If you occasionally find yourself rubbing your eyes, grabbing more eye cream, or experiencing redness and irritation around your eye area, you’re not alone. Irritated skin around the eyes is a super common skin issue, and can be caused by several factors - from temperature changes to hormonal imbalances or harsh cosmetics.
The skin around the eyes is delicate and differs from the skin on the rest of your body. When it is inflamed, it may lead to watery, itchy eyes and that makes you uncomfortable and disrupts your day. First, it’s important to identify the signs of skin irritation to rule out more serious issues before finding your remedy for irritated skin around the eyes.
What Are the Signs of Eye Skin Irritation?
Is it an infection or just irritation? Skin irritation is usually characterized by:
- Itchy, flaky, dry skin around the eyes
- Rashes or discoloration
- Bumps resembling small pimples
If you have bumps that contain pus, or if you notice discharge from your eyes, consider getting medical advice as these symptoms may indicate an eye infection. It’s always best to consult a healthcare professional for proper diagnosis and treatment.
If you’re just dealing with minor skin irritation, there are a few things you can do to soothe the area pronto.
What Causes Eye Irritation?
The structure of the skin on the eyelid is more delicate compared to the skin on the rest of your face, making it more susceptible to irritation.
Common causes of an irritated eye area include:
- Dry skin. The skin of the eyelid is very thin and begins to lose hydration with age. The skin barrier, the outermost layer of skin that protects the deeper layers, may begin to feel dry, which can lead you to using heavy, occlusive products on the under-eye skin — and this can cause irritation, too.
- Sun exposure. If you are exposed to UV rays without protective eyewear (like UV protective sunglasses or sunscreen), you can develop irritation and sunburns on your eyelids and the skin surrounding your eyes.
- Cosmetics. Certain cosmetic products, like eyeliner, mascara, and eyeshadow, can cause irritation around your eyes, especially if these products contain harsh ingredients. If you’ve just started a new product and noticed itchiness or irritation, that might be the culprit.
- Fragrance. A common culprit for skin irritation is added fragrance in skin products and cosmetics. Consider opting for fragrance-free skincare products or laying off perfumed cosmetics for a bit to see if this helps to soothe your irritated skin.
- Rubbing. Of course, you’re probably rubbing your skin because it’s irritated - but this can make the problem worse. While it’s tempting to rub your eyes, consider a warm, damp wash cloth placed over the eyes to give the delicate skin relief, instead.
No matter the cause, you just want relief when you have flare-ups. Here are many ways to deal with itchy skin around the eyes without causing the situation to worsen.
Remedies for Irritated Eye Skin
If you regularly deal with irritated eye skin or dryness in the eye area, there are a few steps you can take to help settle your skin. First, avoid products that contain fragrances, dyes, and heavy oils. These can cause irritation and clog pores, leading to breakouts and milia.
Next, learn how to take care of irritation when it happens.
1. Use a Warm Compress
When dealing with irritation, using a warm compress is one of the best home remedies for relief. Soak a cloth in warm water and rest it on your eyes for five minutes to help reduce swelling and improve circulation in addition to calming down inflamed skin.
2. Avoid Heavy Creams
No matter your skin type, heavy eye creams may cause milia around your eyes and possibly lead to irritation. Instead, consider using lightweight serums.
One to try: NuFACE® FIX® Serum. This serum is packed with Triple Peptide Complex to help minimize the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles for smoother, more youthful skin. It’s also loaded with Hyaluronic Acid, a natural molecule in your skin that attracts and holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water to plump skin and lock in moisture. A soothing serum is a better solution for supplying this delicate area with topical moisture than a heavy cream.
Make sure you are always wearing UV-protective sunglasses when you are in the sunlight and consider using eye creams that contain antioxidants.
Antioxidants help protect your skin from oxidative stress, which damages skin and may result in irritation. Your skin undergoes oxidative stress when it releases free radicals in response to external stressors (like UV rays and pollution). An antioxidant eye cream doesn’t replace sun protection, but it can help maintain overall skin health.
4. Use a Mild Cleanser
If you’re using a harsh cleanser, you’ll likely want to switch to a gentle cleanser to help calm irritated skin. Try an effective cleanser that contains hydrating, skin-nourishing ingredients and opt for one that is free of harsh ingredients or added fragrances.
NuFACE Prep-N-Glow Exfoliating & Hydrating Facial Wipes have one side for cleansing and one side for exfoliating skin gently. For irritated eye skin, it may be best to only use the cleansing side until irritation subsides.
5. Avoid Makeup
During active flare-ups around your eyes, it’s best to avoid makeup until it settles down. Adding makeup to the mix may cause more irritation and make it more likely for your eye skin to take longer to heal - especially if your makeup includes fragrances or is a powder formula, which can dry out or irritate skin even more.
If your skin is particularly red, try using an ice pack on your eyes for a few minutes to help calm the redness and restore a normal color.
How To Avoid Skin Irritation
In addition to avoiding harsh products and protecting your skin from the sun, you can also invest in gentle-yet-effective skincare to achieve your goals without irritating skin.
NuFACE offers skincare products that are formulated for many skin types, even if you have sensitive skin. They also contain premium anti-aging ingredients to help you tackle wrinkles and fine lines while soothing your skin.
You can maintain the health of the skin around your eyes by avoiding harsh products and focusing more on restoring balance to the delicate skin around the eyes. NuFACE offers skincare products that soothes and protects while helping restore hydration with premium active ingredients.