How to Exfoliate Scaly Eyelids With a Washcloth

by Mimi Abney

The skin around the eye area is sensitive and particularly thin, say the editors at That’s why it is important to treat any instance of flaky skin around the eyes with a gentle hand and a little TLC. Whether the scaly skin on the eyelid is due to blepharitis, eczema, contact dermatitis or a build-up of dead skin cells, a dampened washcloth helps to pamper and exfoliate the delicate eye area and reveal new skin without stripping away the skin’s fragile outer layer.

Wash and dry your hands to remove any dirt or oil.

Dampen a baby’s washcloth with warm water. Place the washcloth on your closed eyelids to loosen the scaly and flaky skin. Let the warm compress stay on the eyes for four to five minutes.

Combine three to four drops of no-tears baby shampoo with 1/ 2 cup of lukewarm water in a small bowl. Dip a cotton swab into the mixture. Gently press the swab together between your fingertips to remove any excess water.

Sweep the dampened swab across your closed eyelids to help exfoliate and remove the dead skin cells. Repeat until you have cleaned both lids.

Dampen a new and clean washcloth with warm water. Wrap the edge of the washcloth around your fingertips. Using a circular motion, gently glide the washcloth over the skin to remove any remaining scaly skin cells or shampoo residue from your eyelids.

Smooth on two to three dots of a calming eye gel or lightweight moisturizer to rehydrate your skin.

Items you will need
  • Baby’s washcloths
  • Small bowl
  • No-tears baby shampoo
  • Cotton swab
  • Eye gel or lightweight moisturizer


  • If you have blepharitis, the National Eye Institute recommends you apply the warm compress twice a day to soothe and treat your skin.


  • If the flaky skin persists after a few daily treatments, visit your dermatologist for a proper diagnosis, treatment plan, and a topical prescription if necessary.

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