These Puffy-Eye Remedies Actually Work

Close up portrait of model's face


You’d think getting an adequate amount of rest and eating a healthy diet would make under-eye puffiness disappear, but alas, we still see bags underneath our eyes. And while these bags aren’t nearly as bad as the ones we encounter following a late night out, they can be just as annoying. Since we’re tired of people asking if we’re tired, we reached out to a few skin experts for a few puffy-eye remedies.

According to Dendy Engelman, MD, of Medical Dermatology and Cosmetic Surgery Center, puffy eyes are mainly caused by excess salt in the body. But that’s not all: UV rays and free radicals can also contribute to under-eye puffiness, says Charlene DeHaven, MD, iS Clinical's clinical director, as these environmental factors damage the delicate skin around the eyes, making the formation of bags more likely. So just what can we do to protect and de-puff the under-eye area? According to dermatologists, drinking more water, wearing sunscreen, and applying a cold compress is a good place to start. For more tips on how to remedy under-eye puffiness, keep on reading.

1. Drink Water

Evian Spring Water $24

Engelman says puffiness around the eyes is due to excess salt in the body, which causes your body to hold onto more water. To remedy this, she suggests boosting your water intake. And while that may seem counterintuitive at first, Engelman insists that upping your intake of water flushes out the excess water in your soft tissues, thus reducing puffiness.

2. Use an Eye Gel

H2 Elemental Energy De-Puffing Eye Gel
Perricone MD H2 Elemental Energy De-Puffing Eye Gel $75

Aesthetician Sandra Velandia says to avoid using under-eye creams at night, as creams can cause the area to retain water, which in turn can lead to an increase in puffiness. Instead, Velandia suggests using a gel-based topical to reduce the appearance of under-eye puffiness.

Keep your gel in the fridge for a cooling effect that will help to de-puff even more.

3. In-Office Treatments

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NuFace Trinity Facial Toning Kit $325

Looking for a more permanent remedy for under-eye puffiness? Waldorf suggests laser resurfacing, an in-office treatment that tightens and smoothes puffy lower lids. Not interested in lasers? According to Heidi Waldorf, MD, of Waldorf DermatologyUltherapy (an ultrasound treatment) can also be of benefit to the delicate under-eye area, as it too tightens the skin and reduces the appearance of under-eye bags.

4. Apply a Cold Compress

Nerium Eye-V Moisture Boost Hydrogel Patches $55

Applying a cool compress under your eyes helps blood vessels carry excess water away from the area of inflammation, says Engelman. But just what kind of compress should we apply? According to Waldorf, if you're in a pinch, try applying a cool, wet tea bag to the area of inflammation. However, if you have a bit more time, Waldorf recommends chilling your eye gel in the fridge (not freezer) or applying a cooling eye mask to the under-eye area.

5. Wear Sunscreen

iS Clinical Extreme Protect SPF 30 $68

To decrease the likelihood of under-eye inflammation caused by sunburn, as well as to protect the area from free-radical damage and photoaging, DeHaven recommends wearing a daily sunscreen. And while this may not be a quick fix for under-eye circles, DeHaven says wearing sunscreen will lessen the look of damage and bags over time.

Next up: Four eye creams that make you look younger.

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