Oily Eyelids Symptoms, Causes, Treatment and Remedies

How often do you get a sticky or rather slippery feeling over the eyelids? What makes eyelids become oily?

Eyelids are known to be the driest part of your face. However when the eyelids get oily then it becomes a matter of a concern. In fact if you have oily eyelids, getting your make up especially eye shadows to stay in place is difficult.

What are the signs and symptoms of oily eyelids?

There are a few symptoms that occur in individuals with oily eyelid condition. Some of them may be experience when make ups are applied. They include:

  • Chronic discomfort
  • Mild itching
  • Sweating on the eyelids

Effects of oily eyelids on an individual

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  • Oily eyelids may affect the ability of clear visibility.
  • Leads to sliding of eye shadows especially in females
  • Creasing
  • May lead to rubbing of eyes
  • Redness as a result of rubbing

Both males and females can face this problem, however finding the exact cause may not be straight forward.

What are some of the causes of oily eyelids?

Here is probably why you get oily eyelids.

Hormonal fluctuations

Finding out that you have oily eyelids (pre-menopausal or during pregnancy) would consequently mean you stop application of eye makeup produced by the body can lead to over-production of oil in the skin and particularly on the eyelids.

Excessive consumption of fatty and oily foods

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Oily eyelids may also occur due to excessive consumption of fatty and oily foods. Oily foods facilitates the overproduction or secretion of excess sebum by the sebaceous glands. Sebum leads to blockage of pores.

Multiple face wash

Washing your face many times in a day can also trigger or lead to over secretion of oils in some women


Excessive application of facial moisturizers, make ups and other cosmetics may lead to oily eyelids.

Over-active oil glands

The position of over-active oil glands and the shape of your eyes are the reason you might experience oily eyelids.

Excessive secretion of sebaceous glands from forehead

Studies evidently show that excessive secretion of sebaceous glands from forehead can give rise to oily eyelids.


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Individuals who are on cortisone drugs will have extra oil being released by glands in skin. Cortisone is a hormonal drug that is used to treat inflammatory skin conditions like arthritis.

Mild allergy

Increased oily eye lids in some individuals could be having mild allergy

Frequent rubbing of the eyes

People who rub their eyes and eyelids frequently or too often, are more likely to have oily eyelids.


Stress is also a contributing factor for getting oily eyelids. Stress leads to overstraining of nerves thus leading to secretion of excess oil around the eyelids.


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Women who over cleanse the top of their face can generate more oil on their eyelids

Treatment of oily eyelids and remedy

Since oily eyelids can be caused by a couple of factors (overall oily skin type, rubbing your eyes too often, environmental changes and even stress), it is key to know how to work with your sebum producing lids.

If you are having this problem almost all day long, the best treatment would be offered by an optometrist or eye doctor.

Sometimes, you have to undergo skin tests for proper treatment.

Remedies – do they help with oily eyelids?

With the right steps, you can rock liners and shadows like there isn’t tomorrow.

Before reapplying makeup

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Before putting make up on your face in the morning, make sure your skin is completely free of any residual makeup from the day before.

You need to make sure everything is totally off your eyes and that you don’t have any oils leftover, because that can increase the oiliness on the eyelid.

Always use gentle pads that get mascara, liner, and shadow off in a swipe before reaching for your cleanser. only want to apply makeup to a fresh, clean and dried eyelid

Regular washing of face with facials

Clean your face with face washes containing salicylic acid or alpha hydroxyl acids like glycolic acid that reduces oil secretion.

Cleanse your face thoroughly every morning and before bed. Remove oils on the skin’s surface with a mild, gentle foaming cleanser. Close eyes and lightly wipe over them, then rinse off cleanser immediately. Pat face and eye area dry with a clean washcloth.

Avoid putting creams directly on your eyelid

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If you have seen a professional for treatment and the problem persists go back and complain.

However, if you can resist, avoid putting creams on your eyelid or very close to your lash line. The emollient properties in moisturizers and eye creams will cause your makeup to disintegrate

IMPORTANT: Always use oil free moisturizers and gels that do not break down, instead they stay up on your eyelids.

Use a trusted primer

A primer is a cream or lotion applied before another cosmetic to improve coverage and lengthen the amount of time the cosmetic lasts on the face. An oil-free primer is a must if you want to guarantee that smoky eye doesn’t slide.

Prep your eyelids with this lightweight eye shadow primer that makes skin appear smoother more even toned and ensures lasting makeup application.

Eyelid primers prevents creasing. An eyelid primer may help even the color of the lid and upper eye area, may reduce oiliness.

(If you are trying this for the first time, please feel free to consult a trusted salon or personnel from office)

Use water Waterproof Formulas and gels

Remove a waterproof makeup product with a seriously good makeup. Strictly consider removing using waterproof formulas. (This will ensure that your eyelid makeup won’t end up on your cheeks by midday).

Use of keratotic and sebum control creams

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Those containing salicylic acid are good for applying over seborrheic areas of face. Care to be taken to prevent exposure of eyes to these substances.

  • Seborrheic dermatitis. This is a chronic endogenous enzyme characterized by erythematous skin lesions over the seborrheic area of face like nose, forehead and nasolabial folds and even eyelids.
  • Without proper diagnosis, treating or dealing with eyelid dermatitis would be very difficult.

Lower the amount of eye cream you are using

Eye cream is effective for keeping the skin in this area moisturized and healthy, but too much can cause excess oil. Cut the amount you use in half, or try using a nightly eye cream only

Carry oil-blotting sheets

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You can efficiently use the sheets throughout the day as needed. Soak up as soon as oiliness begins to appear.

Do not rub eyes with sheets, but lightly press and lift over your lids to soak up oil while leaving makeup in place.

Other factors to consider

  • People with stress can also practice meditation and yoga to relieve stress and relax your nerves that have a direct impact on your skin
  • Eating a lot of vegetables and fruits may reduce that excessive oil problem. Oily eyelids can also be prevented by altering your diet and reducing your intake of unhealthy foods, you will see positive improvements on your eyelids.
  • Avoiding consuming a lot of dairy products this is because dairy products such as milk, butter, and cheese contain high levels of hormones like testosterone, which can lead to increased oil production and blocked pores and may in turn lead to oily eyelid
  • Swap dairy products with free alternatives like almond milk and vegan cheese. If you’re worried about your calcium intake, leafy green vegetables, almonds, and oranges will all provide the nutrients you need.
  • Eating unrefined cereals and grains is also important since they have less impact on blood sugar and thus reduces oil production levels.
  • Lastly avoid frequent rubbing of your eyes.

When you should seek medical assistance

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If oily eyelids (or any other eye problem) causes problems with viewing space including blurriness you are asked to see a doctor ASAP. If you are referred to qualified dermatologist follow all the guidelines and instructions given.