Do Eye Drops Work On Pimples? An Optometrist & Derm Weigh In
But what if there was a way to eliminate that redness in seconds? It sounds too good to be true, but this hack might just help.
Do eye drops work on pimples?
The viral hack is quite simple: You squeeze some eye drops onto a cotton swab, hold it against your pimple (don't rub it, or that may cause irritation), and watch the redness fade. Both creators use the Lumify Redness Reliever Eye Drops, which I also personally swear by.
"Of course this is going to work—brimonidine [an active ingredient in eye drops] is a vasoconstrictor," Rose says, which means it helps to narrow blood vessels; this, in turn, will reduce redness.
However, Greenfield notes that this hack does actually treat the pimple itself. "It can temporarily improve the appearance of the pimple but is not really helping the pimple resolve," she notes.
Also, it's not something you should be doing every single day, or the effects might dwindle over time. "It is theoretically possible to have a sort of tachyphylaxis occurring after the active ingredient wears off, and the lesion may appear more red," Greenfield says. (Meaning, your skin may get used to the active after a few rounds.)
All of this to say: If you have a super-red pimple pop up right before a big event, this eye drop hack will help reduce the redness momentarily. Keep the eye drops with you in case the redness comes back, but don't make it a regular step in your skin care routine.
Lastly, focus on treating the pimple with tried-and-true methods, like salicylic acid spot treatments—here are some of our favorite acne treatments to help you out.
Applying eye drops to a cotton swab and then placing it against your inflamed pimple may help alleviate redness momentarily. This won't actually treat the pimple, but it may be useful for occasional redness and breakouts. Just make sure you resist the urge to pop the zit—here's why it makes things much worse.
Hannah Frye is the Assistant Beauty & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. She has a B.S. in journalism and a minor in women’s, gender, and queer studies from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. Hannah has written across lifestyle sections including skin care, women’s health, mental health, sustainability, social media trends, and more. She previously interned for Almost 30, a top-rated health and wellness podcast. In her current role, Hannah reports on the latest beauty trends and innovations, women’s health research, brain health news, and plenty more.