Allergies can cause puffy, dark circles under your eyes. You may also experience redness or watery, itchy eyes. This reaction is caused by your immune system’s response to something that irritates it, or allergens.
“I think eye creams are bullshit.” We got this response literally no less than a dozen times from while conducting research for this story. It’s understandable. No matter how much beauty ads promise, there really is no such thing as a magic cream that’ll make you look like a woman who always drinks enough water and clocks eight hours of sleep each night. Even if you are that woman (secrets, please?), dark circles can still be hereditary. However, there really is some truth to the best eye creams. No, they won’t entirely get rid of that puffy, blue-ish tinge or erase wrinkles overnight, but there are a handful of options with ingredients that actually do tighten, brighten, and generally make your need for concealer a little less. We didn’t make everyone in the office a believer, but we did find 13 recommendations that make good on their claims. Most of them anyway.
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.
You can find neti pots inexpensively at most drug stores or online. If you choose to try this method at home, be sure to use distilled or sterilized water to create your saltwater solution. You may also use boiled tap water that has cooled to a safe temperature.
Puffy or swollen eyes are caused by fluid retention, stress, allergies, hormone changes and other factors. Other times, we get puffy eyes after sleeping. This can be caused by too much sodium in the diet, which causes water retention. Choosing under-eye serums, gels and creams are not an effective way of combating this type of condition, as they offer only temporary solutions for puffy eyes. As soon as you discontinue use, there are no lingering effects regarding this type of treatment, so you’re back where you started. You’ve also wasted a lot of time and money. The experts at SwellNoMore have developed an all-natural water pill that has been proven to be a highly effective method in treating puffy eyes.
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.
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Although eye creams may seem like they are expensive for the amount, they last a long time. A little goes a way. You only need a pea sized amount. Apply it with your ring finger with light patting and let your skin absorb it well.
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.
Dermatologists don’t recommend the at-home kits as they’re less effective and there’s some danger of infection transmission. Don’t share needles with other people to prevent disease transmission. This approach isn’t a good choice for people who have a history of keloids or who easily scar.
We find the best of everything. How? We start with the world. We narrow down our list with expert insight and cut anything that doesn’t meet our standards. We hand-test the finalists. Then, we name our top picks.
Biotique’s Bio Seaweed Revitalizing Anti Fatigue Eye Gel helps tackle puffiness and dark circles. Biotique claims that a little bit of product goes a long way. The formula contains seaweed extract along with almond extract, Himalayan water, honey, and nutmeg oil. It is rich in lipids, minerals, proteins, vitamins, and other detoxifying elements.

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“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
And don’t forget this indirect way pounding one too many back can cause swollen eyes. Although alcohol is a depressant, it actually makes it harder to sleep for most of us, making us toss and turn or wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to go back to dreamland. A poor night’s sleep can cause fluid retention, leading to inflated eyes.
If you don’t have a cucumber on hand, wet some tea bags and place them in the freezer for 15 minutes, then lie back and apply them to your eyes for 15 minutes. In addition to cooling, the caffeine in black tea can also help restrict blood flow, thereby reducing swelling.
How does retinol help with eye bags? When applied to the skin, this ingredient can improve collagen deficiency. You may find lower concentrations of retinol in different OTC products, but stronger creams require a prescription from your dermatologist.
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There are many eye creams on the market that may help puffiness. Some ingredients to look for in an eye cream include chamomile, cucumber, and arnica. They contain properties that may reduce inflammation and tighten the skin. Caffeine in eye creams and makeup may also help reduce puffy eyes.
Why Are My Eyes Puffy? ↓Who Gets Puffy Eyes? ↓Which Symptoms Are Associated With Puffy Eyes? ↓What Are The Treatments and Home Remedies for Puffy Eyes? ↓When Should I Seek Medical Attention For My Puffy Eyes? ↓How Can I Prevent My Eyes From Becoming Puffy? ↓Talking to Your Eye Doctor ↓
With that being said, every time you don’t wash your hands before putting eye cream on, you are risking an infection. It usually isn’t that dangerous, but it could be. As a matter of fact, you could have something far worse than pimples and a red eye if your hygiene isn’t right.
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.
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