Almost every morning I wake up, stagger to the bathroom and stare in the mirror at some seriously tired, puffy eyes. Not a great way to start the day! If your undereye bags are dragging you down, give them a wake-up call with these simple, natural remedies.
What causes puffiness
The good news is that experts say eye puffiness is not a result of not sleeping or even not sleeping well. The bad news? Your daily habits and even genetics are to blame.
Eye puffiness is most often caused by under eye water retention, either excess water or a buildup of lymphatic fluid. Irritation and redness could be caused by rubbing, allergic reactions to makeup or something in our environments (allergies, pets, etc.)
How to prevent puffiness
Get gravity on your side by sleeping with your head elevated to prevent excess fluid buildup.
Change your pillow case and wash your pillow often to reduce allergens. If your eyes are itchy, try not to rub them and take an antihistamine to help curb any redness or itchiness.
Cut down on salt during the day and before bed. Extra salt = water retention. Drink plenty of water to keep your system flushed as this can also help prevent eye puffiness.
Kitchen Remedies for Puffy Eyes
1. Cool cucumber
Cucumbers have been used for years and years as a home remedy for puffy eyes. You’ve seen it, but maybe you’ve wondered why it works. Cucumbers contain antioxidants and flavonoids that help with redness, swelling and irritation. Use cool cucumber for extra puffy eye relief. Place a cool slice on each eye and take a rest for 30 minutes. Afterward you’ll feel nice and refreshed.
2. Raw potato slices
Try using sliced potatoes in place of cucumbers. They stay cool longer and contain an astringent that helps remove the water from under the eyes. You can also make a finely ground potato poultice by grating raw potato and placing it in a few layers of cheesecloth. Lay over the eyes and reap the benefits.
Whole milk is most commonly used, but soy milk works too. Dip a cotton ball into cold milk and squeeze off the excess. Place on eyes to help shrink the under-eye tissue.
4. Green or black tea
Tea bags are another popular home remedy. Green and black teas contain caffeine which constrict the tiny blood vessels in the skin around the eyes. Caffeinated tea also contains tannins which stimulate blood circulation. To make it work, place two tea bags in a mug of hot water. Remove and let the tea bags cool to room temperature and place on eyes for 15-30 minutes. Doing this once or twice a week can help tighten the skin under the eyes, as well as provide soothing benefits.
5. Chamomile tea
Chamomile tea doesn’t have caffeine but it does have significant anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties. Chamomile is used to treat maladies all over the body so no surprise that it also revives tired, puffy eyes and reduces redness. It can also provide relief for conjunctivitis and pink eye.
6. Egg whites
Beat up an egg white and apply it with a brush or your fingers under the eyes. As it dries, it will tighten and tone the skin. Let it sit for 10-15 minutes then gently rinse. It can also stimulate circulation and reduce inflammation.
Natural Medicine Cabinet Remedies
7. Aloe vera gel
It’s not just for burns! Aloe contains 18 essential amino acids and has numerous antibacterial, anti fungal and other healing properties. It can help soothe tired eyes by moisturizing the skin and providing relief. It might also help prevent wrinkles.
8. Homemade rose water
Rosewater contains vitamin C and A, as well as flavonoids. It is a natural astringent with anti-inflammatory properties. It is also incredibly rejuvenating and refreshing.
Simmer rose petals in just enough distilled water to cover them. When the petals have lost their color, strain the liquid and let it cool. Pour into a jar or bottle. Saturate a cotton ball with the rosewater and dab under eyes to reduce dark circles and refresh the skin.
9. Witch hazel
Witch hazel is a well-known astringent often used to reduce swelling and redness. Chilled witch hazel is extra refreshing. Apply a bit to a cotton pad or ball and let sit on closed eyes for 5 minutes for an instant refresh.
10. Cold water
Refresh your face with a cool water wash first thing in the morning. If your eyes feel extra puffy, dip a washcloth in cold water, squeeze out excess and lay over eyes. The cold water works as a vasocontrictor to restrict blood flow to the area, which in turns reduced redness and swelling.
11. Chilled spoons
If you’re not a fan of cold water, try putting spoons in the refrigerator and pulling two out in the morning and placing over eyes. It will produce the same effect as cold water. And while we’re at it, jelly teething rings are also great. :)
What’s your favorite remedy for treating pesky puffy eyes?