Someone suffering from severe allergies may benefit from prescription-strength antihistamines, while someone suffering from a skin disorder that is affecting the skin around the eyes may benefit from topical creams.
As you might have realized by now, I’m a bit of a Tatcha stan. This eye serum doesn’t do a whole lot for dark circles, per se, but it’s incredible for hydrating and giving your eyes a lift. I know it’s on the pricey side, but it really is quite effective when it comes to fine lines, wrinkles, and hydration. The Okinawa red algae, honeysuckle leaf, and caffeine ingredients promise “instantly-visible firming, reduced puffiness, and plumping hydration to diminish fine lines.” It’s also the most luxurious applicator I’ve ever used — the ceramic applicator cools down as you use it, which helps with puffiness in its own right.
Your doctor will want to rule out other possible causes that can contribute to the swelling, such as thyroid disease, infection or an allergy. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in the eyes (ophthalmologist), plastic surgery or plastic surgery of the eyes (oculoplastic surgeon).
Periorbital puffiness, also known as “puffy eyes”, or swelling around the eyes, is the appearance of swelling in the tissues around the eyes, called the orbits. It is almost exclusively caused by fluid buildup around the eyes, or periorbital edema. Minor puffiness usually detectable below the eyes only (although at times they could be present all around) is often called eye bags. Such transient puffiness is distinct from the age related and gradual increase in the size of the fat pad lying below the lower eyelids (suborbicularis oculi fat – “SOOF”) which can also be colloquially referred to as eye bags.[1]
The incorrect way of putting eye cream, or any type of cream, on and rubbing it in would be not to wash your hands before the process. Even if you are at home and didn’t go out, bacteria are already on your hands. That’s why we wash our hands before we eat.
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Peptides are a more recent entrant into the field of skin care, which means that they’re not as well documented. Kevin Gallagher told us that peptides were derived from medical research into wound healing, and he recommended them over retinoids because they have less risk of irritating the delicate skin around the eye area. “Peptides are small fragments of collagen and proteins that are meant to ‘trick’ the skin into thinking that its collagen is broken, and that it needs to make new collagen to replace it. Over time, it can help thicken skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles,” explains Shainhouse.
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Juicy’s Chemistry Coffee And Green Tea Eye Cream is infused with coffee and green tea. It also contains almond oil, which helps moisturize the delicate under eye area. This product also helps prevent fine lines and wrinkles. It is 100% natural and free of chemicals, parabens, preservatives, alcohol, and artificial fragrances.
You may notice puffy eyes as you age or for a temporary reason, such as lack of sleep, poor diet, or seasonal allergies. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits may improve your puffy eyes in just a short period of time.
In this category, Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Eye Cream ($35) was the clear standout. In fact, it holds the honor of being our testers’ absolute favorite — more people called it out as being “the best eye cream” than any other pick in any other category. It received the highest absorbency rating of all our retinol-based night eye cream, and left our skin feeling smooth and soft. That said, it has one notable downside: it comes in a jar, which exposes the ingredients inside to air and light more than a pump or squeeze-tube would. To preserve the potency of the cream, you’ll want to be extra careful to apply it only after washing your hands, and to keep it in a dark, cool spot after using it.
For an instant eye lift, January Labs’s Advanced Eye Technology is second to none. Containing plumping hyaluronic acid and a blend of wrinkle-reducing peptides, it smoothes out fine lines as well as minimising dark circles and tightening up the skin around the eyes.
“I love this little cream because I basically live out of my gym bag, and it’s the only eye cream I’ve found that comes in a teeny mini size. The tiny jar alone is so helpful when I’m getting ready on the go. Plus, it really, truly works. This stuff is no joke—they mean it when they say it’s potent! I look less sleepy the second I put it on.” —Sara Gaynes Levy, health editor
Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to body bloating, which will have an effect on your eyes as well. Go easy on the diet sodas and other products containing fake sugar substitutes, or give them up completely. You can also try easing the eye puff caused by this fake sugars by consuming more inflammation-fighting foods like berries, tomatoes, and ginger. 
Eye creams are one of our best bets for keeping up appearances (or transforming our eyes when they seem in despair), but some are better than others to target specific concerns. If lines are your nemesis, you need the best eye cream for wrinkles. Dark shadows under your eyes that even the best concealer can’t cover? Look to the best eye cream for dark circles. When it comes to puffiness and a host of other orbital concerns, you should seek out a multitasking eye treatment. The best eye creams can be great aids in looking well-rested even when you’re not.
The active ingredients of Dermology Eye Cream are niacinamide, chrysin, bisabolol, and N-hydroxysuccinimide. The product has also been clinically tested and proven to be effective and safe. A considerable advantage of this eye cream is that it is hypoallergenic so even people with very sensitive skin can use it.
“Sometimes the sinus cavities behind the eyes become inflamed due to inhalation of the allergens through the nasal passages,” says Lisa Ellman-Grunther, MD, an allergist at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York City, in an email to Health. If allergies are the reason for your puffy eyes, they’ll likely also be itchy and watery—another fun effect of allergens. You might also notice dryness and flakiness on the skin, particularly your eyelids, says Dr. Ellman-Grunther.
The majority of eye creams on the market are formulated with the same ingredients as most facial moisturizers. There are no special ingredients in eye creams that are specific to the skin around the eyes, but you should make sure you follow these dermatologist-approved rules for using moisturizer. Like the overwhelming majority of facial moisturizers on the market, eye creams are water based—water is often the first ingredient on the ingredients list. They contain humectants, like glycerin, that help draw water into the skin surface, and occlusives, like petrolatum or dimethicone, that limit water evaporation from the skin into the environment. Emollients are added to make the skin feel smooth and silky, adding aesthetic value to the product so the consumer likes how the product feels. Emulsifiers are added so the water and oil components of the emulsion don’t separate. All water-based products require a preservative to prevent overgrowth of mold and bacteria. Manufacturers also add thickeners, as eye creams are expected to be thicker than most facial moisturizers. A “marketing tool” ingredient (discussed below) is often added to enhance sales, and sometimes fragrance is also added.
While some degree of puffiness may be normal for a given individual, factors such as age and fatigue may make the swelling more prominent. The periorbital tissues are most noticeably swollen immediately after waking, perhaps due to the gravitational redistribution of fluid in the horizontal position.
I bought the two ingredients (organic coconut oil and vitamin E capsules), did some melting and mixing and viola! I have the best DIY Homemade Eye Cream that is gentle and homemade, but very effective. I’ve seen a big difference in just a couple weeks.
Smoking depletes your body’s stores of vitamin C, which is the vitamin responsible for creating healthy collagen in your skin. If you smoke, you may deal with issues like wrinkles, discoloration, and even under-eye bags and dark circles.
Bags under eyes are usually a cosmetic concern and rarely a sign of a serious underlying medical condition. At-home remedies, such as cool compresses, can help improve the appearance of bags under eyes. For persistent or bothersome under-eye puffiness, eyelid surgery may be an option.
Although cucumbers do reduce puffy eyes, it is the coldness of the cucumber that does the trick, not the cucumber itself. Coldness is known to constrict blood vessels, which reduces the flow of fluid into soft tissues.
If you are unable to drive yourself to the doctor, ask a relative or friend. If one is not available and you feel this is an emergency, call 911. Never attempt to drive yourself when you are experiencing vision problems.
If you are sensitive to eye treatments (or just have particularly sensitive under-eye skin in general), this is the product for you! This is meant for “worn out eyes,” so anyone struggling with fine lines, dehydrated eyes, or dark circles.
“I’ve been fighting dark circles and bagginess under my eyes since basically forever. Over the years, I’ve tried more eye creams than I can count and can say with absolute certainty that this is the best of the bunch. It has visibly faded the darkness under my eyes and has a teeny bit of shimmer that makes me look alert and refreshed. It totally eliminates puffiness, strengthened and hydrated my delicate skin, while also obliterating the fine lines and wrinkles that have been trying to make an appearance there this past year. It’s definitely a splurge, but it lasts a long time.” —Meg Adams, engineering manager
Love this, Becca! I make my own homemade night cream- it’s a lot like this recipe, and have been planning to do a DIY eye cream soon too. You’re right, it’s great that this stuff doubles as makeup remover. I use mine for that purpose all the time too. Pinning!
Biotique’s Bio Seaweed Revitalizing Anti Fatigue Eye Gel helps tackle puffiness and dark circles. Biotique claims that a little bit of product goes a long way. The formula contains seaweed extract along with almond extract, Himalayan water, honey, and nutmeg oil. It is rich in lipids, minerals, proteins, vitamins, and other detoxifying elements.

Apply an astringent substance to your eyes. You can buy astringent creams and tonics that help reduce puffiness by tightening the skin around your eyes. Soak two cotton balls in astringent cream or tonic, lie back and close your eyes, and place the cotton balls over your eyes. Let the astringent soak in for about 10 minutes, then remove the cotton balls and rinse your face.
Many causes of swelling and discoloration under the eyes aren’t serious and may respond well to at-home treatment. That said, if you notice these symptoms under just one eye or if they get worse over time, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor.
Also worth considering are NIOD Fractionated Eye-Contour Concentrate, and Eco Your Skin VOLUFILINE15 EYE ESSENCE. NIOD was the only true eye serum that made it to our list of finalists — it’s a liquid that comes in a dropper. It doesn’t absorb as quickly as Drunk Elephant or Mizon, with all of our testers reporting moderately oily residue. Eco Your Skin is heavier still — we almost bumped it into our “heavy creams” category. Its standout features is the size of its bottle. Unlike most of our finalists, which usually cap at 15 mL, Eco Your Skin comes in a 50 mL bottle. This helps explain its higher price tag ($70).
Our testers weren’t wild about these pigmented products, which don’t work with all skin tones and may look odd if not applied evenly and under makeup. But if you’re intrigued by optics, Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Swirl and Olay Eyes Illuminating Eye Cream both rely on mica to help hide dark circles.
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