To me there is nothing more unsightly as red face stains that mar the beauty of some Bichons.
There are several reasons for the red stains. One is breeding, I have found the rounder and more protrusive the eye, the greater the tendency for the natural tears to overflow the bottom lid and leak down the face. It is the chemical makeup of the tear that stains the hair. One approach to this problem is to breed a dog with a more almond shaped eye rather than the large round eye. This solution however is a catch-22. The standard for Bichon Frise calls for a large round expressive eye. I do not wish to lose the striking beauty of the breed, so I have compromised by selecting dogs that do not have an eye tearing problem for my breeding stock.
I next approach the problem mechanically. Here are some of the steps you can take to reduce the red staining on your Bichons. First, buy distilled water in a gallon bottle at the supermarket. Use Distilled, not spring, and definitely not mineral water. Distilled water does not have the minerals that cause the staining. Next look at the ingredients in the food you are feeding. Many of the foods add food dye to make the kibble look more appealing. I don't want to use any food that has red or actually any food dye in it. Last, many dogs are allergic to pollens and allergens in the air. With these dogs the tearing seems to be seasonal. There are many products on the market that claim to remove the red stains. In my experience most don't work. There is a product on the market called "Angels Eyes" it is an antibiotic you put in the dogs food every day and they say the eye's stop staining. Some of my people have told me it works. I personally have reservations about feeding my dogs antibiotics for cosmetic reasons. It probably is safe for a short period of time, just until you get the stain under control. As a continuing program, I would rather clean the stain away. Over the years I have used Boric acid powder made into a paste with water. I tried peroxide (3%). These things worked to lighten the stain a little. I also tried all the products from the shelf in the pet store. None really worked. Most didn't do anything. The one I use most successfully is called "Eye_Envy" it comes with a liquid you clean the stain with and a powder you put on after you clean the stain. It has worked well for me.
The most important factor is DO IT!
Start by carefully clipping the most stained hair from the corners of the eyes. Start cleaning the stains twice a day, morning and night. BE CONSISTENT about doing it, if you want to be successful you really have to work at it. When the stains get lighter you may clean only once a day. Even when you are successful and the stain is gone, still clean it at least 3 times a week to keep the face white and beautiful.