Puffy or swollen eyes can be caused by fluid retention, stress, allergies, hormone changes, and other factors. Crying is often accompanied by swollen eyes because the tiny glands in the eyelids that produce tears become inflamed from overactivity.
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.
Some claim that applying strawberries will get rid of puffy eyes. Strawberries contain alpha hydroxyl acid which is supposed to make your skin look young. You are supposed to apply strawberry slices on the eyes for 30 minutes. Again, this is simply an urban myth with no proof.
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.
If propping up your head hurts your neck or you can’t fall asleep, you may also consider elevating the entire top end of your bed by a few inches. You can use bricks under the bed posts or buy special bed risers that are specifically made for this purpose.
Swelling of the eye, also referred to as periorbital puffiness, refers to the presence of excess fluid (edema) in the connective tissues around the eye, most commonly the eyelids. A swollen eye can result from trauma, infections, or other injuries to the eye area. Other signs and symptoms can be associated with swelling of the eye, including excess tear production or discharge, eye irritation, redness, dryness, or obstructed or impaired vision, depending on the cause. Prolonged crying, trauma, or eye injury is a common cause of swollen eyes. Virtually any cause of inflammation to the eye area may manifest as eyelid swelling, although allergic reactions are likely the most common cause. With allergic reactions, the eyes may also be red and itchy as well as swollen. Rarely, systemic conditions (affecting the entire body) may result in fluid retention, including fluid retention in the tissues around the eyes. With Graves’ disease of the thyroid gland, proptosis or exophthalmos can occur. This means protrusion or bulging of the eyeball within the eye socket. Puffiness of the eyelids can also occur with this condition.
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.
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.
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. [8]
Puffy, swollen eyelids and dark circles under the eyes can occur when you have an eye infection such as pink eye. These swollen eyes are caused by inflammation associated with the eye infection, which directly affects the neighboring eyelids. Also, dry eyes can cause general puffiness and swelling.
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).
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.

“I don’t have terrible dark circles, but I do often end up watching Netflix way later than I should. On those mornings after, I reach for this. It’s got a peachy hue to counteract that blue-ish tinge, botanicals to de-puff, and a firming complex that leaves a fine film under your eyes, so your concealer doesn’t settle into any lines. It’s like Spanx for your eyes.” —Lindsay Schallon, senior digital beauty editor
Try a neti pot. Use this gizmo, which looks like a small teapot, to pour salt water into one nostril and let it drain out the other. It sounds weird, but it might help flush out all that extra moisture in your sinuses from seasonal allergies, colds, or infections.
A similar action takes place in the eyelids. The closed, non-blinking eyelids during sleep potentially can swell in certain people prone to this problem. So in the mornings, you could wake up with unusually puffy, swollen eyelids. As soon as you open your eyes and blinking begins, some of this swelling can diminish in an hour or so.
Beyond how you sleep, how much you sleep is also a factor. Although limited sleep may not actually cause under-eye circles, getting little sleep may make your complexion paler. Any shadows or dark circles you have may be more obvious as a result.
This winter has been hard on this mom. I’ve noticed that under my eyes my skin was getting more dry, puffy and tired looking then it has ever been. I needed some miracle cream without breaking the bank.
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
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.
Bags under eyes — mild swelling or puffiness under the eyes — are common as you age. With aging, the tissues around your eyes, including some of the muscles supporting your eyelids, weaken. Normal fat that helps support the eyes can then move into the lower eyelids, causing the lids to appear puffy. Fluid also may accumulate in the space below your eyes, adding to the swelling.
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.
It is believed to give the long lasting solution to puffy eyes since it counters the root cause of it. This skincare formula can help in removal of wrinkles and the laugh line on your skin thus helping you achieve a smooth skin.
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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.
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that all people wear sunscreen. Broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays is important. So is choosing a formula that is SPF 30 or higher and water-resistant. Reapply as necessary or directed on the package instructions. Choose a daily face moisturizer that’s also SPF 30 or higher.
Belli Eye Brightening Cream ($39) and MDSolarSciences Daily Eye Repair Emulsion ($82) were more controversial. While MDSolarSciences was a top pick in our previous review, a number of testers found that it crossed the border from “luxuriously moisturized” to “uncomfortably greasy.” Belli, meanwhile, received multiple complaints for leaving a sticky residue.
Can you wear retinoids during the day? Yes and no. Retinoids have an exfoliating effect on the skin, scrubbing away dead skin, and the more powerful they are, the more effective they are. This means that they can make your skin more sensitive to UV radiation, but it depends both on how sensitive your skin is, and the strength of the retinoid in your eye cream. An easy fix is to wear sunscreen overtop to protect your skin. However, we still recommend wearing these creams at night, because there is some research that sunlight can degrade retinols and make them less effective.
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.
Puffiness under the eyes is a common symptom of allergies, lack of sleep, stress, and poor diet. Eyes will become puffy when the skin around the eyes becomes irritated and itchy. People who consume large amounts of alcohol and sodium before bed may wake up with puffy eyes due to water retention.
Those who prefer to use organic or natural skincare products should try Uma’s Absolute Anti Aging Eye Oil, which blends oils such as rose, frankincense, geranium and sandalwood all harvested on the family-run company’s own estate. The luxurious formula absorbs quickly, and has noticeable effects on puffiness.
It boosts* the level of collagen and elastin in your skin thus may help in making the skin around your eyes firm and brighter. Skinception Eyelasticity has antioxidants that protect the skin from being damaged by free radicals thus helping in having a good and healthy skin.
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
“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
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“I’ve got plenty of undereye concerns that need correction: puffiness, dark circles, and an general look of exhaustion are pretty much regular fixtures on my face. After tapping a single pump of Auto Correct under both eyes with my fingertips, there’s noticeable deflation and lift to my sleep-deprived skin in under 5 minutes. I still use concealer, but I don’t have to layer it on the way I used to.” —Amber Rambharose, beauty editor
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