However, doing this too much—and without the proper care after—may lead to dry eyes. In a recent Tiktok video from Brittani Carver, M.D., the ophthalmologist takes viewers through photos of oil glands that are located in your upper and lower eyelids.
“Do you ever wonder why eye doctors don’t recommend wearing anything on your waterline?” she asks. “The waterline is actually where oil is secreted for the eye. If the glands are obstructed or blocked they will atrophy and die out. This can lead to extreme dry eye.” (Click over to the video to see the oil glands in action—unless things like that make you squeamish, then just follow along with us below.)
Here’s a little anatomy lesson on the eye that we’ve previously learned from James Chelnis, M.D., oculofacial plastic surgeon and assistant clinical professor at New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai.
Your eyelid has three parts that produce various liquids: water (which we identify as tears), mucus (which you might notice when you wake up with “crust” in the morning), and oil. For our purposes, that last one is the most important. Oil actually forms a slick around the eye to keep the water in, keeping your eye hydrated.
If our oil glands around the eye stop working properly—as in the case of this video—they can’t keep the water sealed on the eye. “Have you ever heard anyone complain about having ‘dry eyes’ but still tearing up? What’s happening there is the eye likely doesn’t have enough oil to keep the water in,” says Chelnis. “This not only leads to dryness but styes and eyelid inflammation.”