojoba oil is very similar to the sebum our skin produces. If you suffer from rosacea or other eyelid inflammation, we recommend the Heyedrate Eye Cream and Face Moisturizer because it contains small amounts of antibacterial and anti-inflammatory tea tree essential oil.
Can you use Vaseline on dry eyelids?
We strongly recommend not using Vaseline on your eyelids (or anywhere on your skin, for that matter). Vaseline and other similar products contain petroleum jelly and petrolatum, which are like wrapping your skin in plastic. They do nothing to moisturize, but instead this product and others like it contain tons of chemicals that could further irritate your skin. We recommend using an organic oil, such as jojoba oil, if you find that you have trouble tolerating other natural moisturizers.
Can I put olive oil on my eyelids?
Olive oil is moderately comedogenic, meaning that it can clog the pores of your skin and eyelids. In addition to this, it is not recommended to use olive oil on cases of eczema (skin inflammation) because it can disrupt the skin barrier. A better option for your eyelids and skin in general would be organic, cold pressed jojoba oil. This oil is non-comedogenic and very similar to that secreted naturally from your skin. It’s not likely to cause a further reaction.
What causes dry eyelids?
While there are many things that can contribute to dry eyelids, one common cause is contact dermatitis. This occurs when your skin reacts to something in your environment. This could be a medication, facial cream, detergent, hair products, and the list goes on. Treatment would include avoidance of the offending agent. In addition to this, blepharitis (inflammation of the eyelids) can contribute to dryness. Blepharitis can be treated with proper eyelid hygiene, and we recommend Heyedrate Lid and Lash Cleanser twice daily.
What is dry flaky skin on eyelids?
Eyelid dermatitis is a common condition where the skin of the eyelids becomes dry, flaky, and itchy. Often, redness accompanies the other symptoms. Eyelid dryness can be caused by many things, but the largest offender is contact dermatitis, or reacting to a substance in your environment. This could be a new detergent, face cream, eye drop, or hair product, among other things. If you can pinpoint the offending agent, you can avoid using it and your eyelids should return to normal. In the meantime, we recommend moisturizing with the Heyedrate Eye Cream and Face Moisturizer because it contains all-natural antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients that will not further irritate your already irritated eyelids.
Will blepharitis ever go away?
It is possible for blepharitis to be well controlled. To do this, you’ll need an effective eyelid hygiene regimen including thoroughly removing any makeup (at night), washing your face, and cleansing your eyelids and eyelashes with a hypochlorous acid eyelid cleanser twice daily. Learn more about the routine we recommend by heading here.