Take it All Off: We Love Eyes Delivers All-Natural Make-Up Removal

7:44 AM

Imidazolidinyl urea, quaternium 15. Methylisothiazolinone (MI) -- do you know what these products are?  You are likely smearing them on your face every day when you put on your makeup and again when you are removing it at night.  These chemicals are preservatives or formaldehyde-releasing agents meant to keep bacteria out of your makeup, but they are known skin irritants and common culprits behind allergic irritation and dry, red patches of skin around your face and eyes. And about 85% of makeup products contain paraben preservatives which a 2004 study linked to an increased risk of breast cancer, though critics of the study cite that parabens have only a small effect on our body's estrogen levels. Parabens and phthalates (another common make-up preservative that is also found in shampoos and shaving creams) both have been associated in humans with side effects ranging from insulin resistance, endometriosis, decreased sperm count, and  even endocrine system disruption (like increased risk of thyroid disorders).  

Our eyelid skin is some of the thinnest and most delicate of the entire body, so it is easily irritated by chemicals and preservatives image via
We don't know how much of these chemicals are needed to cause side effects in our system, and of course every person may react differently based on their own personal genetics and underlying medical conditions.  But if you are someone who wears make-up every day, taking those chemical off every night is an important step towards reducing skin irritation and inflammation and perhaps even maintaining the health of your overall body.  So what are you taking your makeup off with? 

Dr. Gill via
Popular makeup removing wipes (including sensitive skin products like Neutrogena and Almay) contain irritating preservatives like benzalkonium chloride (a known eye irritant!!) and  butylene glycol.  These chemicals increase inflammation and irritation around your skin and eyes, so by taking your makeup irritants off, your're adding new irritants to your face that you'll be sleeping with all night.  Your skin is never getting a break!  Is it any wonder your eyes are red, itchy, and dry? 

As optometrists, our patients look to us to solve the culprit for their dry eyes, but we are often limited by the products available on the marketplace. Optometrist Dr. Tanya Gill noticed the common complaints of redness, dryness, and irritated eyes in her practice, Oakland Vision Center, and decided to take action.  With undergrad coursework in chemistry and biology at University of California, Berkley before getting her optometric doctorate, she understood the biochemical process of how to make her own product. She knew she needed an all-natural, irritant-free product to remove makeup for her patients, but with makeup removers you also need a way to fight bacteria and prevent infections around the eyelid margin -- the reason that common makeup removers have those harsh preservatives in the first place.  Tea tree oil was her solution, a natural way to fight bacteria and also common skin parasites like demodex mites that are commonly found on the eyelid margin in people with rosacea and chronic styes.  She brewed up the We Love Eyes Makeup Removing Oil with just 3 products: grape seed oil and jojoba seed oil to break down even waterproof mascara and also hydrate the delicate skin around the eye, and tea tree oil to bust inflammation and kill bacteria and parasites. Since then her all natural cleansing product line has added a foaming cleanser and a deeper cleansing oil for patients with blepharitis to bust demodex mites. 

Now more than ever our patients are needing guidance for the right products for them -- what eye drops to use, what makeup can limit irritation, what cleanser can take it off without adding more chemicals to their irritated skin? We Love Eyes is a great product made by an OD who understands what patients truly need in skincare, and if you are an optometrist interested in carrying her product line in your office you can contact them to set up an account. For individual purchases you can buy We Love Eyes products directly from the website.

My Review

Both the We Love Eyes cleansing oil and the pump foam eyelid cleanser work incredibly well; with just a few swipes my makeup was entirely removed, and my skin felt hydrated and irritant free.  The cleansing oil especially left my eyelid area feeling extremely hyrdrated, and I could readily imagine my patients with chronic dry skin, rosacea, or eczema along their eyelids benefiting from regular use. And because this cleanser is so gentle, I had no irritation or discomfort cleaning right into my eyelash roots to remove mascara and eyeliner away from the waterline where our tear film glands (Meibomian glands) reside.

Let the picture do the talking.  I put 5 drops of the We Love Eyes Tea Tree Eyelid Makeup Remover Oil  on a cotton pad and gently swiped across my eyelid.  Makeup gone, no irritation, no burning, and the tea tree oil will fight inflammation and reduce skin bacteria counts the rest of the night!

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