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.
The main difference between Estee and Botanics is application style. The Estee is a thin, cream-based formula with a tiny pump, good for dispensing precise amounts of cream. The Botanics uses a squeeze tube with a metal roller ball. Testers reported that the roller ball felt wonderfully cool under their eyes, but this application style does make it trickier to tell exactly how much product you’re applying.
The flip-side is that retinoids may work more quickly than peptides, although “quickly” is still relative. At high concentrations, you’re likely to see improvements in wrinkles, skin thickness, and skin elasticity within 4 months, but be prepared for a longer wait time with most over-the-counter creams. Just as wrinkles don’t appear overnight, happen overnight, even the best eye cream can’t fix them overnight.
“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
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.
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.
For a lightweight, fast-absorbing day cream, you’ve got four options: Botanics, Estee Lauder, Philosophy, and Clinique. Botanics All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll-On was our testers’ favorite, leaving skin feeling smooth and moisturized while leaving behind so little residue as to be “invisible.” Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum (despite the name, it doesn’t contain retinoids or mineral oils) was the second most popular.
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.
Often eye cream formulas have heavier moisturizing ingredients, and some night creams can be used safely around the eyes. You still have to be careful applying any of these creams since even if they don’t damage the eyes, they may still hurt if you get some of the cream in your eyes. Eye creams may also be sold as oils or serums instead of creams, which some people find easier to apply.
Fluid may also be more likely to get trapped in your lower eyelid as you age. Fluid retention is known as edema. The thin skin around your eyelid can cause fluid retention to be very prominent, resulting in puffy eyes.
Hemorrhoid cream may do more harm than good, however, especially when used on the sensitive skin around the eyes or eyelids. Some hemorrhoid creams contain steroids, which can cause or worsen cataracts and glaucoma if used near the eyes. The eyes may also become irritated after using such creams.
Made this 2 weeks ago and all I can say is this is magic potion. I have had the worst dark circles and to top it I have dry skin… worst combination of under eye skin problems. I had started developing tiny wrinkles under eyes also which would be highlighted with makeup. After using this cream for 2 weeks my dark circles are negligible, the skin under eyes has improved over all and now my tiny wrinkles are not highlighted with makeup… I am a fan ? I cant believe how much money I have spent on expensive eye and under eye products which took forever to show results often putting me off and not using them for long….
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.
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A bad night’s sleep can lead to puffiness around the eye area in the morning – especially if you’re stressed. Stress causes changes to the salt balance in the body and if salt balances are off, your eyes can retain water as a result and swell.
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:
“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
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.
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition where the blood is lacking red blood cells. These cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to tissues in the body. Iron deficiency can cause dark circles under the eyes and even pale skin. Other symptoms include things like:
Drink less alcohol. Alcohol leads to fluid retention in the face, as well as causing dehydration. Limit your alcohol intake to 1 or 2 drinks at a time, 1 or 2 times per week. Drinking more than this will eventually cause the skin around your eyes to loosen.
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.

Français: traiter les yeux gonflés, Italiano: Curare gli Occhi Gonfi, Español: curar los ojos hinchados, Deutsch: Tränensäcke behandeln, Português: Curar Olhos Inchados, Nederlands: Gezwollen ogen behandelen, Русский: лечить опухшие глаза, 中文: 消除肿眼泡, Čeština: Jak léčit opuchlé oči, Bahasa Indonesia: Mengatasi Mata Sembab, 日本語: 目の腫れを治す, Tiếng Việt: Điều trị Tình trạng Sưng mí mắt, ไทย: รักษาอาการตาบวม, العربية: علاج انتفاخ العينين
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.
Also, avoid rubbing your eyes, which will only cause the swelling to worsen. For persistent eye swelling, seek help from a medical professional. Typically, treating the underlying condition will reduce swelling in the eye.
This can have a potential dual effect on puffy eyelids. First, if dark circles are caused by a visible network of blood vessels under the thin eyelid skin, then making the vessels smaller might reduce the darkness.
Vitamin B6 Based on protein intake: 2 mg for every 100 g of protein per day for adults; 0.6–1.2 mg for every 100 g of protein per day for children Balances sodium and potassium, which may reduce puffiness and bloating throughout body Meats and whole grains; desiccated liver; brewer’s yeast
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.
And of course you can always cheat and use the “Secret to the Stars” which is SwellNoMore, the #1 Natural Dietary Supplement formulated specifically to reduce puffy eyes. SwellNoMore quickly draws out retained fluids and reduces tissue inflammation commonly experienced around the eyes and face. It is doctor trusted and guaranteed to work within 1-3 days. Visit swellnomore.com and say goodbye to puffy eyes for good.
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