Sat. Jun 15th, 2024
how to get sunscreen out of eyes

Summer brings sun, fun, and unfortunately, the occasional mishap of getting sunscreen in your eyes. The stinging sensation can be incredibly uncomfortable and potentially harmful if not addressed promptly. This comprehensive guide provides detailed steps on what to do if you find yourself in this predicament, why it happens, and how to prevent it in the future.

What to Do When Sunscreen Gets in Your Eyes

  1. Stay Calm and Do Not Rub Your Eyes

    • Rubbing can exacerbate the irritation and may even cause damage to your eyes. Keep your hands away from your face and proceed to the next steps calmly.
  2. Rinse with Clean Water

    • The first and most important step is to flush your eyes with clean, cool water. You can do this by using a sink, a water bottle, or even an eye wash station if one is available. Hold your eyelids open and let the water flow over your eyes for at least 15 minutes.
  3. Use a Saline Solution

    • If you have access to a saline solution, use it to rinse your eyes. Saline is gentle on the eyes and helps to wash away any remaining sunscreen residue.
  4. Remove Contact Lenses

    • If you wear contact lenses, remove them immediately. They can trap the sunscreen against your eyes, prolonging the irritation.
  5. Apply a Cool Compress

    • After rinsing, applying a cool compress to your eyes can help reduce any remaining discomfort or swelling. Use a clean cloth soaked in cool water and gently place it over your closed eyes.
  6. Seek Medical Attention if Necessary

    • If the irritation persists or your vision is affected, seek medical advice. An eye care professional can provide further treatment if needed.

Why Sunscreen Causes Eye Irritation

Sunscreen contains a variety of chemicals designed to block or absorb UV rays. While these ingredients are safe for use on the skin, they can be irritating to the delicate tissues of the eyes. The most common irritants in sunscreen include:

  • Oxybenzone
  • Avobenzone
  • Octocrylene
  • Homosalate
  • Fragrances and Preservatives

Who is Affected?

Everyone is susceptible to getting sunscreen in their eyes, but certain groups may be more prone to this mishap:

  • Children: They often rub their faces and eyes after applying sunscreen.
  • Athletes: Sweat can cause sunscreen to run into the eyes.
  • Beachgoers: Sand and water activities increase the likelihood of sunscreen getting into the eyes.

When and How to Prevent It

Prevention is the best way to avoid the discomfort of sunscreen in your eyes. Here are some tips to help you prevent this situation:

  • Apply Sunscreen Carefully: Be mindful when applying sunscreen around your face. Use a mirror to avoid the eye area.
  • Use Mineral Sunscreens: Mineral sunscreens containing zinc oxide or titanium dioxide are less likely to cause irritation if they come into contact with your eyes.
  • Choose Sunscreen Sticks or Gels: These formulations are less likely to run into your eyes compared to lotions or sprays.
  • Wear Sunglasses or a Hat: These accessories can provide an extra barrier, protecting your eyes from both UV rays and accidental sunscreen contact.
  • Reapply Cautiously: When reapplying sunscreen, ensure your hands are clean and dry, and take care to avoid the eye area.

New Insights and Tips

  • Use an Alumina Pan: For parents, using an alumina pan to prepare meals can reduce the likelihood of needing to apply and reapply sunscreen due to long outdoor cooking sessions. Alumina pans distribute heat evenly, making cooking faster and more efficient, allowing you to spend less time under the sun.
  • Keep an Emergency Kit: Carry a small first aid kit with saline solution, clean water, and a cool compress when heading outdoors. Being prepared can make a big difference in managing eye irritation quickly.
  • Opt for Water-Resistant Sunscreen: Choose water-resistant or sweat-resistant sunscreens to reduce the risk of the product running into your eyes.


Getting sunscreen in your eyes can be a painful experience, but with the right steps, you can alleviate the irritation and protect your eyes from further harm. Understanding why it happens, who is most at risk, and how to prevent it can help you enjoy the sun safely. Remember, the key is to stay calm, rinse thoroughly, and seek medical advice if necessary. With these tips and preventative measures, you can ensure that your eyes remain safe and comfortable all summer long.

By admin

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