How To Get Rid Of Puffy Eyes

The expert solution to dialing back under-eye puffiness.
By Natasha Marsh

Shop Now

Note: All content and information in this article are for information purposes only. You should consult a medical professional prior to starting new skincare regimens.

Aging is a privilege. But at the same time, some side effects, like puffy eyes and dark under-eye bags, aren’t all that welcome. As we get older, the skin loses its elasticity, which can lead to tired-looking dark circles. And when you add in dehydration, allergies, and poor diet (more on that later), it can be hard to keep puffiness at bay. As it turns out, identifying the cause of your under-eye inflammation is the first step to treating and preventing it. To find out the best ways to combat puffy eyes, we tapped Dr. Brown, founder of RéVive, and Divya Gugnani, founder of Wander Beauty. Read on for the full 411.

What Causes Puffy Eyes?

According to Dr. Brown, “puffy eyes are primarily caused by the natural fat pad (cushion) that surrounds the eye.” Among the thinnest skin on our body, the dermis around the eyes can experience two types of puffiness: short-term and long-term. Short-term puffiness is a direct result of fluid retention. Since the skin is so thin, excess liquid (due to stress, sleep deprivation, crying, allergies, high salt intake, and alcohol abuse) in the eye area can cause excess retention, resulting in a swollen appearance. When the body is under stress, either mentally or physically, it releases cortisol from the adrenal glands that can change the salt balance of your body. When the salt balance is compromised, retention and swelling can occur.

As for long-term, permanent puffiness, aging is the biggest factor. “Aging is a main cause of puffiness, as the tissue and muscles under your eyes start to weaken over time, making bags more easily seen,” says Gugnani. Two things occur when we age: first, the muscles supporting the eyelid begin to grow weaker causing sagging and drooping; second, the skin around your eyes loses collagen (the protein responsible for tightening and elasticity.) And while “permanent” sounds scary, Dr. Brown & Gugnani both confirm that eye masks like the RéVive Masque Des Yeux Instant Gel Eye Mask and Wander Beauty Baggage Claim Eye Masks can help to relieve under-eye bags.

How To Treat Puffy Eyes

The experts swear by retinoids (collagen-boosting chemical compounds) and active ingredients like caffeine, green tea, licorice, niacinamide, and peptides to help soothe puffy eyes. Dr. Brown suggests, a rejuvenating eye cream such as RéVive Intensité Les Yeux Firming Eye Cream, packed with peptides and antioxidants. How to choose between a cream or serum? Those with dry skin should opt for cream, while all other skin types should use serums. While applying, remember to gently tap, not rub, product into the eye contour.

Lifestyle Habits To Incorporate Into Your Routine

If you have allergy-prone eyes, avoid rubbing as the pressure and friction could result in discoloration and wrinkles, even though it may provide relief. Instead, calm skin with a chilled eye roller. Pro tip: cooling your topicals or devices in the fridge before use can have a soothing effect.

Aside from topical products, Dr. Brown also recommends staying hydrated (6-8 glasses of water a day) to keep puffiness at bay. Along with drinking H2O, keeping the right products in your skincare arsenal is a surefire way to avoid tired, swollen under-eyes. Meaning? Prepare for way more bright-eyed mornings.