The truth about puffy eyes

Puffy eyes are a common problem, whether you wake up with the kind that disappear over the course of the morning or experience persistent puffiness. With almost nearly every skincare company selling products that claim to get rid of puffy eyes, why won’t they go away?

The answer is that even the most brilliantly formulated eye creams, gels, and serums can only go so far to improve puffy eyes. It doesn’t mean that these products have no benefit, but there is a limit to what they can do. Here is the research and facts you need to know to realistically reduce the appearance of puffy eyes.

Top 9 Causes of Puffy Eyes—and Realistic Solutions

1. Sleep Position

Keeping your head flat while you sleep allows fluid to collect around your eyes. Try sleeping with your head slightly elevated, this can help prevent fluid retention in the eye area. When you wake up try a gentle fingertip massage around the eye area to help reduce puffiness.

2. Diet

Alcohol consumption and a high salt diet can increase water retention and puffiness around the eyes. Try limiting your intake of alcohol, salt, and processed foods and include more antioxidant-rich foods in your diet (e.g. fruits, vegetables, salmon) as well as drinking lots of water.

3. Contact Lenses

Contact lenses can cause your eyes to look tired and puffy. To limit this, wear the most comfortable type of contacts for your eyes and follow the recommendations for cleaning, wearing time and throwing away. You can also help to keep your eyes moist with eye drops.

4. Allergies

Coming into contact with allergens, either in the air or through rubbing your eyes after touching something you are allergic too can cause puffiness. Avoid touching your eyes and talk to your doctor about using an antihistamine or anti-allergy eye drops to reduce symptoms. Applying a cool compress to the eye area can also help.

5. Dry Skin

Dryness around the eye area can cause sensitivity and a crepey appearance, contributing to puffy eyes and making them look wrinkled and tired. An eye cream with skin-replenishing ingredients and antioxidants will keep skin hydrated, soft and smooth. You’ll see an immediate difference.

6. Makeup Residue

Leaving eye makeup on too long or overnight can aggravate skin and cause puffy eyes. Take a two-step approach to removing eye makeup to ensure it is completely removed. Start with a mild, fragrance-free cleanser, and then remove the last traces of eye makeup with a gentle, fragrance-free eye makeup remover.

7. Exposure to Harsh Ingredients

Avoid ingredients like menthol, camphor, alcohol, essential oils, fragrant plant extracts, or any kind of fragrance - natural or synthetic. If makeup or skincare products contain these types of ingredients, it can lead to puffiness so switch to a non-irritating alternative.

8. Fat Pads

Puffy eyes can be hereditary, caused by excess fat pads under the eye, and part of a person’s natural appearance. Skincare products won’t help with this type of puffiness, the only way to deal with it is with the help of a cosmetic dermatologist, which is a personal decision.

9. Sun Protection

Unprotected sun exposure causes sun damage and a wide range of problems for the eye area. An eye cream or well-formulated moisturiser with SPF 30 or greater is the most important step in reducing the signs of ageing and puffiness.

While the solutions above might not be as dramatic as you had hoped, understanding the causes of puffiness and using the right eye products can sometimes be enough to make a difference.

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