Waking up with puffy eyes can be a real turn off when you have a big day ahead. Due to the tired and lifeless look puffy eyes bring along, they remain a fairly common cosmetic problem among women all across the globe.
Puffy eyes are a result of a loss of the supporting fatty skin layer beneath the eyes. This causes the skin to lose its elasticity and droop downwards. The thin sagging skin under the eyes allows the accumulation of fluid and gives your eyes a puffy and swollen appearance.
Commonly known as eye bags, puffy eyes also tend to develop dark circles underneath. With a progression in age, puffy eyes occur more often.
Causes of Puffy Eyes
Puffy eyes are mostly associated with a lack of sleep, excessive crying, stress, and smoking. Other causes include:
- Seasonal allergies
- Allergic reaction (for example, to animal dander and pollen)
- Sleep deprivation
- Crying in extremes
- Contact dermatitis (by using a new product such as a shampoo, eye cream, and even new bedsheets)
- Excess salt intake
- Smoking tobacco
- Seasonal changes
- Poor diet
- Sinus problems
- Habit of rubbing your eyes
- Sinus problems
Puffy eyes can medically be treated with topical creams. Several creams containing hyaluronic acid and vitamins A, C, and E may be prescribed.
These may help diminish the puffy area under your eyes by inhibiting fluid accumulation, supporting the under-eye area, and reducing the fine lines, wrinkles, and visible darkness underneath.
Natural Ways to Fix Puffy Eyes
Several women have resorted to the use of makeup concealers in order to mask the swollen and dark under-eye area. However, there are some easy-to-follow remedies to help overpower the curse of puffy eyes.
1. Implement Lifestyle Changes
Puffy eyes can be a result of various factors that can be worked upon by making changes in your lifestyle:
Cut Down on Salt Intake
Excess intake of salt contributes to water retention and bloating, causing the skin under your eyes to look swollen. Limit your salt intake to just the required amounts.
The easiest way to get rid of puffy eyes is to drink water. When the body is well hydrated, there is less chance of water retention that can cause your under-eye area and other parts of your body to swell. Water also helps flush toxins out of the body.
- To stay well hydrated, drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water each day.
- Limit the amount of salt you consume to reduce water retention in the body.
- Avoid caffeinated and carbonated beverages, which can be dehydrating.
Smoking causes the skin under your eyes to look wrinkled and droopy. This can contribute to swollen and puffy eyes.
Remove Eye Makeup Every Day
Make sure to wipe off your eye makeup before bedtime.
Restrict Your Alcohol Consumption
The skin around your eyes is very delicate. Because alcohol consumption can cause water retention and pull the water out from the skin, the skin under the eyes tends to sink into a bag. Limit your alcohol intake if you suffer from puffy eyes.
Lack of sleep is one of the several reasons that give your eyes a puffy appearance. Make sure to get 7-9 hours of sleep every day.
Protect Your Under-Eye Area from the Harmful UV Rays
Exposing your eyes to the harmful UV rays can induce wrinkling in the skin underneath your eyes.
- Always use sunglasses and sunscreen when going outdoors.
- Use under-eye creams to keep the area moisturized and wrinkle-free.
2. Use Soaked Tea Bags
Tea bags, whether green tea or black tea, can help soothe puffy and irritated eyes. The caffeine in tea can help dilate the capillaries and reduce fluid accumulation in the area. As a result, swelling is reduced around your eyes.
A study published in the Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science stated that using soaked, chilled tea bags on your eyelids can reduce puffy eyes. The caffeine in tea bags can help in reducing the swelling and darkness in the under-eye region.(1)
- Put 2 used tea bags in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
- Lie down and put the tea bags over your eyelids.
- Leave them in place for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat a few times a day.
3. Place Potato Slices on Your Eyelids
Potatoes are also effective in getting rid of puffy eyes. The starch in potato is known to be anti-inflammatory in nature and can help reduce the swelling and fade the dark circles under your eyes.(2)
- Place a slice of potato over your eyelids for several minutes. Repeat the process few times a day until the puffiness subsides. You may also refrigerate the slice before applying it for better results.
4. Apply a Cold Compress
Sleep deprivation can cause puffy eyes. Cold water is just what you need to get rid of the puffiness in this case. The cold temperature helps constrict the blood vessels, reduce the swelling, and diminish the puffy appearance considerably.(3)
- Rinse your face with several splashes of ice-cold water. Do this a few times throughout the day as needed.
- Alternatively, fill a small bag with ice, wrap it in a washcloth, and place it on your eyes. Repeat as necessary until the swelling is gone.
Place a Cold Spoon on the Affected Area
This simple home remedy is surprisingly very effective, as claimed by a large user base. The cold temperature helps tighten up the loosened skin around your eyes as well as relax the dilated blood vessels, thus offering relief to your puffy and tired eyes.
- Chill 5 or 6 metal spoons in your refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Hold the rounded portion of one of the cold spoons against your eye for a few minutes until the spoon becomes warm.
- As the spoon warms, replace it with another cold one from the refrigerator.
Apply a Slice of Chilled Cucumber
Chilled cucumbers are an age-old remedy when it comes to treating puffy eyes. Cucumbers’ enzymes and astringent properties help reduce inflammation and help tighten the surrounding skin. This remedy also helps get rid of wrinkles and dark circles around your eyes.
- Cut a cucumber into thick slices.
- Chill the slices in the refrigerator for 10 minutes.
- Place the cold slices on your eyelids for about 10 minutes or until they become warm.
- Repeat the process several times a day.
Why Do Your Eyes Get Puffy After Excessive Crying?
Crying as a result of an emotional outburst entails an outflow of tears that contain a fairly higher concentration of water and a comparatively lower salt concentration than the regular tear secretions and the skin tissue surrounding the eye.
The difference in the salt concentration leads to the flow of less salty, watery tears towards the saltier skin underneath the eyes, through the process of osmosis. This inflow of the watery tears causes the under-eye area to settle into a pouch and appear all puffed up.
The incessant rubbing action to wipe or conceal your tears also adds up to the puffy appearance induced after a crying episode.
Tips to Prevent Puffy Eyes
You can always prevent the occurrence of a problem by following certain measures that eliminate the causative factors.
- Avoid using any gadgets before bedtime, watching TV late at night, or eating right before bedtime. This can affect your sleep hours.
- Turn in earlier for the night to sleep better.
- Elevate your head while sleeping. This can help reduce fluid accumulation under the eyes and prevent swelling.
- Stay aware of your allergies, keep a track of the triggers, and avoid them.
When to See a Doctor
Certain conditions may also manifest puffy eyes as a symptom and need medical evaluation for proper diagnosis. Some of the reasons behind such eye puffiness may include:
- Thyroid problems
- Graves’ disease, a condition that affects the thyroid and presents itself as protrusion of the eyes
- Hay fever caused by an allergic reaction
- Conjunctivitis or pink eye infection
- Kidney failure
- Dry eyes
Seek immediate medical attention if:
- There is no apparent cause of the puffiness under your eyes.
- The puffiness is accompanied by pain and/or fever.
- You experience discomfort and blurry vision.
Incorporate the aforementioned lifestyle changes and remedies in your daily routine to treat your puffy eyes caused by common reasons. Otherwise, in the absence of an apparent cause, get your condition evaluated by a healthcare professional.
- Amniaikit T, Mannenuan D, Boonme P. Evaluation of Caffeine Gels on Physicochemical Characteristics and In Vivo Efficacy in Reducing Puffy Eyes. Journal of Applied Pharmaceutical Science. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228476374. Published November 2010.
- Umadevi M, Kumar PKS, Bhowmik D, Duraivel S. Health Benefits and Cons of Solanum tuberosum. Journal of Medicinal Plants Studies. http://www.plantsjournal.com/vol1Issue1/Issue_jan_2013/html/3.html. Published 2013.
- King M. Management of Edema. The Journal of clinical and aesthetic dermatology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5300735/. Published January 2017.