You eat well, avoid alcohol, and always score a healthy 7-8 hours of sleep per night. Yet your undereye area sometimes resembles a tiny pillow. What’s going on? Some of us are simply genetically prone to eye puffiness, says Dr. McLaughlin. And this inherited predisposition tends to not show up until later in life, well into your 30s or 40s (though it can strike at younger ages as well).
Drinking more water and applying a cold compress can help shrink eye bags quickly, but the only way to reduce their appearance in the long term is to make a few lifestyle changes. This is especially true if your eye bags and dark circles are genetically inherited.
The flip-side is that retinoids may work more quickly than peptides, although “quickly” is still relative. At high concentrations, you’re likely to see improvements in wrinkles, skin thickness, and skin elasticity within 4 months, but be prepared for a longer wait time with most over-the-counter creams. Just as wrinkles don’t appear overnight, happen overnight, even the best eye cream can’t fix them overnight.
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.
A bad night’s sleep can lead to puffiness around the eye area in the morning – especially if you’re stressed. Stress causes changes to the salt balance in the body and if salt balances are off, your eyes can retain water as a result and swell.
“While technically not an eyes-only cream, I use Sunday Riley Tidal around my eyes and it’s pure gold. It’s very lightweight and doesn’t have a strong scent, which is great. It seriously pumps up the hydration in my face and around my eyes, and makes my skin super soft too.” —Nina Bahadur, branded content editor
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.
Belli Eye Brightening Cream ($39) and MDSolarSciences Daily Eye Repair Emulsion ($82) were more controversial. While MDSolarSciences was a top pick in our previous review, a number of testers found that it crossed the border from “luxuriously moisturized” to “uncomfortably greasy.” Belli, meanwhile, received multiple complaints for leaving a sticky residue.
“Sometimes the sinus cavities behind the eyes become inflamed due to inhalation of the allergens through the nasal passages,” says Lisa Ellman-Grunther, MD, an allergist at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai in New York City, in an email to Health. If allergies are the reason for your puffy eyes, they’ll likely also be itchy and watery—another fun effect of allergens. You might also notice dryness and flakiness on the skin, particularly your eyelids, says Dr. Ellman-Grunther.
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Our two other finalists in this category were Philosophy Miracle Worker Eye Cream and Clinique Smart Custom-Repair Eye Treatment. Both absorbed easily and performed well, but testers weren’t quite as enthusiastic about them, lodging a handful of complaints about residue that felt sticky or overly drying. Still, if you want to explore additional brands, feedback was largely positive and both creams have all the powerhouse ingredients necessary to get the job done. All of our pump-based creams cost about the same — Estee ($66), Philosophy ($68), and Clinique ($50) — while our $14 rollerball surprised us with its performance and price.
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.
Use this under-eye mask for 20 minutes right before bed, wake up, and you will see a difference in the brightness and texture under your eyes. This is a really great thing to use right before a big day if dark circles are an issue of yours. It also makes under-eye concealer glide on so well the next morning.
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.

SwellNoMore is the most widely-known and trusted company to specialize in reducing the appearance of puffy eyes. It also offers several other types of water retention remedies that can allow you to look and feel more energetic, healthy and youthful. Edema, which is swelling caused by your body’s inability to properly expel itself of excess water, is one of the main reasons swelling and puffiness occurs. By taking advantage of our amazing all-natural water pills, you can rid yourself of water weight and enjoy the healthful benefits of doing so.
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.
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.
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. [8]
Bags under eyes — mild swelling or puffiness under the eyes — are common as you age. With aging, the tissues around your eyes, including some of the muscles supporting your eyelids, weaken. Normal fat that helps support the eyes can then move into the lower eyelids, causing the lids to appear puffy. Fluid also may accumulate in the space below your eyes, adding to the swelling.
There are two types of alcohols in cosmetics. The good guys are the “fatty alcohols,” like cetyl alcohol. This group of ingredients soothes and moisturizes and is a great addition to many moisturizers. The “bad” alcohols include denatured alcohol, methanol, benzyl alcohol, and ethyl alcohol. These ingredients are sometimes added because they help active ingredients penetrate further into your skin — which sounds great, until you learn that bad alcohols achieve this by breaking down the outer layers of your skin. They can eventually hurt the skin’s ability to retain moisture. We took a hard line on these drying alcohols, cutting any products that included them.
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
The site is very professional in appearance and contains information about the company, their philosophy and product development. The Solvaderm products are dermatologist recommended and said to be scientifically advanced.
This eye treatment from Kiehl’s is an old favorite of mine — I almost always have it in my medicine cabinet. The application process is kind of annoying, as you have to dip your finger into a sticky pot, which I don’t love, but this eye treatment is super hydrating as well as slightly pigmented, which means it helps with overtime treatment and brightening. This is worth trying if you want a little bit of lift to your eyes, but don’t necessarily feel like putting on concealer.
Before applying a cream, I would suggest to use a skin roller to create tiny holes in the skin so the cream is delivered to deeper layers of skin. See today’s groupon goods deal for derma roller and collagen cream.
One of the most common home remedies, as mentioned above, is the temporary use of hemorrhoid creams and ointments to reduce the puffiness in eyelids. A common active ingredient in these preparations is phenylephrine, a medication that constricts blood vessels, reducing their diameter.
Apply something cold to your eyes. Eye puffiness is a buildup of fluids in the tissues around your eyes, and like other types of swelling, it can be reduced with the application of a cool compress of some kind. Chilled cucumber slices are the perfect size and shape for your eyes, and the ascorbic acid in them works well to temporarily reduce puffiness. Lie back and place them over your closed eyelids for 15 minutes, or until they grow warm.[1]
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.
Allergens like pollen and pet dander aren’t the only airborne particles that can cause puffy eyes. Perfumes and scented products can also contribute to puffiness—because a person has an allergy to the fragrance, or they simply have sensitive 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.
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If you have pink eye, you would think you’d know it—this super contagious eye condition usually causes the mucus membranes that line your eyes to turn pinkish-red and swell up, releasing discharge as well.
How do you find the perfect eye cream? First up, you need to decide what you want it to do. Do you want it to smooth out wrinkles? Depuff bags? Minimise circles? Or all of the above plus colour correcting, brightening and tightening too? Eye creams come in very small pots with very big promises – and often even bigger price tags – but the secret is in finding the ones that really deliver on the specific issues you want to address. There are hydrating eye creams designed to refresh and awaken eyes in the morning, powerful formulas targeted at rejuvenating and renewing as you sleep, and products designed for instant effects and much-needed dark-circle minimising after long sleepless nights. Save yourself trawling through the myriad different options with Vogue’s guide to 10 of the best eye creams on the market – and what they’re good for – below.
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