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Simple Solutions for Puffy Eyes

By: Dan Ketchum , Reviewed By: Dr. Matheson Harris

Woman resting her head on a pillow

Over time, sun damage causes delicate under-eye skin to lose its elasticity while collagen loss makes the skin less firm, creating the dreaded puffy effect. To keep your eyes firm, bright and free of puffiness, stick with time-tested ingredients and lifestyle tweaks that ward off common issues before they strike.

Choose Caffeine Products


Caffeine might be your secret weapon for perking up in the morning, but that's not all it's good for — it also helps perk up tired eyes. When you're at rest, the blood vessels in your lower eyelids sometimes get a bit leaky, releasing water under the lids, and the excess of fluid then puffs the eyes up. A nighttime eye cream with caffeine keeps things under control by constricting blood vessels before they have the chance to misbehave.

Go With Time-Tested Ingredients


Enjoy your sunny days by using sun block and an eye moisturizer that contains UV-fighting antioxidants like vitamins C and E, which avert damage caused by unstable molecules. Instead of stressing over thin skin, embrace every year by bolstering eye-firming collagen production with ingredients such as retinol and the plant hormone, kinetin.

Tweak Your Routine


Along with a simple and effective skin care routine, day-to-day changes can be real eye-openers. When you lie down to sleep, fluid collects under your eyes, causing morning puffiness — remedy this by propping yourself up with a few extra-cozy pillows. Everyone has the occasional puffy morning, but you can ease your eyes with some cotton pads saturated with witch hazel. Just tilt your head back, close your eyes, put the pads on your under-eye for a few minutes, and let the witch hazel work its astringent magic. Drink plenty of water, especially at night, and avoid alcohol to ward off crepey eye bags. If your eyes are consistently puffy, allergies — another cause of fluid retention — may be at play.

Consider Procedures for Puffy Eyes


Your solutions for puffy eyes don't end at the cosmetics counter; ask your dermatologist about nonsurgical firming procedures. Filling the tear trough with hyaluronic acid products can reduce the dark under-eye shadows for up to 18 months. Lower eyelid bags that are always present (and more common with age) are actually due to fat in the eye socket coming forward. They will require a lower eyelid blepharoplasty with fat transposition to correct. In this procedure, some of the fat is removed, while some is moved into the tear trough creating a permanent filler effect and smoothing the area where the lower eyelid and cheek meet.

This article has been reviewed by oculoplastic surgeon Dr. Matheson Harris.

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