is it safe to apply skincare products on the upper lid

Do you ever read instructions on your skincare products?

For the longest time, I didn’t. I mean, it’s a cream. How difficult can it be to apply? Pick it up with your finger and pat it on your skin. Done. Hardly rocket science.

But last week I was bored enough to take a better look at the packaging of a few of my skincare products. You know what I noticed? A lot of them tell you NOT to apply the cream to the upper lids. Even eye creams tell you this!


Ok, I’ll be completely honest with you (as always): I had never applied my lotions and potions on my upper lids. But before that day, I had never questioned why. It was just what I did.

So, I got curious enough to investigate. Why does everyone tell you not to apply your fave creams on your upper lid? Here’s what I found out:

Is It Safe To Apply Skincare Products On The Upper Lid?

Sometimes, when I’m tired or sleepy, I rub my eyes more vigorously than I should. And, ouch! I just accidentally helped some of my moisturizer enter my eye. Now it burns like hell.

That’s why you shouldn’t apply skincare products to the upper lid. During the day, especially if it’s sunny and hot, those lotions and potions can slither their way down and inside your eyes, irritated them.

But, what if your upper lids are dry? Then, yes, go ahead and apply the tiniest layer of moisturizer there. But, be careful! Choose a simple one with no fragrance or other irritating ingredients. Just in case.

Want to know what ingredients you really need to avoid in your skincare products? Sign up to the newsletter below to receive the “Skincare Ingredients To Avoid” cheatsheet:

Should You Apply Sunscreen On The Upper Lid?

Every rule has its exception. But is this it?

You have to apply sunscreen on every part of the body that’s exposed to sunlight. That’s NOT optional. So, the question is: is the upper lid exposed to sunlight? Not much.

As dermatologist Dr Neal Schultz points out, when you have your eyes open (and there really isn’t any reason to close them, unless you want to sleep), most of the skin of your upper lid is “retracted underneath another piece of skin and the little part that is showing, it’s actually shadowed and protected by the bone up here which is also the orbital bone.”

Because of it, the upper lids don’t get much sun exposure at all, so sunscreen isn’t needed. If you want to protect this delicate area from the sun, wearing a pair of sunglasses when outside would be a better option.

So, no you don’t need sunscreen there. Personally, I’m relieved because sunscreen can sting the eyes pretty badly. But if you don’t feel like going without sun protection, wear sunglasses. They’ll do the job without irritating your eyes.

The Bottom Line

Unless your lids are super dry and badly in need of moisture, don’t bother applying your skincare products there. You’ll probably just end up stinging your eyes for no reason at all.

Do you apply skincare products on your upper lids? Let me know in the comments below.