Another week, another TikTok trend that I simply cannot believe has taken off.
Listen, I love TikTok but I think that we maybe take this silly clock app a little too seriously at times and the results can be anything from watching a whole episode of Wife Swap over numerous videos, not speaking from personal experience of course, to, uh, rubbing castor oil onto our eyes?
Yes, that’s right. The newest trend of rubbing castor oil onto our eyes is thought to treat a wealth of eye health issues including floaters, cataracts, and glaucoma. Now, in fairness, castor oil is frequently used in eye drops and can treat skin infections but… you still shouldn’t just… put it on your eyes.
Doctor warns against castor oil around eyes trend
Dr Vicki Chan MD disagrees with this. While she agrees that castor oil can help with dryness around the eyes, she spoke in a TikTok video that when it comes to floaters, she’d have to ‘professionally disagree’. In the informative video, she said floaters actually form inside the vitreous jelly inside the eyes so for castor oil to help with them, it’d have to penetrate the eye and get into the jelly and dissolve protein: both of which the oil cannot do.
If you do use castor oil for floaters and feel that it cures them, Dr Chan says what’s likely happening is that your brain is getting used to the floater and you’re learning to focus past it so you don’t notice it or the floater is floating out of your visual axis. Either way, castor oil had no impact.
However, Dr Chan does add in a later video that if you have poor vision due to dryness, castor oil can actually help that but is quick to add that for any other eye condition, it won’t be a helpful solution adding, “don’t let anybody sell you on it.”
A commenter asked if they could just use castor oil drops in their eyes for dry eyes and Dr Chan said yes, but, be sure that they are the types of drops that are safe for eyes.