Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene) 0–4 yrs old 500 IU per day; 4–12 yrs old 1,000 IU per day; 2,300 IU for women and 3,000 IU for men per day Prevents night blindness; critical in function of eye; known to treat eye disorders such as pink eye, glaucoma, & dry eye syndrome Apricots; cantaloupes; carrots; pumpkins; spinach; broccoli
If you’re one of the many women who think eye creams are just another way for the cosmetic industry to get you to buy more skin care products, dermatologist Kenneth Beer, MD, PA, says you should reconsider. The skin around your eye is the thinnest layer of skin on your entire body, and therefore the most sensitive, he says. So using a cream made specifically for your eyes is crucial, especially as you age.
The truth is that only very few are actually effective and some may even contain harmful ingredients. When you’re in the market for an eye cream, you need to be very careful and learn about the ingredients to look for in eye creams that are clinically proven to be effective and safe. You can also use customer feedback to gauge the effectiveness and safety of the eye creams you’re considering for purchase.
Sleep problems, your period, your perfume, your diet soda habit—find out about these and other surprising causes of puffy, swollen eyes, so you can get rid of the puffiness fast and help prevent the blowfish look from returning.
Eye creams are usually packaged in very small jars and can cost anywhere form $13 for a 0.5 oz. jar at the local pharmacy to $100 per 0.5 oz. jar online or at a boutique store. That’s equivalent to $3,200 per pound!
These options include chemical peels, laser skin resurfacing procedures, certain cosmeceuticals (prescription skin products) and eyelid surgery known as blepharoplasty. Blepharoplasty involves removing extra fatty tissue and excessive skin from upper and lower eyelids, as well as tightening skin and muscles to reduce puffiness and wrinkles.
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.
Waking up with puffy, swollen eyes is a major bummer—especially if you need to arrive at work looking bright and alert, or you’re tired of masking the puffiness with makeup. Even worse is when the puff is accompanied by dark circles, redness, underye bags, and/or irritation. It’s not a pretty look, and it can do a number on your self-esteem.
Apply Preparation-H. Hemorrhoid creams such as Preparation-H help constrict blood vessels, which in turn reduces puffiness. Gently dab some on around the eye with your ring finger on days when you notice excessive swelling.
All About Vision is a Supporter National Sponsor of the efforts of Optometry Giving Sight to eliminate avoidable blindness due to uncorrected refractive error. We also encourage our readers to consider supporting these humanitarian eye care organizations.
“When choosing products, try to use products that are fragrance-free,” says Dr. Jaliman. When you spritz on perfume in particular, aim it away from your face to keep scented particles as far from your eyes as possible.
“This Burt’s Bees eye cream is a staple in my morning routine. It’s powerhouse ingredient is Royal Jelly, which contains macronutrients, antioxidants and vitamins to really help fade out fine lines. I keep it in the fridge so that it wakes me up and reduces morning puffiness.” —Jill Amos, digital photo editor
There are plenty of eye cream ingredients that claim to improve blood circulation (like caffeine) or blood coagulation (like Vitamin K) which will theoretically reduce puffiness and dark circles. But the outer layer of your skin does such a good job protecting against invaders that it prevents most of these ingredients from penetrating deeply. You may be better off adding a cup of coffee or a spinach soufflée to your diet than waiting and hoping that these ingredients will sink in.
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.
To reduce allergy-induced puffiness, try over-the-counter eye drops or a saline eye rinse, which wash the allergens out of your peepers. For irritated skin, lubricated ointments not only act as a barrier between the skin and allergens, but it also can soothe and ease redness. A nasal spray might help relieve sinus pressure and in turn de-puff your eyes.
Determine if you have a condition associated with puffy eyes. Sometimes the swelling is a side effect of another condition. Getting treated for the condition may help cure your puffy eyes. Here are a few conditions that commonly lead to eye puffiness:
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.
Your doctor can also determine whether the swelling is being caused by a more serious problem. If you suffer from allergies, try to take precautions while indoors: keep air filters and air ducts clean, and vacuum often to remove dust and dander.
Certain personal care products, like soaps, makeup, or hair dyes, may be allergens. If you’re having trouble identifying the cause, consider keeping a diary to see what substances or other things cause the most reaction. If this is a chronic problem talk to your doctor about allergy testing.
During an allergic reaction, certain cells in the body release a chemical called histamine that has many adverse effects on body tissues, including fluid leakage from the blood vessels. These fluids become trapped in surrounding tissues, causing edema.
“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
Place the filled containers in the refrigerator for less than an hour until the liquid returns to solid form. After it turns to a solid, there is no need to keep it refrigerated. The oils will not become rancid.
Bags under eyes are usually a cosmetic concern and rarely a sign of a serious underlying medical condition. At-home remedies, such as cool compresses, can help improve the appearance of bags under eyes. For persistent or bothersome under-eye puffiness, eyelid surgery may be an option.
Our skin is constantly shedding old cells and regrowing. Beginning in our twenties, however, this regeneration process slows down by as much as 30% to 50%: Skin can take twice as long to replace damaged cells, resulting in a less youthful appearance. To avoid this slow-down, the most effective eye cream will encourage your body to produce collagen (a building block for new, healthy skin). There are two ingredient types that promote collagen growth: peptides and retinoids.
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.
Some eye cream types contain ingredients that help firm the skin, like caffeine, retinol, or vitamin C. These may temporarily provide a firmer look to the eyes. Those creams that help to lighten skin around the eyes, especially dark circles may contain ingredients such as hydroquinone or Vitamin K. Occasionally you’ll find creams that offer anti-aging or firming benefits and reduce dark circles.
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.
Get some exercise. This improves circulation, which will help your body move fluid through your body, rather than letting it accumulate. If you have time, go for a run, do some yoga, or simply take a brisk walk.
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.
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
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.
Before you choose, you’ll need to decide when you want to use your cream: Night creams contain retinoids, the most fast-acting and well-researched anti-wrinkle agent on the market — but this class of ingredients quickly breaks down and becomes ineffective when exposed to sunlight. Day creams contain peptides, a more recent addition to the skincare arsenal: Peptides are less sensitive to sunlight and less likely to irritate if you’ve got sensitive skin, but expect to wait longer for results. We’ve found picks in both categories.