18 Home Remedies For Soothing Irritated Eyes

Recently I bought some eyeliner that did NOT agree with me! I actually should have known better (why does it seem like I say that a lot?) because I have had an adverse reaction to pink and/or purple-hued eye shadow or eyeliner in the past.

But it had been a LONG time….and I was doing a TV appearance…and I was wearing this pretty pink sweater…and…well, you know. I can rationalize almost anything. :-)

Suffice it to say…after wearing the purply eyeshadow for a day…my eyes were not happy. And then the next morning when I woke up, they were pretty much glued shut. :-(

Here is a picture I snapped with my camera phone.

Isn’t that just one of the saddest things you’ve ever seen? lol. I look SO pathetic!!

irritated eyes

Well, I was FEELING pretty pathetic until a friend of mine, who saw the picture on Instagram, sent me some home remedies for eye irritation (thanks Rebecca!). I tried a few of them and not only were they helpful, they were also easy to make/use, and affordable…so I thought I would share some of them with you!


cold compress

Cold compress:

Splash ice water on the face and eyes. Then, take ice packs or ice cubes, wrap them in a clean cotton towel and place it on closed eyelids. This helps relieve the eyelids and irritated eyes.





Add 1 teaspoon of dried chamomile flowers to 1 cup of boiled water. Steep for 5 minutes, strain, let cool, and use as an eyewash. May also be made into a compress. OR, add 12 drops of tincture of chamomile to 1 cup of boiled water, cool, and use as an eyewash.





Make a solution using 2 teaspoons of the herb to a cup of boiled water and use for a warm compress. May also be used as eyedrops, 2-3 drops, three times daily.



cucumber slices


Cucumber Slices:

This is one of the most common remedies which effectively treats eye irritation and inflammation. Cut two slices of cucumber, place in ice cold water for 10 minutes and place them on your closed eyelids for 10 more minutes. The cool cucumber soothes your eyes. Closing and resting your eyes also helps reduce soreness.



tea bags on eyes

Tea Bags:

Tea Tea contains bioflavonoids that fight viral and bacterial infections and can help reduce inflammation. Put a moist green or black teabag on the affected eye for several minutes. Repeat several times a day. If your eye is swollen, moisten the teabag with cool water. The tannic acid in the tea will soothe the itching. A weak solution of tea may be used as an eyewash.




Drink plenty of water throughout the day. Intake of extra fluids helps to keep the eyes hydrated.



chilled spoon

Chilled Spoons:

Place four metal spoons in a glass of ice water. When chilled, place one spoon on each eye. As the spoons begin to warm, switch them with the spoons chilling in the glass of ice water. Continue until swelling subsides. The cool temperature of the metal spoons constricts the blood vessels, which helps decrease redness and puffiness in the eye area.
witch hazel

Witch Hazel:

American Indians used witch hazel for inflammation. Use a gauze pad or cottonballs soaked in witch hazel as a compress over closed eyes. Witch hazel has astringent properties and will help reduce the swelling.



aloe vera juice

Aloe Vera Juice:

Freeze aloe vera juice and then mix with a little bit of cold water and using a clean piece of cotton, place this mixture over your eyes. VERY soothing!!



frozen peas

Frozen Vegetables:

Wrap a bag of frozen vegetables in a thin towel (you want to be able to feel the cold through it). Place it over closed eyes for 10 minutes.



castor oil dropper

Castor Oil:

Many commercial eye drops contain castor oil. Purchase a clean dropper, wash it thoroughly with soapy water, and rinse well. Suck 100-percent pure castor oil into the clean dropper. Administer one drop of oil into each eye. Repeat this three times a day or as needed. The castor oil will soothe the eye and reduce the swelling and redness.



milk and honey

Warm Milk and Honey:

Honey has amazing anti-bacterial properties. Making an eyewash with warm milk and honey can help to soothe and treat conjunctivitis. Use equal parts of both honey and milk, making sure the milk is warm (not boiling). Mix together the remedy and keep stirring until the honey becomes smooth in the milk. Use an eyedropper and drop 2-3 drops into your eye several times a day. Alternatively, you can use this mixture as a compress. The anti-bacterial properties in the honey and the soothing effects of the milk will start to work immediately.



apple cider vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar:

Mix 1 Tbsp pure apple cider vinegar with a cup of water. Use this mixture to wash your eyes by using a cotton ball. Use apple cider vinegar which contains “mother”. “Mother” is malic acid which fights against bacterial infections.



grated potato


Grate a potato and place on the eye. It is an astringent and will help reduce the inflammation. The potato may also be made into a poultice and placed over the eye for 15 minutes. Do this for three successive nights.




Rose Water:

Rose water is also helpful when a person has sore eyes. The procedure is simple, just take a cotton ball soaked in rose water and place it over the eyes. This will provide immediate relief and most of the burning will be gone after about five minutes.



Artificial Tears:

Drops will soothe the eye and help flush it out. Artificial tears are also a good way to lubricate your irritated eyes. Add two drops of artificial tears twice a day. It will help moisten the eyes. However, do not use lubricating drops that contain preservatives for more than 3 to 4 times a day. You can also create your own saline solution by adding one teaspoon of table salt to a liter (or quart) of distilled water.



baking soda

Baking Soda:

Make a soothing eyewash by mixing 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda in 1/2 cup of water. Submerge your eye completely in the solution, doing your best to hold it open and roll it around for one full minute.



sliced bread

Cold Bread:

And last but not least….believe it or not, you can place cold bread on your eyelids and it will helps reduce irritation, itchiness and inflammation. BELIEVE IT! It works! I tried it!


These remedies should help most minor eye irritations…but be sure and consult your eye specialist if the condition worsens to rule out more serious conditions or an infectious condition that requires the use of antibiotics. Herbal remedies can’t effectively treat infections, and in fact you can spread the infection to others if care isn’t used.

And a final NOTE TO SELF…..stay away from pink and/or purple eye makeup!  DUH! :-)

Share on Facebook783Tweet about this on Twitter28Pin on Pinterest7708Google+7

Enjoy This Post? Never Miss Another!

Subscribe to Jillee's FREE email newsletter and receive more great tips and ideas!



  1. says

    There’s only a few of these that can be done if you have to leave to work in the morning. I don’t know many people who aren’t rushed before work, getting ready, getting the household ready for the day, etc. That is the only problem… well, maybe a big problem is that we are too rushed no matter what we do… we sleep in until the last possible moment, and have a big to do list before work. We can’t take time to make a cold compress of some type and lay down on the couch to put it over our eyes :(

    • KarenDF says

      @Susan : ), thanks for sharing. How do you use coconut oil for your eyes? Do you put coconut oil IN your eye? I love coconut oil, use it on my skin (it’s great as an eye make-up remover), hair and cook/bake with it often; but, I’ve never used it in my eyes.

  2. Terri says

    Ah, Jillee…you are like the big sister I never had. You know, the one who was smarter and always looked out for you. By sharing your life and scouring for goodies just for us, we have become part of your family. That’s a good thing!

  3. Casey says

    My eyelids tend to get itchy and flaky… assuming it is caused from my make-up, bu can’t seem to find any that doesn’t irritate, and though the obvious answer would be to not wear eyeshadow, my lids are so thin an veiny that if I don’t I look like I have black eyes! I have tried every kind of lotaion, cream, etc. After to OCM blog by Jillee, I have been inspired to try different oils– used grapeseed oil with a bit of Vitamin E this moring… Still on a mission to find some kind of eyeshadow to preven the irritation in the fist place.

    • Heather says

      Casey~ that’s called blepharitis. I know because I have it too! It’s relentless, and you are right– there isn’t too much you can do about it. BUT, my doctor recommended using baby shampoo to wipe my eyes. It really helps. I also add a drop of tea tree oil (antibiotic, antifungal, etc.) to a “sample” size container. HTH!

      • Charles says

        Hi there,

        I stumbled upon your comment, and I just want to let you know that there’s a potential cure to blepharitis. It’s probiotic eye drops. I found a forum where probiotic eye drops has helped a young lady with chronic blepharitis. There’s even actual research out there stating how effective it is to treat eye inflammations by putting probiotics in your eyes. I think they however do not sell this anywhere! So the young lady in this forum made her own home made probiotics and she shares it with us in the forum. Here is the link:


        I hope this helps you and others out there. I wish you all the best!



    • Brenda says

      I assumed it was some of the makeup I was using also, until college age son in California came home (to Texas) and he had the same thing! He has been to several dermatologists and been diagnosed with “dermatitis” – a sort of skin irritation. His eyes are red and scaly and a little swollen. Not much seems to help him, except oral antihistamines. But, the oral antihistamines (benadryl, zyrtec, claritin, and allegra) don’t seem to help me. Neither do the antihistamine eyedrops. I will try a couple of these home remedies, but I am not hopeful.

  4. Lana says

    This sounds to me like an allergic reaction of some kind.. something I’m unfortunately very familiar with! What I use are allergy eye drops, which actually have a small amount of antihistamine in them. The natural solutions are also very good, but I find the drops work quickly for allergies.

  5. Tara says

    You can put bentonite clay over your closed eye lid, cover the entire socket. Let it sit for at least 15 minutes. It will bring out the toxins.
    I know that red inks are the most likely to cause allergic reactions at least as far as tattooing is concerned.

  6. Nik says

    Wow.. I have this same reaction to blue and some purples! I have been addicted to your website for the last two days! Love it! I’m now following you on Pinterest and Facebook! Gonna try making my own products now :D

  7. Kym says

    I had been wearing purple eye shadow a lot over the last weekend as we went away and I co-ordinated my outfits around that colour.
    By Sunday morning I knew something was wrong. Your latest post was just in time for me!!
    I’m drinking a chamomile tea as I read it-
    Thanks for the advice!

  8. Sarah says

    Please please be careful putting anything that isn’t certified ophthalmic directly into the eye! Things you buy that are safe for the skin are not always safe for the eye (for example – hydrogen peroxide contact lens solution has a much higher purity standard than regular hydrogen peroxide in the ugly brown bottle). Living/working as an eye doc in Amish country Pennsylvania, many of these home remedies are used and while not everyone gets a problem… some come in with SIGHT THREATENING infections. The rule of thumb I use is if it’s burning, tearing, red – use a hot compress. If it’s itching like crazy – use a cold compress. Always thoroughly wash off makeup (baby shampoo is great) and you can even massage eyelids (eyes closed) to get rid of any flaking and stimulate healthy tears to secrete. Most irritated eyes are due to decreased tear secretion, and we don’t blink enough when we’re on the computer, drying our eyes out. Omega 3s are great for tears and a recent article is suggesting caffeine might help for the coffee/tea drinkers :)

  9. says

    I’ve used chamomile tea and chamomile tea bags on some horrible cases of pink eye with great success. I brew a cup of chamomile using 2 tea bags. Wait for it to cool, Then lay the child down on the bed with their head near me. Put the COOLED tea bags, straight out of the cup, onto their closed eyes. I also give the child a cloth to wipe away the drips. I leave the bags on for 10 minutes or more, depending on how bad the infection is. I spoon more tea onto the bags as the time passes. While we sit and wait for the chamomile to work I read familiar stories, familiar ones are best, that way the child isn’t as tempted to sit up to look at the pictures. Usually the infection is cleared up before the end of the day, but I like to do a second treatment anyway. FAR less painful and FAR more effective than the ointment or drops prescribed by physicians.

    • Cally says

      I thought I was the only one who does this. :) We have crazy amounts of wind here and lots of sand. So eye infections happen at least once a year. And I have 4 little ones. For us this has worked even better than prescriptions.

  10. says

    Hi, I do believe this is an excellent site.
    I stumbledupon it ;) I’m going to return yet again since I bookmarked it. Money and freedom is the greatest way to change, may you be rich and continue to help others.

    • Marty says

      Some of the best eye drops have castor oil listed as an ingredient. It helps reduce inflammation.

      I keep a bottle of castor oil in my medicine cabinet for skincare (also helps encourage lash and brow growth), but I’ve never considered putting a drop of it in my eye. I’m going to do more research before I try it, as we all should before putting anything in/on such a delicate area, since I suffer from extremely dry eyes. I would imagine, however, that using it at night would be better; I use an oily eye ointment and it blurs my vision.

  11. Tanya says

    Last night my right eye started hurting. I’m not sure why but it was definitely irritated. I remembered this post so I logged on and began scrolling through the list. After reading through it twice, I decided that the tea bags would be the best solution. My kids thought I was nuts, but after laying on the couch for 15 minutes with a cool moist tea bag on my eye, followed by a cold washcloth compress for 5 minutes, my eye felt much better. It is a little irritated this morning, but no where near what it was last night! My eye and I thank you!!

  12. Cheryl L. says

    Thanks for sharing a generous list of helpful tips. Except for chamomile which I have allergies to, this is a godsend. I wish I knew earlier on. I’ve allergic conjunctivitis & major allergies for 30 years (especially to dust in the environment & soy print on newspapers which makes my eyes itch) and have had trouble wearing eyeshadow & mascara. Allergy shots haven’t worked in the past and the only eye drops that work for me are Pataday which are expensive (2.5 ml for $26). I could easily use that up in 2 weeks but only use on a worse case basis along with flushing or lubricating eye drops…so thank you!

  13. Brenda says

    I too like many others stumbled on this site and have been eagerly reading the posts My eyes have been very irritated & my eye lids very red and sore for the last 3 months I also suffer from dry eye due to the glands in my eyes not secreting the oil to lubricate my eyes. the very hot and windy conditions here in Australia atthe moment is certainly not helping. I am going to try some of the remedies mentioned so thank you. I will be coming back often.

  14. lulu says

    Love, Love, Love this blog!! i have gotten some great tips from it!!
    i checked out your homemade remedies for eye irritation. used a tea bag on my son’s eye after he got soap in it. 1 hour later…..back to normal!! THANK YOU!!

  15. Valerie Wilson says

    I have a friend who is an herbalist, and for pink eye, she recommended the goldenseal tea you had in your post. It works wonderfully, often with only one drop! I have used it with great success.

  16. Michelle Harsha says

    I found your website because I was having the same problem with my eyes. Thank you very much!!! I used some of your idea’s and my eyes cleared up within 48 hours. What a relief! Better than a visit to the doctor and it was all in my kitchen.


    Michelle Harsha

  17. Marian says

    went to local nail salon, where I had lashes (indivisual) put on. what ever kind of glue she used burned my eyes for at least a couple of hours. They didn’t burn until after she put them on. I’ve never had such a problem before. I tried to where them for a couple of day’s but ended up taking them off. I don’t know if my eye’s got irritated from taking them off or from what ever kind of glue she used. my eyes are sooooooo irritated I can’t hardly take it ready to try anything. If not better in a few more day’s I’m gonna go to the eye Dr. need help, any one have any suggestions. Also never seem to see my commet or the answer to it, so maybe some one can tell me how and when to look for it.

  18. Collette Signore says

    Eye shadow adds depth and dimension to one’s eyes, complements the eye color, or simply draws attention to the eyes. Eye shadow comes in many different colors and textures. It is usually made from a powder and mica, but can also be found in liquid, pencil, or mousse form.^*

    My personal internet site

  19. Clarence Kalkwarf says

    Most people will have some problem with allergies or allergic reactions at some point in their lives. Allergic reactions can range from mild and annoying to sudden and life-threatening. Most allergic reactions are mild, and home treatment can relieve many of the symptoms. An allergic reaction is more serious when severe allergic reaction (anaphylaxis) occurs, when allergies cause other problems (such as nosebleeds, ear problems, wheezing, or coughing), or when home treatment doesn’t help.

  20. Dalene Atkisson says

    Shots might seem like an unusual way to treat allergies, but they’re effective at decreasing sensitivity to triggers. The substances in the shots are chosen according to the allergens identified from a person’s medical history and by the allergist during the initial testing. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) oversees the standards used in preparing the materials for allergy shots given in the United States.

  21. Soo Faulhaber says

    One common cause of a red eye is straining or coughing. This can lead to a bright red, dense bloody area on the white part of the eye. This is called a subconjunctival hemorrhage. Although this bloody area may appear alarming, it is a fairly common occurrence and of little significance. If you notice a bloody spot in one eye that doesn’t hurt, but just looks bad, don’t worry. It should clear up on its own within a week or two.’”.”

    Latest short article on our very own web portal

  22. Jeffry Minns says

    Symptom assessment is a key component of dry eye diagnosis – to the extent that many believe dry eye syndrome to be a symptom-based disease. Several questionnaires have been developed to determine a score that would allow for dry eye diagnosis. The McMonnies & Ho dry eye questionnaire is often used in clinical studies of dry eyes. It has 14 questions, resulting in a score from 0 to 45. Scores above 14.5 are consistent with dry eyes. .:-;

    Many thanks
    http://beautyfashiondigest.comdw Jeffry Minns

  23. Raul Clouse says

    A wet towel, folded and placed inside a plastic bag (a large heavy zip-lock bag works well for this…be sure to leave the bag “unzipped” while heating) heated in the microwave for 2-4 minutes or until hot. Leaving the hot wet towel inside the plastic bag, remove it from the microwave, press all air out of the bag and “zip” or close it up. This heated towel can be applied on a sore area of the body. It works well, is economical and easily available in most homes. Be careful, however, the towel can become very hot using the microwave and you may want to wrap it with another towel or cloth as a buffer before applying it to the skin. *.;’

    Find out about our very own homepage too http://www.healthwellnessbook.comcu

  24. Damien Troiani says

    Conjunctivitis, also known as pink eye, is one of the most common and treatable eye conditions in children and adults. It is an inflammation of the thin, clear lining inside the eyelid and on the white of the eye. This inflammation gives the eye a pink or reddish color.-;-,

    View the most popular content on our own web blog <http://healthmedicinejournal.com

  25. Cody Wissing says

    Substances you are exposed to only at certain times of the year, such as plant pollens, cause seasonal allergies. Of all the substances that can trigger an allergy, pollen is one of the most widespread. These tiny round or egg-shaped male plant cells hitch rides on air currents to fertilize other plant parts. However, not all pollen causes nasal allergies.;-;-

    Take a look at our very own web page too <http://www.healthwellnesslab.com/

  26. says

    Please let me know if you’re looking for a article writer for your blog.

    You have some really great posts and I feel I would be a good asset.
    If you ever want to take some of the load
    off, I’d love to write some articles for your blog in exchange for
    a link back to mine. Please send me an e-mail if interested.
    Many thanks!


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *