A client recently sent me this email:
Hi Elizabeth, As you know I have been using your products for many years. In the last month or so I have developed a lot of redness around my eyes and on my eyelids. I have not introduced any new product so I’m wondering if you have any thoughts about this. Thanks and stay safe.
This was my response:
It’s possible that you have developed an allergy or contact dermatitis to some ingredient. Or, something in your environment. Or, something you've touched or eaten. This can get worse as time marches on because your skin naturally becomes thinner and more vulnerable. The first thing to try is to discontinue everything you use around your eyes including: eye makeup, eye makeup remover and eye cream. Makeup is the most likely suspect. Make sure you are not keeping eye makeup for more than 2 years if it is a power. Cream shadows and other creamy products with color are more likely to cause problems and should be kept only one year, this includes liners. Mascara has a great potential for building up bacteria and it is recommended to be replaced every three months. This is because you use the wand. Your lashes already have a substantial population of bacteria. That bacteria gets on the wand. Then you put the wand back in the container. The mascara container provides a nice moist, dark environment where the bacteria makes a comfy home and multiplies. The next time you apply your mascara you are reintroducing that bacteria to the eye area.
Also foaming cleansers can be a problem because they dry out your skin to a greater degree than milky cleansers. Dry skin has more of a compromised barrier and is more permeable. This means the allergen can get into the skin more easily. That being said, you could be allergic to just about anything. So it’s time to play detective.
A temporary solution might be Coconut Oil (the solid kind). Coconut oil is pretty benign and will remove makeup and act as a barrier in lieu of eye cream. The reason I say temporary is because coconut oil can be comedogenic and can eventually build up in you skin and clog pores. But, I recommend it for the short term because you need to get away from any possible allergens.
Hopefully your skin will repair itself. Then you can slowly start to reintroduce products. I’d start will Stem Stim because it has great repair factor ingredients and is unlikely to be problematic.