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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.
Hypothyroidism and Hyperthyroidism – Facial puffiness and periorbital swelling occur due to infiltration with the mucopolysaccharides hyaluronic acid and chondroitin sulfate, pulling fluid into the interstitial space by osmosis.
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.
Potatoes have been hailed to reduce puffy eyes. It is claimed that the starch in potatoes acts as an anti-inflammatory which reduces the swelling and bags under the eyes. Some claim potatoes also remedy dark circles under the eyes. Unlike cucumbers, you are supposed to grate potatoes, place them in a wet cloth and place the wet cloth full of potato peals over your eyes for 15 minutes. Again, this is absolute nonsense. Potatoes do not contain anti-inflammatory of any significant measure. And even if they did, simply placing them on your skin would not have any material effect on reducing puffiness or swelling. Of all the bogus remedies to cure puffy eyes, Aloe Vera is probably the most credible advice. It does contain antioxidants and vitamin E which are both good for the skin. And when chilled, Aloe does feel soothing on irritated puffy eyes. But to suggest it will have a meaningful effect on puffy eyes and even keep the wrinkles away has no scientific support whatsoever. Which explains why the Aloe Vera industry is only a fraction of what it was in the 1980s following the hype that it was the cure-all wonder drug.
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.
Outdoor precautions can include wearing face masks, especially when doing yard work during the spring and fall seasons. You can also ask your doctor to prescribe you antihistamine and decongestant medications to minimize the effects of allergy season.
Our three heavy-weight day creams all tied for absorbency, leaving a silky, creamy skin-feel behind. But Skin Laundry Wrinkle Release Eye Cream with Peptides was our testers’ favorite. It’s packaged in a tube, which makes it easy to dispense accurate and tiny amounts as needed, and at $30, it’s a relatively inexpensive option.
While certain home remedies such as soothing cucumber slices — or even anti-hemorrhoid creams such as Preparation H — may temporarily relieve puffy eyes, a more long-lasting solution depends on the underlying cause.
Put down that salt shaker! Water will always find its way from parts of your body that are low in sodium to those that have the most. The area around your eyes is a prime example. That’s why a dinner loaded with salt often results in morning-after puffiness.
Need to know your skin type?Paula’s Choice breaks skin types up into three categories: Dry, Normal, and Oily. They advise washing your face, and waiting two hours without applying any products. If your skin looks flaky or feels tight, you have dry skin. Shiny and slick? Oily. Neither, but smooth? Normal, or you might have a combination of oily and dry sections.
We made an exception for one product, Youth to the People, which comes in a jar but is one of the few paraben-free options we were able to track down. We take a closer look at parabens below, and while we don’t consider them a deal-breaker, we wanted to provide options for people who would prefer to avoid them.
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.
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
Pink eye doesn’t come with many warning signs, explains Dr. McLaughlin, but once you notice symptoms, it’s important to take special care. If it appears to be bacterial, check in with an MD about getting a prescription for antibacterial eye drops to speed healing.
To get rid of the puff, cut back your sodium intake. How much salt is too much? It varies from person to person, says Dr. McLaughlin, but the Centers for Disease Control suggest that most adults stick to less than 2,300 mg of sodium daily.
If you really struggle with dark under-eyes, this concealer is worth trying. It’s extremely pigmented and infused with vitamins that reduce the appearance of dark circles and discoloration, so you’re both concealing and actively treating your under-eyes throughout the day. Be careful though — it’s extremely pigmented on my light skin (make sure to find the right tone), so a little goes a long way. Before I realized, I put it on the way I would any other concealer and saw how I looked in a photo later — discolored — and learned my lesson: Just use a tiny bit.
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.
Puffy or swollen eyes are caused by fluid retention, stress, allergies, hormone changes and other factors. Other times, we get puffy eyes after sleeping. This can be caused by too much sodium in the diet, which causes water retention. Choosing under-eye serums, gels and creams are not an effective way of combating this type of condition, as they offer only temporary solutions for puffy eyes. As soon as you discontinue use, there are no lingering effects regarding this type of treatment, so you’re back where you started. You’ve also wasted a lot of time and money. The experts at SwellNoMore have developed an all-natural water pill that has been proven to be a highly effective method in treating puffy eyes.
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:
If you’re tired of plain water, infusing it with fresh fruit is a great way to stay hydrated and refreshed. Try adding your fruit of choice to a custom water bottle for infused water that lasts all day long.
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.
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.
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.
“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.