Turns out this TikTok hack has legs (or, uh, eyes). According to a doctor certified in internal medicine and a skin care expert Zion Ko Lamm, MD, eye drops are an effective way to calm anger pimples – as long as you use the drops to “relieve the redness,” she explains in a duo video.
This is because the active ingredients in over-the-counter anti-redness formulas (usually tetrahydrozoline, naphazoline or brimonidine) are all vasoconstrictors, which means they can constrict blood vessels, which helps keep eyes clear. When applied to your skin, these vasoconstrictors can also help reduce redness and swelling (it has a soothing effect similar to that of green tea, for example, another known vasoconstrictor).
Although this is more of a quick fix. “It doesn’t treat your acne, but it’s a temporary hack!” Lamm said. You’ll want to use other spot treatment methods to get rid of the breakouts (salicylic acid, clay, etc.) because taming the redness doesn’t exactly target the root of the problem (clogged pores). Still, eye drops can work in a pinch, for example on the morning of an important event.
“[It] can even help with vascular-type dark circles, ”Lamm notes, as these types of shadows are exacerbated when blood vessels dilate. Again, this isn’t a long-term treatment (you’ll want to cure dark circles with these targeted treatments), but it works for temporary brightness.