These 9 Dermatologist-Approved Eye Creams Will Revitalize Puffy Eyes

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We’ve all had one of those mornings when we wake up to find that our eyes are unfortunately rimmed with bags. When we were younger, the solution for this was easy: We’d throw some water on our faces and let time quickly diffuse the situation. As we’ve gotten older, however, the bags have not only become more stubborn, but they’ve also decided to pop up more frequently. We get them after a sleepless night. We spot them as a result of crying. We know they’re coming after eating the wrong foods. In fact, sometimes puffiness can happen for no apparent reason at all. And as we slather on creams or wear cold eye masks to get things back to normal, we also can’t help but feel like there’s something unusual about persistent puffy eyes.

As it turns out, all of that worry might be for nothing. Because according to Ronald Moy, MD, at MFC Dermatology in Beverly Hills, eye puffiness is to be expected with age. “Other than decreasing your salt intake or treating allergies, nothing helps,” he says. “Most of the puffiness is due to getting older, or it’s genetic.”

Though we now know that the reasons behind puffy eyes are mostly out of our control, we asked Moy to delve deeper into this common insecurity to better explain the causes of eye puffiness, and what we can do to smooth its appearance.

Read on for the best derm-approved eye creams for revitalizing puffy eyes.

In This Article

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Hyaluronic Marine Dew It Right Eye Gel

Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Hyaluronic Marine Dew It Right Eye Gel
What We Like
  • Reduces puffiness

  • Brightens eye area

  • Non-irritating formula

What We Don't Like
  • Could be more hydrating

“This product builds elasticity and has caffeine to improve dark circles and puffiness," he notes.

Active Ingredients: Sodium hyaluronate, sea whip extract, caffeine | Benefits: Smooths fine lines and wrinkles, reduces puffiness, hydrates | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Kiehl's 1851 Midnight Recovery Concentrate

midnight-recovery-concentrate
What We Like
  • Comes in multiple sizes

  • Smooths and hydrates

  • Softens skin

What We Don't Like
  • Strong scent

“The essential oils in this product help revitalize puffy under-eyes,” Moy advises.


Active Ingredients:
Squalane, lavender essential oil, evening primrose oil | Benefits: Smooths fine lines and wrinkles, firms, hydrates | Dosage: 2-3 drops | Size: 0.5 / 1 / 1.7 / 3.4 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: No

SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair®

TNS Eye Repair
What We Like
  • Fades dark circles

  • Reduces puffiness

  • Hydrates

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

“The anti-aging peptides in this formula help improve under-eye puffiness,” he says.


Active Ingredients:
Human fibroblast conditioned media, peptides, vitamin E | Benefits: Smooths fine lines and wrinkles, reduces puffiness, hydrates | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

RéVive Intensité Les Yeux Firming Moisture

RéVive Intensité Les Yeux Firming Moisture
What We Like
  • Reduces puffiness

  • Creamy texture

  • Glides on easily

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

“This has a unique blend of peptides to help puffiness, and it also firms around the eye area,” he notes.


Active Ingredients:
Peptides, shea butter | Benefits: Smooths fine lines and wrinkles, reduces puffiness, hydrates | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

La Mer The Eye Concentrate

La Mer The Eye Concentrate
What We Like
  • Feels cooling on skin

  • Brightens eye area

  • Contains antioxidants

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

“Try looking for products with a cooling metal applicator like this one to help depuff throughout the day,” he continues.


Active Ingredients:
Clarity ferment, lime tea concentrate, concentrated miracle broth | Benefits: Smooths fine lines and wrinkles, reduces puffiness, hydrates | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

BioDerma Sensibio Gel Eye Contour

BioDerma Sensibio Gel Eye Contour
What We Like
  • Smooths fine lines

  • Wears comfortably

  • Lightweight

What We Don't Like
  • Contains alcohol

“The caffeine in this gel will help puffiness,” he says.


Active Ingredients:
Sodium hyaluronate, caffeine, fructooligosaccharides | Benefits: Smooths fine lines and wrinkles, reduces puffiness, hydrates | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: Yes | Cruelty-Free: No

Murad Renewing Eye Cream

Murad Renewing Eye Cream
What We Like
  • Brightens eye area

  • Smooths fine lines

  • Gentle formula

What We Don't Like
  • Thick texture

“This has an eye-brightening complex that aids puffiness and dark circles,” Moy explains.

Active Ingredients: Peptides, retinol, phytoestrogens | Benefits: Smooths fine lines and wrinkles, reduces puffiness, brightens, hydrates | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: Yes

Fresh Black Tea Firming and De-Puffing Eye Cream

Fresh Black Tea Firming and De-Puffing Eye Cream
What We Like
  • Feels cooling on skin

  • Firms skin

  • Fades dark circles

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't dramatically reduce puffiness

“Consider this to be a power nap for your eyes, and it has a cooling effect,” he says.

Active Ingredients: Black tea complex, noni fruit juice | Benefits: Smooths fine lines and wrinkles, firms and boosts elasticity, hydrates | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

Clinique Repairwear Anti-Gravity Eye Cream

Clinique Repairwear Anti-Gravity Eye Lift Cream
What We Like
  • Brightens the eye area

  • Can be used on eyelids

  • Wears well under makeup

What We Don't Like
  • May irritate sensitive skin

“This helps to lift and depuff the under-eye area,” he explains.

Active Ingredients: Shea butter, whey protein, caffeine | Benefits: Smooths fine lines and wrinkles, lifts, brightens | Size: 0.5 fl. oz | Byrdie Clean: No | Cruelty-Free: No

What to Look For When Buying an Under-Eye Cream

Epidermal Growth Factor

"The best ingredient to help with eye puffiness is an epidermal growth factor,” he says. “Everyone has epidermal growth factor in their skin, but we make less of it as we age. Most other ingredients are just variations of moisturizers.”

FAQ
  • What factors into under-eye bags?

    Aside from the understandable factor of time—and a predisposition to eye puffiness from genetics—Moy says that some lifestyle choices may contribute. Potential causes include salt intake, seasonal allergies, lack of sleep, allergic reactions to makeup or medication, smoking, and excessive dryness, which causes inflammation.

  • Why do under-eye bags occur?

    “Imagine it like this: When a balloon deflates, loose material develops,” Moy says. “The same thing happens as we get older. We lose fat, which causes deflation, and that leads to puffiness.”

  • Can under-eye bags be avoided?

    Although Moy is clear that most of what has to do with eye puffiness comes as a result of aging or genetics, he does suggest that getting enough sleep and monitoring your salt intake can lessen bags’ appearance. If you suspect that the puffiness is a result of allergies, Moy recommends consulting a doctor about a prescription to help.

Meet the Expert

Dr. Ronald Moy is a cosmetic surgeon, lecturer, and author. Dr. Moy is also a fellow of the American College of Mohs Surgery and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, a member of the American Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery, and has published more than 200 scholarly articles on cosmetics and dermatologic surgery.

Article Sources
Byrdie takes every opportunity to use high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we keep our content accurate, reliable and trustworthy.
  1. Evaluation of the clinical efficacy and safety of an eye counter pad containing caffeine and vitamin K in emulsified Emu oil base. Adv Biomed Res. 2015 Jan 6;4:10. doi: 10.4103/2277-9175.148292. 

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