There are hundreds of so-called ‘remedies’ for puffy eyes floating around the Internet. It seems that almost every day someone is posting a new blog or YouTube video about: HOW TO GET RID OF PUFFY EYES. Or, GET RID OF PUFFY EYES NATURALLY. Or, HOME REMEDIES FOR SWOLLEN EYES. The fact of the matter is that almost all of these home remedies are urban myths. But it also seems that people like to fabricate new urban myths simply for web recognition.
The sodium and puffy-eye connection is simple: sodium causes your body to hold onto fluid, and that includes in the tissues surrounding your eyes as well. Sodium is the main mineral in salt, so salty foods such as chips and cold cuts are major swollen-eye culprits. But sodium is also hidden in tons of packaged products, including bread, soup, and frozen meals.
Skin lightening creams contain an ingredient called hydroquinone. This ingredient interferes with the production of melanin in the skin. This can help reduce the appearance of dark bags or under-eye circles.
But sometimes it’s hard to tell, especially if your pink eye (aka conjunctivitis) is caused by a virus rather than a bacterial infection. Viral pink eye is often accompanied by a watery, clear discharge and can be relatively mild. Bacterial pink eye, on the other hand, is characterized by a yellowish-green discharge, and there might be a lot of 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.
Our two other finalists in this category were Philosophy Miracle Worker Eye Cream and Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Eye Treatment. Both absorbed easily and performed well, but testers weren’t quite as enthusiastic about them, lodging a handful of complaints about residue that felt sticky or overly drying. Still, if you want to explore additional brands, feedback was largely positive and both creams have all the powerhouse ingredients necessary to get the job done. All of our pump-based creams cost about the same — Estee ($66), Philosophy ($68), and Clinique ($50) — while our $14 rollerball surprised us with its performance and price.
Toss out those pricey creams. Relief from dark circles may be as simple as using a cold compress you make using materials you already own. Applying cold to the area can help the blood vessels constrict quickly for some temporary relief.
It’s important to note that the positive effects of hydroquinone are reversed when skin is exposed to sunlight, so you should only apply at night. Some people also experience dryness, irritation, and other mild skin issues while using skin lightening products. Discontinue use if you have a reaction.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1.6 mg for adult males per day; 1.2 mg for adult females per day; 1.5 mg to 1.7 mg for pregnant or lactating women Prevents itchy eyes, which can cause puffiness; helps to maintain good vision Fish; egg yolks; brewer’s yeast; liver; whole grain cereal
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.
Revitol is a popular name and has garnered a lot of loyal followers. Revitol eye cream addresses many signs of aging like Puffiness, Dark Circles, and Wrinkles. Unlike some brands found in the market, this eye care brand uses N-hydroxycicinimide, a substance that’s known to be a powerful solution for under-eye circles.
What these blogs and YouTube videos never tell you is exactly what causes puffy eyes? Unless you understand the true cause of the puffiness and swelling you can never expect to remedy the symptoms. Puffy eyes are caused by 2 separate conditions:
Our three heavy-weight day creams all tied for absorbency, leaving a silky, creamy skin-feel behind. But Skin Laundry Wrinkle Release Eye Cream with Peptides was our testers’ favorite. It’s packaged in a tube, which makes it easy to dispense accurate and tiny amounts as needed, and at $30, it’s a relatively inexpensive option.
We all know that the skin under our eyes is extremely delicate. It is almost always the first to age and is about 0.5mm thick while the rest of our skin is about 2 mm thick. Under eye skin, or periorbital skin, becomes thinner much faster than it should when it is not cared for appropriately. With the hectic lifestyles and the constant pollution we’re exposed to, the skin deteriorates, showing the blood vessels under your skin more clearly. This causes the appearance of dark circles.
To help you uncover what’s behind your puffy eyes, we spoke with a team of doctors, including a dermatologist, ophthalmologist, allergist, and optometrist. Read on for the reasons why fluid accumulation happens and how to combat it—and wake up looking fresh, gorgeous, and like yourself again.
This happens because aging processes cause thinning of the membrane or “septum” that ordinarily holds back fat in both the upper and lower eyelids. As the membrane thins, the fat herniates and pushes forward. This is when bags or bulges start forming under the eye.
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.
People who consume foods containing MSG can also find themselves dealing with fluid retention. MSG is a flavor enhancer added to some products, and though it doesn’t have as much sodium as table salt, sodium is a main ingredient of MSG that can “increase water retention and puffiness around the eyes,” explains Debra Jaliman, MD, a New York City–based dermatologist, in an email to Health.
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Of the many cult products Kiehl’s is known for, the Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado is one of our favourites. A rich, hydrating cream packed with nourishing avocado oil and shea butter, it is ideal for those with sensitive eyes since it’s ophthalmologist-tested, and great for dry skin too thanks to its luxurious formula.
Eating too many salty foods may be at the root of your under-eye bags. Salt contributes to your body’s fluid retention and can make you puffy overall. It may also lead to other health issues, like heart disease and stroke.
Allergens like pollen and pet dander aren’t the only airborne particles that can cause puffy eyes. Perfumes and scented products can also contribute to puffiness—because a person has an allergy to the fragrance, or they simply have sensitive eyes.
A glass of wine is fine, but don’t overdo it. Why? Booze can pull the water out of your skin. Once you weaken the delicate area around your eyes, it’s more likely to sink into a pouch. If you do tie one on, drink water before you go to bed and use a moisturizer around your eyes.
“I have pretty bad dark circles (genetics, unfortunately) and have tried everything from super expensive to drugstore brands. It wasn’t until this that I noticed a difference—literally, after a day of using it. It’s super lightweight and makes it looks like I hit snooze just a little longer each morning.” —Azadeh Valanejad, social video producer
“I get dry skin on my eyelids—I think because the skin there is so sensitive already and when I’m putting moisturizer on, I tend to forget about my eye area. This fixes that. I especially like that it’s all-natural and I know exactly what’s in it, rather than some sort of ‘amazing vitalizing serum’ that has vague descriptions of what it actually does.” —Emily Geraghty, senior producer
All About Vision is a Supporter National Sponsor of the efforts of Optometry Giving Sight to eliminate avoidable blindness due to uncorrected refractive error. We also encourage our readers to consider supporting these humanitarian eye care organizations.
Dermatologists don’t recommend the at-home kits as they’re less effective and there’s some danger of infection transmission. Don’t share needles with other people to prevent disease transmission. This approach isn’t a good choice for people who have a history of keloids or who easily scar.
There are many eye creams on the market that may help puffiness. Some ingredients to look for in an eye cream include chamomile, cucumber, and arnica. They contain properties that may reduce inflammation and tighten the skin. Caffeine in eye creams and makeup may also help reduce puffy eyes.
Too much salt in your diet can cause your eyes to puff, as excess sodium levels can lead to bloating and fluid retention. If you think too much salt may be the cause of your swollen eyes, simply cut back on foods that contribute to fluid retention, such as pre-packed, frozen and canned foods as sodium is often added as a preservative to these foods.
Eye creams are usually packaged in very small jars and can cost anywhere form $13 for a 0.5 oz. jar at the local pharmacy to $100 per 0.5 oz. jar online or at a boutique store. That’s equivalent to $3,200 per pound!
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler’s educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
Eye swelling can be a sign of a serious problem. When the swelling is persistent, medical attention should be sought. Any time you receive a blow to the eye you should seek medical attention, even if there is no swelling. Seek medical attention immediately if the following symptoms accompany the eye swelling:
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Fine lines and wrinkles come from both sun damage and your skin making less collagen as you age. Collagen helps maintain skin’s elasticity. Vitamin C, peptides, and retinol have boosted collagen production, studies of skin creams show. Ceramide and hyaluronic acid also help; these are moisturizers that help prevent water loss in the skin and improve elasticity.