As we get older, our skin regenerates more slowly, loses elasticity, and can appear sunken. Moisturizing helps skin look fuller — minimizing wrinkles — and gives it the water it needs to repair and regenerate itself.
Fillers — usually composed of hyaluronic acid, a hydrator that your body already produces naturally — can be injected beneath the skin to plump it up and smooth out wrinkles. A professional will help you determine what kind of dermal filler is best and where it should be used to achieve desired results. If you have a tear trough depression, for instance, Dr. Greene told us that it’s possible to plump it up to a more natural level. Any shadow the depression caused will disappear along with it.
For a lightweight, fast-absorbing day cream, you’ve got four options: Botanics, Estee Lauder, Philosophy, and Clinique. Botanics All Bright Refreshing Eye Roll-On was our testers’ favorite, leaving skin feeling smooth and moisturized while leaving behind so little residue as to be “invisible.” Estee Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye Serum (despite the name, it doesn’t contain retinoids or mineral oils) was the second most popular.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
If you’re one of the many women who think eye creams are just another way for the cosmetic industry to get you to buy more skin care products, dermatologist Kenneth Beer, MD, PA, says you should reconsider. The skin around your eye is the thinnest layer of skin on your entire body, and therefore the most sensitive, he says. So using a cream made specifically for your eyes is crucial, especially as you age.
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.
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.
Wouldn’t life be so much easier without dark circles? Imagine not having to hear the words “You look so tired!” twenty times a day. You would no longer have to spend about 15 extra minutes on concealing while doing your makeup. In fact, you might even decide to say “Chuck it!” and go au naturale every now and then because, hey, your skin looks pretty damn good.
“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
This winter has been hard on this mom. I’ve noticed that under my eyes my skin was getting more dry, puffy and tired looking then it has ever been. I needed some miracle cream without breaking the bank.
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.
The first and most common remedy is to ensure you are properly hydrated. Drink at least 8 x 8 oz glasses of water a day. It might sound like a lot, but simply leave your glass full and in front of you all day and before you know it you will consume 8 glasses by dinner.
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.
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.
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.
All of our consulting dermatologists and cosmetic chemists agreed that there is not currently enough scientific data to conclude whether parabens are actually harmful. That said, they encouraged those wary of parabens to seek out alternatives. The challenge is that there aren’t many. We could only find three paraben-free options, after nixing other potentially harmful ingredients: Both of the glittery Olay eye creams are paraben-free, as is Youth to the People’s medium-weight night cream. There’s also a fourth, if you can find it: Perricone MD Cold Plasma Anti-Aging Eye Treatment. But it’s not widely available from retailers like Amazon, Ulta, or Sephora, and we weren’t able to bring it in for testing.
To do this, put a stack of books or other wedge under the feet of your bed on the side where you rest your head. If you notice a difference in how often or how severe your eyes get puff up, consider a more stable solution like bed risers.
If puffy eyes are your problem, you should try ice-rolling. You know the old trick of putting cold spoons under your eyes? Well, this is a modernized version of that. Keep it in the freezer, and when you want to use it, let it sit out for a second so that it’s not painfully freezing, then roll it gently over your under-eyes. This also can be used on places other than just your under-eyes — it can actually help with inflammation and redness from breakouts and rashes as well. Also, I’ll just say — this feels incredible on your head when you’re hungover.
Reduce stress. High levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, can lead to a number of physical symptoms including swollen or puffy eyes. Try yoga, controlled breathing exercises, or meditation. All of these help moderate stress and are thought to help improve overall circulation. 
Lightweight night creams absorb quickly: After a minute or two, it might be hard to tell you’ve put anything on. We’d recommend this category for people with oily skin — or for anyone who doesn’t like the texture of heavy lotions.
Someone suffering from severe allergies may benefit from prescription-strength antihistamines, while someone suffering from a skin disorder that is affecting the skin around the eyes may benefit from topical creams.
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.
“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.