5 Considerations for The Ideal at At-Home Eyegiene Routine

When it comes to developing an effective eye care routine at home, there are a number of decisions for you to make. Let’s take a look at five important factors to consider when choosing products so you can created a routine perfectly tailored to your unique needs.


So, what is so important about eyegiene?

We’re glad you asked!

Our eyes naturally have tiny organisms living on the surface, and these are usually harmless. However, when these organisms multiply too quickly, it can lead to eye inflammation and infections¹. Despite this knowledge, we've often neglected proper eyelid hygiene. What has this resulted in? An under-communication of the significance of keeping our eyelids clean for overall eye health¹.

Anatomical illustration of the eye including nerves and blood vessels

To maintain healthy eyes, it's crucial to establish a simple and consistent at-home eye hygiene routine. Here's why:

  1. It can prevent infections. Overgrowth of these tiny organisms can increase the risk of inflammatory eye conditions like blepharitis¹. Blepharitis can affect either the front part of the eyelashes or the back part near the oil glands; by cleaning your eyelids regularly, you can reduce this risk¹.
  2. Makeup matters. If you use makeup, it's essential to remove it properly. Some makeup ingredients can irritate your eyes and cause inflammation. Taking off your makeup thoroughly should be a part of your daily routine to keep your eyelids healthy¹.

A healthy eye hygiene routine—or ‘eyegiene’ routine, as we like to say—can help keep your eyes healthy and reduce risk of bacterial infections and related ocular conditions¹; however, remember that it’s easy to start with good intentions but get lazy over time!

A good eyegiene routine is consistent. But with so many different products on the market, it can be hard to develop a simple routine you know you’ll stick with. That’s why we’re about to look at five important factors to consider when determining steps in your eyegiene routine.

Image of man splashing his face with water

1. Keep Time in Mind

Before investing in expensive products or tools, consider how much time you realistically want to spend on your eyegiene routine. If you often find yourself running a few minutes late in the morning, a multi-step eyegiene routine may not be a realistic commitment that fits into your busy schedule. If time is a priority, consider using products that are quick and efficient, such as pre-moistened single-use lid wipes or a spray formula that can be applied directly onto the lid or a cotton pad. These applications allow for quick cleansing and removal of bacteria and pathogens that are associated with eye infections, irritations, and conditions like blepharitis¹.

Photograph of cosmetics

2. Consider Your Cosmetics

If you regularly wear makeup on your eyelids and eyelashes, you likely understand the importance of proper makeup removal. Inadequate removal of products like eyeliner, false eyelashes, or mascara can result in bacterial infections and other eye-related complications. When it comes to makeup removal, it is crucial to use eye-safe products that effectively remove makeup and lash glue residue while promoting eye health¹. For those interested in establishing an eyegiene routine with these considerations in mind, using an ophthalmologist-approved makeup removal solution and either a foaming eyelid cleanser or pure hypochlorous acid cleanser may be solid alternatives.

Image of hand pumping antibacterial gel

3. Sanitization & Method of Application

There is a staggering amount of products out there for all aspects of eye care, available in a seemingly unlimited number of formulas. They include foaming washes, pre-moistened lid wipes, topical sprays, foams, gels, and so many more. But regardless of the product, it is critical to consider the method of application when choosing a product that is cohesive with your lifestyle.

While some products such as foaming eyelid washes are used while cleansing the face and hands, other topicals such as gels may be applied to the fingers and then topically applied to the eyelid and lash line—similar to an eye cream.

While these formulations are generally gentle and well-tolerated, it’s important to consider when and where you intend to use the product, in order to maintain a sanitary application. If you require an eyegiene product for regular relief from eye irritation or bacterial load, opt for a product such as a spray or a pre-packaged lid-wipe, to avoid possible contamination. If you opt for a gel formulation on-the-go, ensure regular hand-washing and consider keeping an antibacterial hand sanitizer with the product to ensure your digits are germ-free prior to application.

Patterned image of eyelash curling tools and false eyelashes

4. Eyegeine Beyond the Eyelid: Consider Your Daily Tools

Did you know conditions such as eyelid dermatitis have been linked to cosmetic tools such as eyelash curlers? A 2002 clinical review of over 200 eyelid dermatitis cases found that cosmetic tools, such as eyelash curlers, tweezers, and other cosmetic products like eyelash adhesive glues may be linked to eyelid irritation and related bacterial overgrowth².

While some eyelid dermatitis cases were connected to the metal alloys used to coat cosmetic tools such as eyelash curlers and tweezers, others cases found the bacteria collected by these tools to be the culprit²⁻³. So, before you break up with your beloved lash curler, ensure you're properly cleansing these cosmetic tools before each use. This can be achieved through soaking them in a disinfecting solution, spraying them down with a pure hypochlorous acid (HOCl) solution, or throughly spraying the tool with isopropyl alcohol and wiping away any residual cosmetics or potential bacterias.

Photograph of glass beakers and other laboratory tools

5. Know Your Active Ingredients

With hundreds of products on the market, it can be hard to distinguish the right products for your eyes. However, we need to recognize that not all eyegiene products are formulated the same, nor created equal.

The active ingredient—or ingredients—in a particular product, along with their method of action, can be a good distinguishing factor to determine whether or not a particular product is right for you. Active ingredients—like for example, tea tree oil—which are often found in lid and lash foaming cleansers and lid wipes have effective antibacterial and cooling effects; however, some individuals report discomfort and sensitivity when using products featuring this active agent¹.

Similarly, in a comparative study of foaming eyelid cleansers and baby shampoo, active cleansing ingredients found in baby shampoos were found to worsen meibomian gland capping and mucin (MUC5AC) expression¹.

While it can be hard to determine what active ingredients will and won’t work for your specific eyegiene routine, it is important to note the ingredients in products that may not work for your particular needs to avoid possible re-exposure and irritation in the future.

Image of hand holding BIHOCL O.D. product (Photo credit: Eye Spa Komoka)

Photo credit: Eye Spa Komoka

Hypochlorous Acid (HOCl): A Simple & Efficacious Active Ingredient & One-Step Eyegiene Solution

In the realm of eye hygiene solutions, there's a remarkable discovery that might seem too good to be true: hypochlorous acid (HOCl). At its core, it's a molecule that is naturally produced in our bodies during the activation of neutrophils as part of our innate immune response. Topical application of a pure HOCl solution has emerged as a one-step, well-tolerated, and highly effective eyegiene solution¹.

Unlike traditional eyelid cleansers, which come in the form of wipes, gels, or creams, HOCl eye care solutions such as BIHOCL O.D. are conveniently available in spray format. Either apply it to a cotton pad and gently rub it onto your eyes or directly spray it onto your eyelids for an effective cleansing of the ocular and periocular areas¹. HOCl has been found to be incredibly well-tolerated by users, offering a level of comfort akin to using saline¹. This spray-style formulation, combined with its gentle nature, means you can use it wherever you go and as often as needed.

But here's what is really exciting: HOCl possesses powerful antimicrobial properties capable of combatting various types of pathogens, including bacteria (both spore and non-spore forming), viruses, and fungi¹. This makes it a robust solution for addressing issues related to eye discomfort and irritation. A recent study conducted by Stroman et al. revealed after applying a 0.01% HOCl solution on the periocular skin and conducting a subsequent culture 20 minutes later, there was a substantial reduction in the overall bacterial load, particularly in S. epidermidis, which saw a staggering 99.5% reduction⁴. What does this mean for us? Well, it suggests that reducing the bacterial load on the eyelid could potentially lower the risk of eyelid inflammation, or blepharitis, which is often triggered by bacterial overgrowth.

Interested in learning more about HOCl-powered eye care? Check out our previous blog on how hypochlorous acid is changing the game in dry eye relief.

If you’re interested in learning more about our one-step eye care powerhouse, visit the BIHOCL O.D. product page to explore.

Final Thoughts

When it comes to hygiene, don’t neglect the specific needs of your eyes! Create a consistent, daily eyegiene routine that works with your lifestyle, schedule, and considers your eye health beyond your lids and lashes. Consider factors such as time, cosmetics, method of application, and active ingredients when choosing a product that works best for you.

When it comes to an effective and gentle one-step eyegiene routine, hypochlorous acid solutions present individuals with an easy, effective, comfortable and highly safe solution that works alongside other treatment modalities and lends itself to on-the-go and as-needed treatment.

Ultimately when it comes time to sit down and create your optimal eyegiene routine, you may find yourself with a handful of questions or concerns. Consider booking in for a consultation or appointment with your nearest eye care expert! These professionals can answer your questions, offer advice, and present a variety of solutions tailored to your eyes’ specific needs.


  1. Bitton, E., Ngo, W., & Dupont, P. (2019). Eyelid hygiene products: A scoping review. Contact Lens and Anterior Eye, 42(6), 591-597.
  2. Guin, J. D. (2002). Eyelid dermatitis: experience in 203 cases. Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, 47(5), 755-765.
  3. Guin, J. D. (2004). Eyelid dermatitis: a report of 215 patients. Contact dermatitis, 50(2), 87-90.
  4. Stroman, D. W., Mintun, K., Epstein, A. B., Brimer, C. M., Patel, C. R., Branch, J. D., & Najafi-Tagol, K. (2017). Reduction in bacterial load using hypochlorous acid hygiene solution on ocular skin. Clinical Ophthalmology, 707-714.

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