The Best Natural Treatments for Dry Skin Around Eyes (Backed by Medical Studies)

The Best Natural Treatments for Dry Skin Around Eyes

Dry skin around the eyes, as well as on the eyelids, commonly occurs during the winter months, but can also be a symptom of other skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. These conditions can cause dry, flaky and sometimes itchy skin.

The skin under the eyes and on the eyelids is thinner than on some other parts of your body, hence it is able to retain less moisture, leaving it vulnerable to drying out.

Self-care remedies and natural moisturizers such as coconut oil can help you heal and protect the delicate skin in this area and provide relief from dry and flaky skin.

Common Causes of Dry Skin Around the Eyes

Dry skin (xerosis) often has environmental causes. However some medical issues can also cause xerosis. Potential causes of dry skin around the eyes include:

Weather often causes dry flaky skin around the eyes1 – Reduced humidity and harsh weather conditions like wind can dry out the delicate skin around your eyes.

Heat – Central heating, wood-burning stoves, space heaters and fireplaces all reduce humidity and dry your skin.1

Sun exposure – The sun dries your skin, including the skin surrounding your eyes. But the most significant damage occurs deeper, leading to deep wrinkles and loose, sagging crepey skin.1

Hot baths and showers may also lead to dryness of the delicate skin surrounding your eyes as well as the skin on your eyelids.1

Excessive rubbing of the delicate skin around your eyes can irritate it, leaving it more vulnerable to drying out. Rubbing your eye is also one of the causes of eye infection.

Stress – Dr. Debra Jaliman on WebMd says that stress may trigger eczema flare-ups which can cause dry, scaly skin.

Medical conditions such as hypothyroidism (under active thyroid gland) may be at the root of your dry skin around the eyes.3

Other factors including age – As you grow older, the skin under your eyes becomes thinner which can make it more vulnerable, explains Mayo Clinic.4

Skin conditions such as eczema, seborrheic dermatitis, contact dermatitis, and psoriasis can cause dry flaky skin around eyes.5,6

Blepharitis, causes red, swollen skin on your eyelids when the oil glands of your eyelids function improperly because of a hormone imbalance.7 It also causes flaking of the skin around the eyes.

Symptoms of Dry Skin around the Eyes

Symptoms of dry skin around the eyes and eyelids include dry flaky skin. Your skin may also become itchy and red, especially if you are rubbing it. It may affect the appearance of your skin, causing cracks in the skin.8 The latter puts you at risk for more serious complication such as secondary bacterial or fungal infections, warns the American Academy of Dermatology.9

 Let’s look at what you can do to treat the dryness of the skin surrounding your eyes.

Home Remedies for Dry Skin around the Eyes

Get Rid of Dry Skin with Moisturizers

The best treatment is to eliminate the cause of dry skin. Some causes such as eczema have no cure. However, you can still treat dry skin around the eye and eyelids to receive temporary relief from its symptoms. If the cause of your dry skin is a more serious condition such as blepharitis, you should consult your doctor.

One way to treat your dry itchy skin around the eyes is to use a moisturizer after washing your face with a gentle cleanser. A moisturizer will provide quick relief from the symptoms of dry skin. Doctors from the American Academy of Dermatology say it’s important to moisturize immediately after washing your skin to lock in moisture.10

Before using any moisturizer, perform a patch test first to make sure you don’t have a sensitivity and wind up developing any negative reactions.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera acts as a gentle moisturizer that can help repair the damage caused by dry skin around your eyes. Its antimicrobial properties can help speed wound healing. In addition, it may help treat underlying causes of dry skin around the eyes and eyelids such as psoriasis and seborrheic dermatitis, explains Mayo Clinic.11

You can apply aloe vera directly to your dry and flaky skin around your eyes, taking care not to get any into your eyes. Use pure aloe vera gel for the most effective treatment. Simply pat a small amount on the skin around your eyes as well as on your eyelid and let it absorb into your skin. You don’t need to rinse it off. Do this daily to soften your skin and to speed up the dry skin healing process.

Virgin Coconut Oil

Virgin coconut oil is another effective natural moisturizer for treating dry skin around your eyes. It can also soften the skin and reduce flakiness. Coconut oil is able to penetrate the skin and provide deep moisturizing to the skin, while at the same time keeping a protective layer on the skin.

A medical study found that virgin coconut oil is as effective and safe as mineral oil when used as a moisturizer.

The medical journal Skin Pharmacology and Physiology reports that virgin coconut oil can help wound heal faster.

Apply coconut oil to the dry skin near your eyes several times a day and before you go to sleep. You can also use it to moisturize dry skin on eyelids. It will help to relieve itching and flaking. You can also slowly massage the oil into your skin. When applied in small quantities, the oil gets almost completely absorbed into the skin, and you are left with non-greasy skin. Continue to use the coconut oil treatment until the dry skin around eyes is completely gone.

Another option is to mix coconut oil with aloe vera to create a natural healing lotion for dry and flaky skin. This mixture can also help treat underlying causes of your dry skin such as eczema. You can also use this mixture for treating dry flaky skin on your hands or fingers.

For instruction on how to create the mixture, please read my article about the health benefits of coconut oil and aloe vera mixture.

Cocoa Butter

Cocoa butter offers another soothing moisturizing treatment that may relieve dry skin while preventing complications such as cracking skin. A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that cocoa butter improved skin appearance and tone.12

 To use cocoa butter on your delicate dry skin around the eyes, try mixing it with other beneficial products like, castor oil or jojoba oil. Apply the mixture daily to moisturize the skin and heal dry and flaky skin.

You can also make a cocoa butter lotion for dry skin by melting a solution of 1 teaspoon coconut oil and 2 teaspoons cocoa butter, adding 1 teaspoon sweet almond oil after it’s become a liquid. Then, allow the mixture to harden, followed by whipping it into a light consistency. You can apply the healing mixture to your dry skin around your eyes for a quick remedy for flaky skin.

Natural oils to hydrate your skin

You can also use a solution of natural oils like jojoba oil, sweet almond oil and avocado oil to treat dry skin. They provide a protective layer over your skin that can lock in moisture and prevent dry skin flare-ups.

You only need to message a few drops of any of the above oils to keep the skin in the eye area soft and elastic.

You can also mix the natural oils with a drop of an essential oil such as chamomile essential oil. A medical study found that chamomile oil can help to alleviate atopic dermatitis (type of eczema).13

When using essential oils, pay special attention not to put them at the eye itself to avoid irritation.

Put cucumbers on your eyes

Putting cucumbers on your eyes has many benefits: they will cool your eyes, help reduce puffiness, and get rid of dark circles. But they are also good to reduce anti aging signs from your skin and can be used as a natural eye moisturizer to treat dry skin around your eyes.

According to the medical journal Molecular Breeding, cucumbers contain enzymes that have anti-aging potential because their medicinal properties prevent oxidative stress.19

Applying slices of cucumbers to your eyes will also boost your skin’s elasticity to remove fine lines. In fact, the scientific journal Archives of Dermatological Research stated that the ascorbic acid and free radical scavenging activity of cucumbers makes them a potential anti-wrinkle agent for the skin.20

The moisturizing properties of cucumber were also reported on in the medical journal Pharmacognosy Magazine. Researchers tested various plant-based extracts in moisturizers to see which provided the best results. Moisturizers containing cucumber extracts were the best and also helped to improve the skin’s elasticity.21

It is very easy to use fresh cucumber on your eyes just by cutting up a few slices of chilled cucumbers, and because cucumbers are so beneficial for the dry skin around your eyes, you don’t even have to add any more ingredients to help improve the appearance of your eyes.

Stress Reduction

A medical study concluded that stress can trigger eczema outbreaks which can result in dry, itchy, flaky skin.22 Natural ways to relieve stress such as essential oils, relaxation techniques, and even a good night’s sleep can help you control the contributing factors to dry skin around the eyes.

Treat Your Dry Skin Internally

Other treatments for dry skin around the eyes work internally. These remedies affect some underlying causes. However, these are long-term treatments rather than quick fixes for dry skin.

Evening Primrose Oil

A study published in the International Journal of Cosmetic Science found that taking evening primrose oil improved skin moisture and roughness in participants taking a supplement for 12 weeks.14 It may offer some relief if eczema is the underlying cause of your dry skin around the eyes and on your eyelids.15

Fish Oil

Fish oil  is rich in omega 3 fatty acids which can help improve the appearance of dry skin by softening it. A study published in the Journal of Dermatological Science found that fish oil significantly increased skin hydration and reduced itchy skin within 60 days in an experiment done with rodents.16 Fish oil reduced moisture loss and itching while improving skin hydration.

Consult with your doctor first: As with any dietary supplement, consult your doctor before using supplements especially if you have a pre-existing condition or are taking medications to prevent possible harmful interactions.

How to Prevent Dry Skin around Your Eyes

There are several things you can do to prevent future flare-ups of dry skin around your eyes. These tips will focus on the triggers of dry skin to help you prevent it from occurring.

Avoid harsh products

Be gentle with your skin, especially the delicate skin around your eyes. Use unscented products and avoid harsh drying soaps to prevent skin irritation. You should also minimize the use of skincare products around your eyes.18

Play It Safe

You should follow basic common sense measures to prevent other causes of irritation that could cause dry skin around the eyes. Never share cosmetics, especially eye makeup and mascara. Also, make sure to replace your products regularly. You may even want to consider using less eye makeup if your skin is sensitive.

Hands Off!

Even if the dry skin around your eyes and eyelids becomes itchy, refrain from scratching or rubbing your skin. You should also avoid the triggers to itchy skin around the eyes such as fragrances and pigments containing nickel which can irritate the skin.

Other tips to prevent dry skin

  • Always drink plenty of fluids, but especially during the dry winter months.
  • You can use a humidifier if you find your home is especially dry.
  • Even though you may be tempted to stay in the shower longer, keep your showers and baths short, using warm water rather than hot to avoid drying out your skin.
  • To lock in moisture, use moisturizer immediately after washing.8

Dry Skin around the Eyes – When to See a Doctor

If you find that you cannot heal the dry skin around your eyes and eyelids, it may be time to see your doctor. Dry skin that becomes itchy puts you at risk for secondary infections, explains the American Academy of Dermatology.17 A lack of resolution may also indicate another cause of your dry itchy skin around the eyes and eyelids, such as blepharitis.7

Read my other related articles:
1. Amazing Natural Ways to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes
2. Health Warnings Your Eyes May Be Sending
3. The Top 10 Causes for Premature Aging of Your Face
4. How to Use Vitamin E to Benefit Your Skin, Hair and Health

Medical Sources

Healthy and Natural World