The Best Tips And Products For Taking Down Puffy Eyes
Lots of factors can cause the dreaded puffy eyes: lack of sleep, hangovers (thank you, Tequila Tuesday), and allergies. Yet regardless of how you get them, dealing with puffy eyes – and resorting to every last measure to get rid of them – is never a good time. Luckily there are tricks for hiding and disguising the puff, as well as products to reverse the issue. We consulted a few pros on all the options, along with the triggers that tend to aggravate this problem in the first place.
What Causes Puffy Eyes?
“There are many causes of puffy eyes, including water retention,” explains board-certified dermatologist and co-founder of LM Medical NYC, Dr. Morgan Rabach. “This is most often from lifestyle factors like eating salt, which causes water retention, seasonal allergies, or allergies to eye creams, which causes swelling and fluid buildup around the eye.” Lovely!
Even if you don’t wear contacts or have sensitive eyes, the point is: a lot gets in the way, when it comes to the most delicate skin on the face.
“People can also genetically have puffy eyes, where fat that usually is hidden beneath the skin can herniate through muscle and leave permanent bags around the eyes,” Rabach adds.
How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes
So what ingredients should you turn to, when trying to de-puff swollen lids and fatigued under eyes? According to Annie Chiu, board-certified derm and founder of The Derm Institute, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, sea algae and plankton are the classic ingredients to calm puffy eyes. Anti-inflammatories like horse chestnut flower extract is another more obscure, yet effective, option.
And while the ol’ spoon in the icebox trick is always on standby for irritated eyes, we asked the experts for alternate options to relieving puffy eye symptoms. Especially when you need to be somewhere important – like on a Zoom conf call stat. Heed their advice below.
Utilize micro-massage and cold temperatures. “Gentle massage from devices specifically designed to treat the under-eye region facilitate lymphatic drainage,” says board-certified dermatologist and cosmetic surgeon Melanie D. Palm. “The Clarisonic Sonic Awakening Eye Massager is a great attachment on the Mia Smart device that delivers gentle, yet effective, massage and decreases tissue temperature. I like to pair it with Neocutis Lumière Riche – a growth factor anti-aging eye cream formulated with de-puffing caffeine – and keep both in the fridge.”
Flash-soak green tea bags and cool: Another one of Palm’s go-to de-puffing tricks. “Green tea has antioxidant polyphenols that help reduce oxidative stress in inflamed tissue and green tea’s caffeine comes from the first rinse of tea leaves,” she says. “Just be sure to cool the tea bags prior to application though, as this will further reduce tissue swelling.
Sleep on your back with a pillow behind your neck: According to Beverly Hills-based celebrity dermatologist Dr. Harold Lancer, this will dramatically improve lymphatic drainage and reduce fluid retention, which increases the appearance of puffy eyes and dark circles. Bonus points if you snooze with Lancer’s new 3D Hyaluronic Eye Serum on to really revive dry eyes by morning.
Alter your diet: Lancer suggests reducing dairy, processed sugar products, simple carbohydrates and high sodium-containing products. “Diet is incredibly important and has a huge impact on dark circles, puffiness, and all eyelid concerns,” he explains
More De-Puffing Products & Tools We Love:
HURON Eye Stick, $16
HURON is a new unisex line full of affordable skincare gems, like this Eye Stick that delivers icy serum to irritated under eyes via a rollerball. With one swipe, blood vessels constrict, flushing out fluids and erasing bags while natural ingredients like sea algae, horse chestnut flower extract, and moringa oil smooth crow’s feet. It also contains buzzy reishi mushroom to help reduce inflammation.
SiO Cryodrop, $115
If quarantine is making it hard to get your cryotherapy on in a chamber these days, bring the trendy treatment’s benefits to you, in the form of SiO’s Cryodrop. This genius tool lifts, tightens, and sculpts facial contours (and crevices around the eyes), while giving you a mini massage at the same time.
Our favorite way to mask and chill. Yes to’s 95% natural, soothing and de-puffing eye masks have calming cucumber, caffeine, and evodia fruit to decrease puffiness and the appearance of dark circles in just 10 minutes.
Palm loves this product that brightens the eye area with results similar to a concealer, without the full-coverage feel. “It supplies broad-spectrum UV coverage and added antioxidants through Enviroscreen technology, and feels great when stored in the fridge, she says. “The cool metal tip enhances vasoconstriction [blood vessel constriction] and ingredients such as polysaccharides and marine algae improve puffiness and skin hydration.”
Rodial Dragon’s Blood Jelly Eye Patches, $11 (for a sachet of 2 patches)
Eye patches continue to be one of our favorite lazy girl fixes for puffy, tired AF peepers. And Rodial’s new patches (made from 1% Dragon’s Blood) not only restore skin elasticity but trap moisture in under the patch. The result? Glowing and refreshed under-eye areas.
A bit of a splurge, but for good reason. With a single stroke of a cooling ceramic tip, Sisley’s fluid can depuff, decongest, and combat dark circles immediately. Plus, it has a delicious rose scent and melts into skin with a gel-like texture.