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12 Surefire Tricks to Reduce Puffy Eyes

Puffy eyes are caused by a build-up of fluid that can be sparked by a poor diet and lack of sleep. If the eyes are the mirror to the soul, some people’s souls look puffy, dark, tired, and wrinkled. Fortunately, these simple tricks will perk you up.

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Eye drops

Sometimes, your puffy eyes are a result of an allergic reaction. If you think that may be the case use over-the-counter eye drops and antihistamines, says Dr. Don Grant, MB, ChB, DRCOG, MRCGP. “Antihistamines contain powerful anti-inflammatory properties, designed to counteract histamine released during allergic reactions.” Find out the worst pieces of skin care advice dermatologists have ever heard

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Eat clean

If you’re struggling with how to reduce puffy eyes, changing your diet is the perfect place to start. The key to getting rid of puffy eyes and dark circles is to limit your salt and alcohol intake. “Grab colorful vegetables like kale, cucumbers, carrots, tomatoes to detoxify the body and flush out unwanted bloat and toxins,” says anti-aging authority and scientist Dr. Kan Cao. “Eat potassium-rich foods, like bananas and broccoli to eliminate excess fluids in your body and remember to stay hydrated by keeping a water bottle with you throughout the day.” Make sure you avoid these foods that make inflammation worse.

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Cold spoons

Store two spoons in your freezer during the day and place them over your eyes at night, says Dr. Kan Cao. It will cool down the eye area and well as de-puff.

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Frozen wipes

The go-to remedy for South Florida ocular plastic surgeon, Francesann Ford, MD for puffy eyes is frozen baby wipes. She soaks them in a combination of cucumber water, witch hazel, lemon juice, and green tea and then puts them in the freezer. After a few hours, take them out of the freezer, fold them, and place them on your eyes.

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Egg whites

If you want to learn how to reduce puffy eyes with items you already have in your house, break out the eggs. Dr. Kan Cao says you can de-puff your eyes by whipping up egg whites until they are a bit stiff and then carefully applying the solution under your eyes with a soft brush. Let it sit for five to ten minutes and then rinse your face with warm water. Make sure to avoid getting the egg whites in your actual eye, though, as that can cause irritation. 

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Cucumbers aren’t just a little snack they give you at the spa, they actually work to reduce puffy eyes! “They have natural ascorbic and caffeic acids that reduce water retention,” says Dr. Ford. “It has mild astringent, natural antioxidants, and flavonoids that ease inflammation as well. If they are cold, this only helps more.”

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Cold compress

Using a cold compress is a simple way to reduce puffy eyes. “It limits the flow of blood to the affected area, which reduces inflammation and swelling,” says Dr. Grant. Dermatologists never want you to do these things to your skin.

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Tea bags

Grab two chilled tea bags and rest them on your eyes for five to ten minutes, says Dr. Kan Cao. The antioxidants, tannins, and caffeine in the tea help to constrict the blood vessels and tighten the skin. 

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Stay elevated at night

Dr. Kan Cao suggests sleeping with your head elevated to reduce puffy eyes. Stack your pillows and make sure that your head is the most elevated part of your body. You’ll wake up feeling refreshed. 

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Create a turmeric paste and apply it under your eyes, says Dr. Ford. The natural anti-inflammatory properties will help to de-puff. Make sure to follow these skin care tips that dermatologists follow themselves.

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Aloe vera

Aloe vera isn’t just a solution for sunburns. ” It is a great antioxidant with vitamin E, highly moisturizing, and has innate antifungal, antibacterial, and healing properties for the skin,” says Dr. Ford. Chill the aloe vera in the fridge before applying for an added cooling effect.

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Teething rings

Dr. Ford recommends freezing a few teething rings and placing them over your eyes to help reduce and swelling. These work because they hold the cold temperature well and are the perfect shape and size for the eye area. Now that you know how to reduce puffy eyes, read up on these secrets your eye doctor won’t tell you.

Morgan Cutolo
Morgan is an Associate Editor at Reader’s Digest. She graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2016 where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Journalism. She writes for, helps lead the editorial relationship with our partners, manages our year-round interns, and keeps the hundreds of pieces of content our team produces every month organized. In her free time, she likes exploring the seacoast of Maine where she lives and works remotely full time and snuggling up on the couch with her corgi, Eggo, to watch HGTV or The Office.