You wake up in the morning, give yourself a pep talk to slide out of the cozy blankets and get your feet onto the floor, and drag yourself to the bathroom to start getting ready for the day. You look in the mirror and lo and behold, the areas under your eyes are so puffy they look like you have two perfectly symmetrical bee stings. DaVinci couldn’t even paint on enough concealer to cover these monstrosities.
We’ve all had those mornings (maybe more of those mornings than mornings without puffy eyes), but they don’t have to be commonplace. There are plenty of ways to kick under-eye puffiness to the curb, with some strategies preventing them in the first place and others calming those bee stings quickly and effectively. Stick these tips below in your bag of tricks.
Cool It Down
If you wake up with puffy eyes, one of your best tools is a nice chill. A cool compress on the area can stimulate blood flow and fluid drainage while also reducing inflammation, so it tackles all the primary players in your puffy under-eyes.
There’s a right way and a wrong way to do this, though. If you just stick some ice under your eyes, it could make the problem worse by making your skin red and even damaging your skin if you’re too aggressive with it. You also want to avoid high-friction surfaces like a cooled washcloth. A cooling tool that you’ve chilled in the fridge is the perfect way to make your puffiness chill out.
Get More Sleep
Trust me, I know – this is easier said than done. Life is hard and busy and chaotic, and for many of us, sleep deprivation is just par for the course. But it’s absolutely undeniable that a lack of proper sleep is one of the top contributors to puffy eyes (and it puts you at a higher risk for countless chronic health issues too). Think of this as one more reason to find a way to prioritize your sleep, even if it means doing fewer favors for people or saving the laundry for tomorrow.
Wake Up Your Eyes
Healthy or not, what is it that most of us reach for when we’re trying to wake up our sleepy selves? It’s the miraculous caffeine. It turns out that your eyes may love caffeine as much as you do.
A caffeine eye roller is a great way to soothe and smooth under-eye puffiness. The caffeine is a natural anti-inflammatory agent as well as an antioxidant, so it calms the inflammation and irritation that’s making your skin look inflated. Keep in mind that this is the case for caffeine that is safely and properly formulated for skin care. You can’t dab some iced coffee under your eyes and expect to get results.
Try a Different Angle
Much of the puffiness under your eyes when you wake up is caused by fluid accumulation in the area. Did you know fluid can settle around your eyes if your head isn’t propped up enough while you sleep?
To potentially prevent this issue, find a way to sleep with your head raised higher. You could use a wedge pillow, for example, or stack an extra pillow under your head. A slight tweak can make a surprising difference.
Drink More Fluids (the Right Ones)
Another common reason for under-eye puffiness is dehydration. If you’ve heard it once, you’ve heard it a million times: you’re probably not drinking enough water. Make sure you’re well-hydrated before bed and cut down on drinks at night that can dehydrate you like alcohol and drinks with caffeine.
Use a Skin-Firming Eye Cream
If you’re like most of us, you may have noticed your under-eye puffiness getting worse as you’ve gotten older. Sure, you might have more stress today than you did when you were 20, but it’s partially a result of aging too. Aging naturally makes your skin thinner and less firm, so when there’s fluid retention in the area under your eyes, your skin doesn’t put up much of a fight – it’s easily pushed out and puffed up.
Firmer skin with more collagen will be less susceptible to puffiness at the drop of a hat. You can’t go back in time but you can use a firming eye cream to restore more youthful collagen to this area.
Identify Any Potential Allergies
Allergies are one of the most common yet underestimated reasons you might be prone to puffiness under your eyes. This is particularly the case with airborne allergens, like seasonal pollen or dust mites. Consider getting an allergy test to find any allergies that are covertly puffing up your eyes, especially if you have other allergy symptoms. Once you’ve found the culprit, you can take steps to minimize allergies like using a dehumidifier or putting dust covers on your pillows.
Waking Up Less Puffy
Under-eye puffiness is no one’s friend, and sometimes it can be downright stubborn. But chances are that using at least a few of the tricks above will cut down on those bee stings dramatically. Do a favor for your concealing and try out these strategies and tools.