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.
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.
We started by compiling a list of every eye cream we could find — 404 of them. We pulled from popular online beauty retailers like Ulta and Sephora plus retailers like Walgreens and Target, then we added in recommendations by established beauty brands like Cosmopolitan, Vogue, and Refinery29. We also made sure our list included South Korean beauty products — one of the hottest sources for skin care treatments. We looked at serums, creams, and lotions indiscriminately (although we did skip masks and eye rollers).
Kate Somerville was our favorite by a very narrow margin. Both brands come with pump dispensers that dole out precise amounts of eye cream as needed. Both felt hydrating and refreshing, leaving skin moisturized without being too heavy. Kate Somerville is slightly pricier, at $125, versus Chanel’s $105. So why did we prefer the pricier option? It was virtually odorless. Chanel had a lightly floral (almost medicinal) scent on first whiff, which some of us enjoyed, but two unhappy testers reported fishy undertones as it dried. Chanel was also more prone to flaking as it dried. We’ll stick with Kate Somerville.
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.
Dark circles under the eyes come from genes, sun damage, age, and blood build-up. Sodium ascorbate, or vitamin C, can thicken the skin and help conceal dark circles after about 6 months. Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, and kojic acid can lighten dark circles.
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.
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.
Blinking for eyelids is like walking for legs. When idle, some people develop swelling in their lower extremities that goes away as soon as they start walking and muscles in the legs begin “milking” the trapped fluids (edema), which are released back into circulation.
I just ordered the MK firming eye creme. I’ve used it before and my Arbonne one was leaving my eye area all dry. 🙁 In the mean time I found one by Aardvarkskincarethai. It uses natural ingredients and oils. Loving the difference so far!
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.
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.
Himalaya’s Under Eye Cream claims to clear pigmentation, dark circles, and blemishes. It also helps brighten and smoothe the area around your eyes. The product claims to reduce dark circles by 80% within a month. It also claims to reduce wrinkles and fine lines by 28% within a month.
Testers generally preferred pump-tops over squeeze tubes or roller-balls. Clinique Pep Start had a roller-ball that turned squirt-gun on us unexpectedly and was difficult to control. Testers did like the metal ball of Botanics All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll-On, but reported that it was still a little trickier to apply than, say, a squeeze tube.
“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
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.
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This procedure isn’t for those who want instant gratification. It’s usually performed over the course of six sessions spaced a month or so apart. Microneedling costs less than more traditional laser procedures.
Treat your allergies. Puffy eyes are often caused by allergies, which inflame the face and cause water to collect there. You might see a big difference if you treat your seasonal allergies with a good allergy medication.
“It is thought that the tears secreted while crying have a slightly different composition in addition to a different hormonal response,” explains Dr. Manusis. It doesn’t help that after a crying jag, you might rub your eyes to dry them or mask the tears, and that puffs your eyes up as well.
“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
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.
Try a neti pot. Use this gizmo, which looks like a small teapot, to pour salt water into one nostril and let it drain out the other. It sounds weird, but it might help flush out all that extra moisture in your sinuses from seasonal allergies, colds, or infections.
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.

There is significant variation in price in eye creams, and many come in very small bottles. Trying out a few before buying can help, and sometimes cosmetics companies will offer small samples. Especially when an eye cream is greatly expensive, it’s a great idea to see if it works for you, rather than plunk down a lot of money to get a product that doesn’t work very well. There are a few eye cream variants that are sold by prescription only. Anything containing hydroquinone may be available in certain countries only by prescription, and some countries ban its use because it may be connected with a higher incidence of skin cancer.
“I get dry skin on my eyelids—I think because the skin there is so sensitive already and when I’m putting moisturizer on, I tend to forget about my eye area. This fixes that. I especially like that it’s all-natural and I know exactly what’s in it, rather than some sort of ‘amazing vitalizing serum’ that has vague descriptions of what it actually does.” —Emily Geraghty, senior producer
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).
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.
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.
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.
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