Just like the rest of your body bloats and swells during certain times of the month, your eyes can actually do the same. They should go down after a few days, and if they don’t, it may be another cause.
We’ve all experienced getting a slight shock when you check your face in the mirror and find your eyes are looking swollen or puffier than usual. However, puffy eyes are extremely common and can be caused by a variety of different things – from environmental factors to underlying health problems.
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.
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.
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.
You may consider also cutting back on alcohol to see relief. Why does this work? It’s a similar idea to drinking more water. Drinking alcohol contributes to dehydration, and dehydration may lead to bags and dark circles under your eyes.
Some of the above are symptoms of orbital cellulitis. Although orbital cellulitis is not as common a disease as conjunctivitis, it does have devastating effects. When left untreated, it can lead to very serious complications such as a blood infection or meningitis.
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.
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.
If your eyes are guilty of betraying your lack of sleep, treat them to This Works’s No Wrinkles Tired Eyes which – as the name suggests – is dedicated to hiding the signs of late nights and early starts. No, it’s not as good as getting your full eight hours, but it does include hyaluronic acid to plump, plant extracts to encourage cell renewal and a secret “superblend” to tackle dark circles.
So what else can you do? Kevin Gallagher noted that antioxidants are important for preventing the development of aged skin via sun exposure. They’re another ingredient that helps your body prevent damaged skin cells. We again consulted skincare expert Paula Begoun’s ingredient database to ensure all of our finalists contained effective antioxidants (we looked for antioxidants with a “good” or “best” rating). Only one product didn’t meet the mark at this point: SkinMedica TNS Illuminating Eye Cream, which we removed from consideration.
Eye swelling can be a sign of a serious problem. When the swelling is persistent, medical attention should be sought. Any time you receive a blow to the eye you should seek medical attention, even if there is no swelling. Seek medical attention immediately if the following symptoms accompany the eye swelling:
This happens because aging processes cause thinning of the membrane or “septum” that ordinarily holds back fat in both the upper and lower eyelids. As the membrane thins, the fat herniates and pushes forward. This is when bags or bulges start forming under the eye.

If you’re looking for a peptide-based formula that can be worn during the day, coupled with middle-of-the-road absorbency, you’ve got four options. The two frontrunners during testing were Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum and Mizon Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream. We had no trouble dispensing the right amounts with either cream, either through Drunk Elephant’s sleek-looking pump, or with Mizon’s basic squeeze tube. Testers noted that their skin felt smooth and a little oily from the residue, ranking both creams as similarly absorbent. In fact, the most noticeable difference is their price: Mizon retails for $10, and Drunk Elephant for $60. If you don’t have existing brand loyalty, we’d suggest starting with the Mizon.
We sorted all other creams into the ‘day cream’ group. Day creams can be worn at any time — our finalists in this category all rely on peptides, which makes them more stable when exposed to sunlight than retinol-based creams. Our day creams also lack the mineral oils that show up in some night creams, allowing them to absorb quickly enough to be layered under makeup. But there’s absolutely nothing stopping you from wearing a “day cream” at night.
Drinking more water and applying a cold compress can help shrink eye bags quickly, but the only way to reduce their appearance in the long term is to make a few lifestyle changes. This is especially true if your eye bags and dark circles are genetically inherited.
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.
Some of the causes of this fluid retention are relatively harmless and unrelated to a more serious issue, such as not getting enough sleep or consuming foods with too much sodium. Other times, the puffiness is a sign something that needs to be addressed by a doctor, like an infection, says Randy McLaughlin, OD, a professor of optometry at Ohio State University’s Wexner Medical Center.
When your body is dehydrated it desperately tries to retain water, causing your under eye area to swell. Drinking 8-10 glasses of water a day can also help flush toxins out helping to clear up your eye area.
Prescription-strength retinoid creams are another option for stubborn wrinkles, although they should be used with care. They have the potential to cause peeling, flaking, dryness, or acne flare-ups if you have sensitive skin. A dermatologist will be able to work with you to figure out what strength of retinoid is appropriate for your skin, monitor whether your skin is reacting well or poorly, and adjust your prescription accordingly.
Also worth considering are NIOD Fractionated Eye-Contour Concentrate, and Eco Your Skin VOLUFILINE15 EYE ESSENCE. NIOD was the only true eye serum that made it to our list of finalists — it’s a liquid that comes in a dropper. It doesn’t absorb as quickly as Drunk Elephant or Mizon, with all of our testers reporting moderately oily residue. Eco Your Skin is heavier still — we almost bumped it into our “heavy creams” category. Its standout features is the size of its bottle. Unlike most of our finalists, which usually cap at 15 mL, Eco Your Skin comes in a 50 mL bottle. This helps explain its higher price tag ($70).
Peptides are a more recent entrant into the field of skin care, which means that they’re not as well documented. Kevin Gallagher told us that peptides were derived from medical research into wound healing, and he recommended them over retinoids because they have less risk of irritating the delicate skin around the eye area. “Peptides are small fragments of collagen and proteins that are meant to ‘trick’ the skin into thinking that its collagen is broken, and that it needs to make new collagen to replace it. Over time, it can help thicken skin and reduce the appearance of wrinkles,” explains Shainhouse.
I’ve mentioned this product before as one of my favorite concealers for both under-eyes and blemishes. When I’ve used the Saint Laurent pen, I don’t need that much concealer, so I go in with just a touch of this, and buff it out with my fingers for a more natural finish.
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.
This eye treatment from Kiehl’s is an old favorite of mine — I almost always have it in my medicine cabinet. The application process is kind of annoying, as you have to dip your finger into a sticky pot, which I don’t love, but this eye treatment is super hydrating as well as slightly pigmented, which means it helps with overtime treatment and brightening. This is worth trying if you want a little bit of lift to your eyes, but don’t necessarily feel like putting on concealer.
If I don’t wear makeup, it is inevitable that someone will approach me and ask if I had a late night. Something about my under-eye skin says, “I’ve never slept a day in my life.” And it’s not just me, either — my mother and sister are the exact same way. Last year, we held a conference over Christmas to discuss our collective genetic flaw: sunken, dark Robert Durst eyes. Since I’m the skin-care expert of the bunch, I promised I’d do all I could to figure out what would help. And as a result, I’ve tried just about every eye product out there. As it turns out, my sensitive skin is especially sensitive to eye treatments — I’ll often get redness and irritation when I’m trying new eye products. But after months of research (and more than a few rashes), I feel I’ve finally reached a place where I can confidently share with you (and the long-suffering female members of my family) the best eye products for dark, dry, puffy-in-the-morning serial-killer eyes.
Becca Wilkinson has a creative “need” and will do anything to avoid laundry. She writes over at Cul-de-sac Cool about design, DIY/crafts, easy eats, family, funny experiences and of course, motherhood. Becca wants to spread happiness, helpful tips, pretty things and funny experiences throughout the land. She is the proud mother of three boys and married to her college sweetheart. In her past life she was a graphic designer. Becca has learned a lot these past years about juggling boys, blogging, family and suburban life.
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).
Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism – Facial puffiness and periorbital swelling occur due to infiltration with the mucopolysaccharides hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate,[4] pulling fluid into the interstitial space by osmosis.
Other times, puffy eyes are a symptom of an eye condition such as blepharitis, which is inflammation of the eyelids and base of the eyelashes. Most of the possible causes are discussed in this article.
We also used Paula’s Choice Ingredient Dictionary (a cosmetic ingredients database) to identify products that contain known skin sensitizers: These ingredients include things like lemon or mint — compounds that smell great and are totally fine for occasional use. But if you’re using a skin sensitizer on a daily basis for months at a time, your skin may develop an allergic reaction. We found 44 sensitizing ingredients in our remaining eye creams.
You may notice puffy eyes as you age or for a temporary reason, such as lack of sleep, poor diet, or seasonal allergies. Adopting healthy lifestyle habits may improve your puffy eyes in just a short period of time.
If you would like some additional information regarding our proven water pill and its ability to reduce puffy eyes, SwellNoMore would like to invite you to visit the web site. At swellnomore.com, you can learn more about all the healthy benefits that come with trying our product. If you order today, you’ll enjoy free shipping, along with our solid guarantee (that comes with all our water pills). You can also call us at 855.875.4216 and speak with one of our friendly and knowledgeable staff members.
Get enough sleep. If you have puffy eyes all day, it could be that you’re simply not getting enough sleep, or the quality of the sleep you are getting is poor. Puffiness under the eyes is a common symptom of sleep deprivation. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
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.
The 33 creams we tested came in variety of tubes and pumps. Our favorite designs let us portion out a small dab of cream: just enough to fully hydrate our eyes without turning our eye cream into an all-over-face cream. The worst shot cream out at the closest available target, sometimes because of a runny formula, sometimes because of a too-powerful pump. At best, this lack of portion control is a small annoyance, but since some of our anti-wrinkle creams ran upwards of $100, we wanted the ability to measure them out without wasting anything.
Many people wonder if hemorrhoid cream is safe and effective for reducing puffy eyes. The truth is hemorrhoid cream contains ingredients that constrict the blood vessels, which can reduce swelling and puffiness temporarily.
Our testers weren’t wild about these pigmented products, which don’t work with all skin tones and may look odd if not applied evenly and under makeup. But if you’re intrigued by optics, Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Swirl and Olay Eyes Illuminating Eye Cream both rely on mica to help hide dark circles.
Your doctor will want to rule out other possible causes that can contribute to the swelling, such as thyroid disease, infection or an allergy. He or she may refer you to a doctor who specializes in the eyes (ophthalmologist), plastic surgery or plastic surgery of the eyes (oculoplastic surgeon).
Love this, Becca! I make my own homemade night cream- it’s a lot like this recipe, and have been planning to do a DIY eye cream soon too. You’re right, it’s great that this stuff doubles as makeup remover. I use mine for that purpose all the time too. Pinning!
Make healthy changes to your diet. Do you tend to eat salty dinners frequently? This is a big cause of puffiness around the eyes, since the salt causes you to retain water in the face. If you go to bed almost every night with a lot of salt in your system, it can actually cause the skin in your eyes to stretch out and sag over time from getting filled with fluid. Start these new habits to reduce the chances that this will happen:
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