Puffiness may have its place in an oversized pouf or in a puff pastry, but it certainly belongs nowhere near your face. Puffy eyes are a common beauty woe — one that unwittingly ages skin and shows the traces of that stressful week, late night or long flight. But you can fight back with a few tried-and-true DIY remedies, along with products that pack a punch when it comes to defeating the puff.
Causes of Eye Puffiness
Puffy eyes can be the result of lack of sleep, stress, allergies and even too much alcohol or salt intake. “Oprah” magazine’s beauty contributor Val Monroe suggests taking an antihistamine to treat allergy-related swollen eyes. For those days filled a few too many chips and salty snacks, beauty expert Bobbi Brown recommends chugging water before bedtime and sleeping with your head elevated to help counteract a less-than-perfect meal plan.
Behavioral Quick Fix
One of the easiest quick fixes to help minimize puffy eyes is to change the way you sleep. Get up on the right side of the bed (and discover potentially less puffiness) by sleeping on your back. As dermatologist Mary P. Lupo points out, sleeping on your side or stomach can cause fluid to pool under the eyes as a result of gravity. Over time, the skin loses elasticity and pronounced eye-bags occur.
Another way to effectively stare down the day with brighter eyes is with a cooling gel eye mask or a DIY version that’s as simple as a baggie filled with ice. You can also apply an all-natural compress that gets a kick from caffeine — a vasoconstrictor that dilates blood vessels to potentially reduce under-eye puffiness. Simply soak a towel in iced coffee or tea and apply to the face and under-eye area. Or, grab a cucumber to reduce swelling and create a temporary skin-tightening effect. Instead of just putting the cucumber rounds on your eyes, maximize its cooling and calming effect by shredding it. Skincare expert Ole Henriksen suggests wrapping grated cucumber in cheesecloth, then placing the roll across your eyes.
Tips for Under-Eye Care at Any Age
Puffy eyes don’t discriminate; they unfortunately affect all ages. For 20-somethings, ditch the late-night party habit and swipe on a cooling roller-ball stick or light under-eye gel, preferably one that delivers nourishing antioxidants like vitamins E and C. If you’re in your 30s, look for a richer cream with caffeine and antioxidants to tighten skin and combat puffiness. For the fabulous 40s, a cream with growth factors such as the patented TNS formula, can firm tissue around the eyes. If you’re pushing 50 or older, go for a zinc- and copper-filled product that can stimulate collagen and elastin growth to combat any droopy eye bags and an increasing lack of moisture and loss of skin elasticity.
References and ResourcesOprah.com: Coffee and Tea: DIY Beauty Masks?
Oprah.com: Ask Val: Nothing Works on My Dark Under-Eye Circles
Health.com: Health's Beauty Awards: Face
Health.com: Beauty Tips From Bobbi Brown
Health.com: Quick Fixes for Skin Problems
Health.com: 5 Easy Changes for Better Skin
InStyle.com: 10 Ways to Look Better In The Morning
InStyle.com: Puffy Eyes FAQ
InStyle.com: Simple Beauty Solutions: How To Get Rid of Puffy Eyes
InStyle.com: 50 Best Skincare Tips of All Time