If you look in the mirror in the morning and you’re the picture of exhaustion, your tired-looking eyes are likely to blame. Late nights and other contributors quickly take up residence under the eyes in the form of puffy eyes. If you’re looking for solutions to wake up tired eyes, you’ve come to the right place. Read on for our guide to what causes puffy under-eyes and how to fix them.
What Causes Puffy Eyes?
Puffy eyes are the result of temporary swelling that is typically caused by fluid accumulation. When fluid collects and pools around your eyes and the surrounding tissue, it can cause unsightly swelling and puffiness. Because the skin around this area is particularly thin and fragile, puffy eyes are easy to detect and difficult to hide. Here are the primary causes of fluid retention and puffy eyes.
Too Much Salt Or Alcohol
You may love your salt-rimmed margarita cocktails, but they’re wrecking the condition of your skin. Twin villains salt and alcohol are major culprits of swollen and puffy eyes. Excess sodium and alcohol levels can cause your body to become dehydrated. When this happens, your skin and other organs scramble to hang onto as much water as possible. The result: puffiness and bloating all over - particularly under the eyes.
As temperatures drop and you crank up your heater, you may want to think twice. Turning up the heat can parch your eyes’ mucous membranes, causing them to become dry and more sensitive. The recirculated air zaps your tissues’ natural lubrication and, as a result, your eye area can swell and take on a puffy appearance.
Seasonal allergies are a key culprit of puffy eyes. The skin around your eye area is very thin and sensitive. When it comes into contact with allergens such as pollen, dander or dust mites, your body goes into attack mode. In its fight or flight response, it releases histamine - a chemical that increases blood flow to the affected area and in some cases, causes swelling, inflammation and fluid accumulation.
Lack Of Sleep
Another cause of puffy eyes is insufficient shut-eye. When you skimp on sleep, the blood vessels under your eyes become dilated, leading to swelling and puffiness. If you’re losing sleep due to stress, the trouble becomes two-fold. Mike Swann MD tells Women’s Health: “When you’re under stress, you release cortisol from your adrenal glands, and that changes the salt balance in the body.” As you know, when your salt balance is off, you retain fluid.
If bad moods and bloating weren’t enough, PMS also contributes to a puffy eye area. As your hormones fluctuate, changes in estrogen and progesterone levels cause your tissues to hold onto water and excess fluids. While you may typically notice bloating around your belly, pay particular attention to your peepers - they can also start to swell during your monthly cycle.
Too Much Sugar
Not only do you have to go easy on the saltshaker, it’s best to put away the sugar bowl, too. Sugar causes inflammation all over the body, including your complexion. Because the skin under the eyes tends to be thin, any inflammation or swelling is particularly noticeable in this area. That doesn’t mean it’s time to reach for artificial sweeteners - these too cause unwelcome puffiness.
Sometimes, a puffy eye area just comes down to the natural aging process. As you age, the tissue around your delicate eye area starts to weaken. The skin becomes less elastic and can start to sag, leading to more prominent eye bags and a droopier appearance. With time, the tissue and muscles surrounding the eyes also weaken, adding to swelling and puffiness.
How To Fix Puffy Eyes
It’s not all doom and gloom. Here are a few easy ways to perk up your eye area and minimize puffiness.
Get 7-8 Hours Of Sleep
First things first: Reducing puffy eyes can be as simple as getting enough zzz’s. Following a sleep schedule that allows for seven to eight hours of shut-eye a night can be the key to a brighter eye area - and a clearer complexion. Healthline recommends following these steps to improve your sleep cycle:
- Pick a bedtime and stick to it
- Cool it on the coffee at least six to 12 hours before bedtime
- Skip snacking two hours before sleeping
- Turn off all electronics one hour before bedtime
Adjust Your Diet
In addition to reducing your salt, sugar and alcohol intake, there are certain foods to load up on. First, drink plenty of water everyday to minimize your risk of dehydration and keep your skin healthy. Minimize bloat by ramping up your potassium and Vitamin B intake. You can easily do this by adding foods like bananas, yogurt, leafy greens and cantaloupe to your daily diet.
Apply A Cool Compress
For particularly puffy days, try a cool compress. Experts swear by the de-puffing power of chilled, moist green tea bags and cool cucumber slices. Eminence Organics Lead Skin Care Trainer Natalie Pergar has an additional trick up her sleeve: spoons (yes, spoons). Follow these steps to chill out your eye area:
- Pop a pair of spoons in your fridge overnight
- In the morning, press the cool spoons around your eye area for 30 second intervals
- Work from the outside in to boost lymphatic drainage
Eye Creams For Puffy Eyes
Finally, apply an eye cream with ingredients that reduce puffiness, bring down inflammation and promote circulation. We recommend applying one of these Eminence Organics favorites or layering all three for amplified results.
Hibiscus Ultra Lift Eye Cream
Tackle tired-looking eyes instantly with the Hibiscus Ultra Lift Eye Cream. This Advanced Instant Lift fX eye treatment is enriched with caffeine, hibiscus and an ice wine active to visibly de-puff eyes. Bonus: It features a cooling stainless steel rollerball applicator that assists in minimizing the appearance of swelling. Pro Tip: Apply alone or under your eye cream of choice to immediately refresh your eye area.
Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream
This ultra-rich eye cream works wonders for an aging eye area. The Marine Flower Peptide Eye Cream uses naturally derived plant peptides and algae extracts to provide long-lasting hydration and improve the look of wrinkles, dark circles and puffiness.
Snow Mushroom Moisture Cloud Eye Cream
Apply the Snow Mushroom Moisture Cloud Eye Cream to refresh your eye area. This luxuriously fluffy eye cream is infused with super-hydrating snow mushroom, antioxidant reishi mushroom and powerful botanical peptides to smooth roughness, decrease puffiness and minimize the look of under eye bags.
Steps To Apply An Eye Cream
Now that you’ve chosen your eye cream, it’s time to apply it - properly. Follow these steps to add an eye cream to your skin care routine:
- Take a pea-sized amount (this is ample coverage for both eyes)
- Warm on back of hand
- Use your ring finger (it has the least amount of pressure)
- Tap around eye bone area
Do you have any tips and tricks to wake up tired eyes? Share them with us in the comments below and join the conversation on social media.