“ Brand: Novartis Opthalmics / Type: Eye Care / Eyelid Hygiene System „
A few years ago the husband went down with blepharitis, my thoughts were thank god I don't have this, as the rigorous eye cleansing routine required would screw up the fine skin around my eyes something chronic (the poor man gets little sympathy). A few years later and I find myself having eyelid problems myself, Karma in action?
Lid-care by the pharmaceutical company Novartis is a commonly prescribed cleanser for blepharitis. Other methods of controlling this condition include using baby shampoo very diluted, applied with a lint free pad/cotton bud, or even plain hot slightly saline boiled (and cooled to warm) water, once the condition is more under control. Lid care can also be used for general eyelid hygiene, and for removing make up. Please note that blepharitis is a condition that should be properly diagnosed by a qualified optician, prescriptions for this product may not be available outside Wales (that is what we were informed when the husband was first diagnosed) as the product is cheaper to buy than to pay for on prescription.
What Lid-Care is
The following is taken from the leaflet that comes with the product "Lid-Care is a gentle cleanser designed for use as a daily eyelid hygiene product. Its non irritating formula forms a microbubble foam to remove cosmetics, accumulated oils and debris from the eyelids and eyelashes". The leaflet can be viewed online at http://www.novartis.com.au/PI_PDF/lid.pdf , I've included an ingredient list at the end of the review.
You can buy lid care from many places online at places like Amazon and Chemist Direct, for about £3-£5. It is available in different formats, as the wash alone, or boxed with sterile lint free gauze pads, or in pre 'wet' sterile packed pads. We use the one that comes with 100ml of solution, and 100 gauze pads.
The solution is sterile, and it is recommended that you try not to touch the nozzle to anything once opened. I haven't asked at my local pharmacy where my husband gets his prescription whether they sell Lid-care over the counter, because as his blepharitis is well controlled and he doesn't need to use the product as often as he did initially, I can pinch enough for my needs.
A bit about Blepheritis
The symptoms of blepharitis are similar to eczema in appearance, and it can cause red scaly eyelids, though this varies in severity, you may just notice a red inflamed look often with dryness of the lids. Your eyes may feel 'tired', or gritty, and or feel as if there is something in them. They may be uncomfortable in sunlight or a smoky atmosphere. The whites of the eyes may also become slightly red.
Treatment of blepharitis revolves around extra special care with cleansing of the lid margins. This is not due to any lack in general hygiene, but because the little glands which line the lids start to block more easily, preventing them from coating the water line and lash area properly with protective oils and fluids. This can be caused by a few things, primarily simply getting older, the skin on the lids becoming drier, or even 'floppy' lids where the skin is a little heavy around the glands holding them more closed than normal (a bit like putting pressure on a straw). Treatment allows these glands to function better even if not fully. Treatment can also include the use of sterile tear mimicking eye drops such as 'viscotears', and even occasionally a short course of steroid cream or tablets and or antibiotics.
When I first developed symptoms I though I had succumbed to the dreaded blephy too, however I soon realised it was one or a combination of my many allergies that was playing up, I'd also developed a mild sensitivity to a YSL mascara bought for a fiver from 'Direct Cosmetics'. Usually dosing myself up on anti-histamines, both oral and eye drops and not wearing eye make up for a while helps; but my eyes remained irritated, sore, dry and felt as if I had little cat hairs tangled in the tips of my eyelashes. For a long time I assumed this actually was what the feeling was, as I have a handful of cats, and their fluffy hair gets everywhere. So as Lid-Care stipulates that it can be used for general 'lid hygiene' and make up removal as well as a treatment for the blocked glands that aggravate blepheritis I stole some from my husband and gave it a whirl. My reasoning being that if I was suffering some kind of contact dermatitis triggered by allergies then removing the allergens at source should help.
How to use Lid care
You can either soak the thin gauze pad entirely, (or other clean lint free application method) or just put enough on a corner or two. My husband favours the corner application as he finds it easier to get into the lashes thoroughly that way. I tend to be more profligate with the liquid moistening the pad and using it as you would an eye make up remover, even when just cleaning the lid margins and lashes.
To use for medical purposes It is recommended you use morning and evening, and during stabilisation of the condition that you hold a very warm moist flannel or similar against the eye before use (after any make up is removed if you were wearing any) to open follicles and allow a deeper clean. After showers or baths is a good time to use this product too, as the steam has the same effect as the hot cloth. You then rub the pad across the eyelid margin, the instructions recommend about 10 times back and forth across each area. Not inside the lid at all, or on the water line, concentrate on the lash area. You are also meant to use separate gauze for each eye, and a separate area of gauze for top and bottom lid. Often as the condition stabilises you are able to reduce the use of this product, depending on individual reactions.
When using to remove make up I use it in the same way as I would any other product of this type. Using a separate pad for each eye, I hold the gauze over the eye and gently agitate it against the skin before wiping away, and most of the make up comes away in the first sweep. I turn the pad and use the back to complete removing any little stubborn bits of make up and to ensure the lid margin is good and clean. I need to use moisturiser around my eye afterwards, but I would do that with any cleanser.
You do have to rinse your eye with cold water after use, not because the solution is damaging or painful in any way, simply to remove residue which if left can have a drying effect.
Since using lid care I have noticed a marked reduction in the itchiness and irritation I was experiencing. I foam up a pad by rubbing it against itself and find the fine lather very comfortable, it has and instant soothing effect on my eyes. It is not designed for this particular instant soothing effect, but I think washing away the animal dander and pollen which may have accumulated in or on my lashes give this relief quite quickly.
There is no reaction at all to getting this into your eyes, very neutral and mild.
Though I didn't start using the product for make up removal I have found it to be the best product of this kind that I have ever tried; and it's only a few pounds for 100ml! plus you get (if you buy the right pack) the cleansing pads with it.
I only ever wear waterproof mascara, partly because of my tendency to watery allergy eyes, and partly because non waterproof mascaras don't hold a curl in the lash in the same way as waterproof varieties. This is notoriously difficult to remove, usually requiring an oil based cleanser. I have tried many eye make up removers from reasonably priced milk type solutions, to things like Decleor, and Gatineau Floracil which has an excellent reputation. None of them worked well for me, a good dollop of Vaseline worked, but as I don't like using soap and toners around the eyes I was left with a slick of vaseline on the eye area, even after patting away the excess. Now I have discovered this product my eye area is left feeling clean and fresh with no oily residue.
A big benefit with this solution for make up removal is that it is totally non irritating, and doesn't aggravate allergies.
I would highly recommend this product for whatever purpose you use it.
Aqua, lauroamphodiacetate (and) sodium trideceth sulfate (and) hexylene glycol, PEG-20 sorbitan monolaurate, propylene glycol, boric acid, sodium borate, disodium EDTA, polyaminopropyl biguanide