What these blogs and YouTube videos never tell you is exactly what causes puffy eyes? Unless you understand the true cause of the puffiness and swelling you can never expect to remedy the symptoms. Puffy eyes are caused by 2 separate conditions:
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“I love this little cream because I basically live out of my gym bag, and it’s the only eye cream I’ve found that comes in a teeny mini size. The tiny jar alone is so helpful when I’m getting ready on the go. Plus, it really, truly works. This stuff is no joke—they mean it when they say it’s potent! I look less sleepy the second I put it on.” —Sara Gaynes Levy, health editor
During an allergic reaction, certain cells in the body release a chemical called histamine that has many adverse effects on body tissues, including fluid leakage from the blood vessels. These fluids become trapped in surrounding tissues, causing edema.
To help you determine which eye cream is best for your needs, we tested and ranked a slew of eye formulas to find out which products are worth the splurge and which should be left on the shelf. Here are the best eye creams for treating a whole range of problems, from puffiness to dark circles to signs of aging.
The trick is to find the best eye cream for your skin’s needs. I feel like you’ve been duped by the eye creams promising to erase your dark circles, puffiness and fine lines – I have tried all of them. Right now, I found two that I like from Made From Earth – the Chamomile Eye cream and the Cucumber Gel. I use both on my face and work better than the more expensive creams I bought online.
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.
Perfect for those mornings where you wake up feeling less than bright-eyed, Clinique’s Pep Start Eye Cream is a lightweight formula which instantly awakens the eye area, depuffing and diminishing dark circles as it hydrates.
We gave our remaining 21 products to eleven testers of various skin types, dry to oily. They applied each cream and waited ninety seconds — the amount of time manufacturers typically recommend waiting before applying other products. Then our testers noted how quickly each cream had absorbed into their skin, and whether it left behind any residue.
Dark circles under the eyes come from genes, sun damage, age, and blood build-up. Sodium ascorbate, or vitamin C, can thicken the skin and help conceal dark circles after about 6 months. Niacinamide, or vitamin B3, and kojic acid can lighten dark circles.
The good news: when your period nears its end, the swelling should subside, whether it’s around your eyes or elsewhere. Until it does, you can reduce the eye puffiness by holding a cold compress to the eyes for a few minutes and drinking lots of water (which helps flush out excess fluid your system is holding on to). Dr. Jalimon also suggests looking into eye creams and serums with caffeine, which can reduce the appearance of swelling.
Skin lightening creams contain an ingredient called hydroquinone. This ingredient interferes with the production of melanin in the skin. This can help reduce the appearance of dark bags or under-eye circles.
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.
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) 1.6 mg for adult males per day; 1.2 mg for adult females per day; 1.5 mg to 1.7 mg for pregnant or lactating women Prevents itchy eyes, which can cause puffiness; helps to maintain good vision Fish; egg yolks; brewer’s yeast; liver; whole grain cereal
Why do eyes get puffy when you cry? The tears that stream down your cheeks after an emotional sob session are thought to contain more water than other tears, like the kind that flow when your eyes are trying to wash out dust or debris. When the watery tears hit ocular tissues that have a high salt content, the tissues swell.
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.
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. 
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’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.
Excessive alcohol intake causes all kinds of body issues, including bloating all over. So it makes sense that drinking too much contributes to puffy eyes as well. “Alcohol can lower an anti-diuretic hormone in your body, which causes puffiness,” says Dr. McLaughlin.
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.
Your doctor can also determine whether the swelling is being caused by a more serious problem. If you suffer from allergies, try to take precautions while indoors: keep air filters and air ducts clean, and vacuum often to remove dust and dander.
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.
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.
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.
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.
How does retinol help with eye bags? When applied to the skin, this ingredient can improve collagen deficiency. You may find lower concentrations of retinol in different OTC products, but stronger creams require a prescription from your dermatologist.
To de-puff after watching a tearjerker flick or getting misty-eyed at a wedding, apply a cold compress to your eyes for a few minutes. A splash of cool water and a dab of concealer can also help you hide that you were crying (but concealer can’t do much for actually making your eyes less puffy, unfortunately).