We Love Eyes Tea Tree Eyelid & Eyelash Foaming Cleanser Product Page 

Includes Dr. Tanya Gill's personal notes and technical Q&A. For professional use only.

Concerns & Considerations

Some background. Back in 2008 I was traveling the county and speaking at conferences and events about the education of inflammatory dry eye syndrome to other eye doctors. It was and still is my passion – dry eyes and anterior surface disease. A common treatment plan I would give patients for inflammatory dry eye syndrome would be Restasis eye drops BID and an eyelid foaming cleanser BID. Restasis was the treatment and the foaming cleanser was the cosmetic product.


In my clinic, I compared 3 groups of patients. Those that were on Restasis only, eyelid foaming cleanser only, and that that were on both.  I made the clinical realization that when both treatments were used, the results were better. Much of inflammatory dry eye syndrome and other anterior surface diseases involve 2 components: the tear film & the eyelids. Treating both simultaneously garnishes better results in terms of clinical signs, patient symptomatology, and improvement in the appearance of the eyes. 


The tear film component can be addressed in many ways: OTC artificial tears, OTC gel drops, and/or prescription strength dry eye drops such as Restasis and Xiidra. The eyelid component can also be addressed in many ways: OTC eyelid scrubs (foam, solution or impregnated pads), baby shampoo, and Rx /OTC sprays such as hypochlorous. 


By 2014, I noticed a significant group of patients plateauing on their TBUT (tear break up time) scores. During the spring they would experience a drop in their TBUT score by 2-4 points. This was likely due to allergy season. The same group of patients also frequently reported, dry scaly eyelids during this time. Some all year round. I thought to myself that perhaps the eyelid foaming cleanser products, designed to improve dry eye symptoms, were actually contributing to it. Dry scaly eyelids are usually a sign of contact dermatitis which ultimately increases the inflammatory response. Not the results I wanted.


At that same time, my husband was getting severely chapped lips. After weeks of digging and experimenting, I discovered he was sensitive to sodium laurel sulfate. I put 2 and 2 together and found sodium laurel sulfate in the eyelid foaming cleanser I had been prescribing for 7 years to my patients. That evening I went to Whole Foods in search of a cleaner, healthier alternative. None existed. I decided to make one.


Here is a short list of attributes for a potential eyelid foaming product:

  • improves the appearance of the eyes
  • no sodium laurel sulfate
  • no artificial fragrances
  • healthier preservatives
  • vegan
  • cruelty free
  • gluten free (in case of ingestion while washing face)
  • use of certain essential oils for benefits (explained below)
  • use of certain essential oils for fragrance
  • effective
  • non-irritating
  • addresses allergy concerns

After months of formulation and testing, the WLE Tea Tree Eyelid & Eyelash Foaming Cleanser (LFC) was born. Market release date happened about 1 year later after all safety testing for ocular irritation, gluten testing, and RIPT for allergic response were completed and passed. Since the initial market release, the product has gone through 1 revision to tighten up the preservative system which improved the formula. 

LFC Directions for Eyecare Professional Use

1. QD, BID or QHS

Dosing will depend on the symptoms and the severity of the symptoms.


For dry eye symptoms, I usually have my patient use the foaming cleanser after instillation of Restasis or Xiidra twice a day. 


For regular eyelid hygiene, I usually have my patient use this once a day.


For contagious conditions, using this product 2-4x a day may keep bacteria away and help to reinforce hand washing and overall hygiene. LFC by no means is a treatment for eye conditions. It's a cosmetic product for cleansing to improve the appearance of the eyes.

2. DO NOT GET INTO EYES

There is a surfactant in this product to provide the cleansing component. The surfactant is mild, but will sting the eyes if it gets inside. Just rinse liberally with water to dilute the surfactant. No harm will come to the eyes.

3. APPLICATION

Dispense 1-2 pumps on clean fingertips and massage foam into eyelid margins and eyelashes 5 times back and forth. Rinse thoroughly with water. This is not a leave on product.

4. DURATION OF USE

Use this daily as part of your cleansing routine. If you are having an eye condition that requires an eye doctor, you may need a prescription medication that this product is by no means a substitute for. 

LFC Directions for Eyelash Professional Use

1. APPLY TO EYELID MARGINS ONLY

After eyelash extension installation, eyelid hygiene tends to be neglected due to the simple fact that even water can add weight and loosen the bond between the real eyelash and the extension. 


Many patients see me when it's too late. Infections, styes, and/or eyelash loss are common side effects of bacteria, debris, allergen and/or demodex buildup.


Use LFC with a cleansing brush and apply to eyelid margins only. Scrub back and forth 5 times to cleanse. Rinse the brush with water and repeat process to brush away all soapy residue. Do not get LFC into the eyes.

2. USE WATER BASED EYE MAKEUP

Water based eye makeup is easier to remove than waterproof makeup. Select eyeliners and eyeshadows that are water based. Perform a patch test with your eyeliner and/or eyeshadow on your wrist and wash with LFC as described above. If the eye makeup washes easily, the patient will have the most success in terms of eye makeup removal and eyelash extension retention.

3. PROLONG EXTENSION RETENTION

There may be a likely connection that healthy eyelash follicles are a by-product of cleaning eyelid margins. Cleaning eyelid margins may decrease inflammation and allow the eyelashes to prolong the antagen and catagen growth phases. The idea is that natural lash growth will be longer and stronger – enhancing extension retention. Conversely, an eyelash follicle that is inflamed will have a shorter growth cycle and the weaker follicle will not support an eyelash extension to it's fullest appearance potential. 

3. SAFE FOR EYELID MARGINS WHILE EXTENSIONS ARE INSTALLED

Formulation of an cleansing agent requires surfactants and emollients. Any product that provides cleansing will loosen the bond between eyelash and installed extension due to chemistry and weight of water. Use LFC to clean the eyelid margins only. Do not apply direction on eyelash extensions as it will loosen the adhesive. 


LFC contains a minimal percentage of oils with benefits (see below) to the eyelid margin. The amount of oils as listed in the ingredients is not enough to create extension loss, but again - applying LFC directly onto eyelash extensions should be avoided. 

1. Tea Tree Oil

Explanation of Key Ingredients

2. Grapeseed Oil

3. Organic Jojoba Oil

Essential oil; anti-fungal; anti-bacterial; antiseptic; anti-inflammatory. Keeps meibomian glands and eyelash follicles clean to promote healthy eyelid margins.

Rich in linoleum acid; acts as an emollient and lubricant; antioxidant. Provides wound healing support and is a matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) inhibitor which supports epithelium & meibomian gland health.

Moisturizing; reconditions the skin; balances oil production; provides barrier protection; tocopherol (Vitamin E) content for antioxidant activity; anti-bacterial. Protects and repairs epithelium and smooths fine lines and wrinkles.

Explanation of Plant-Based Preservative System

Preservatives are necessary because they prevent the growth of bacteria, fungus and yeast in cosmetic and food products. There are many type of preservatives available for cosmetics. Some are incredibly cheap such as parabens and some are incredibly expensive. LFC contains an incredibly expensive 4-part plant based preservative system that is explained here.

Natural, plant-based preservative; derived from bacteria that traditionally makes kimchi; consists of peptide that has been shown anti-microbial benefits.

Leuconostoc / Radish Root Extract Ferment Filtrate

1

Active components are isolated from honeysuckle herbs; anti-microbial; a natural flavonoid and powerful anti-oxidant that has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and detoxifying properties.

Lonicera Caprifolium (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract

3

Populus Tremuloides Bark Extract

A natural preserving agent; contains natural salicylate for additional beta-hydroxy skin refinement.

2

4

Lonicera Japonica (Honeysuckle) Flower Extract

Active components are isolated from honeysuckle herbs; anti-microbial; a natural flavonoid and powerful anti-oxidant that has anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial, and detoxifying properties.

Technical Q & A

Answers provided for professional purposes only by Dr. Tanya Gill, OD

Dr Gill: LFC is a surfactant designed for effective, yet gentle cleansing. If LFC gets into the eyes, it will sting like a soap. The initial market release of LFC was a "shake well before use" formula. One problem we encountered was that the surfactant would accumulate at the bottom of the container, leaving the strongest concentration to be distributed to the eyes all at once. This perhaps created the inconsistent stinging complaint. This problem was solved in 2018 with the release of a new LFC formula that did not require "shake well before use."

Q: Why does this product sting in the eyes?

Q: How long does this product last?

Dr Gill: Depends on use but if used daily, it will last about 30 days. Most patients will go through 2 bottles of LFC for every bottle of eye makeup remover oil and 4 bottles of LFC for every bottle of cleansing oil.

Q: Can you make this in a larger size?

Dr Gill: We are currently exploring & testing this option with the sale of double LFC packs on our website. The test will run for about 6 months in which we will decide whether or not a refill size will be manufactured. 

Q: How long does this product last after I open it?

Dr Gill: The shelf life is 12 months after opening. 

Q: What skin type is this best suited for?

Dr Gill: It is suited for all skin types. If periocular dryness should occur after using this product, just dab a couple drops of either eye makeup remover oil or cleansing oil as the jojoba oil will act as a skin conditioner. 

Q: My eyelids got red and swollen after using this. Is this an allergy?

Dr Gill: 2% of the population in the USA is allergic to tea tree oil. I have my patients perform a patch test on their wrist to test for an allergic response. If a patient is allergic to TTO, they should not use any WLE products that contain TTO.

Q: Can I use this on my newborn infant?

Dr Gill: Absolutely not. No cleansing product of any kind should be used on an infant. If an infant is having an eye condition, their pediatrician should be contacted. In most cases, distilled warm water and a clean wash cloth could be used to wipe away debris from the eye area. Tea tree oil should not be used on children less than 16 years of age without consulting with their pediatrician and/or eye doctor first. 

Q: Where should I store this?

Dr Gill: The best place would be in a cool, dry place. Having said that, you can also keep it in the shower, but select the coolest and driest spot. If the consistency of the solution should change or smell, it should be discarded and customer service contacted immediately . Leaving LFC in a steam room type shower where it can be very hot and moist is not advisable. 

Q: Can I use this to remove eye makeup?

Dr Gill: In focus group studies and feedback from my patients, using LFC as the sole product to remove eye makeup was successful about 50% of the time. It was successful when the patient wore very little eye makeup and the makeup was of the water based variety. LFC is not marketed as an eye makeup remover for this reason. Like shampoo & conditioner in which each serves a purpose and work best together, the WLE Tea Tree Eye Makeup Remover Kit would be the best practice.

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