By Dr. Gary Bonnin, OD
If You Seek a Natural Cleanser – Coconut Oil is NOT the Answer
It’s confusing! There are YouTube videos aplenty that promote coconut oil as a makeup remover. Consider this critical fact. While coconut oil is natural and maybe organic, it is not sterile. Organic oil helps an environment where bugs thrive! Demodex mites are small bugs that live on your eyelashes. The use of coconut oil could increase the average population of these pests, which could lead to eye infections and eyelid inflammation. Be cautious that YouTubers often don’t know or tell you about the dangers of using coconut oil as a makeup remover.
Oil is Food, Not a Cleanser
Oil interferes with the natural tear production of your eyes. When you introduce oil to your eyes, it clogs the tear ducts, which causes your eyes to produce fewer tears. This loss of tear production leads to dry, itchy, scratchy eyes.
Dermatologists don’t recommend coconut oil either — it clogs your pores! Coconut oil is not natural to the body and therefore rejects it, similar to oil and vinegar on a salad. Oils have beautiful properties, but not for your pores:
· Tea tree oil – burns your eyelid margin and strips the natural oil away
· Baby oil – meant for a baby’s bottom
· Olive oil – yummy on a salad
· Almond oil – stars in lots of tasty recipes like honey roasted almonds
· Castor oil – if you want to clog your pores, smear it on your body
· Avocado oil – also yummy on a salad
· Rose oil – smells nice — try it in your diffuser
· Oil-based eye creams and makeup removers — clog your pores
The oils listed above have an incredible variety of uses, but none of them involve cleaning. Oil doesn’t clean, soap does! Why does soap work? Soap traps dirt. At the molecular level, soap is extraordinarily destructive and breaks things apart. A drop of soap is enough to kill or encapsulate many types of bacteria and viruses, including the new COVID-19. The secret to soap’s impressive ability to destroy bacteria is in the bubbles!
Imagine yourself in a high school chemistry lab for a quick moment. Molecules, when suspended in water, float about as separate units, then interact with other molecules in the solution and finally assemble themselves into little bubbles called micelles, which wash away with water. The bottom line is that soap molecules disrupt the chemical bonds that allow bacteria, viruses, and grime to stick to surfaces like eyelids and lashes. Once you break the molecular bonds, soap can easily lift the offensive bacteria, viruses, or makeup off the skin.
We will come back to micelles — a.k.a. soap bubbles — in a moment.
Do Your Contact Lenses Seem Blurry in the Morning?
Is this you? You wake up in the morning, put your contacts in, and you look out across the room only to see blurriness. You just got out of the shower; your face and hands are clean?! What gives?!
When you take that first blink in the morning, your eyelids spread the oil, debris, and yesterday’s makeup over your eye to cause a “film” or haze. Most hand soaps have moisturizers as an ingredient, and your hands, by design, have oils in the skin. So when you put your contacts in, oils from your finger transfer to the contact lens. Consequently, you have an oily fingerprint on the outside surface of your contacts, and you have yesterday’s coconut oil on the inside surface of your contacts. No wonder you can’t see clearly!
3-Easy Steps to Clear Vision
Step One: Stop using coconut oil, baby oil, and oil-based makeup removers. Cutting out the oil factor will eliminate the oil particles from your lashes, eyelids, and lid margin, so you should no longer have the thick film on the inside of your contacts.
Step Two: Use micellar water, a natural solution recommended for makeup removal. Note that not all micellar waters remove makeup. I recommend DERMA*E Vitamin C Micellar Cleansing Water. DERMA*E is an $11.95 solution that works better than those pricey, pretty bottles of Micellar water.
Step: Three: Use OCuSOFT Hand Soap for Contact Lenses when handling contact lenses. This product will safely remove the oil and debris from your finger, so you have a clean contact lens and clear vision.
The power of soap and the magic of micellar bubbles remove the dirt, debris, and bacteria better than any oil or oil-based products. For healthy, vibrant, and comfortable eyes, avoid oil-based products in and around your eyes, including eyelids and lashes. Use Dr. Bonnin’s 3-Steps to Clear Vision, and you will spend less time in the eye doctor’s office and more time enjoying life. Remember, use coconut oil in your cuisine, NOT as part of your cleanup routine.