Meibomianitis Shiny Eyelids Reasons, Links and Treatment

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Do your eyelids shine or have an oily appearance? There may be some irritation having this condition but there are things to do for it.

Oily eyelids may be a task when you are constantly refreshing your eye makeup. As in that eyeliner that is always streaking. Or maybe your eye shadow never stays in place. Oily eyelids may be an annoying issue that is relatable.

Disclaimer: This website is for informational purposes and not for diagnosis.

The Reason behind Oily Eyelids

Hormonal changes, stress or even eating too many fatty foods can contribute to oily eyelids.

You may have oily skin here due to the fact your sebaceous glands are producing more oil.

Or your meibomain glands (tiny oil glands near your lashes) could be over producing. These glands also make oil to coat the eye.

Lastly, your skincare cleanser may be too harsh (this is a delicate area with our thinnest skin). Your skin may feel parched dry and to compensate it produces more oil.

As a regular eye makeup wearer you may be working too hard to take it off at night. Always use a cleanser or makeup remover that isn’t stripping this area.

Micellar water is gentle to use in the delicate eye area and doesn’t leave a heavy residue like baby oil.


What is Meibomianitis?

Our eyes like the rest of our skin need lubrication and moisture to do their job right. If the meibomain glands are malfunctioning they could become inflamed or produce more oil. This is called meibomianitis aka posterior blepharitis.

Links to meibomianitis:

  • allergies
  • hormonal changes associated with adolescence
  • skin conditions, such as rosacea, seborrheic dermatitis  or acne
  • eyelash mites or lice
  • medications that increase bacteria on the eyelids, such as isotretinoin used for acne
  • some contact lens solutions
  • eye makeup (replace after three months of use and keep applicators clean)

The symptoms of meibomianitis:

  • watery eyes
  • redness and swelling of the eyelids
  • gritty, burning sensation in the eyes
  • itchy eyelids
  • skin flaking on eyelid
  • crusted eyelashes after sleeping
  • sensitivity to light
  • frequent sties
  • frequent blinking
  • blurry vision
  • abnormal eyelash growth or misdirected eyelashes
  • eyelashes falling out
  • dry eyes
person blue eyes photography
close up of female blue eye Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels

To Manage Oily Eyelids

Oily eyelids may not even bother you and you can work with your dewy lids. But for someone else’s eyes who may be looking to tone down or mattify this area with makeup tricks.


Cucumber slices. As a natural remedy not only cool to the skin but can absorb the excess oil. Place cool slices on eyelids for 15 to 20 minutes each day.

Use a gentle cleanser. If your skin is very dry, take a look at your face cleanser. Even if you avoid the eye area it may still react to your cleanser being close. So check that you’re not intentionally stripping the skin on your eyelids.

Be careful not to rub or tug this area. You could create tiny tears that can result in wrinkles later.

Wipe with cotton swab. I have used these to remove eye makeup for many years (don’t ask). This tool is not just for ear cleaning. Using it leaves no residue on your fingers. Use gentle swipe and toss. This is good for oily secretions as well.

Cotton swabs are inexpensive, can be found in most convenient stores (shop Amazon) and like I mentioned have many uses.

Use a baby shampoo. There is an ocular rosacea. I tend to have a milky discharge on lashes in the morning. My doctor suggested cleaning with diluted baby shampoo which works with cotton swab. Just use light swipe.

Tea tree wipes have also been suggested and I have seen these at Ulta.

Try eyelid primer. For a useful makeup tip try a primer. This will help knock down the oil. It makes a big difference with preventing creases through your day and your makeup will look fresh longer.

Setting powder to finish. Again this is another tip I have done through the years. As your last step when applying your makeup, take your big makeup brush in the translucent powder and dab a little on eyelids to mattify any shine. You also apply this to the rest of face to set makeup.

Another tip, carry a compact on the go to touch up lids if looking a bit greasy. The powder acts like a sponge to soak up excess oil.

Opt for liquid shadow. If you’ve been using powder shadows that result in a caked texture, you might try purchasing a liquid type that dries to a powdery consistency. It will be easier to blend on lids but it dries matte in no time at all.

Just go with the look. Could you use a role model? Elle Fanning (American actress) came out on instagram with her eczema eye shadow. Amazing! If it doesn’t bother you work with it not against. Own it! Go au natural with some lip-gloss (we are wearing a mask these days which you don’t want to get dirty with makeup).


Take advantage of oil absorbing products or accept your dewy look. Which will you choose?

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Header Photo child’s green eye by Skitterphoto on Pexels

Mary is the founder of All About Our Skin. Former esthetician and CPC. Enjoys researching skincare and has been studying our skin for the past fourteen years.


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