How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes

August 14, 2018
By: Jackie Burns Brisman | by L'Oréal
How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes

With so many eye creams available promising to get rid of puffy eyes and under-eye bags, it can be tough to separate the truth from the lies. Thankfully, we’re here to help you navigate those claims and find realistic and achievable solutions to help you reduce the appearance of those puffy-looking eyes.

Whether you experience chronically puffy eyes and under-eye bags that greet you each morning—and night—when you look in the mirror or your puffy eyes are simply a side effect of watching the world’s saddest movie…yet again, it’s clear that noticeable puffiness is a top concern when we’re talking about the eye contour. While there’s not too much you can do about under-eye bags caused by heredity, there is something you can do to tackle that puffy appearance of the eye contour—no matter what caused it in the first place!

What Can Cause the Appearance of Puffy Eyes?

When tackling any skin care concern, be it visible puffy eyes or noticeable dark circles, it’s imperative to know the reasons why they may crop up in the first place. Puffy-looking eyes are often caused by any number of reasons, ranging from lack of sleep, poor diet, declining health, old age, and genetics. We go into detail below!


1. Lack of Sleep – If you’ve ever had someone tell you that you looked tired, you’re well aware of the visible effects of fatigue on the appearance of your skin. Noticeably puffy, swollen-looking eyes can be a tell-tale sign of an all-nighter. The best solution? Rest! Getting the recommended hours of sleep each night is key if you want to look bright-eyed and bushy-tailed each day.

2. Your Sleep Position – Ready for a little irony? Sometimes it’s not a lack of sleep that may cause the appearance of your puffy eyes, but rather how you are sleeping. Certain sleep positions—like on your stomach or side—may give fluid an opportunity to pool under the skin around your eye contour. While switching up your sleep position to your back is one solution, we know it’s not always possible to control what happens when you’re in dreamland. A great alternative is investing in a pillow that helps keep your head elevated while you snooze.

3. Fluid Retention – Now that we hit on the fact that fluid retention can contribute to the appearance of puffy eyes, it’s important to note that your sleep position may not be the only contributing factor. Excessive alcohol consumption, too much salt in your diet, and even a good cry can all cause fluid to build up and be retained under the eye area. You may not be able to control the tears; but you can take control over your diet. Try to consume salty foods and alcohol in moderation and balance things out by also munching on healthy fruits and veggies and drinking lots of H2O.

4. Allergies – A leading cause of temporary puffiness is contact with an allergen. This exposure can be airborne—pollen, pet dander, pollution—or through direct contact with the skin—products, rubbing your eyes, etc. Not only should you avoid touching your eyes at all times, if you are experiencing allergies do your best not to rub. “It’s very important is to be gentle with the eye area, and not to rub the skin,” says board-certified dermatologist, and Clarisonic ambassador, Dr. Doris Day. “If you have allergies, make yourself an allergy calendar. Take your antihistamines ahead of time so you don’t have to fall behind and then catch up. You just have to be aware of what you’re prone to and address it in a way that minimizes any flares.”

5. Lack of Care – If you go to sleep without taking off your makeup each night only to be met with puffy-looking eyes come morning you have no one to blame but yourself. Not only is removing your makeup necessary to keep your skin clean and looking its best, it’s also as important so as not irritate your eye area. Remove your eye makeup with gentle, fragrance-free eye makeup removers or micellar water before washing your face each night. When reaching for eye creams or serums, Dr. Day recommends looking for specific ingredients in the formulations. “Ingredients like niacinamide, caffeine, and vitamin C can be helpful,” Dr. Day says. “Retinol strengthens the skin which can help with de-puffing as well.”


6. Lack of Protection — Do you neglect to protect your skin from the sun? Now’s the time to get serious. Keep your eye area protected against UV rays with broad-spectrum sunscreen. “Wear sunglasses every day, even when there’s no sun out,” says Dr. Day. “If you’re squinting, get your eyes checked out and change your glasses so you don’t squint. Wearing a hat can help give you that protection as well.”

7. Genetics ­— If you have chronically puffy-looking eyes, it’s more likely that you inherited them from mom or dad! Unfortunately, when this is the cause of visible puffiness, no amount of hacks or skin care products will get rid of your puffy-looking eyes. For realistic options you should consult your dermatologist.

How to Help De-Puff Puffy-Looking Eyes

While the tips and tricks above can certainly help address the potential causes, one of the best things you can arm yourself with if you have visibly puffy eyes is an effective eye cream or eye contour product that can help to reduce their appearance. “When you look at eye products, they’re tested to be applied around the eye, so you know that they’re going to be gentler,” says Dr. Day.


In addition to using eye cream, Dr. Day recommends utilizing Clarisonic’s new Sonic Awakening Eye Massager. Compatible with the new Clarisonic Mia Smart, the eye massager can help reduce the appearance of puffiness, fine lines, and wrinkles. It also boasts rounded aluminum tips that deliver a cooling massage that feels incredibly refreshing. “Cooling [products] can cause some vasoconstrictions or tightening of the blood vessels, which can help reduce redness,” says Dr. Day. “It also calms the area and can help with de-puffing.”

After using the tool and seeing the research behind it, Dr. Day stands behind it fully. “Clarisonic has great science, great research,” she says. “[The massager] delivers 18,000 gentle massages to the eye area and that’s a good thing. You can see the de-puffing benefit and also an improvement in the appearance of wrinkles.”

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