How often have your friends and family advised you to sleep and eat right when the skin under your eyes gets puffy? How many times has that not worked? While lack of sleep and a poor lifestyle contribute to under-eye puffiness, they are not the only cause. 

Along with skin darkening and depressed appearances, puffiness is a common sign of aging due to the skin structure changing as we age. Several other underlying causes could also lead to the same experience. Reducing puffiness starts with understanding the cause and taking appropriate action.

What Causes Puffiness under the Eyes?

Puffiness usually occurs when the tissue structures and muscles supporting the eyelids begin to weaken. As a result, the skin starts sagging, and fat from around the eyes moves into the area below them. The undereye area also becomes puffy or swollen when fluid gathers. 

Fluid retention can occur for numerous reasons, and overconsumption of salt is one of them. It may also result from dehydration. Insufficient oxygen being delivered to the tissues around the eyes due to low iron levels can lead to premature skin aging. 

Allergies, smoking, overconsumption of alcohol, poor sleep quality, and diet can also be responsible. Eye puffiness could also be a symptom of a medical condition like dermatitis or thyroid disease.

eye puffiness

How to Reduce Puffiness around the Eyes?

The good thing is there is a way to manage under-eye puffiness. The not-so-secret solution is good skincare and mindful lifestyle changes. So let’s take a closer look.

  • Say yes to caffeine – Caffeine isn’t good for waking you up. It is easy on the eyes too. That’s one reason it has become a star player in the skincare space. Eye gels with active ingredients like licorice, caffeine, and other antioxidants nourish the sensitive skin under the eyes and help reduce puffiness.
    Gels are also lightweight and do not need vigorous massaging to be absorbed into the skin, which is another plus. The best way to use it is to chill the gel overnight before applying it in the morning.
  • Invest in a good eye cream – A moisturizing eye cream packed with green tea, caffeine, hyaluronic acid, niacinamide, vitamins C, E, and K, ceramides, and peptides help reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels to aid with puffiness.
  • Hydrate – Drinking about four liters of water daily can help reduce puffiness. When you are dehydrated, your body tries to hold on to all the fluid it can. As a result, the facial skin cells under the eyes swell up. It may also lead to panda eyes if left untreated. 
  • Try spooning – Two clean spoons chilled overnight and pressed against the eyes for a few minutes will help constrict the blood vessels and reduce inflammation. You can also try other cold compress techniques.
  • Give massage a shot – Lightly tapping the area around the eyes and massaging pressure points encourages lymphatic drainage. Most dermatologists recommend using a face oil or a face moisturizer to help the skin stay taut and healthy.
  • Watch out for allergies – Along with dark circles and puffiness, allergies can also cause the eyes to water and make them itchy. If the cause is environmental, you should try some medicines to reduce allergies.

Tip: Try using a gua sha to gently drain toxins and improve blood supply around the eyes to reduce dark circles.

You should also be aware of what you are allergic to. You could save yourself from many issues by not using skin care products with such ingredients. 

  • Hit snooze – Like it or not, a lack of sleep can lead to dark circles and puffiness or at least make them more apparent. It is a sign that your body is tired. Eight hours of sleep is highly recommended.
  • Stay elevated – Elevating your head while sleeping, like using two pillows, for instance, can help to prevent the pooling of fluids in the lower eyelid.
  • Take off your makeup – Removing all traces of makeup before going to bed is a cardinal skincare rule. One that applies to preventing eye puffiness too. Sleeping with makeup on will irritate the skin and leave it vulnerable to infections that cause puffiness and redness. It also exposes the skin to free radicals which can cause significant damage.
  • Eat collagen and iron-rich foods – Foods like oranges, kale, red peppers, and broccoli are rich in vitamin C and amino acids. They help the body absorb more hyaluronic acid and boost collagen production. This, in turn, boosts collagen production and reduces the chances of skin sagging. 

Iron deficiency can also cause puffiness and dark circles because insufficient oxygen is carried to the tissues. Increasing your intake of red meat, leafy vegetables, beans, dried fruits, etc., will help boost iron levels. In the case of severe anemia, supplements may be required, but they should be taken only if advised by a doctor.

  • Ease up on salt – Salt is often the main culprit behind fluid retention leading to overall puffiness. Control your salt intake by focusing on processed food consumption and opting for whole foods like fruits and veggies.
  • Choose oils – Oils rich in vitamin E fight the effects of free radicals. Coconut oil is a good source of vitamin E and acts as a natural moisturizer. It thus helps hydrate and nourishes the sensitive skin under the eyes.
  • Look in your kitchen – Several home remedies have proven to be successful when dealing with puffiness and dark circles—the ingredients for which can be found in your kitchen. Cold tea bags, potato juice, cold milk, orange juice, and turmeric are especially effective.
  • Cut back on alcohol and smoking – Among other things, alcohol causes dehydration, and smoking depletes stores of vitamin C, both of which are significant contributors to puffiness under the eyes.
  • Call the doctor – Usually, puffy eyes are not a red flag for a serious condition. If the puffiness hasn’t lessened despite a healthy diet, good sleep patterns, and regular skincare, there could be a cause for concern. You should consult your doctor or dermatologist.

You may also try our Vitamin C Under Eye Cream. Enriched with Vitamin C and Gotu Kola, it helps illuminate the under-eye skin and reduce puffiness. It comes with an inbuilt massager that helps send the nutrients deep into the skin layers and reduce hyperpigmentation. This under-eye cream is also enriched with Hyaluronic Acid and Niacinamide, improving the skin’s texture.

The takeaway

The skin around the eyes is sensitive and needs additional care. That’s why dermatologists emphasize incorporating eye creams into your daily skincare routine. Undereye puffiness can be hard to avoid, especially with an on-the-go lifestyle, but it can be managed. 

A few mindful changes to your routine and choosing products that nourish and heal will help make puffiness around the eyes one less thing to worry about. You should use safe and toxin-free skincare products and avoid the chemically-enriched ones. 


  1. How to reduce puffiness under the eyes?

    A mix of good lifestyle practices, healthy eating, and good skincare is your first step to reducing the eyes' puffiness. Cold compresses help constrict blood vessels, thus reducing puffiness. Getting adequate sleep, eating the right foods, and staying hydrated. When looking for eye care products, keep an eye out for those that contain antioxidants and vitamin E. Ingredients to watch for include vitamin C, caffeine, green tea, licorice, peptides, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid.

  2. What is eye puffiness?

    Eye puffiness refers to the swelling of the area beneath the eyes. This occurs when the tissue structures and muscles supporting the eyelids are weakened. This makes the local skin sag and becomes fattier below the eyes.
    The undereye area also becomes puffy or swollen when fluid is collected. The causes of eye puffiness include aging, allergies, conditions like dermatitis or thyroid disease, and overconsumption of salt. This may cause fluid retention.

  3. What is the main cause of puffy eyes?

    Puffy eyes are caused by the weakening of tissue structures and muscles supporting the eyelids. Fat from the area around the eyes starts accumulating when the skin begins to sag. This usually occurs with age. Fluid retention is another reason for puffiness of the face and eyes. 
    Iron deficiency can also be responsible due to insufficient oxygen carried to the tissues. In addition, lack of sleep, forgetting to remove makeup, allergies, overconsumption of salt and/or alcohol, smoking, and medical conditions like dermatitis and thyroid disease are all possible causes.

  4. Can dehydration cause puffy eyes?

    As mentioned earlier, when you are completely dehydrated, your body tries to hold on to all the fluid it can. Fluid retention like this contributes to puffiness of the eyes and face. 
    This is one reason dermatologists frown upon the overconsumption of alcohol, as it contributes to dehydration. You must drink plenty of water and eat fruits and vegetables high in water content. And last but not least, use a good moisturizer and eye cream to boost hydration.

  5. Why do I wake up with puffy eyes?

    While asleep, fluid tends to pool in the area under the eyes, hence the puffiness once awake. You can prevent this by elevating the head when sleeping. The causes could be the overconsumption of salt or alcohol, forgetting to remove your makeup, thus leaving the skin vulnerable to free radicals and infections, insufficient sleep, or dehydration. 
    It could also be a symptom of medical conditions like dermatitis and thyroid disease. If allergies are triggered during the night, the puffiness will also appear.

  6. How to reduce face puffiness?

    The face's puffiness could result from too much salt in your diet, overconsumption of alcohol, dehydration, allergies, mold, dust, pollen, hormone changes, how your face sleeps on the pillow, and even stress. To reduce puffiness, wash your face with cold water and stay hydrated. 

  7. What are the reasons for puffiness under the eyes?

    Puffiness or bags under the eyes are caused by weakening tissue structures and muscles supporting the eyelids. In addition, as we grow older, the skin begins to sag, and fat from the area around the eyes moves into the area below. 
    Undereye puffiness can also be caused by fluid retention, dehydration leading to fluid retention, and iron deficiency responsible for insufficient oxygen carried to the tissues. 
    Puffiness under the eyes can also be caused by lack of sleep, forgetting to remove makeup, allergies, overconsumption of salt and/ or alcohol, smoking, and medical conditions like dermatitis and thyroid disease are all possible causes.

  8. How to apply eye puffiness cream?

    The skin under the eyes is sensitive, so it needs extra care. Be sure to remove all traces of makeup from the face and follow your usual cleansing, toning, and moisturizing routine. 
    Follow up with your eye puffiness cream. Use your ring finger to gently tap dots around the eyes, starting in the innermost corner and moving outward – avoid going too close to your eyelashes. 
    Pat the cream on your skin. Do not drag or rub. A good eye cream includes peptides, ceramides, niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, alpha hydroxy acids (AHAs), vitamins K, C, and E, caffeine, licorice, and chamomile.

  9. What does eyes puffiness mean?

    Eye puffiness refers to the swelling of the area beneath the eyes. The skin begins to sag and fat from around the eyes starts accumulating. This happens as we get older. 
    However, it can also occur for several reasons, including fluid retention, dehydration, iron deficiency, and medical conditions like dermatitis or thyroid disease. Lifestyle choices like lack of sleep, forgetting to remove makeup before going to bed, overconsumption of salt and alcohol, or smoking are also responsible for puffiness.

  10. What causes puffiness of the face?

    Puffiness of the face can occur for several reasons. Fluid retention is of them. This happens due to overconsumption of salt or dehydration, which forces the body to hold on to fluids. Puffiness can also be a symptom of an allergy or result from external factors like bug bites and sunburn. 
    It could also be a reaction to a medication. The key to reducing it is to find out the underlying cause. Allergic reactions can be severe, and it is essential to consult with a doctor if you do not already have a treatment plan.

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