What Happens if Coconut Oil Gets in Your Eyes? Benefits of Coconut Oil 2024

What happens if coconut oil goes into eyes: Coconut oil has become an incredibly popular oil in recent years. Once shunned because of its high saturated fat content, coconut oil is now embraced for its many health benefits. Coconut oil contains unique fatty acids that have antiviral, antimicrobial, and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s also rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

Coconut oil can be used for cooking, as a moisturizer, as a hair mask, and in many other ways. But what happens if you accidentally get coconut oil in your eyes? Is coconut oil safe if it gets in your eyes? Here’s a look at the benefits of coconut oil, what happens when coconut oil gets in your eyes, and how to safely use coconut oil on and around your eyes.

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Benefits of Coconut Oil

Before diving into what happens when coconut oil gets in your eyes, let’s first look at some of the many benefits of this versatile oil:

Contains Healthy Fats

Coconut oil is very high in saturated fat. About 90% of the fatty acids in coconut oil are saturated. For many years, health organizations warned against consuming too much-saturated fat for heart health. However, research has now shown that not all saturated fats are created equal.

The saturated fat in coconut oil is different than the saturated fat found in animal products. Over 50% of the saturated fat in coconut oil comes from lauric acid, a medium-chain triglyceride. Some research suggests that lauric acid may benefit heart health and help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol.

Has Antimicrobial Properties

The lauric acid and other fatty acids in coconut oil have antimicrobial properties. Test tube studies show coconut oil effectively kills a variety of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. However, human studies are still limited.

Some studies suggest applying coconut oil to the skin may help treat acne. The antimicrobial properties may also help explain why coconut oil could benefit oral health. Nevertheless, more human research is needed.

Moisturizes Skin

Coconut oil is a natural moisturizer. The fats in coconut oil help hydrate and smooth skin. Because coconut oil has a high melting point, it becomes a solid below 76°F (24°C). However, the oil melts immediately when applied to the skin.

One study found coconut oil improved skin hydration and increased collagen levels better than mineral oil. It’s also gentle enough to moisturize babies’ skin.

Promotes Hair Health

Coconut oil can give your hair a healthy shine. It may also help reduce protein loss from hair. One study found coconut oil could work as well as mineral oil to nourish hair and reduce split ends.

For the best results, apply coconut oil to damp hair. Leave it on for up to eight hours or overnight, then wash out. The Lauric acid may have antimicrobial benefits for the scalp as well.

Helps Oil Pulling

Oil pulling with coconut oil involves swishing oil in your mouth for up to 20 minutes and then spitting it out. Practitioners claim it whitens teeth and improves oral health. Limited evidence suggests oil pulling with coconut oil may reduce bad breath and plaque formation.

Boosts Weight Loss

Coconut oil contains MCTs, which may increase satiety after meals. Replacing other oils with coconut oil may also help you eat fewer calories. One study found that subjects lost more belly fat when they consumed 2 tablespoons of coconut oil per day.

However, coconut oil is still high in calories. Measure carefully when adding it to food or drinking it straight from the spoon.

Improves Brain Function

MCTs from foods like coconut oil require less energy and fewer enzymes to be digested. They’re broken down directly in the liver and used as energy. Some research indicates MCTs may benefit brain disorders like Alzheimer’s disease.

One study found MCT oil improved brain function in people with mild to moderate Alzheimer’s. However, more research is needed to confirm coconut oil itself improves cognition.

Contains Antioxidants

Coconut oil is high in phenolic compounds and vitamin E, two potent antioxidants. Test tube and animal studies suggest coconut oil may help protect cells from oxidative damage due to its antioxidant content.

However, human studies are lacking. More research is needed to know whether coconut oil acts as an antioxidant in the body.

May Have Anti-Cancer Properties

Some test tube and animal studies suggest coconut oil may have anti-cancer properties, likely related to its content of antioxidants. Lauric acid in coconut oil also appears to kill cancer cells in lab experiments.

However, there’s no good evidence that cooking with or eating coconut oil prevents cancer in humans. Clinical trials are needed.

Helps Absorb Nutrients

Coconut oil consists almost entirely of saturated fat. However, saturated fat may increase the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and phytonutrients from other foods.

Some studies suggest combining coconut oil with vegetables like tomatoes or carrots boosts the absorption of antioxidants like beta-carotene.

Safe Cooking Oil

Coconut oil has a very high smoke point of 350°F (177°C). This makes it one of the best oils for high-heat cooking like frying. The fatty acids in coconut oil are stable at high heat and less prone to oxidation, unlike other vegetable oils.

Make sure to use refined coconut oil if cooking at high heat. Unrefined virgin coconut oil has a smoke point of 350°F (177°C) as well but may impart a slight coconut flavor.

As you can see, coconut oil offers many benefits. Now let’s look at what happens when this healthy oil gets in your eyes.

What Happens When Coconut Oil Gets in Your Eyes

Coconut oil is generally considered natural and safe. But what exactly happens when coconut oil gets in your eyes? Here’s a look at how your eyes respond:

Eye Irritation is Possible

Like any foreign substance entering your eyes, coconut oil has the potential to irritate. You may experience stinging, burning, or watery eyes after getting coconut oil in your eyes. The irritation should clear up quickly once you flush the oil out.

However, everyone’s eyes respond differently. Some people may experience more significant eye irritation from getting coconut oil in their eyes.

Factors like how much oil entered your eyes, whether your eyes are sensitive, and whether the oil was refined or virgin can all impact eye irritation.

Blurred Vision

Having an oily layer over your eyes can temporarily impair your vision and ability to see clearly. You may experience blurred vision after getting coconut oil in your eyes until you can rinse it out.

Increased Tear Production

Excess oil in your eyes and irritation will cause your eyes to water. Tear production increases to try and flush out the foreign oil. You may tear up excessively after getting coconut oil in your eyes as your body tries to protect your eyes.

Redness Around the Eyes

The skin around your eyes may become red and inflamed after contact with coconut oil. This redness results from the irritation and inflammatory response to a foreign substance in the eyes.

Eye Strain

Trying to see through an oily film can cause eye strain. You may experience tired, strained eyes until the coconut oil is fully rinsed away. Eye strain from coconut oil should resolve quickly once your eyes are clear.

Chance of Infection

There is a small chance introducing any foreign substance into your eyes could cause an infection. Coconut oil is unlikely to cause an eye infection thanks to its antimicrobial properties. However, dirty coconut oil or oil that introduces bacteria into your eyes does pose an infection risk.

Signs of an eye infection include increased pain, vision changes, discharge, swelling, excessive tearing, and light sensitivity. See a doctor immediately if your symptoms don’t improve quickly after flushing your eye with clean water or saline solution.

While uncomfortable and alarming, getting a small amount of coconut oil in your eyes is not a medical emergency. The oil can simply be flushed out. Larger amounts of oil may require an eye doctor’s help to fully remove.

See an optometrist or ophthalmologist immediately if you experience severe pain, changes in vision, ongoing redness, discharge, or other concerning symptoms that don’t quickly resolve after rinsing the eyes.

How to Get Coconut Oil Out of Your Eyes/ What to do if coconut oil goes into eyes?

Getting coconut oil in your eyes can be startling but try to stay calm. Here’s what you should do:

  1. Don’t Rub Your Eyes

Rubbing will push the oil in deeper and cause more irritation. Gently blot excess oil with a soft tissue.

  1. Flush With Clean Water

Rinse the eye with lukewarm, clean water. Pull your upper eyelid over the lower lid and flush water over your eyeball.

  1. Use an Eyewash

For another rinsing option, use an eyewash product to flush your eye. Sterile saline solutions help rinse away irritants.

  1. Repeat as Needed

Flush the eye several times until the oil is fully removed. It may take a few minutes of rinsing to wash away all the oil.

  1. Apply a Cold Compress

Place a clean, cold compress over your closed eye to soothe irritation and redness. Don’t press too firmly.

  1. Seek Medical Care if Needed

If blurriness, pain, discharge, or other symptoms don’t improve quickly, see an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

With proper flushing, your eyes should recover quickly after getting coconut oil in them. Always be extremely careful when applying products like coconut oil anywhere near your eyes to avoid accidents.

Is Coconut Oil Safe for Your Eyes?

When used properly, coconut oil is generally safe for your eyes. Here’s how to safely use coconut oil around your eyes:

  • Apply coconut oil to the skin around your eyes, not directly in your eyes. Use a gentle patting and smoothing motion.
  • If used as an eye makeup remover, avoid rubbing. Gently wipe oil over eyelids and lashes then rinse away with water.
  • Be very careful applying coconut oil to your hands and then touching your face. Wash hands after applying.
  • Never use old, dirty coconut oil around your eyes. It could introduce bacteria.
  • Don’t let others dip fingers in a communal jar for application around the eyes. Use clean applicators.
  • Monitor for reactions. Coconut oil is generally hypoallergenic but some people may be sensitive.
  • Don’t apply coconut oil before bed. It could migrate into the eyes while sleeping.
  • Rinse eyes with water after use. Don’t leave a residue.

With proper precautions, coconut oil can be safely used to moisturize the delicate skin around the eyes. Just take care not to get coconut oil directly in your eyes.

FAQs About Coconut Oil in Eyes

Does coconut oil hurt your eyes?

Pure, clean coconut oil does not damage or harm your eyes. However, getting coconut oil in your eyes can cause temporary irritation until it is rinsed out. The oil is not toxic but the irritation and blurry vision can be uncomfortable. With prompt rinsing, your eyes should recover quickly.

How long does it take for coconut oil in your eyes to go away?

It should only take a few minutes of flushing with lukewarm water or an eyewash product to fully rinse coconut oil out of your eyes. Repeat the rinsing several times to ensure all oil is washed away. If your vision remains blurry or symptoms persist more than an hour after rinsing thoroughly, seek medical care.

Can coconut oil blind you?

Getting pure coconut oil in your eyes will not permanently blind you or damage your vision. The oil may temporarily blur vision but it does not harm your eyes. Rinsing away the oil should restore normal sight. Coconut oil is not toxic to the eyes. However, dirty oil contaminated with irritants could potentially cause longer-lasting damage.

Does coconut oil help pink eye?

No, coconut oil does not help treat viral or bacterial conjunctivitis. The pink eye requires prescription antibiotic eye drops from a doctor to treat the infection. However, the lauric acid in coconut oil has antimicrobial properties. Applying coconut oil to the skin around the eyes may help prevent bacterial overgrowth.

Can you put coconut oil directly in your eyes?

It is not recommended to put coconut oil directly into your eyes. Coconut oil is safe for the area around the eyes but getting oil in the eyes can cause temporary irritation. Coconut oil is also not sterile – dirty, contaminated oil could lead to infection if applied directly to the eyes. Use coconut oil around but not inside the eyes.

Does coconut oil help with dry eyes?

Yes, coconut oil may help relieve dry, irritated eyes when applied externally around the eyes. The fatty acids act as a natural moisturizer to hydrate the delicate eye area. Coconut oil also has anti-inflammatory properties that may soothe dry, inflamed skin near the eyes. Avoid using coconut oil before bed so it doesn’t migrate into the eyes.

Can you use coconut oil to remove eye makeup?

Yes, coconut oil is an effective natural eye makeup remover. The oil helps break down and dissolve makeup and mascara. Gently smooth a small amount of coconut oil over closed eyelids and lashes to dissolve makeup. Use a damp cotton pad to gently wipe away makeup and oil residue. Avoid rubbing your eyes vigorously.

Be sure to rinse your eyes with water after removing makeup with coconut oil. Also take care to avoid getting coconut oil inside the eyes, as it may temporarily blur vision.


Coconut oil provides many topical and internal health benefits thanks to its unique fatty acid profile. When used properly, coconut oil can also be safe and effective for the delicate skin around the eyes. However, getting coconut oil directly in the eyes may cause temporary irritation and blurred vision.

If you accidentally get coconut oil in your eyes, try to stay calm. Flush eyes thoroughly with lukewarm, clean water or a sterile eyewash. The oil will rinse away in a few minutes, restoring normal vision. Seek medical care if symptoms don’t quickly improve.

To safely use coconut oil around the eyes, apply carefully to external skin only. Never put coconut oil directly into the eyes. Monitor for sensitivity, rinse thoroughly after use, and avoid old or contaminated coconut oil which could increase infection risk.

With proper precautions, coconut oil can help moisturize and nourish the skin around your eyes. Just be careful when using it to avoid accidentally getting it in the sensitive membranes of the eyes.

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