Toward that end, Dr. Rhonda Klein, a dermatologist based in Connecticut, told us to avoid fragrances, “especially if you have sensitive skin or notice any skin irritation.” No product will be truly scentless, but ones with synthetic fragrances (usually written as “fragrance” or “parfum” on ingredients lists) can be particularly irritating.
A cool washcloth that you rest on your eyelids for about 10 minutes can reduce eye puffiness. This can help drain excess fluid from under your eye. A compress of green or black tea bags may also do the trick. The tea contains antioxidants that can constrict blood vessels and reduce puffiness.
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.
“While technically not an eyes-only cream, I use Sunday Riley Tidal around my eyes and it’s pure gold. It’s very lightweight and doesn’t have a strong scent, which is great. It seriously pumps up the hydration in my face and around my eyes, and makes my skin super soft too.” —Nina Bahadur, branded content editor
Drinking more water and applying a cold compress can help shrink eye bags quickly, but the only way to reduce their appearance in the long term is to make a few lifestyle changes. This is especially true if your eye bags and dark circles are genetically inherited.
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.
Retinoids are related to Vitamin A, and they’re well-documented to help the skin slough off old cells and produce new ones. They vary in strength, and as cosmetic chemist and consultant Kevin Gallagher explained, their strength has an immediate trade-off: the stronger and more effective the retinoid, the harsher it is on skin. Retinoids can cause side-effects like peeling and redness at high enough doses. Over-the-counter retinoid creams typically use gentler forms — you’ll need a need a prescription for extremely potent wrinkle creams — but if you have sensitive skin, know that retinoids are more likely to cause irritation than peptides.
The good news: when your period nears its end, the swelling should subside, whether it’s around your eyes or elsewhere. Until it does, you can reduce the eye puffiness by holding a cold compress to the eyes for a few minutes and drinking lots of water (which helps flush out excess fluid your system is holding on to). Dr. Jalimon also suggests looking into eye creams and serums with caffeine, which can reduce the appearance of swelling.
Too much cell phone or tablet usage right before bed can cause eye fatigue and puffiness the next day. Yellow tinted computer glasses help to reduce this effect. For long term, reduce device time right before bed.
And while we were initially excited about our two drugstore Olay eye creams (Olay Eyes Illuminating Eye Cream, and Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Swirl), our testers gave them a uniform thumbs-down, complaining of dryness, the creams’ tendency to pill up and flake off, and their shimmery pearlescent shine — meant to disguise dark circles, but producing an odd appearance when not worn under makeup. We also cut Dr. Brandt needles no more® NO MORE BAGGAGE™ eye de-puffing gel, because it turned our skin an aggressive fake-tan shade of orange.
“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
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.
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Lotus Herbals’ Nutraeye Rejuvenating And Correcting Eye Gel claims to treat the skin around your eyes with its rejuvenating properties. It claims to reduce under-eye dark circles, puffiness, wrinkles, and fine lines.
You eat well, avoid alcohol, and always score a healthy 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Yet your undereye area sometimes resembles a tiny pillow. What’s going on? Some of us are simply genetically prone to eye puffiness, says Dr. McLaughlin. And this inherited predisposition tends to not show up until later in life, well into your 30s or 40s (though it can strike at younger ages as well).
Viral pink eye tends to clear up on its own within five to 10 days, while allergy-related pink eye can be treated through avoidance of known allergens and antihistamine drops. If you notice changes in your vision or the color and puffiness don’t go away, see your doctor, advises Dr. McLaughlin.
How do you find the perfect eye cream? First up, you need to decide what you want it to do. Do you want it to smooth out wrinkles? Depuff bags? Minimise circles? Or all of the above plus colour correcting, brightening and tightening too? Eye creams come in very small pots with very big promises – and often even bigger price tags – but the secret is in finding the ones that really deliver on the specific issues you want to address. There are hydrating eye creams designed to refresh and awaken eyes in the morning, powerful formulas targeted at rejuvenating and renewing as you sleep, and products designed for instant effects and much-needed dark-circle minimising after long sleepless nights. Save yourself trawling through the myriad different options with Vogue’s guide to 10 of the best eye creams on the market – and what they’re good for – below.
While certain home remedies such as soothing cucumber slices — or even anti-hemorrhoid creams such as Preparation H — may temporarily relieve puffy eyes, a more long-lasting solution depends on the underlying cause.
To de-puff after watching a tearjerker flick or getting misty-eyed at a wedding, apply a cold compress to your eyes for a few minutes. A splash of cool water and a dab of concealer can also help you hide that you were crying (but concealer can’t do much for actually making your eyes less puffy, unfortunately).
Next, decide whether you prefer a lightweight lotion that absorbs quickly — like Youth to the People (retinoid) and Botanics All Bright (peptide) — or a richer cream that lingers on the skin, like Skin Laundry (retinoid) or SkinMedica (peptide). If you’re not sure where to start, we’d suggest the medium-weight coverage offered by Kate Somerville’s Line Release retinoid cream or Mizon’s peptide cream.
Fillers — usually composed of hyaluronic acid, a hydrator that your body already produces naturally — can be injected beneath the skin to plump it up and smooth out wrinkles. A professional will help you determine what kind of dermal filler is best and where it should be used to achieve desired results. If you have a tear trough depression, for instance, Dr. Greene told us that it’s possible to plump it up to a more natural level. Any shadow the depression caused will disappear along with it.
There are two types of alcohols in cosmetics. The good guys are the “fatty alcohols,” like cetyl alcohol. This group of ingredients soothes and moisturizes and is a great addition to many moisturizers. The “bad” alcohols include denatured alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, and ethyl alcohol. These ingredients are sometimes added because they help active ingredients penetrate further into your skin — which sounds great, until you learn that bad alcohols achieve this by breaking down the outer layers of your skin. They can eventually hurt the skin’s ability to retain moisture. We took a hard line on these drying alcohols, cutting any products that included them.
The trick is to find the best eye cream for your skin’s needs. I feel like you’ve been duped by the eye creams promising to erase your dark circles, puffiness and fine lines – I have tried all of them. Right now, I found two that I like from Made From Earth – the Chamomile Eye cream and the Cucumber Gel. I use both on my face and work better than the more expensive creams I bought online.
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.
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.
Allergy season and watery, puffy eyes go hand-in-hand. Here’s the good news: Those over-the-counter medicines that you take for your allergies, colds, or sinus infections can dry up your puffy eyes — along with your runny nose.
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.
As we get older, our skin regenerates more slowly, loses elasticity, and can appear sunken. Moisturizing helps skin look fuller — minimizing wrinkles — and gives it the water it needs to repair and regenerate itself.