They say you can tell a lot about a person from their eyes alone. If you find that your eyes are frequently saying, “My oh my, I could have used another hour of sleep,” then you’re reading the right article (and you’re not alone). A lot can get in the way of beautiful set of peepers…dark circles, fine lines and the ever-dreaded puffiness. We’ve got all the details to finally put those bags to rest.
What is That Puff?
You see it. You know it’s there. But what exactly is happening with that under eye area? Never fear, the doctor is in. We asked dermatologist and Assistant Professor of Medicine Dr. Adam Friedman to lay it out for us. “If you find your eyes are puffy in the morning, this is likely due to water build up in the thin skin around the eye. Water always travels from areas in the body where there's low salt concentration to tissues where there's more salt. Because the skin is so thin around the eyes, it can be significantly impacted by these shifts in water,” explains Dr. Friedman.
What Causes Under Eye Puffiness?
Do you ever feel like some women are just blessed with beautiful, perfectly puff-free eyes and others are just predestined to battle the puff? Well, you wouldn’t be entirely wrong. Genetics are partly to blame (aren’t they always?), but there are plenty of everyday habits that can contribute to puffy under eye bags. Dr. Friedman warns against rubbing your eyes frequently, going to bed with makeup on, and indulging in a few too many cocktails. The other likely culprit: your sleep position. “Sleeping on your side or stomach can encourage fluids to collect under your eyes. Try sleeping on your back and add an extra pillow. The earlier one changes the sleep position, the better, because after a few years under-eye bags can became permanent.” Noted!
What are the Remedies for Puffy Eyes?
Avoid damaging environmental factors.
“Smoking and exposure to UV radiation both damage the support structures in the skin and cause premature wrinkling and sagging," says Friedman. Don’t smoke and protect your eyes from the sun’s rays by wearing a broad spectrum SPF 30 every day (yes, even when it’s raining). Also, don’t forget to sport your oversized sunnies at every opportunity.
Treat the eye area right.
Hydrate while the skin is still slightly damp to lock in much-needed moisture. Look for products with humectants like polyethylene glycol, glycerin and hyaluronic acid, which “can bring water to higher levels of the skin to help replace volume loss,” notes Dr. Friedman. Try Vichy LiftActiv Serum 10 Eyes & Lashes or La Roche-Posay Active C Eyes. Retinoids are another powerful puff fighter. “These vitamin A derived creams have decades of science behind them, showing that they can stimulate the production of new collagen and elastin, the structural foundation of the skin.” Retinoids can cause irritation when you first begin using them, so make sure you’re not applying too much product. Try Philosophy Miracle Worker Retinoid Eye Repair Cream or L’Oréal RevitaLift Double Eye Lift.
When you do wake up to prominent puff, Dr. Friedman recommends you stay cool, as cool temperatures help reduce swelling. Try placing “cold spoons, slices of cucumber, chilled tea bags or even a package of frozen peas under your eyes” for a quick fix. You can also keep your eye cream in the refrigerator; you’ll reap the built-in benefits of the chill every time you apply.
What’s your number one eye concern–under eye puffiness or dark cirles? Sound off below.