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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

What to do? Jalapeno oil on your face...

So, I just did my second batch of salsa for the summer.  I know that it is advised to use gloves when cutting up peppers, but I never have.  I've never had a problem with pepper oil bothering me.  I guess this batch of peppers was different and I don't know which pepper was the culprit: jalapeno, anaheim, habanero, I used them all.

It started on my face.  I can't remember touching my face, but I must have and my nose and upper lip began burning.  Later on it was my hands.

I washed with cold water and soap.  Soothing for the moment, but it didn't stop.

One solution said yogurt: I didn't have any but I poured some milk on a cloth and pressed it against my face while I searched my tablet for more solutions. Again, soothing for the moment, but it didn't stop.

One solution said aloe vera. I have an aloe vera plant on my counter and I pulled off a piece and rubbed the gel on my face. Nothing.  I washed again in cold water and rinsed.  I have some aloe vera gel that stays in my fridge for sunburns and that was soothing for the moment, but didn't help overall.

Finally, I saw an explanation.  The pepper oil is not soluble in water, so the writer said to rub on olive oil and rinse with soap and water.  That I did.  It lessened the pain, but it didn't go away.

The next solution was to use automotive soap. Well, if it dissolves automotive grease and oil, why not? My husband has some of that Fast Orange pumice kind and normally I hate the smell.  But, I rubbed it on my hands and yes, my face (avoiding my eyes, because they were fine).  I then rinsed with soap and water.

That combination of olive oil and automotive soap was the best combination.  It made the pain bearable and within 20 minutes, it was gone completely.

I don't know that I will use gloves the next time.  I'll probably try it at least once to see how awkward it is to cut peppers that way.  At any rate, I do not want to deal with this again.

What about you?  Have you ever felt the jalepeno burn?  What worked for you?


  1. Ikes-that is the danger of jalapeños and we have all done it.

  2. We love hot peppers and once while getting the seeds out of some Habanero peppers for taco salad (we bite them whole), I forgot and wiped my eye. Oh My Gosh! Burn burn burn burn burn.

    I had worked in a restaurant and knew that if anyone was cutting up onions and their eyes started burning, they'd go into the freezer and that helped. So I stuck my head in my freezer for a few minuets and it actually did help. I was surprised!