Avoiding problems… Bugs in our eyelashes!

By Dr. Cynthia Payne

Yes, it can happen. Everyone has bacteria and mites living on the skin and this is usually a beneficial relationship but when overpopulation occurs, there is a problem. When they are able to overpopulate in the eyelashes and eyelid margins, eyes become red, itchy, irritated and dry, causing styes, flaking around the lashes, lash dropout and, in severe cases, contribute to eyelid oil gland dropout, which is irreversible.

Dr Tanya Gill the creator of We Love Eyes products
As a person ages, the skin around the eyes becomes more lax (wrinkles) and with the warmth and moisture from the eye creates a great environment for bacteria and mites to live and overpopulate. The mite (Demodex) population also increases when a person gets older. Soap stings, so many people, especially women, are not cleaning the eyelid margins and eyelashes close to the base of the lashes very well.

When one does not wash off eye makeup at night, bacteria and mites are being fed. It is important to not only take off makeup at night but to clean brushes and replace makeup as required. It is hard to look your best with flaky crusties at the lash line. Not removing mascara can also cause eyelashes to become dry, brittle and break off and shed faster.

There are a couple of options for cleaning the eyelid and eyelashes. Traditionally, I have instructed patients to use baby shampoo with warm water and scrub the eyelid margin and eyelashes. This does not sting but does not give the benefit of other products on the market. One of the newest collections of products on the market is We Love Eyes developed by optometrist Dr. Tanya Gill. This line of products is an all natural, non-toxic cleanser/makeup remover developed specifically for the eyes. It is formulated with tea tree oil that kills bacteria and Demodex but is very comfortable to use on the eyelid margin and eyelashes.

There are three We Love Eyes products. Tea Tree Eyelid & Eyelash Eye Makeup Remover Oil is made with tea tree oil, jojoba oil and grapeseed oil. This oil removes makeup and moisturizes and conditions the eyelashes. Want your eyelashes to grow longer and healthier? This will help by keeping the base of the lashes healthy. We Love Eyes Pro Tea Tree Eyelid & Eyelash Cleansing Oil has a higher concentration of tea tree oil to help treat active bacteria or Demodex infections. After gently scrubbing the base of the eyelashes with the oil, the oil is cleaned off with We Love Eyes Tea Tree Eyelid Foaming Cleanser. This cleanser is gentle enough to clean the eyelashes and the eyelid margins.

The We Love Eyes Tea Tree Eyelid Foaming Cleanser can be used to clean your fake eyelashes when you remove them. If you have eyelash extensions, the foaming cleanser is great to use to keep the base of your eyelashes clean and healthy. Bacteria and Demodex really like to grow with eyelash extensions because women try to be so careful about touching them in order to protect their investment in the cost of having them applied. Cost does not matter if lashes fall out from an infection so be very diligent about keeping the eyelid margin and base of eyelashes clean.

All We Love Eyes products are available at Trendsetter Eyewear. To schedule an appointment for an eye exam or to buy the products, call 702.479.5222 or visit