If you’ve been using eye cream daily for at least six months, and still haven’t seen a difference, there are stronger options you can try: cosmetic injections and prescription-strength retinoids are two common options. Both will require seeing a dermatologist or plastic surgeon for consultation.
Do you wake up every morning with puffy eyes? If you’re tired of looking sleepy or under the weather, there are plenty of things you can try to give your eyes a lift. Read on to learn about quick fixes, long-term strategies for reducing puffiness and a few permanent solutions, too.
Vitamin K 90 mcg per day for adult women; 120 mcg per day for adult men; 10–20 mcg per day for infants; 15–100 mcg per day for children and teens Regulates blood clotting; used in creams to reduce puffy and aging eyes Spinach; swiss chard; kale; broccoli; avocado; grapes; kiwi; soybean
If you suspect you may be anemic, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor. Your doctor will check this with a simple blood test. You may need special iron supplements to get back on track. For mild cases, increasing your dietary intake of iron may help.
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.
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:
If I wake up with very puffy eyes, what I do is put on a cold gel, eye mask for about fifteen minutes while I have breakfast. Cold cucumber slices under the eyes will work too. Then I apply my caffeine eye cream. By the time I get to work, my eyes are back to normal. They look fresh and rested, just the way I want them to look.
“I don’t have terrible dark circles, but I do often end up watching Netflix way later than I should. On those mornings after, I reach for this. It’s got a peachy hue to counteract that blue-ish tinge, botanicals to de-puff, and a firming complex that leaves a fine film under your eyes, so your concealer doesn’t settle into any lines. It’s like Spanx for your eyes.” —Lindsay Schallon, senior digital beauty editor
Vitamin C Depends on factors such as one’s weight, activity level, metabolism, age, and ailments: 2,300 to 9,000 mg per day Maintains body’s collagen; reduces effects of certain allergens that may cause puffy eyes Fresh fruits and vegetables; citrus fruits such as oranges and lemons; rose hips; green peppers; acerola cherries
Viral pink eye tends to clear up on its own within five to 10 days, while allergy-related pink eye can be treated through avoidance of known allergens and antihistamine drops. If you notice changes in your vision or the color and puffiness don’t go away, see your doctor, advises Dr. McLaughlin.
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.
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.[5]
Tvam’s Olive And Soya Under Eye Cream contains the goodness of olive oil, almond oil, nutmeg oil, and aloe vera. Its unique formulation helps treat the delicate under eye area effectively. The product helps minimize dark circles, reduce puffiness, and smoothe out wrinkles and fine lines.

In the United States, Congress passes laws to protect consumers’ health and safety. The Federal Food, Drug & Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act) clearly states “articles…intended to affect the structure or function of…” skin are considered drugs, and as such, must get FDA pre-market approval before going to market. In addition, the manufacturer must prove safety and efficacy of that product. An eye cream, however, is not a drug—it is a cosmetic and doesn’t require FDA pre-market approval or need to demonstrate its safety or efficacy. Cosmetics are defined as “articles intended to be rubbed, poured, sprinkled, or sprayed on, introduced into, or otherwise applied…for cleansing, beautifying, promoting attractiveness, or altering the appearance.” By law, manufacturers of cosmetics, including eye creams, may claim that their product improves the appearance of the skin, as many well-formulated moisturizers temporarily do, but they cannot legally claim that their product actually alters the structure or function of the skin, as this would make the product a drug and require FDA pre-market approval.
Also, avoid rubbing your eyes, which will only cause the swelling to worsen. For persistent eye swelling, seek help from a medical professional. Typically, treating the underlying condition will reduce swelling in the eye.
If you are unable to drive yourself to the doctor, ask a relative or friend. If one is not available and you feel this is an emergency, call 911. Never attempt to drive yourself when you are experiencing vision problems.
In this category, Youth to the People Age Prevention Superfood Eye Cream ($35) was the clear standout. In fact, it holds the honor of being our testers’ absolute favorite — more people called it out as being “the best eye cream” than any other pick in any other category. It received the highest absorbency rating of all our retinol-based night eye cream, and left our skin feeling smooth and soft. That said, it has one notable downside: it comes in a jar, which exposes the ingredients inside to air and light more than a pump or squeeze-tube would. To preserve the potency of the cream, you’ll want to be extra careful to apply it only after washing your hands, and to keep it in a dark, cool spot after using it.
Of course we have all heard about the famous chilled cucumbers over the eyes. Not only is this common in blog posts and YouTube, but it was made famous in several movies and television shows. The theory is that the enzymes and astringent properties in cucumbers are anti-inflammatories which help reduce inflammation and swelling. Some blogs even claim they will get rid of wrinkles and tighten the skin. There is absolutely no scientific support for these claims. However, chilled cucumbers do feel nice on swollen eyes.
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.
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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.
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.
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
Beyond how you sleep, how much you sleep is also a factor. Although limited sleep may not actually cause under-eye circles, getting little sleep may make your complexion paler. Any shadows or dark circles you have may be more obvious as a result.
Puffiness under the eyes is a common symptom of allergies, lack of sleep, stress, and poor diet. Eyes will become puffy when the skin around the eyes becomes irritated and itchy. People who consume large amounts of alcohol and sodium before bed may wake up with puffy eyes due to water retention.
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.
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.
“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.
The best thing for puffiness is to go cold. Tom Vichroski of CRDR Consulting, Inc., a member of the Society of Cosmetic Chemists, recommends cool ingredients — literally. Keeping your cream in the fridge is the equivalent of giving your eye area a cold shower and helps reduce early-morning puffiness.
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:
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