Home Remedies for Puffy Eyes
Prominent dark shadows and puffed up swollen skin around the eyes are not a great look especially when you have an important day ahead of you. Anybody that has burned the candle at both ends will be familiar with puffy eyes, I know that I am. I have spent many an early morning before leaving the house splashing my face with very cold water to get rid of them.
Before I tarnish everybody with the same brush, it should be noted that there are many causes for puffy and swollen eyes and late night alcohol sessions are not the only one. It may not be the reason you suffer it’s just the cause I am most familiar with from my less responsible days.
Causes of Puffy Eyes
Puffy eyes can be caused by a variety of factors; if the reason is genetic or related to illness then treating them will be more difficult but if they are a temporary cosmetic blip then there are some simple home remedies that you can try to help. Hangovers and excessive crying are very common causes of puffy eyes but others include poor diet, lack of sleep, allergies, sinus issues and physical stress.
Why Are My Eyes Puffier in the Morning?
You have probably noticed that your eyes are more likely to be puffy with dark circles when you have just woken up and there is a good reason for this. When we sleep, we do not blink and blinking has much the same effect on your eyes as walking does on your legs.
Much like people’s legs swell when they are idle, so do your eyes when they are at rest for a long period. Walking circulates the trapped fluids in your legs while blinking has a similar effect on your eyes which is why puffy eyes fortunately tend to diminish within a few hours of being awake.
Given that puffy eyes are such a common problem for so many of us, we are lucky that treating them needn’t cost a fortune. While relatively expensive vitamin E and aloe based creams will help, you can treat your puffy eyes at home effectively and for next to nothing.
1. Cold Water
- If you have woken up with black circles and puffed up eyes, probably the easiest and quickest way to get rid of them is to splash your face with ice cold water. The temperature of the water helps reduce the swelling and puffiness by constricting the flow of blood to the skin beneath your eyes.
- Alternatively, soak a clean cloth in icy water and squeeze out the excess then hold it in place on your eyes for several minutes.
2. Ice Packs
Making your own ice pack will work in the same way as cold water by reducing the flow of blood to the skin under the eyes.
- Simply fill a small bag with ice cubes or crushed ice and wrap it in a clean cloth.
- Hold the cloth over your eyes for a few minutes and repeat until your swelling has reduced.
3. Cold Cucumber Slices
Cucumber slices are a one of the most traditional and well known remedies for treating the bags under your eyes. While cucumbers are a rich source of antioxidants and flavonoids, it is probably the cooling effect which is so beneficial to puffy eyes. Like cold water and ice, cucumber slices help to reduce swelling by restricting blood flow to the thin layer of skin around your eyes.
- Make sure that your cucumber is cool, cut it into slices and place those slices onto your eyes. Close your eyes; relax and leave them in place for at least 30 minutes.
- Rinse your eyes with cold, clean water after you have finished.
4. Tea Bags
This is another traditional and effective method of relieving the puffiness around your eyes. It does not matter whether you use black or green tea bags as both are able to constrict the blood flow to the skin around the eyes and reduce the swelling.
- Drop a couple of tea bags into a mug of steaming hot water for a minute or two.
- Remove the tea bags and allow them to cool down sufficiently.
- Close your eyes, and cover them with the tea bags for at least 15 to 20 minutes then rinse your face with clean water.
- Feel free to repeat several times a week if you are prone to puffy eyes.
5. Cold Spoons
I have never tried this treatment but it is a well-known remedy for puffy eyes that works to reduce swelling in the same way as other cold temperature treatments.
- Put 2 spoons in your refrigerator and leave them there overnight to get nice and cold.
- Pull them out of the fridge in the morning and place them over your puffy eyes for around 20 minutes.
- If they are too cold for you to place directly on the skin, wrap them in a cloth or a towel first.
6. Egg Whites
Egg whites have astringent properties that can help tighten the skin and reduce the swelling around the eyes.
- Separate the whites of two eggs from the yolk and whip them in a bowl.
- Apply the egg white mixture to your eyes with a brush, a cloth or just your fingers and allow it to dry for around 15 minutes.
- Rinse the mixture off with clean cold water.
Raw potatoes also have astringent properties that can tighten the puffy skin and help remove the build-up of water beneath the eyes.
- Slice the raw potato and place them over your eyes for around 15 minutes.
- Alternatively you can grate the potato and put it into some cheesecloth. Simply hold the cheesecloth in place over the eyes for around 10 minutes.
8. Salt Water
Another remedy you could try is a saline water solution which can help alleviate fluid retention around the eyes.
- Mix 4 cups of hot water with ½ a teaspoon of salt in a bowl.
- Make sure that the water is not overly hot and dip some cotton balls or pads into the saline solution.
- Squeeze out the excess water and hold the ball or pad in place over your eyes for 3 or 4 minutes.
9. Drink water
Simply hydrating yourself well is probably one of the most effective ways to get rid of your puffy eyes and to prevent their recurrence. Drinking plenty of water daily prevents the water build-up under the eyes which results in puffiness.
Make sure that you drink a glass of water before bed especially if you have been drinking alcohol. This not only helps you to prevent hangover but also reduces the chance of waking up with dark circles around your eyes.
Avoid Puffy Eyes
As well as staying well hydrated, there are plenty of other steps that you can take to avoid developing puffy eyes.
- Avoid smoke and other irritants.
- Take good care of your general health
- Don’t rub your eyes when they are itching; it is better to apply a cold compress to ease any irritation.
- Stay well hydrated.
- Try to avoid drinking too much alcohol especially before bed.
- Improve your diet and make sure that you are getting enough vitamins and essential minerals.
- Try to limit your salt intake.
When to See a Doctor
For most of us, puffy eyes are a temporary cosmetic issue but eye swelling can be indicative of a more serious underlying issue. If the swelling persists and you feel in any way concerned then you should seek medical advice.
If you experience any of the following symptoms along with eye swelling you should speak to your doctor immediately.
• Breathing difficulty
• Redness around the eyes
• Swelling in the face or neck