Should I Apply Skincare Products On The Upper Lid?

skincare products upper lids

Have you noticed how a lot of skincare products, including those that are specifically designed for the eye area, have stated on the labels they aren’t recommended for use on the upper lids? Many of us ignore this advice, thinking the upper lids need to be moisturized too, without experiencing any problems at all, yet others aren’t so lucky and realised that, after all, there is a good reason why that’s not recommended. So, what is it?

Why you shouldn’t apply skincare products on the upper lids

Applying skincare products on the upper lids is not recommended simply because, during the course of the day, and especially if you sweat, they can slide down the skin and end up into the eye, irritating it. Ouch! Only if your upper lids are dry, you would need to apply a lotion to keep them moisturized. In that case, choose a basic and mild moisturizer (one without exfoliants, retinoids, fragrance and any other ingredients that may cause irritations) and apply only a small amount.

What about sunscreen?

We all know how important it is to wear sunscreen daily, but, if some of it has ever gotten into your eyes, you know how much that can sting. I’ve always been wary of applying sunscreen on the upper lids for this reason and so I was relieved when I heard that dermatologist Dr Neal Schultz doesn’t recommend it either. Dr Schultz points out how, when we have our eyes open (and there really isn’t any reason to close them, unless you want to sleep), most of the skin of your upper lid is “retracted underneath another piece of skin and the little part that is showing, it’s actually shadowed and protected by the bone up here which is also the orbital bone.” Because of it, the upper lids don’t get much sun exposure at all, so sunscreen isn’t needed. If you want to protect this delicate area from the sun, wearing a pair of sunglasses when outside would be a better option.

The Bottom Line

Unless you have dry lids that need to be moisturized, it’s best to avoid applying skincare products (sunscreen included) on this delicate area because the risk of them ending up into, and irritating, the eyes is pretty high. If you must, choose a very mild product and apply only a tiny amount. And, when outside, wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from the sun.

Do you apply skincare products on your upper lids?

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  1. Regn says

    I apply skincare products on mu upper lids and haven’t encountered any irritations yet. I have hooded eyes and it seems to me that without nourishing and protecting them I could end up with saggy eyelids too soon. Is there something about it or it’s just me worrying?

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Regn, I’m glad you didn’t experience any side effects yet. I believe that, because this body part doesn’t get much sun exposure, it may not get as damaged as the rest of the face, but of course it will sag with time anyway. Unfortunately, that’s a normal process and there’s only so little skincare creams can do for that anyway.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Trisha, sunscreen in the eyes is very painful, isn’t it? That’s the only part of my body I avoid applying sunscreen to. I prefer to wear sunglasses instead, it’s safer.

  2. says

    I apply skin care products to my eye lids after I’ve used the gel, lotion whatever on my face, so what ever is left on my fingers I’ll apply over my eye lids.

    I don’t apply sunscreen to my eye lids as most sunscreens (even ones for face only) are too irritating. Gotta wear those polarized sunglasses 😉

    Monica P´s last blog post ..H&M dress for $10 dollarsMy Profile

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Monica, that’s a good way to make sure you don’t apply too much and thus minimize the risk of it getting into your eyes. And I agree, when it comes to eyelids, sunglasses are better than sunscreen. :)

  3. Janessa says

    I have dry skin and my eyelids aren’t oily. I apply a thin layer of Shiseido sun cream which is already really matte for my skin type and setting it with some eyeshadow ensures it doesn’t ever melt or crease. Works well so far! As for moisturizers, I just use whatever is left on my fingertips and lightly pat the eye lid area but I don’t specifically dispense product just for the eyelid. I once applied an oil/beeswax blend product on my eyelid once and it melted into my eyes overnight. It didn’t sting (I don’t remember so) but it was irritating and blurred my vision until I put some eye drops. Not fun!

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Janessa, ouch! I’m sorry to hear that, must have been a nightmare. You need to be so careful with what you apply on the upper lid because this part can get easily irritated and, if you use just a bit too much product, it’s gonna end up in the eyes and sting so much!

  4. says

    This is good to know, though I tend to avoid my eye area in general anyway because it gets so blooming sensitive. Even getting moisturizer too close to my under eye area after cleansing stings :(

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Katie, I’m so sorry to hear that. This area can be very sensitive and in some cases, it’s best not to apply anything at all there.

    • beautifulwithbrains says

      Angela, I agree that it’s best to use one specifically designed for the eye area. You can never be too careful when it comes to this delicate area.

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