Our list of 404 in hand, we reached out to dermatologists and cosmetic chemists for help deciphering the fancy-sounding ingredients and bold claims of our contenders. Our goal: Ditch the hype and focus on ingredients proven to keep skin looking young and healthy.
At Swell No More, we have finally developed a solid solution for reducing puffy eyes and bringing about several other beneficial results. Puffiness under the eyes is a common symptom of allergies, lack of sleep, stress and poor diet. Your eyes will become puffy when the skin around them becomes irritated or itchy. People who consume large amounts of alcohol and sodium before bed may also wake up with puffy eyes due to water retention. Stress may cause your skin and eyes, along with other parts of your body, to weaken and become susceptible to problems like swelling.
And while we were initially excited about our two drugstore Olay eye creams (Olay Eyes Illuminating Eye Cream, and Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Swirl), our testers gave them a uniform thumbs-down, complaining of dryness, the creams’ tendency to pill up and flake off, and their shimmery pearlescent shine — meant to disguise dark circles, but producing an odd appearance when not worn under makeup. We also cut Dr. Brandt needles no more® NO MORE BAGGAGE™ eye de-puffing gel, because it turned our skin an aggressive fake-tan shade of orange.
As much as 75 percent of sodium found in American diets comes from processed or restaurant foods. To reduce your salt intake, steer clear of cured meats, cheese, pickles, and other processed foods. Prepackaged foods like instant soups are often high in sodium. Reading labels can help you identify excessive amounts of salt.
Many causes of swelling and discoloration under the eyes aren’t serious and may respond well to at-home treatment. That said, if you notice these symptoms under just one eye or if they get worse over time, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor.
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.
Although cucumbers do reduce puffy eyes, it is the coldness of the cucumber that does the trick, not the cucumber itself. Coldness is known to constrict blood vessels, which reduces the flow of fluid into soft tissues.
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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.
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.
Puffiness is a buildup of fluid and blood under the eyes. Some studies show that caffeine can help circulation, which could reduce puffiness. Other studies show that cold temperatures are just as effective to treat puffiness. That’s why some people refrigerate their eye creams.
Most people associate lack of sleep with dark underye circles. But Dr. Jaliman says not scoring enough snooze time can result in puffiness too. Dr. McLaughlin agrees: “Lack of sleep doesn’t cause the bags and puffiness but makes them puffier and more noticeable.” Not everyone who skimps on sleep will get swollen eyes, but it’s a definite consequence for most of us, he says.
Fluid may also be more likely to get trapped in your lower eyelid as you age. Fluid retention is known as edema. The thin skin around your eyelid can cause fluid retention to be very prominent, resulting in puffy eyes.
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
“I’ve tried tons of eye creams that do literally nothing, based totally on the idea that they’ll help the situation in 10-15 years. Call it a flaw, but without results this year, I can’t commit. Belif’s eye cream doesn’t have that problem: this spin-off of its moisturizer leaves my under-eyes looking smooth and way less crepe-y within minutes.” —Rachel Nussbaum, beauty writer
Exercise caution when using a new cosmetic product or trying a home remedy. If the condition worsens, or if you exhibit other symptoms, discontinue use immediately and contact your primary care physician or dermatologist for severe or persisting symptoms.
The skin around the eyes is more fragile, more prone to dryness, and quicker to show age and fatigue. Squinting and constant movement of the eyes also hasten the appearance of lines and wrinkles, and fluids collect under the eyes and cause puffiness and dark circles. Eye creams can address some of these issues.
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).
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.
Those who prefer to use organic or natural skincare products should try Uma’s Absolute Anti Aging Eye Oil, which blends oils such as rose, frankincense, geranium and sandalwood all harvested on the family-run company’s own estate. The luxurious formula absorbs quickly, and has noticeable effects on puffiness.
Retinoids are related to Vitamin A, and they’re well-documented to help the skin slough off old cells and produce new ones. They vary in strength, and as cosmetic chemist and consultant Kevin Gallagher explained, their strength has an immediate trade-off: the stronger and more effective the retinoid, the harsher it is on skin. Retinoids can cause side-effects like peeling and redness at high enough doses. Over-the-counter retinoid creams typically use gentler forms — you’ll need a need a prescription for extremely potent wrinkle creams — but if you have sensitive skin, know that retinoids are more likely to cause irritation than peptides.
If propping up your head hurts your neck or you can’t fall asleep, you may also consider elevating the entire top end of your bed by a few inches. You can use bricks under the bed posts or buy special bed risers that are specifically made for this purpose.
Consume cabbage or cranberry juice. Both are diuretics, which will help you “evacuate” some excess fluid. Don’t turn to caffeine as your diuretic of choice, as it can interfere with sleep and bring back the puffiness.