When it comes to beauty for the eyes, we think of a slew of face-changing products: mascara, eyeshadow, false lashes, and eyeliner to name a few. But what happens when these very products cause our eyes irritation?
From redness to dryness, our eyes can go through the wringer—and with these new concerns come a plethora of recommendations. The first thing you’ll reach for is eye drops. And while it may seem simple enough—just run into the drugstore and grab one, right?—there’s actually more to those tiny, liquid-filled vials that are meant to soothe your eyes. Whether it’s a gel-like texture or the ability to cool your eyes instantly, there is an ideal eye drop formula for you.
Here, the best eye drops for dry eyes to give your eyes the relief they need.
Best Overall: Systane Anytime Protection Lubricating Gel Eye Drops for Dry Eyes Symptoms
A favorite of Drew Barrymore (on Instagram, she called them her favorite eye drops!), this lubricant drop feels as natural as your own tears. If you suffer from severe dryness, a gel consistency works best to deliver long-lasting moisture without having to constantly reapply. While the texture is on the thicker side, it doesn’t feel jarring when dropped into the eye—a huge plus in our book.
Best for Allergies: Bausch & Lomb Opcon-A Eye Drops
Suffer from allergies? Whether it’s due to pollen, pet hair, and dander, or even grass, this formula boasts ingredients like an antihistamine to help with flare-ups. A reviewer loved that it not only calmed her itching but also whitened the whites of her eyes quickly and efficiently.
Best for Moderate Dryness: TheraTears Eye Dry Eye Therapy Lubricant Eyedrops
Created by an ophthalmologist after nearly two decades of research, these lubricant eye drops deliver much-needed relief for dry eyes. The unique electrolyte-balanced formula is equal parts gentle and active thanks to its preservative-free solution, a perk that reviewers who are allergic to preservatives especially appreciate.
Best for Redness: Lumify Redness Reliever Eye Drops
Ready for your eyes to sparkle? This redness reliever works in under 60 seconds to whiten and brighten the whites of your eyes. Active ingredient brimonidine specifically reduces the appearance of redness so that your eyes literally radiate. Plus, the reviews speak for themselves—one user notes that this is the only product that’s helped to battle her chronic red eyes.
Best Budget: Visine Original Redness Relief Eye Drops
This iconic formula flushes the redness out of your eyes for a clearer look. With 60 years of expertise, Visine is pretty much everyone’s go-to when it comes to eye irritation—and with good reason. The formula acts almost immediately—within 60 seconds—to constrict the small blood vessels in your eyes, which quells the redness.
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