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Puffy Eyes: What Causes Puffiness and How Do You Address It?


How To Prevent and Visibly Reduce Puffy Eyes

Puffy eyes can contribute to a tired, aged appearance. Here at Kiehl’s, learn what causes puffy eyes and discover how to reduce eye puffiness.

Oftentimes, skin concerns are closely linked to your skin type: Those with oily skin, for example, may be more likely to have large, visible pores or blemishes, while redness is a common concern for those with sensitive skin. But some, like puffy eyes, can impact anyone, regardless of skin type. Part of this is because puffy eyes can be caused by many things, including both internal and external factors. And the other part of it is because the eye area is thin and delicate, making it more prone to visible concerns like puffiness.

While puffiness can be annoying, it’s usually temporary and not cause for concern. Ahead, we’ll give you the scoop on what causes puffy eyes. We’ll also clue you in on our best tips for caring for your eye area and teach you how to visibly de-puff eyes for a more rested, alert appearance. Find the full Kiehl’s guide to managing puffy eyes ahead.

What Causes Eye Puffiness?

As we mentioned earlier, any number of things can make the eye area appear puffy. Generally speaking, though, the causes can be broken down depending on whether the puffiness is transient (in other words, temporary) or persistent.

Temporary Puffiness

Typically, temporary puffiness around the eye area is caused by fluid retention. Since the skin around your eyes is so thin, any excess fluid in the area can cause the eyes to take on a swollen appearance. As for what causes fluid retention in the first place, it varies—stress, sleep deprivation, allergies, excessive crying, and high alcohol or salt intake are all factors that can cause temporary puffiness.

Persistent Puffiness

For some, puffy eyes can develop as a result of aging. As you grow older, some of the muscles supporting the eyelid may begin to weaken, while the tissue around and beneath your eyes can start to sag or droop. At the same time, the skin around your eyes may get thinner and less resilient. Together, these factors can cause the under-eye area to appear puffy or swollen, while related concerns, like dark under-eye circles, may become more prominent as well.

Will Puffy Eyes Go Away On Their Own?

Avocado Eye Cream

If your puffiness results from fluid retention, it may go away on its own, provided you address the cause of the fluid buildup. For puffiness caused by aging, we recommend taking action through your skincare routine. Using targeted eye creams, such as our iconic Avocado Eye Cream, can help improve the appearance of puffy, tired-looking eyes. This hydrating eye cream, is formulated with avocado oil and shea butter. It immediately improves the look and feel of under-eye skin texture and is clinically-demonstrated to de-puff the eye area with just one use.* Plus, the creamy formula provides all-day hydration and may help prevent some early signs of aging. Use it morning and night to hydrate, smooth, and visibly brighten your eye area.

*Results based upon expert grading evaluated with product in a four-week clinical test.

Can You Prevent Eye Puffiness?

It seems obvious, but for a well-rested appearance, it’s important to get enough sleep. During the night, your skin works to repair and restore itself—skipping out on sleep can hamper this process, leading to visible skin concerns. Other things that may help to maintain a healthy, well-rested appearance include eating well and limiting your salt and alcohol intake. Lastly, take care to avoid any allergens or stressors that cause your eyes to become irritated, red, or puffy.

How To Reduce Puffy Eyes: 5 Tips

While puffy eyes aren’t always preventable, there are plenty of things you can do to help reveal a brighter-looking eye area with a more rested appearance. Here, learn our best tips for improving the look of puffy eyes.

Tip #1:

Keep Your Products Cool

In the same way that doctors recommend icing injuries to reduce swelling, applying cold products around your eye area can help temporarily reduce the look of puffiness. That said, we don’t recommend putting an ice cube directly on your eyes. Instead, stash an eye serum, such as Powerful-Strength Dark Circle-Reducing Vitamin C Eye Serum, in your skincare fridge. The lightweight formula instantly smooths and hydrates the under-eye area while helping to diminish the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. When your eyes are looking puffier than you’d like, pat the chilled formula on for fresher, brighter-looking eyes.

Tip #2:

Use an Anti-Aging Eye Cream

Puffiness isn’t always caused by aging, but the loss of resiliency that comes with age can make puffiness appear worse. As such, we recommend using an anti-aging eye cream to help keep the area looking its best. Try Super Multi-Corrective Anti-Aging Eye Cream, which contains collagen peptide and niacinamide. The multi-action formula helps de-puff, brighten, smooth, and visibly lift, giving way to a more youthful, rested-looking eye area. Plus, the fast-absorbing gel-cream formula is suitable for all skin types, and it can be used morning and night (even underneath makeup).

Tip #3:

Try Products With Caffeine

When used topically, caffeine helps constrict blood vessels, which may make puffiness less noticeable. As such, if you notice your eyes look puffy or tired, we suggest reaching for an eye cream with caffeine, like Eye Fuel. This men’s eye cream for puffy eyes provides instant relief and helps to revive and de-puff tired-looking eyes. When used regularly, it also visibly improves the appearance of dark under-eye circles.

Tip #4:

Sleep With Your Head Elevated

If you find that your eyes often appear puffy in the morning, your sleeping habits may be to blame. In addition to not sleeping enough, sleeping flat on your back or stomach can cause fluid to accumulate around your eyes, giving them a puffy appearance. You can address this by sleeping with your head propped up on a pillow. Elevating your head may help prevent fluid from building up around the eye area and causing visible puffiness. To make the most of your eight hours, we suggest applying a nighttime eye cream, like Midnight Recovery Eye, before going to sleep. The lavender essential oil-infused formula smooths and helps restore the eye area, leaving your eyes fresher-looking by morning.

Tip #5:

Utilize a Jade Roller

Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer

Skincare tools can be a huge asset to your routine, especially if puffiness is a concern. After applying your eye cream, use a jade roller to gently massage the area. This can help reduce the appearance of puffiness (even better: store your jade roller in the fridge so you can massage and cool your eye area simultaneously). If you don’t have a jade roller on hand, try massaging your eye area with Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer. The cooling eye stick with caffeine minimizes under-eye puffiness and helps visibly refresh the eye area.

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