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.
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.
“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
February 20, 2018 – We’ve updated our review to reflect the most recent research into anti-aging ingredients. We’ve also tested dozens of new finalists. We’re excited to recommend six new picks, all packed with the most effective ingredients we could find to help your skin battle signs of aging.
All of our consulting dermatologists and cosmetic chemists agreed that there is not currently enough scientific data to conclude whether parabens are actually harmful. That said, they encouraged those wary of parabens to seek out alternatives. The challenge is that there aren’t many. We could only find three paraben-free options, after nixing other potentially harmful ingredients: Both of the glittery Olay eye creams are paraben-free, as is Youth to the People’s medium-weight night cream. There’s also a fourth, if you can find it: Perricone MD Cold Plasma Anti-Aging Eye Treatment. But it’s not widely available from retailers like Amazon, Ulta, or Sephora, and we weren’t able to bring it in for testing.
“Retinol is one of my personal favorites,” Farris says. But it can be harsh on some skin. RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream ($22.99) contains a gentle dose of retinol along with hyaluronic acid.
It also restores moisture and fights wrinkles with the help of a vitamin B agent called Niacinamide. Chrysin is a flavonoid that reduces* pigmentation while Bisabolol tones down swelling. Hence, Revitol is an all-in-one solution for all your eye issues. Revitol has garnered an impressive number of positive reviews.
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.
Yes, the skin around the eyes is thin. But under a microscope, a skin pathologist cannot distinguish skin taken from around the eye with skin taken from high on the cheekbone. One might argue that the thinnest eyelid skin is more susceptible to the damage of the sun’s ultraviolet rays, but ironically, most eye creams don’t contain sunscreen.
Store shelves groan under the weight of creams and lotions made to reduce puffy eyes. Try them out to see if one works for you. Here’s one product to avoid: Don’t use old-fashioned hemorrhoid cream. It can irritate the skin around your eyes. Try a retinol eye cream instead.
While it’s hard to totally avoid allergens, reduce your exposure and prevent eye puffiness by staying indoors as much as possible—especially in fall and spring, when trees and plants release more pollen and symptoms can get worse. Keep windows shut, change into another outfit when you come in from outdoors, and consider getting an air filter to cut down on pet dander in your home.
Your doctor can also determine whether the swelling is being caused by a more serious problem. If you suffer from allergies, try to take precautions while indoors: keep air filters and air ducts clean, and vacuum often to remove dust and dander.
The skin around your eyes is very thin, making them extremely sensitive. When skin here comes into contact with allergens floating in the air such as pollen, animal dander, or dust mites, swelling is the result. Adding to the puffiness are allergens that reach the eyes through your nose.
Part of Estée Lauder’s bestselling Advanced Night Repair range, the sciencey-sounding Eye Concentrate Matrix uses that same anti-ageing technology to target fine lines, wrinkles, puffiness, dark circles and dryness while you sleep. The serum texture makes it a pleasure to use, too.
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.
If you have the same puffy eyes as your mother or father, you probably inherited the trait — so you can blame your parent! In this case, you will need to learn to live with the look or consider cosmetic options that might help reduce the puffiness.
“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
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.
Puffy eyes are usually only a temporary cosmetic worry, but occasionally, individuals become concerned about the cosmetic effect of periorbital swelling and seek surgical correction. Severe and persistent puffiness may be a sign of other serious medical conditions.
Most people associate lack of sleep with dark underye circles. But Dr. Jaliman says not scoring enough snooze time can result in puffiness too. Dr. McLaughlin agrees: “Lack of sleep doesn’t cause the bags and puffiness but makes them puffier and more noticeable.” Not everyone who skimps on sleep will get swollen eyes, but it’s a definite consequence for most of us, he says.
Vitamin C Depends on factors such as one’s weight, activity level, metabolism, age, and ailments: 2,300 to 9,000 mg per day Maintains body’s collagen; reduces effects of certain allergens that may cause puffy eyes Fresh fruits and vegetables; citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons; rose hips; green peppers; acerola cherries
Reduce stress. High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, can lead to a number of physical symptoms including swollen or puffy eyes. Try yoga, controlled breathing exercises, or meditation. All of these help moderate stress and are thought to help improve overall circulation. 
Our list of 404 in hand, we reached out to dermatologists and cosmetic chemists for help deciphering the fancy-sounding ingredients and bold claims of our contenders. Our goal: Ditch the hype and focus on ingredients proven to keep skin looking young and healthy.
You may consider also cutting back on alcohol to see relief. Why does this work? It’s a similar idea to drinking more water. Drinking alcohol contributes to dehydration, and dehydration may lead to bags and dark circles under your eyes.
Sleep problems, your period, your perfume, your diet soda habit—find out about these and other surprising causes of puffy, swollen eyes, so you can get rid of the puffiness fast and help prevent the blowfish look from returning.
If your eyes are guilty of betraying your lack of sleep, treat them to This Works’s No Wrinkles Tired Eyes which – as the name suggests – is dedicated to hiding the signs of late nights and early starts. No, it’s not as good as getting your full eight hours, but it does include hyaluronic acid to plump, plant extracts to encourage cell renewal and a secret “superblend” to tackle dark circles.
Most eye creams being sold today make unsubstantiated claims like offering instant results and the like. There are hundreds of eye creams on the market with each one claiming to be the ultimate solution for signs of skin aging around the eyes.
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During an allergic reaction, certain cells in the body release a chemical called histamine that has many adverse effects on body tissues, including fluid leakage from the blood vessels. These fluids become trapped in surrounding tissues, causing edema.
Vitamin D Depends on factors such as one’s exposure to UV light: 400 to 2,000 IU per day Reduces risk of nearsightedness, pink eye, keratoconus, and cataracts; strengths bones within body; improves skin Sunlight; limited amounts of fortified foods; fish; fish liver oils
“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.
Dermology Eye Cream is the most complete eye cream on the market since it reduces* the appearance of dark circles, eye bags, fine lines, wrinkles and eye puffiness. Also, almost all of the customer feedback and reviews are positive saying it is really a fast-acting and highly effective eye cream.
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Read packages carefully to see how much salt is in your favorite snacks. One way to immediately lower the salt in your diet is to avoid eating packaged, processed foods. Instead, try eating a diet based more on whole foods — fresh fruits and veggies — where you can control the salt content.
Vitamin E 300–400 IU per day; talk with eye care professional about your individual needs Reduces effects of nearsightedness; improves function of muscles, blood vessels, skin, and nerves around eyes Wheat germ oil; whole raw seeds and nuts; cold-pressed vegetable oils; soybeans
As a moisturizer, an eye cream may increase water content of skin and temporarily improve the appearance of the skin. But so will many well-formulated facial moisturizers for a fraction of the cost. Consider trying these home remedies for puffy eyes and dark circles instead, and make sure you’re educated on the secrets the beauty industry doesn’t want you to know to avoid getting swindled in the future.
L’Oreal Youth Code Eye Cream is one of the Top Rated Eye Creams of 2018 – another impressive eye cream formulation that addresses the different signs of skin aging. It is from a well-known skin care brand and it contains clinically proven ingredients for addressing aging signs around the eyes.
Quitting smoking also helps with a host of other health issues. You can add years to your life, get rid of stained teeth, and reduce your chances of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers.
“I have monster bags under my eyes every morning (#nightowlproblems), so I depend on this shea butter and caffeine-packed cream to help with both long term hydration and immediate results. I roll the cooling massage tool up and outward under my eyes to quickly de-puff, then lightly tap on the cream with my ring finger to nourish. It’s basically a masters class called Faking Sleep 101.” —Jen Mulrow, assistant beauty editor
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.
[…] Keep the delicate skin around the eyes hydrated and protected by massaging in eye cream. Look for an age-defying cream rich in peptides and antioxidants, or go DIY with this super simple, but super luxurious homemade eye cream from Redefined Mom. […]
Here’s what happens: As you age, fat deposits that typically support the eyes begin to sag, causing a puffing effect, says Dr. McLaughlin. The tissue and muscles surrounding the eyes weaken as well, adding to the swollen appearance. Puffiness caused by genetics and age isn’t usually a medical concern. “It’s reasonable to say you’re predisposed to having puffy eyes. I’ve seen people whose skin hasn’t aged a bit, but it can be the other way too,” he adds.
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.