The skin around your eyes is very thin, making them extremely sensitive. When skin here comes into contact with allergens floating in the air such as pollen, animal dander, or dust mites, swelling is the result. Adding to the puffiness are allergens that reach the eyes through your nose.
If you have the same puffy eyes as your mother or father, you probably inherited the trait — so you can blame your parent! In this case, you will need to learn to live with the look or consider cosmetic options that might help reduce the puffiness.
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.
You may consider also cutting back on alcohol to see relief. Why does this work? It’s a similar idea to drinking more water. Drinking alcohol contributes to dehydration, and dehydration may lead to bags and dark circles under your eyes.
Vitamin E 300–400 IU per day; talk with eye care professional about your individual needs Reduces effects of nearsightedness; improves function of muscles, blood vessels, skin, and nerves around eyes Wheat germ oil; whole raw seeds and nuts; cold-pressed vegetable oils; soybeans
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.
“I get dry skin on my eyelids—I think because the skin there is so sensitive already and when I’m putting moisturizer on, I tend to forget about my eye area. This fixes that. I especially like that it’s all-natural and I know exactly what’s in it, rather than some sort of ‘amazing vitalizing serum’ that has vague descriptions of what it actually does.” —Emily Geraghty, senior producer
But sometimes it’s hard to tell, especially if your pink eye (aka conjunctivitis) is caused by a virus rather than a bacterial infection. Viral pink eye is often accompanied by a watery, clear discharge and can be relatively mild. Bacterial pink eye, on the other hand, is characterized by a yellowish-green discharge, and there might be a lot of it.
“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
Apply an astringent substance to your eyes. You can buy astringent creams and tonics that help reduce puffiness by tightening the skin around your eyes. Soak two cotton balls in astringent cream or tonic, lie back and close your eyes, and place the cotton balls over your eyes. Let the astringent soak in for about 10 minutes, then remove the cotton balls and rinse your face.
If you experience chronic eye puffiness, talk to your doctor about treatment options like cosmetic surgery. In some instances, puffy eyes may be the sign of a more serious condition. Consult your doctor if you suspect your puffy eyes may be a sign of something else.
To reduce allergy-induced puffiness, try over-the-counter eye drops or a saline eye rinse, which wash the allergens out of your peepers. For irritated skin, lubricated ointments not only act as a barrier between the skin and allergens, but it also can soothe and ease redness. A nasal spray might help relieve sinus pressure and in turn de-puff your eyes.
The most important steps you can take to prevent further swelling are not to rub your eyes and to seek medical attention if your condition is severe. Your doctor can prescribe you medicine that will reduce the swelling almost immediately.
Looking for a retinoid-based eye cream? A medium-weight formula is best place to start if you have normal skin and no pre-existing texture preferences. These creams leave your skin feeling moisturized — you won’t be left wondering whether you remembered to put them on — but, at the same time, they aren’t unpleasantly greasy. After testing, two of our retinoid-based contenders fit this category: Kate Somerville Line Release Under Eye Repair Cream and Chanel Le Lift Creme Yeux Firming Anti-Wrinkle Eye Cream.
Those are the slogans you’re likely to find plastered on eye creams sold in department stores, local pharmacies, and online. And although many of us want to know how to prevent and treat wrinkles, as a dermatologist, I will tell you that no amount of money you spend on eye cream is going to keep fine lines around the eyes at bay forever.
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.
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.
Vitamin D Depends on factors such as one’s exposure to UV light: 400 to 2,000 IU per day Reduces risk of nearsightedness, pink eye, keratoconus, and cataracts; strengths bones within body; improves skin Sunlight; limited amounts of fortified foods; fish; fish liver oils
“I’m one of the people who thinks eye creams are kind of BS—a regular light moisturizer does that trick just fine for me—but I’ve recently noticed how damn puffy my area looks. Blame it on December cheer, an excess of salt, and not enough water, but I started using this collagen-rich gel—which I keep in the fridge—and found it actually works to de-puff and hydrate. It also promises to blur fine lines, which I didn’t experience yet, but I’m planning to stick with it, mainly thanks to its powerful helix complex—an organic compound rich in allantoin, collagen, elastin, and glycolic acid.” —Perrie Samotin, digital deputy editor
The one moisturizing ingredient that our experts agreed was a must-have was hyaluronic acid (HA), and its salt — sodium hyaluronate. These molecules are found naturally in your body, primarily in your skin, but our bodies produce less as we get older. As a result, the skin around our eyes starts to look less full, leading to wrinkles that look deeper and dark circles that are more noticeable.
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.
I made this today and didn’t do any measuring, I also used the vitamin E oil not capsules. It is a bit hard verses creamy so I will see. I was using straight coconut oil, can’t wait to see how this does. I wish this was day or night use, i know it said you could use it in the morning, but if it’s also a makeup remover I can’t see putting on under my eye makeup.
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.
We all know that the skin under our eyes is extremely delicate. It is almost always the first to age and is about 0.5mm thick while the rest of our skin is about 2 mm thick. Under eye skin, or periorbital skin, becomes thinner much faster than it should when it is not cared for appropriately. With the hectic lifestyles and the constant pollution we’re exposed to, the skin deteriorates, showing the blood vessels under your skin more clearly. This causes the appearance of dark circles.
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.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler’s educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
One of the main causes of puffy eyes is aging. The skin under your eyes is extremely thin, which increases the problem of swelling that occurs as you grow older. Over time, the tissue in your eyelids can weaken. This can cause fat in your upper eyelid to descend, coming to rest in your lower eyelid. Fluid may also be more likely to get trapped in your lower eyelid, and this retention is known as edema. The thin skin around your eyelids can cause fluid build up to be very prominent, resulting in puffy eyes. Thanks to a revolutionary discovery of all-natural water pills that SwellNoMore has developed over the years, you can find relief and support from this problem.
This can have a potential dual effect on puffy eyelids. First, if dark circles are caused by a visible network of blood vessels under the thin eyelid skin, then making the vessels smaller might reduce the darkness.
Sleep problems, your period, your perfume, your diet soda habit—find out about these and other surprising causes of puffy, swollen eyes, so you can get rid of the puffiness fast and help prevent the blowfish look from returning.
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).
Combining two powerful anti-ageing actives, Dr Dennis Gross Skincare’s Ferulic + Retinol Eye Cream is a potent formula devoted to firming, brightening and tightening the delicate eye area. Use every evening for the best results – the effects are cumulative as well as immediate.
I mix beeswax pellets with just a little bit of rosehip oil (don’t want it to be greasy) and some quality frankincense oil (I order my oil through Tropical Traditions). The beeswax doesn’t melt into my eyes quite as quickly as the coconut oil, thus it stays off my eyeballs and I don’t get blurry vision. I’ve come to know that using this at night before bed is the best way. During the daytime I mix frankincense with grapeseed oil (soaks in right away) and use it under my powdered mineral make-up and it works out fine. At night I want something heavier though, so I stay with the beeswax.
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.
“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
If you’re looking for a peptide-based formula that can be worn during the day, coupled with middle-of-the-road absorbency, you’ve got four options. The two frontrunners during testing were Drunk Elephant Shaba Complex Eye Serum and Mizon Collagen Power Firming Eye Cream. We had no trouble dispensing the right amounts with either cream, either through Drunk Elephant’s sleek-looking pump, or with Mizon’s basic squeeze tube. Testers noted that their skin felt smooth and a little oily from the residue, ranking both creams as similarly absorbent. In fact, the most noticeable difference is their price: Mizon retails for $10, and Drunk Elephant for $60. If you don’t have existing brand loyalty, we’d suggest starting with the Mizon.
Drink several glasses of water. Eyes tend to get puffy due to water retention, which is caused by a high concentration of salt in the area around the eyes. If you ate a very salty dinner or cried before bed you might notice increased puffiness in the morning. Drinking plenty of water flushes the area and causes the swelling to go down.
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Eating a well-balanced diet and drinking plenty of water will also reduce swollen eyes. Too much salt in one’s diet can cause the eyes—and other parts of the body—to swell. Learn more about healthy eyes and eye vitamins.
Logging a good night’s sleep regularly will help you reduce your puffy eyes. Adults need around 7 to 8 hours of sleep a night. To ensure you’re sleeping enough, create a bedtime routine and stick to it.
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.
Bromelain, which is an enzyme found in pineapple, has a positive effect on reducing inflammation throughout your body, and can also assist in fighting bloating and puffiness. Another one of our remarkable ingredients is known as quercetin, which is a type of antioxidant that is naturally found in plant foods like leafy greens, tomatoes, berries and broccoli. This has been proven to bring longevity, heart health and better endurance to those who take it, and it has been linked to preventing certain cancers from developing within the body. These are just a few examples of the super-food ingredients our water pills stem from.
Artificial sweeteners have also been linked to body bloating, which will have an effect on your eyes as well. Go easy on the diet sodas and other products containing fake sugar substitutes, or give them up completely. You can also try easing the eye puff caused by this fake sugars by consuming more inflammation-fighting foods like berries, tomatoes, and ginger.