As a blogger and freelancer I spend the majority of my day glued to my laptop. This is far from a healthy lifestyle, both in terms of sitting down for hours at a time, and staring at a screen. I know I should be getting up and moving around every 30 minutes or so, but sometimes I just don’t want to interrupt my writing flow. And another unwelcome side effect of too much screen work is dry eyes. So when Ellie from OPTASE * asked if I’d like to try their new range of eye care products, I said “yes, please” immediately.
OPTASE, managed by Scope Ophthalmics, have a range of products designed to provide relief from ‘gritty’, dry and irritated eyes. They’ve recently developed an innovative three-step Heat, Cleanse, Hydrate regime which is recommended for twice daily use, and it’s this that I’ve been trialling.
OPTASE’s MoistHeat Mask is designed to give effective relief from dry eyes and other eye disorders. It features HydroBead™ Technology, which apparently both absorbs moisture from the air and releases a natural, constant moist heat. Take your mask out of its protective pouch and heat it in the microwave for 25 seconds (or 15 seconds in our 900-watt microwave). Then sit back and relax with the mask on your closed eyes for 10 minutes. The Moist Heat Therapy stimulates the production of the eye’s natural oils and helps prevent the evaporation of natural tear film.
I rarely – if ever – just sit and do nothing for any length of time so I was looking forward to this. The mask was pleasantly warm but I did find it a little heavy on my closed lids and had to keep repositioning it for comfort. When I took it off after 10 minutes, my vision was extremely blurry but this only lasted for a couple of minutes. (I experience the same when I go for my LVL lash treatments and pads are placed over my eyelids to keep them closed, so I wasn’t too worried).
The next step is to use OPTASE’s preservative-free TTO Lid Wipes, which contain Tea Tree Oil, Camomile, Aloe Vera, and Hyaluronic Acid. Tea Tree Oil is a natural ingredient with known anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. Camomile and Aloe Vera both help to hydrate and soothe, and the Hyaluronic Acid moisturises the eyelids to help improve eyelid elasticity.
You use one wipe per eye and wrap them around your finger, sweeping them gently over each lid and under the lower rims. I loved everything about these wipes. They smell wonderful and feel so soothing and moisturising. I’d happily use them twice a day every day just for how they feel, never mind how beneficial they are!
The last step in the regime is to spray OPTASE’s Eye Spray on closed lids to help prevent dry eyes. It contains Sea Buckthorn Seed Oil and Hyaluronic Acid to moisturise and soothe the eyes and eyelids. The good news is that it’s suitable for contact lens wearers and it’s both alcohol and preservative free too. The dispenser keeps the spray sterile and it should last for up to three months depending on how often you use it.
I’ve used eye sprays before but they’ve never worked particularly well for me. This one, on the other hand, delivered great refreshment which seemed to last quite a while, so I’m impressed. That said, it does come out in a burst rather than a gentle spray so be warned if you want to keep it in your make up bag for use throughout the day – I’d say waterproof make up would be a must!
I’ve enjoyed trialling these products, especially the wipes and the spray. Although OPTASE recommend using their regime twice daily, in practice I think once a day has worked better for me. Particularly with regard to the temporary blurry vision and potential make up runs (!) But they’ve been a welcome addition to my eye care routine, which has been sadly neglected of late. I’ve even had to swap my contact lenses for glasses when I work because my eyes get so sore otherwise. My optician says it’s something to do with a reduced blink rate when you stare at a screen, which in turn results in a less lipid tear film and moisture generation. Or, in layman’s terms, dry, gritty, sore eyes.
Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my job and the flexibility it affords me, especially where Flora’s concerned. But knowing the amount of time us bloggers and freelancers spend in front of a screen, it makes sense to adopt healthy habits and practice proper eye care, don’t you think? Rather alarmingly, up to 4.1 million people are likely to be affected by sight loss in the UK by 2050 (according to the RNIB). With National Eye Health Week fast approaching on 24 September, have you ever thought about protecting the wellbeing of your eyes on a day to day basis?
* I was gifted these products in exchange for a review but all opinions are my own and this is an honest, unbiased review.