Am I Supposed to Moisturize My Eyelids?

‘Supposed to’ are strong words, but you certainly can!


For those who don’t feel like lubing up their eye roofs, Dr. Rajani Katta, of Katta Dermatology, has good news for you: “If you don’t have dry skin, you don’t need to moisturize your eyelids.” Woo-hoo!

Unfortunately, for many, dry eyelids are a real problem. The skin that constitutes your eyelids is extremely thin, making them very sensitive and susceptible to becoming irritated. Since they also contain fewer oil glands than the rest of your skin, they can be prone to becoming dehydrated, as well.

Dry, flaky eyelids often occur in winter, when there’s less moisture in the air than usual, but it’s far from the only culprit. “A lot of the time when I see red, itchy eyelids, it’s actually a sign of inflammation due to allergic reactions from something that’s coming into contact with them,” says Katta.

This could be a skin product you’re using around your eyes, or it could be something in your environment, such as pollen, pet dander, dust, mold — just about anything people can be allergic to. Chances are these things are also irritating your eyeballs, too.

If you have dry eyelids, you should definitely be moisturizing them, but be careful — some eye creams are more targeted toward preventing wrinkles than just regular moisturizing, and so could contain ingredients that are fine for normal skin, but which your eyelids can’t handle. Even the most basic moisturizers might have some random thing that irritates your eyes as well, so it may take some trial and error if you’re unlucky.

As usual, if your dry eyelids or eye irritation persists, it’s time to see a dermatologist, who can prescribe safe, anti-inflammatory lotions to take care of the problem. Then you’ll be looking good in more ways than one.