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What’s the best eyelid scrub?

Every time we blink, a lot is happening underneath our eyelids. Our eyelids protect our eyes from foreign objects and secrete moisturizing fluids that keep the eyes from drying out. They are the first line of defense in our optical health.

However, our eyelids can become irritated and inflamed due to disease, allergies or eyelash mites. The discomfort and itching are hard to ignore. Eyelid scrubs are a convenient way to wash away irritants that have collected along your lash line. There are a variety of eyelid scrubs to consider, but for its exfoliating properties and natural treatment of certain eye conditions, the Mediviz Tea Tree Eyelid Wipes are the top choice.

What to know before you buy an eyelid scrub

What is an eyelid scrub?

Despite the name, eyelid scrubs don’t exfoliate the skin along your lash line, but these gentle cleansers are able to wash away bacteria, oils and pollen that cause eyelid irritation. They also kill microscopic mites that exist on everyone’s eyelashes.

What causes eyelid irritation?

The two most common causes of eyelid itching and inflammation are blepharitis and eyelash mites.

According to the National Institutes of Health, blepharitis causes inflammation of the eyelid with symptoms such as crusting, flaking, burning and tired eyes. It develops from an overgrowth of bacteria that leads to an infection or clogged oil glands at the lash base. Blepharitis can occur on the outside of the eyelid near the eyelashes or inside the eyelid against the eye.

Demodex mites live on everyone’s eyelashes and perform the helpful task of removing excess oil and dead skin cells. An overabundance of mites causes redness, itchiness and crusted lashes. People with rosacea are most susceptible, according to the NIH, having significantly more mites than those without rosacea.

Are eyelid scrubs safe to use?

Over-the-counter eyelid scrubs are safe to use when following the manufacturer’s instructions. Since the skin along the eyelid is thinner than the rest of our skin, you should be gentle when applying a scrub. Consult your health care provider to confirm that the eyelid scrub you are using is formulated for the cause of your eyelid irritation.

What to look for in a quality eyelid scrub

Application method

There are two methods of application:

  • Wipes are single-use compresses saturated with the cleansing formula. They are easy to handle and slide across the eyelid.
  • Washes are solutions made from chemical ingredients and applied with a clean compress, such as a washcloth, cotton swab or cotton pad.

Active ingredient

A variety of active ingredients are used in eyelid scrubs. Each has an application specific to symptoms or underlying condition.

  • Hypochlorous acid is the same active ingredient in household bleach but formulated at a lower concentration safe for optical use. It kills bacteria and reduces inflammation.
  • Tea tree oil is a powerful mite killer that can be used in both wipe and wash applications.
  • Glyceryl cocoate and hydrogenated glyceryl palmitate are surfactants designed for skin conditions around the eye.
  • Baby shampoo contains several synthetic ingredients that provide eye irritation relief like over-the-counter washes, according to the NIH. However, there is debate in the medical community about whether these ingredients cause more harm than benefit.

Inactive ingredients

People with extra-dry skin may find some eyelid scrubs to cause dryness and irritation. Look for scrubs with ingredients that soothe the skin, such as chamomile, aloe vera, hyaluronic acid and vitamin E.

How much you can expect to spend on an eyelid scrub

  • Eyelid wipes made with hypochlorous acid and other synthetic ingredients cost 25-75 cents per wipe.
  • Eyelid wipes made with tea tree oil are 75 cents-$1.70 per wipe.
  • Eyelid washes run $2.30-$8 per fluid ounce. Washes with microbial ingredients cost $15-$30 per fluid ounce.

Eyelid scrub FAQ

How do you use eyelid scrubs when wearing makeup?

A. Remove all makeup before using an eyelid scrub. Cosmetics with fragrance, parabens and formaldehyde may cause eye irritation. Applying makeup without these ingredients is a proactive step toward reducing eye irritation. 

Will blepharitis return?

A. Blepharitis returns in most people, according to the NIH. Recurrent blepharitis may need additional treatments or daily eyelid scrub applications. Your health care provider can develop a treatment plan for your condition.

What’s the best eyelid scrub to buy?

Top eyelid scrub

Best Mediviz Tea Tree Eyelid Wipes

Mediviz Tea Tree Eyelid Wipes

What you need to know: The powerful tea tree oil kills eyelash mites and soothes eyelids from clogged oil glands and irritation.

What you’ll love: The exfoliating effect washes away dead skin cells and other irritants while killing demodex mites. The wipes promote collagen production and strengthen skin tissue around the eye. A satisfaction guarantee is included.

What you should consider: The wipes have an exfoliating property that can be harsh for some users.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top eyelid scrub for the money

Best Ocusoft Lid Scrub

Ocusoft Lid Scrub

What you need to know: From a trusted brand, this wash is gentle and effective at removing oil and dirt from the skin around the eyes.

What you’ll love: A safe choice for daily use, it’s designed to temporarily remain on the lid and lashes to relieve itching and irritation. It can also be used as a makeup remover.

What you should consider:  Some reviewers said the pump mechanism does not always return to its original starting point.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon 

Worth checking out

Best Cliradex Eyelid and Eyelash Cleanser

Cliradex Eyelid and Eyelash Cleanser

What you need to know: These natural wipes are formulated with tea tree oil to kill eyelash mites and keep the skin around the eye fresh and clean.

What you’ll love: Made in the United States, the patented formula isolates the main ingredient of tea tree oil for killing demodex mites. These vegan towelettes are made without fragrances, parabens or alcohol. 

What you should consider: The cleanser burns at first, but is typically tolerated in time.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Steve Ganger writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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