“I’m one of the people who thinks eye creams are kind of BS—a regular light moisturizer does that trick just fine for me—but I’ve recently noticed how damn puffy my area looks. Blame it on December cheer, an excess of salt, and not enough water, but I started using this collagen-rich gel—which I keep in the fridge—and found it actually works to de-puff and hydrate. It also promises to blur fine lines, which I didn’t experience yet, but I’m planning to stick with it, mainly thanks to its powerful helix complex—an organic compound rich in allantoin, collagen, elastin, and glycolic acid.” —Perrie Samotin, digital deputy editor
Fragrance sensitivity is nothing new: a March 2017 study published in the journal Preventive Medicine Reports found that exposure to fragrances can lead to a host of negative reactions, like migraines and difficulty breathing. And 14% of people in the study reported having eye issues when they were within smelling distance of certain scents.
As mentioned above, vitamins can play a major role in your eyes’ overall health. Healthy eyes are usually resistant to such problems, and vitamins can help improve the condition of the skin, muscles, nerves, and blood vessels in and around the eyes.
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.
Hyaluronic acid is most effective when it can get into the deeper layers of the skin — which is why it is a common ingredient for fillers and injections. But in topical creams, it often has a hard time getting past the outer layer of skin because it is comprised of fairly large molecules. As a workaround, the most effective eye cream will use sodium hyaluronate instead, a derivative that is more easily absorbed into the skin because it has smaller molecules. We looked only at products that contained sodium hyaluronate (although we didn’t ding them for including HA).
Eating too much salt can cause additional fluid retention in your body. It can also lead to other health problems, like a greater risk of heart problems and stroke. The current percent daily value for sodium is 2,400 milligrams (mg). However, the American Heart Association recommends limiting sodium to 1,500 mg per day.
Sleep with a few pillows under your head to avoid fluid settling around your eyes. If you’re unable to sleep at an angle on a wedge pillow or stack of pillows, try raising the head of your bed a bit for the same effect.
Apart from aging, the other main culprit behind skin damage is the sun — which is why our faces and hands tend to look more aged than our chests or backs. Sunscreen is your biggest ally here. All of our experts agreed that you should wear sunscreen on a daily basis to prevent sun damage. But since the vast majority of the products we found didn’t contain SPF, we couldn’t make this a requirement. (Out of our starting list of 404, only eight advertised sun-blocking properties, and onlyMDSolarSciences made it all the way to our list of finalists.) If you do need a sunscreen recommendation, we’d suggest checking out our review of the best sunscreens.
Outdoor precautions can include wearing face masks, especially when doing yard work during the spring and fall seasons. You can also ask your doctor to prescribe you antihistamine and decongestant medications to minimize the effects of allergy season.
Accept yourself. If you’ve checked with your doctor, then your puffy eyes are probably only a cosmetic issue. It happens with age, and sometimes it just happens. Learn to draw attention to other features that haven’t aged, such as the color of your eyes, the curl in your hair, or your attitude towards life.
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.
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.
Eye creams are one of our best bets for keeping up appearances (or transforming our eyes when they seem in despair), but some are better than others to target specific concerns. If lines are your nemesis, you need the best eye cream for wrinkles. Dark shadows under your eyes that even the best concealer can’t cover? Look to the best eye cream for dark circles. When it comes to puffiness and a host of other orbital concerns, you should seek out a multitasking eye treatment. The best eye creams can be great aids in looking well-rested even when you’re not.
That said, there are still things you can do to reduce their appearance and slow the process down, such as not smoking—as the habit dries out skin and reduces collagen, both of which promote saggy bags. Eye creams can keep eye skin firmer for longer if used as a preventative treatment. Blepharoplasty, or eyelid surgery, can remove undereye bags, reports the Mayo Clinic.
One of the main causes of puffy eyes is aging. The skin under your eyes is very thin, which augments any changes that may occur in your body as you age. Over time, the tissue in your eyelids can weaken. This can cause fat in your upper eyelid to fall, coming to rest in your lower eyelid.
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.
So although it can be inconvenient, the best advice is to make sure you take them out before hitting the sack. Instead of waiting until the last sleepy minute, one trick is to remove your contact lenses in the late afternoon or evening—so you don’t forget or get lazy, doze off in them, and wake up looking like a blowfish.
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.
Excessive alcohol intake causes all kinds of body issues, including bloating all over. So it makes sense that drinking too much contributes to puffy eyes as well. “Alcohol can lower an anti-diuretic hormone in your body, which causes puffiness,” says Dr. McLaughlin.
The solution here is a no-brainer: turn in earlier, so you can get 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and create a bedroom environment that’s conducive to catching zzz’s, says Dr. Jaliman. That means not eating or watching too much TV in bed, so your mind associates the bedroom with sleeping only. And no gadget-reading in bed either. The blue light from many digital devices is a sneaky culprit that keeps your brain wired.
At Swell No More, we have finally developed a solid solution for reducing puffy eyes and bringing about several other beneficial results. Puffiness under the eyes is a common symptom of allergies, lack of sleep, stress and poor diet. Your eyes will become puffy when the skin around them becomes irritated or itchy. People who consume large amounts of alcohol and sodium before bed may also wake up with puffy eyes due to water retention. Stress may cause your skin and eyes, along with other parts of your body, to weaken and become susceptible to problems like swelling.
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.
Some say forgetting to wash your face may cause wrinkles or damage the skin in other ways. How exactly? When you sleep in makeup, you’re exposing your skin to free radicals. This has the potential to create what’s called oxidative stress, which may prematurely age your skin.
“Eye creams can, and often do, show results if they are used appropriately and for a long enough time,” says Beer. The trick is to find the best eye cream for your skin’s needs. If you feel like you’ve been duped by the hundreds of eye creams on the market promising to erase your dark circles, puffiness and fine lines, you probably haven’t tried the ones on this reader-approved list. Our reviewers have tested all the potions, creams, and elixirs for the delicate eye area and boiled it down to these 12 eye creams that actually work. Ready to become an eye cream believer?
“After my roommate literally gasped when I told her I didn’t use an under eye cream, I decided I better go out and find one. This Ole Henriksen ultimate lift eye gel cream has convinced me to never go back to the dark side. My eyes feel less puffy and squint-tired as soon as I apply it.” —Tess Kornfeld, editorial assistant
There are many ways to help reduce puffiness around your eyes. Some remedies are simple, like drinking more water. Others are more involved, like getting cosmetic surgery. Here are some tips and tricks to try to get rid of puffy eyes.
To avoid fluid retention and keep alcohol from setting up that anti-diuretic effect, try sticking to no more than one drink per night if you’re female, and two if you’re male. These are the CDC guidelines for moderate drinking, but if you still notice eye bloat, consider giving up the booze for good and limiting it to special occasions only.
It has to do with the hormone fluctuations happening at this time; changes in estrogen and progesterone cause fluid retention all through your body—including your peepers. While that time of the month isn’t a puffy-eye trigger for all women, it can contribute to swelling in some, says Dr. McLaughlin.
Ingredients can vary depending on what type of issue the eye cream is trying to address. But there are some common components to keep an eye out for, including those that encourage collagen production, like niacinamide and retinol. Caffeine will help decrease puffiness by constricting blood vessels and light reflectors will illuminate those pesky dark areas.
Logging a good night’s sleep regularly will help you reduce your puffy eyes. Adults need around 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. To ensure you’re sleeping enough, create a bedtime routine and stick to it.
Whether you choose a retinoid- or peptide-based product, take your time adding new ingredients to your skin care routine, particularly if you have sensitive skin. Starting by applying the cream once or twice a week, and give your skin time to adjust to the new routine. This is an easy way to check whether your skin is sensitive to the ingredients in your new eye cream — irritated skin will feel itchy and look red. Even if you don’t see irritation right away, keep an eye on your skin as you move from applying eye cream every few days to a daily routine. If you’re using a retinoid-based night cream, irritation or redness may be a sign to switch to a peptide-based day cream instead.
There’s a third form of pink eye that can cause eye puffiness too: allergy-related pink eye, which tends to affect both eyes at the same time and typically causes watery discharge and itching in the corners of your eyes. If you also experience a runny nose or sneezing when you have pink eye, it’s probably allergy-related, says Dr. Manusis.
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.
Elevate your head when you sleep. It’s not unusual to have puffy eyes upon waking. A possible explanation for this may be that when you are lying down for several hours in a horizontal position and then stand up, the fluid that was resting under your eyes is suddenly being pulled down by gravity. To reduce it, you can try using an extra pillow while sleeping so that the fluid is not as drastically drawn down when you get up.
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.
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.
However, be aware that there are risks associated with using hemorrhoid creams for this purpose. If you accidentally get any of these types of products in your eye, you can experience a severe inflammatory response known as chemical conjunctivitis.
We’ve taken the eleven that remain and grouped them based on type (day cream or night cream), and weight (light, medium, or heavy). To find the best eye cream for you, you might have to try a couple, to find out which one feel best to you — our testers can only take us so far when it comes to personal preference.
As much as 75 percent of sodium found in American diets comes from processed or restaurant foods. To reduce your salt intake, steer clear of cured meats, cheese, pickles, and other processed foods. Prepackaged foods like instant soups are often high in sodium. Reading labels can help you identify excessive amounts of salt.
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.
To make it easier for you to find the best products, our team of skin care experts has thoroughly inspected each eye cream on the market and have come up with the best brands available today. We have also checked the customer feedback on the different brands of eye creams to help determine the most effective and safest products currently being sold on the market.