Why Do My Tears Burn My Face When I Tear Up or Cry?

Published Categorized as Beauty Tips

When crying, the last thing you might expect to feel is a burning sensation on your skin but, oddly enough, plenty of people have felt this sensation of burning and have wondered why it happens. Today, we’ll answer that question as well as how to better take care of your eyes and skin in an effort to alleviate this common problem from now on.

Hi beautiful! Just to let you know, we earn a modest commission off of purchases made through Amazon affiliate links on this page. Don't worry, it's of no extra cost to you. We love the products we recommend in this post, and we hope you do, too!

Table of Contents

EyePromise Zeaxanthin + Lutein Eye Vitamin - Protect & Enhance Macular Health

Why Do My Tears Burn?

Why do tears burn when I cry?

Tears are nothing but salty water emitted from your eyes. Their purpose is to both protect and moisturize the eye, although sometimes, your eyes can make too many, or too little, of them.

To answer the question of “Why do tears burn?”, it is important to understand that the fact that your own tears are burning your face likely has more to do with your skin and not necessarily your tears, themselves.

Why do my tears make my face burn?

When you cry, your salt water tears hit your face, causing your face to sting. This may be due to several factors, but in general, because tears are salty and salt can be drying, the result can be that your tears are actually drying out your skin thus causing the burning sensation.

Why do my tears burn like acid on my face?

If your tears feel like acid on your face, you aren’t alone. Salty tears make the skin dry, and the more you cry, the drier your skin will become.

Got dry skin already? Get ready to feel the sting! If your skin is already dry and salted tears hit your skin, the expectation is that the stinging could feel worse and may even leave red marks on your face.

Why are my tears burning my cheeks?

Unlike other parts of your face, your cheeks are highly susceptible to being “burned” by tears because of their location on your face and because of the direction of tear flow. As a result, it can be expected that if you have dry or sensitive skin, the tears you cry will affect both the undereye area and your cheek area most, as they tend to be more sensitive areas.

Why do my tears make my face itch?

If you find that your face feels itchy after a good cry, the culprit is likely the same as the reason that tears may produce a burning sensation on one’s skin: either your skin was already dry or you’ve cried so much that your salty tears have made your skin dry.

If you aren’t aware, dry skin often leads to itchy skin, which is why people with naturally dry skin, or even eczema, often complain about itchiness on or around the affected dry areas.

As a result, it would make sense that salty tears that have dried out the skin may too yield an itching sensation that, though harmless, may be annoying to those dealing with this issue.

Why do my tears leave red marks?

Oddly enough, tears can leave both red, and white, marks on the face. The former, once again, has more to do with the condition and makeup of your skin, rather than the tears themselves.

For some, the salty makeup of tears may actually stain the face red, though this isn’t typically a cause for concern. Usually, redness should disappear within a few days. If the red marks do not disappear or become worse, you may need to speak to a healthcare provider for more details.

Conversely, white marks on the face are caused by the salt in the tears itself. These white marks are not permanent, nor do they cause changes to the skin themselves, but are simply salt residue left behind from tears. This may be more apparent on people with more melanin, or color, in their skin.

Why do my tears feel hot?

The sensation of hot tears may be another effect of dry skin. But wait… there’s more.

While burning may feel “hot” to others, it is true that the temperature of tears can vary slightly, especially as crying becomes more prolonged. Some research has suggested that the heat of tears actually may increase with each blink. Thus, tears may appear to feel “hot” after a while.

For the most part, however, tears are body temperature, so it is likely that the hot feeling you are experiencing may be your skin’s reaction to the tears, and not necessarily the tears.

Systane Ultra Lubricant Eye Drops, Artificial Tears for Dry Eye, Twin Pack, 10-mL Each
Buy on Amazon Primeeligible

Do Tears Irritate Skin?

Can tears cause pimples?

While tears themselves are unlikely to cause pore-clogging which is what causes acne to form, your habits while crying just might.

If you are rubbing your face vigorously while crying, using scented or heavily moisturized tissues while crying, or are crying with makeup on, then it is these elements that may be causing acne to crop up after you’ve had yourself a good cry.

Tips For Good Eye Health to Avoid Burning Tears

To avoid burning tears, there are several things you can do to help banish the sting, and also to promote better eye health. These include:

  • Washing Your Face: Yes, it is true. Washing your face after you cry, and especially if your tears are causing you discomfort, is a must to get rid of the salt that is responsible for that burning sensation. Just make sure you do so with a gentle cleanser to avoid making the situation worse. You may also opt to simply splash your face with water as using soap may further dry out problem areas and cause the issue to become worse.
  • Replace Moisture: Once you’ve washed your face with a gentle cleanser, be sure to go ahead and moisturize your skin to rehydrate.
  • Get Checked Out: If you find that your eyes often feel sandy, gritty or irritated, you may wish to go to the doctor to rule out possible causes, such as blepharitis.
  • Keep Your Eyes Wet: If you are a person that suffers from dry eyes, be careful to use artificial tears to rebalance the moisture in your eyes to banish the burn of dryness.
  • Watch Your Environment: There are many environmental factors that can lead to dry and burning eyes. These include pollen in the air, smoke and other pollutants. Consider purchasing an indoor air purifier to cleanse air inside your residence. Be sure to limit time outside if it is external factors causing your eyes to burn.

For even more tips on how to keep your eyes healthy and burn free, check out Keep Your Eyes Healthy.

Refresh Plus Lubricant Eye Drops, Preservative-Free, 0.01 Fl Oz Single-Use Containers, 50 Count, Packaging May Vary
Buy on Amazon Primeeligible

Why Do Tears Burn My Face? It Depends On Your Skin!

For most people, the reason why tears burn their face is simple… it has to do with the drying tendencies of the tears on their skin.

To stop the burning tears from happening, make sure to wash your face after having a good cry to avoid irritation of the skin caused by the saltiness of your tears.

Related Posts on Our Blog:


Why do my tears burn my face?

The salt and enzymes in tears can cause irritation and sensitivity on the skin around the eyes and on your face. It could also be that you rubbed your face from crying, which makes the skin more sensitive.

Why do my tears burn my face when I cry?

Tears contain enzymes and natural irritants that cause a burning sensation on the face in areas with more delicate skin when they spread.

By Ellis James

We design luxuriously glamorous bags, organizers and life essentials for you. At Ellis James Designs, it’s all about YOU. Your bag, Your way. Our exclusive designs are timeless, indulgent and most importantly inspired by you. What will be your first Ellis James Design?


  1. This information is very helpful for me! Thank you so much for sharing this excellent information. The eyes are very sensitive organs, so every people should take care of our eyes.

  2. This was a fascinating read. I always assumed it was something to do with the salt and the fact I already have dry and sensitive skin to begin with but it was good to learn a little more. Great tips on how to prevent it too x


Comments are closed.