When I was in optometry school I was taught to treat symptoms of eyelid inflammation, called blepharitis, with baby shampoo. For the past 15 years, I did just that. I recommended baby shampoo to thousands of patients because that’s what I was taught in school.
If it’s safe enough for a baby, it’s gotta be safe enough for the eyes! Right?
It turns out that I was totally, 100% dead WRONG. And I had no idea! Here’s why I will never use baby shampoo on a baby or any of my patient’s eyelids for as long as I live. Pinky swear.
Johnson’s Baby Shampoo has ingredients that rank as a ‘moderate to high hazards’ and can actually cause eye allergies! Who knew? One great resource to look up the safety profile of any cosmetic product is www.ewg.org. They rank ingredients on a scale of 0-10, from low to high hazard. See below:
So I did a search on Johnson’s Baby Shampoo and here’s what I found:
FRAGRANCE: Allergies/immunotoxicity, Miscellaneous, Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Ecotoxicology
PEG-80 SORBITAN LAUREATE: Allergies/immunotoxicity, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Contamination concerns (ETHYLENE OXIDE, 1,4-DIOXANE, ETHYLENE OXIDE, 1,4-DIOXANE)
COCAMIDOPROPYL BETAINE: Use restrictions, Allergies/immunotoxicity, Ecotoxicology, Contamination concerns (COCAMIDOPROPYL DIMETHYLAMINE, 3-DIMETHYLAMINOPROPYLAMINE, NITROSAMINES-in the presence of nitrosating agents)
PHENOXYETHANOL: Irritation (skin, eyes, or lungs), Occupational hazards, Use restrictions, Organ system toxicity (non-reproductive), Allergies/immunotoxicity
So if you’re using baby shampoo at this exact moment, STOP! It could actually be making your eyelid symptoms worse. And I’m not sure about the rest of your body. Yikes! So that’s why I invented our cleansing oil kit. It’s the safest way to perform eyelid scrubs. Even www.ewg.org agrees!
Dr Tanya N. Gill, O.D., is the owner of Oakland Vision Center in Oakland, CA. Dr. Gill is obsessed with ocular surface disease, kick-ass female entrepreneurship, never saying never, eating vegetables daily, and brightly colored sneaker pumps. She live in Oakland, CA with her husband and is the found of We Love Eyes, a company that makes natural cleansing products for the eyes. She is the author of How to be A Kick-Ass Female Entrepreneur which appears bi-monthly in Eyecare Business.