Treat Puffy Eyes Instantly with These Tips and Tricks from Beauty Experts
You don’t have to hide behind sunglasses. This expert advice for banishing swollen, puffy eyes will provide both quick fixes and long-term solutions.
Our editors and experts handpick every product we feature. We may earn a commission from your purchases.
No one likes waking up with puffy, tired-looking eyes. We’ve all been there, and, in fact, that might be why you’re here right now and wondering how to get rid of those puffy eyes ASAP. Luckily, bringing your eyes back to normal isn’t as tricky as you might think, according to experts, but if you want to prevent this problem in the future, you’ll also want to figure out what caused the problem in the first place, and stock up on some of the best anti-aging eye creams while you’re at it.
Sometimes we know exactly what got us to this point, like a night of crying, and other times, we’re left scratching our heads. According to Philadelphia-based optometrist Tamara Hill-Barnett, OD, there are a few common causes of puffy eyes, including smoking, allergies, sleep deprivation, and aging. “The skin around our eyes is very thin, and as we age, the tissue matrix called collagen begins to weaken,” she explains. “This weakening creates pockets, allowing fat and water to rest in your upper and lower eyelids.” Other culprits include an eye infection, a diet high in salt (which makes the body retain water), or a few too many cocktails.
Get on the right path by avoiding those triggers, and learn these expert-approved quick fixes so you can de-puff your eyes quickly. You’ll also want the best under-eye concealers on hand, including this Maybelline concealer with near-perfect reviews, and these makeup tips to make you look bright-eyed and gorgeous every day, no matter what beauty challenges you’re facing.
Home remedies to get rid of puffy eyes
Sometimes the best solutions are the easiest and most affordable. (Isn’t it great when that happens?) In fact, you might even have what you need to get rid of puffy eyes right in your house. These tried-and-true remedies could help you get rid of puffy eyes in 30 minutes or less.
Puffy eye remedy: Cold spoons
Chill two teaspoons in the freezer or fridge for about 10 minutes. Then, while lying down with your head slightly elevated, place a teaspoon over each eye. Keep the teaspoons in place until they feel warm. If the puffiness is still there, repeat the process. Cold spoons are very similar to ice globes, which are another effective way to reduce eye puffiness.
Puffy eye remedy: Cucumbers
Because cucumbers have a high water content, they’re great at rehydrating your eye area. And, according to Dr. Hill-Bennett, they’re particularly effective if your puffy eyes are a result of a crying jag. So, how can you get rid of puffy eyes with a cucumber? First take off the outer skin, as it may have pesticides that can irritate your skin. Thinly slice the cucumber, place one round over each eye. The combination of coolness, moisture, and a dose of vitamin K (cucumbers have a ton) helps improve blood circulation, while the veggie moisturizes your eye and reduces puffiness.
If you don’t normally have cucumbers in the house, pick up a few of these Absolute New York De-Puffing Cooling Eye Pads, which are infused with cucumber and vitamin E. Pop the patches in the fridge, lay them on your closed eyes, and let them go to work. They’re also great additions to an at-home spa day.
Puffy eye remedy: Frozen peas
A frozen bag of peas is kind of like a miracle cure. It can be used to alleviate joint pain, mild strains, sprains, and—you guessed it—puffy eyes. Wrap the bag in a hand towel, and then simply place over your closed eyes and wait about 15 minutes for the swelling to go down. And don’t forget to keep your head elevated for optimum drainage.
Puffy eye remedy: Tea bags
Another classic remedy to reduce puffy eyes is to use tea bags. Both green and black tea contain caffeine, flavonoids, and tannins, and all three reduce swelling and inflammation. Simply wet two tea bags and place them over the eyes for 15 to 30 minutes. Because tea bags are malleable, you can gently massage the bags around the eye area while the potion is doing its job.
Puffy eye remedy: Water
A shower with alternating temps can erase puffy eyes, according to Kristin Bauer, a Florida-based nurse and the founder of the organic skin-care line Nourishe. She suggests hot water for the first three minutes, cold water for the next three minutes, and then alternating between the two in three-minute increments for a total of 18 minutes. “When under the shower, be sure to let the water flow down both sides of your neck,” she adds. After the shower, Bauer recommends massaging your face, neck, chest, and ears with an organic eye serum, then tapping on your thymus gland (at the top of your sternum) for three minutes.
Quick product fixes for puffy eyes
If you’ve ever wished that there was a magic wand to get rid of puffy eyes in a flash, you’re in luck. While we didn’t find a fairy godmother, we did find the next best thing: These rollers, sticks, and gels that can alleviate the issue quickly.
Olay Eyes Depuffing Eye Roller
A soothing metal roller disperses a fluid that combines depuffing agents and moisturizers under your eyes. The combination of depuffing and hydration will quickly minimize the problem. It also helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Brandless Eye Gel
This cruelty-free eye gel not only quickly reduces the appearance of puffy eyes with its coconut alkanes, spinach, and other good-for-you ingredients, but it can also be used a daily under-eye moisturizer.
Alchimie Forever Tightening Eye Gel
Dermatologist created and tested, this quick-drying gel contains caffeine, organic apple stem cells, and Alchemilla to tamp down puffiness while promoting brightness and fighting fine lines and wrinkles at the same time. While you’re at it, check out these other anti-aging creams dermatologists trust the most.
SallyeAnder Nourish Under Eye Treatment
Small enough to tuck in a pocket, SallyeAnder’s under-eye treatment is easy to apply and quickly works to reduce puffiness while simultaneously working on crow’s feet and wrinkles. The gentle formula contains orchard and grape-seed oil, plus shea and cocoa butter.
No7 Instant Results Eye Masks (5-pack)
These under-eye masks contain vitamins C and E, and within 15 minutes, they reduce the appearance of puffy eyes.
Long-term fixes for puffy eyes
All of that puffing and depuffing can do a number on the delicate skin around your eyes. To put a stop to puffy problems while also preventing and reducing signs of aging, look to an anti-aging eye cream with vitamin C. According to Dr. Hill-Bennett, there’s “no better ingredient than vitamin C to brighten the appearance of your skin. It fights off free radicals and helps improve the appearance of the skin.” She also suggests ingredients like aloe, eyebright, frankincense, cucumber, natural botanicals, and oils. Bauer additionally recommends frankincense, as well as nettles, schisandra, ashwagandha, astragalus, clove, as they “support the eye tissue, reducing stress and encouraging blood and lymph flow.”
Alpyn Beauty PlantGenius Line-Filling Eye Balm
Alpyn’s plant-based clean beauty product is a multitasker. Loaded with antioxidants, it works on puffy eyes, dark circles, fine lines, and wrinkles, and it can be used on all skin types. Reviewers rave that it’s “as light as silk, but packs a serious punch” and say they’d “recommend it to anyone who has bad eye bags and dry skin.”
Eudaemonia Beauty PuffBGone
Created by Dr. Hill-Bennett, this lightweight eye gel contains soothing cucumber, vitamin C, peptides, and other powerful yet gentle ingredients that reduce puffiness while promoting firmness around the under-eye area.
Nourishe Aye Under-Eye Serum Brightening Hydrator
Part of Bauer’s USDA-certified organic skin care line, this vegan eye serum contains antioxidants, vitamin C, lotus flower, and more that brighten up the under-eye area while also working on puffiness, dark circles, and fine lines as it tightens the skin.
Curel Moisture Eye Zone Essence
Curel has a long-standing reputation for not only being kind to skin but for creating products that work. Fragrance- and color-free, this gentle moisturizer reduces fine lines, wrinkles, and puffiness.
A Method by Tina Alster MD Collagen Boost Peptide Eye Cream
Created by a top D.C. dermatologist, this under-eye cream has muscles. It’s packed with blue flower extract, three different types of peptides, two types of vitamin C, glycolic acid, and other strong but gentle-on-your-skin ingredients to get rid of puffy eyes, restore skin’s firmness, and diminish the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
How to prevent puffy eyes
Beyond choosing the right beauty products, you can ward off puffy eyes by changing your diet, says Dr. Hill-Bennett, and this is definitely something to consider if those puffy eyes are a regular occurrence. “Increase potassium intake with potassium-rich foods like bananas, beans, yogurt, and dark leafy green vegetables,” she suggests. Bauer adds that dehydration is also a common culprit. That’s why she suggests drinking 32 ounces of water with lemon every day, then waiting 30 minutes before eating and drinking anything else.
Sleep is also essential. You’ll want to get enough of it—and make sure you’re doing it right. That might be as simple as adding a pillow to your setup. When you slightly elevate your head, you allow fluids to drain through your system, instead of settling under your eyes and then creating bags or a puffy appearance. And speaking of pillows, you may also want to rethink your pillowcase. Cotton pillowcases can leach moisture from your skin and hair. Switching to a silk pillowcase can prevent and alleviate puffiness, fine lines, wrinkles, and even frizzy hair.
Before you rest your weary head, don’t forget to remove your makeup. Makeup-free skin has less chance of becoming puffy or dry, and by removing eye makeup, you’ll also decrease your risk of developing an eye infection, which can also cause puffiness. “Pay attention to how you are washing your face, including your eyelids,” says Dr. Hill-Bennett. “Most individuals do not clean along the eyelid margins, probably due to fear of eyes stinging due to soap.” An easy remedy for this? Use a gentle, beauty-expert-recommended makeup remover and you’ll never skimp on makeup removal again.
- Tamara Hill-Bennett, OD, a Philadelphia-based optometrist
- Kristin Bauer, a Florida-based nurse and the founder of the organic skin-care line Nourishe