Tea bags can help soothe irritated and puffy eyes as they contain anti-irritant properties that can help reduce swelling – as well as relieving redness and irritation. Simply put two used teabags in the fridge for half an hour and then put them on your eyelids for 15 minutes.
We’ve taken the eleven that remain and grouped them based on type (day cream or night cream), and weight (light, medium, or heavy). To find the best eye cream for you, you might have to try a couple, to find out which one feel best to you — our testers can only take us so far when it comes to personal preference.
Periorbital puffiness, also known as “puffy eyes”, or swelling around the eyes, is the appearance of swelling in the tissues around the eyes, called the orbits. It is almost exclusively caused by fluid buildup around the eyes, or periorbital edema. Minor puffiness usually detectable below the eyes only (although at times they could be present all around) is often called eye bags. Such transient puffiness is distinct from the age related and gradual increase in the size of the fat pad lying below the lower eyelids (suborbicularis oculi fat – “SOOF”) which can also be colloquially referred to as eye bags.[1]
“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.
Some people swear that using a neti pot can help remove your under-eye bags and dark circles. A neti pot is a device you fill with a saltwater (normal saline) solution. You place the spout in your nose and irrigate your sinuses, removing mucus and other debris.
The majority of eye creams on the market are formulated with the same ingredients as most facial moisturizers. There are no special ingredients in eye creams that are specific to the skin around the eyes, but you should make sure you follow these dermatologist-approved rules for using moisturizer. Like the overwhelming majority of facial moisturizers on the market, eye creams are water based—water is often the first ingredient on the ingredients list. They contain humectants, like glycerin, that help draw water into the skin surface, and occlusives, like petrolatum or dimethicone, that limit water evaporation from the skin into the environment. Emollients are added to make the skin feel smooth and silky, adding aesthetic value to the product so the consumer likes how the product feels. Emulsifiers are added so the water and oil components of the emulsion don’t separate. All water-based products require a preservative to prevent overgrowth of mold and bacteria. Manufacturers also add thickeners, as eye creams are expected to be thicker than most facial moisturizers. A “marketing tool” ingredient (discussed below) is often added to enhance sales, and sometimes fragrance is also added.
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:
The main difference between Estee and Botanics is application style. The Estee is a thin, cream-based formula with a tiny pump, good for dispensing precise amounts of cream. The Botanics uses a squeeze tube with a metal roller ball. Testers reported that the roller ball felt wonderfully cool under their eyes, but this application style does make it trickier to tell exactly how much product you’re applying.
Linda Daniels is a true creative force, having worked as a seasoned writer, editor and consultant in the fashion and beauty industries. Connect with Linda on Facebook for constant updates to her projects.
Before you choose, you’ll need to decide when you want to use your cream: Night creams contain retinoids, the most fast-acting and well-researched anti-wrinkle agent on the market — but this class of ingredients quickly breaks down and becomes ineffective when exposed to sunlight. Day creams contain peptides, a more recent addition to the skincare arsenal: Peptides are less sensitive to sunlight and less likely to irritate if you’ve got sensitive skin, but expect to wait longer for results. We’ve found picks in both categories.
Drink less alcohol. Alcohol leads to fluid retention in the face, as well as causing dehydration. Limit your alcohol intake to 1 or 2 drinks at a time, 1 or 2 times per week. Drinking more than this will eventually cause the skin around your eyes to loosen.
Of the many cult products Kiehl’s is known for, the Creamy Eye Treatment With Avocado is one of our favourites. A rich, hydrating cream packed with nourishing avocado oil and shea butter, it is ideal for those with sensitive eyes since it’s ophthalmologist-tested, and great for dry skin too thanks to its luxurious formula.
Our testers weren’t wild about these pigmented products, which don’t work with all skin tones and may look odd if not applied evenly and under makeup. But if you’re intrigued by optics, Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Swirl and Olay Eyes Illuminating Eye Cream both rely on mica to help hide dark circles.
If you suspect you may be anemic, it’s a good idea to visit your doctor. Your doctor will check this with a simple blood test. You may need special iron supplements to get back on track. For mild cases, increasing your dietary intake of iron may help.
For an instant eye lift, January Labs’s Advanced Eye Technology is second to none. Containing plumping hyaluronic acid and a blend of wrinkle-reducing peptides, it smoothes out fine lines as well as minimising dark circles and tightening up the skin around the eyes.
Other times we get puffy eyes after sleeping. This can be caused by too much sodium in the diet, which causes water retention. Puffy eyes can also be caused by lack of sleep or excessive alcohol intake. Additional causes of puffy eyes include:
And while we were initially excited about our two drugstore Olay eye creams (Olay Eyes Illuminating Eye Cream, and Olay Regenerist Micro-Sculpting Eye Swirl), our testers gave them a uniform thumbs-down, complaining of dryness, the creams’ tendency to pill up and flake off, and their shimmery pearlescent shine — meant to disguise dark circles, but producing an odd appearance when not worn under makeup. We also cut Dr. Brandt needles no more® NO MORE BAGGAGE™ eye de-puffing gel, because it turned our skin an aggressive fake-tan shade of orange.
While it’s hard to totally avoid allergens, reduce your exposure and prevent eye puffiness by staying indoors as much as possible—especially in fall and spring, when trees and plants release more pollen and symptoms can get worse. Keep windows shut, change into another outfit when you come in from outdoors, and consider getting an air filter to cut down on pet dander in your home.
As you age, the tissue structures and muscles supporting your eyelids weaken. The skin may start to sag, and fat that is normally confined to the area around the eye (orbit) can move into the area below your eyes. Also, the space below your eyes can accumulate fluid, making the under-eye area appear puffy or swollen. Several factors cause or worsen this effect, including:
At Swell No More, we have finally developed a solid solution for reducing puffy eyes and bringing about several other beneficial results. Puffiness under the eyes is a common symptom of allergies, lack of sleep, stress and poor diet. Your eyes will become puffy when the skin around them becomes irritated or itchy. People who consume large amounts of alcohol and sodium before bed may also wake up with puffy eyes due to water retention. Stress may cause your skin and eyes, along with other parts of your body, to weaken and become susceptible to problems like swelling.
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.
L’Oreal Paris’ White Perfect Magic White Double Whitening Eye Cream claims to whiten the skin from the inside, helping fade dark circles. It helps brighten the under eye area and claims to show results with the first use. It helps inhibit the production of melanin, which curbs pigmentation problems.
Read packages carefully to see how much salt is in your favorite snacks. One way to immediately lower the salt in your diet is to avoid eating packaged, processed foods. Instead, try eating a diet based more on whole foods — fresh fruits and veggies — where you can control the salt content.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Smoking depletes your body’s stores of vitamin C, which is the vitamin responsible for creating healthy collagen in your skin. If you smoke, you may deal with issues like wrinkles, discoloration, and even under-eye bags and dark circles.
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.
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.

If your pink eye is triggered by a viral infection, you might also have cold symptoms, explains Kira Manusis, MD, an ophthalmologist at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai, in an email to Health. “In such cases it can be associated with an upper respiratory infection,” she says. “It often starts in one eye and spreads to the other.”
Parabens are a class of preservatives commonly found in cosmetics, as well as other hygiene products like toothpaste, deodorant, and shampoo. They’re used to prevent the growth of bacteria and fungi — things that you absolutely do not want around your eyes. But they’ve recently come under scrutiny out of a fear that paraben exposure is linked to some types of cancer. One of the larger questions surrounding parabens, particularly since 90% of typical grocery items contain them, is whether they are safe in small doses but become harmful as they accumulate in large doses. In other words, you might be fine if you have parabens only in your toothpaste, but not if they’re in every product you use on a daily basis.
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.
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