What Causes Puffy Eyes? Skin Experts Tell All

Audrey Noble

I've suffered from chronic puffy eyes since high school. I've always attributed it to never getting enough sleep, but even on days when I am fully rested, I see those under-eye bags whenever I look in the mirror or take a selfie. There had to be other reasons my eyes seem perpetually puffy.

"Puffiness develops because the structures supporting the eyelids weaken. The skin thins, the muscles relax, and the normal fat that supports the eye can descend into the lower eyelid. Excess fluid can pool in this area from water retention, poor lymph drainage, and poor muscle function," says dermatologist Arielle Kauvar, MD. She says mostly we can thank our genetic makeup and anatomy for causing the bags under our eyes, but it's our everyday habits and activities that make them look worse.

Along with Kauvar, I spoke with celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau and dermatologist Michele Farber, MD, of Schweiger Dermatology Group about what specifically causes puffy eyes and what products they recommend to help fight it. See what they had to say below.

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