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.
If hollow or aging eyes are your issue, try these collagen eye patches. They’re great for plumping, softening, and hydrating your under-eyes to make you look visibly more awake throughout the day. Again, these are best when stuck in the fridge overnight. I also love putting these on during the final stretch of flights, so I look a little more awake when I land.
Like regular sugar, artificial sweeteners such as saccharin and aspartame promote inflammation all over the body, including in the eye area. Inflammation happens when your immune system floods your body with white blood cells, a defense mechanism for fighting off foreign organisms such as bacteria or a virus. When your immune system does this often, it can have a spillover effect that leads to “joint pain, fatigue, and damage to the blood vessels,” Scott Zashin, MD, clinical professor at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, told Health in a previous interview.
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.
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.
Talk with your doctor if you have year-round or seasonal allergies. Allergies can cause your eyes to redden, swell, and puff up. This prompts you to rub your eyes more, resulting in further puffiness. Your doctor can help create a treatment plan to alleviate your symptoms. This may include eye drops and over-the-counter or prescription medication.
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.
“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
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.
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.
Blepharochalasis – An immune-mediated inflammation of the eyelid that is characterized by exacerbations and remissions of eyelid edema which results in a stretching and subsequent atrophy of the eyelid tissue, leading to the formation of redundant folds over the lid margins. It typically affects only the upper eyelids, and may be unilateral as well as bilateral.
We gave our remaining 21 products to eleven testers of various skin types, dry to oily. They applied each cream and waited ninety seconds — the amount of time manufacturers typically recommend waiting before applying other products. Then our testers noted how quickly each cream had absorbed into their skin, and whether it left behind any residue.
Linda Daniels is a true creative force, having worked as a seasoned writer, editor and consultant in the fashion and beauty industries. Connect with Linda on Facebook for constant updates to her projects.
Eating a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water will also reduce swollen eyes. Too much salt in one’s diet can cause the eyes—and other parts of the body—to swell. Learn more about healthy eyes and eye vitamins.
Normal aging – As a person grows older, the skin around the eyes becomes thinner and may swell or droop. Further a gradual and generally permanent increase in the size of the suborbicularis oculi fat pad along with the thinning and weakening of the overlying musculature contributes to the apparent distention of the lower eyelids.
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.
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.
To do this, put a stack of books or other wedge under the feet of your bed on the side where you rest your head. If you notice a difference in how often or how severe your eyes get puff up, consider a more stable solution like bed risers.
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.
The one moisturizing ingredient that our experts agreed was a must-have was hyaluronic acid (HA), and its salt — sodium hyaluronate. These molecules are found naturally in your body, primarily in your skin, but our bodies produce less as we get older. As a result, the skin around our eyes starts to look less full, leading to wrinkles that look deeper and dark circles that are more noticeable.
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.
Some people swear that using a neti pot can help remove your under-eye bags and dark circles. A neti pot is a device you fill with a saltwater (normal saline) solution. You place the spout in your nose and irrigate your sinuses, removing mucus and other debris.
Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism – Facial puffiness and periorbital swelling occur due to infiltration with the mucopolysaccharides hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate, pulling fluid into the interstitial space by osmosis.