Washing Eyes With Baby Shampoo | Is Baby Shampoo Safe for Inflamed Eyelids?
How To Clean Eyelids With Baby Shampoo
The short answer to how to clean your eyelids with baby shampoo is...
Don't Do It!
For years, eye doctors told their patients to clean their eyelids with baby shampoo. It seemed like a simple solution - no tears, right? But actually, using baby shampoo as a cleanser can be harmful for those with irritated eyes and eyelids.
Baby shampoo contains multiple synthetic ingredients and detergents that throw off the pH balance of your eyelids, and many of the ingredients can actually lead to eye allergies (including Cocamidopropyl Betaine, PEG-80 Sorbitan Laurate, Phenoxyethanol, and fragrance). It's difficult to even pronounce most of the ingredients! These harsh chemicals can irritate your eyes, which is the exact opposite of the outcome you're looking for.
Inflamed Eyelids: Definition & Causes
Inflammation of the eyelids comes in many forms, but the symptoms most experience are all very similar. This may include "crusties" that form along your eyelash margin and eyelashes. This crust is made up of dead skin cells and bacteria, and can cause eye irritation and redness if left untreated.
Forgetting to properly clean your eyelids daily can contribute to build-up on your eyelids and lashes. In turn, this contributes to inflammation of the eyelids and eventually inflammation of the eyes. Other things that can worsen this issue are Demodex eyelash mites. These little parasites live in our eyelash follicles and feed on the oils and bacteria there...yet another reason to keep those eyelids and eyelashes squeaky clean!
What Do I Clean My Eyelids With Instead?
With all of the bacteria that naturally live on our eyelids and skin, it is so important that those who suffer from eyelid conditions ensure that they're keeping everything clean. Eyelid cleansing should be done twice per day, similar to when you brush your teeth.
Thankfully, there are much more effective ways of cleaning than using harsh baby shampoo, and a hypochlorous-based cleanser is a wonderful option. Hypochlorous acid is made naturally in your body by neutrophils, and it's a very gentle option for this purpose.
This particular spray is effective yet super gentle, and it requires no scrubbing. If you want to keep it super simple, spray it onto a cotton ball or round and apply to the base of your eyelashes. There's no need to even rinse it off.
Now that you've learned all about how to cleanse your eyelids properly, let's quickly cover a topic we get asked about all the time. What are you supposed to do when you get shampoo in your eye? If you've been using baby shampoo on your eyelids, this won't burn your eyes because it is gentle enough for those little humans in your life. However, if you're in the shower and some of your everyday shampoo in your hair runs down into your eyes, you'll need to take quick action.
First, make sure to run water over your eyelids (and you might even want to open your eyes slightly to really rinse your eyes out). You'll want to continue rinsing your eyes for 2-3 minutes so that no more soap is left in your eyes. Once you've done that, your eyes are going to feel irritated and dry because of the shampoo and the dousing of water, but this is normal and will subside. Use a hypochlorous acid cleanser to ensure that your eyelids are clean and free of shampoo, and then consider using some preservative free artificial tears in the hours following.
5 Alternatives to Baby Shampoo
1. Wash Face with Tea Tree Oil Soap
Washing your face is so important, and we recommend a tea tree oil based face wash. Once or twice per day, remove all makeup and lather on your face wash, ensuring that you rinse thoroughly (especially if using the product around the eyes).
2. Hypochlorous Acid
After washing your face, cleanse your eyelids with a hypochlorous acid solution. Hypochlorous acid is made naturally by the body, and it's a fantastic cleanser for the eyelids and lashes (as we discussed above). It is nontoxic, gentle, and easy to use. Simply spray the solution onto a cotton ball or round, rub it into the base of your eyelashes, and let it dry. There's no need to rinse!
Yes, heat! After you remove your makeup and wash your face, use a warm compress. A warm compress eye mask can be beneficial for helping heat up the oil within the meibomian glands. When this oil is hardened and stagnant, the glands can begin to atrophy (which we don't want). A warm compress may help loosen the oil and get it flowing normally when used consistently.
4. BlephEx or NuLids
When bacteria accumulate, they begin to form biofilm. Biofilm is a subtance that acts like a fortress for bacteria, protecting it from anything trying to remove it. It is hard to penetrate, so using NuLids at home or having BlephEx done in your doctor's office can support the health of your eyelids. NuLids is easy to use and takes only 60 seconds per day. If that's not something you're comfortable with, ask your doctor about BlephEx.
5. Green Smoothies
Are you surprised we saved this one for last? We talk so much about the importance of nutrition, and this tip could easily be number one. Simply replace your inflammatory breakfast with a green smoothie. If you're eating sugary cereals, dairy, pastries, bacon, etc then switching up your breakfast could make a huge impact! We want you to be getting tons of hydration and tons of antioxidants first thing in the morning. By having a simple green smoothie, you can ensure that you're flooding your body with the nutrients it needs. Need smoothie ideas? Check out this article for ideas.
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