Caring for Your Eyelashes and Eyelids

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Eyelashes! Hard to believe a fringe of fine hair could be your eyes first line of defense!

Your eyelids and lashes have a full-time job protecting your eyes and helping keep them healthy.

Eyelashes capture dirt, dust and other airborne debris, and trigger blinking to distribute tears that cleanse and moisturize. When eyes are closed, eyelashes and eyelids form an almost impenetrable barrier against foreign irritants.  Sensitive to the slightest touch, eyelashes are an early warning system when objects get too close, and they grow in a way that directs moisture like sweat and rain away from the eyes, and lessen airflow across the eyes to reduce evaporation!

That is a long list of important tasks, so to keep your lids and lashes healthy and performing be sure to give them some TLC.

Don’t Touch!

Keep your hands away from your eyes.  Hands touch everything and no amount of washing can keep them clean all the time.  When you must touch your eyes or eyelashes, wash your hands first and avoid excess rubbing.

Wash Your Face

Makeup, sunscreen, lotions, sweat, dirt, skin cells, bacteria.  What doesn’t end up on your face?  Whether you wear makeup or not, use a gentle cleanser to wash your entire face and eye area every day.  Dry skin or dandruff?  Pay attention to your eyebrows as well, as they capture flakes that can get in your eyes while you sleep. Take extra care with waterproof mascara.  Soak a cotton pad with makeup remover and hold it against your eye for at least 10 – 15 seconds.  No picking or pulling!  Then stoke the pad downwards to gently clean the lashes without causing damage.

Did you know: For a DIY lid and lash cleanser, dilute baby shampoo with water and massage your eyelids. Use a warm damp cloth and gently wipe until all shampoo mixture is removed.

Don’t Ignore Problems

If your eyes are itchy, red, dry, if you are experiencing swelling, styes or crusty debris along the edge of the eyelid or base of your lashes you need to make an appointment to see your optometrist.  These can be symptoms of blepharitis, an infection caused by bacteria, skin cells or plugged glands along the edge of the eye.  The optometrist will advise you on a regimen of care to get your eyelids back to good health.

Eyelid Scrub

Proactive lid and lash care can help you avoid flare ups and lash loss.  Eyelid scrubs are excellent for exfoliating and thoroughly cleansing the eyelid and lashes keeping them in top condition.  Most contain tea tree oil which is excellent in combatting bacteria. The optometrist will recommend a non-prescription product or prescribe one specifically to treat any underlying lid conditions.

Did you know: An eyelash lasts around three months before falling out and can take up to two months to completely grow back

Moist Heat

To maintain eyelid gland health, the most effective practice is moist heat.  Place a warm, damp washcloth on your top and bottom eyelids once or twice a day.  Don’t rub, just relax and allow the moist heat to sooth and soften the oils around your lash follicles.  You can also purchase a microwavable eye mask that can be heated and placed over your eyes for 6 to 7 minutes a day. As well as keeping your lids and lashes healthy, this is a great way to prepare yourself for a restful sleep.

Book your appointment today to speak to your eye care professional about the best regimen for you!


CARP members receive exceptional benefits at IRIS:

  • $150 towards any complete pair of prescription eyewear (frame and lenses valued at $250 or more) or prescription sunglasses
  • $50 towards the purchase of an annual supply of contact lenses
  • $50 towards non-prescription sunglasses valued at $100 or more
  • $500 towards vision correction procedures at our ophthalmology clinic in Laval, Quebec
  • $25 towards the purchase of 3 or more bottles of Eye Omega Benefits 240 Gel Caps

Register with CARP and receive your IRIS Benefits. Visit www.carp.ca.