12 Ways To De-Puff Your Eyes Fast

Having puffy eyes can be frustrating, especially when they're so noticeable that people ask questions like, "Are you tired?" or "Is everything okay?" Rest assured, if you have puffy eyes, aka "periorbital edema" in the medical world, you're not alone. According to a 2021 study published in the International Journal of Progressive Sciences and Technologies, puffy eyes can be a "major cosmetic concern" for people of all ages.

There are many well-known reasons why people may experience puffy eyes, like crying, not getting enough sleep, or feeling tired. However, your diet and other aspects of your lifestyle can also be significant contributing factors if you find yourself having puffy eyes regularly. Puffy eyes can also happen because of "salty foods, allergies, trauma, fluid imbalance, alcohol, or fat herniation," Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler, M.D., ophthalmologist and medical reviewer at All About Vision, told The List.

Although there are ways to help prevent puffy eyes by making long-term lifestyle changes, like relaxing more or eating a well-balanced diet, thankfully, there are also ways to help de-puff your eyes quickly and effectively. So, here's an expert-based guide to help you lose eye puffiness fast and gain your sense of confidence. If you want advice on how to get your eyes looking fresh and revitalized again, we got you!

1. A cool compress like a washcloth or teabag is an easy way to help relax your eyes

A cold compress is usually used to cool an injured part of the body because it reduces swelling, so it's no surprise that applying something cool under or on the eyes can also help reduce swelling around the area. The great news is this is a super easy home remedy that is scientifically considered the most effective way to de-puff your eyes. Bhavin Shah, a behavioral optometrist, told The List that his top tip for those experiencing eye puffiness is to reach for a cold compress. "There was a study in 2021 [in the International Journal of Progressive Sciences and Technologies] that looked at home remedies for puffy eyes. It found that cold compresses provided the best relief of appearance and symptoms by far," Shah told us.

A cold compress could be a washcloth or even cold teabags. These will help soothe your eyes quickly, and the best part is you can make a cold compress out of things that are often readily available. "Taking a cool compress, such as a washcloth that was run under cold water and wrung out, and resting with it over your closed eyes for 15 minutes can help you relax while facilitating lymphatic drainage," Dr. Diane Hilal-Campo, board-certified ophthalmologist and founder of Twenty/Twenty Beauty told us.

2. The good old-fashioned cucumber on the eyes method works by reducing puffiness

Cucumbers taste great in salads, but they're also great when applied to your skin. We often see people relaxing with cucumbers placed on their eyes on the front of day spa pamphlets, and it turns out this method doesn't just look good in marketing material. According to research, cucumbers rejuvenate the eye area. A 2012 study published in Fitoterapia discovered that cucumber reduced swelling around the eyes and even helped cleanse the skin of toxins.

In addition, a 2010 study published in Pharmacognosy Magazine found that the silica in cucumber makes it beneficial for treating skin issues and that the "high water content makes cucumbers good for moisturizing effect." So, look no further than the cucumber if you're searching for a natural and cost-effective way to deal with eye puffiness and keep the eye area hydrated. Next time your eyes need relief, we recommend grabbing a cold cucumber from the fridge and cutting it into thin slices, placing it on top of your closed eyes, and enjoying that at-home day spa experience.

3. Using an eye lotion with caffeine can smooth the skin under your eyes

Coffee lovers, one of your favorite ingredients — caffeine, can also help your eyes look more energized. But before you get too excited, the benefits of caffeine on the skin are not achieved by drinking coffee but by applying caffeine-based creams or serums on the skin. "Using an eye cream with caffeine will help constrict the leaky blood vessels under your eyes that create a puffy appearance, tightening up the look of puffiness almost instantly," Dr. Diane Hilal-Campo told The List.

Moreover, Dr. Corey L. Hartman, a board-certified dermatologist, told Byrdie that: "Caffeine in eye cream is primarily used to brighten, tighten and wake up the skin." According to Hartman, caffeine also "increases circulation while acting as an anti-inflammatory."

Caffeine-based creams are becoming popular and are readily available over the counter for you to try. Still, if eye puffiness is a recurring problem or if you have sensitive skin, it's best to speak to an expert about the best way to treat your puffy eyes or ask for expert guidance when choosing caffeine-based creams.

4. Aloe vera is a natural remedy that can help tighten the skin under your eyes

Aloe vera has long been used on skin burns and is often the go-to natural remedy for sunburn. But it could also be worth trying to treat eye puffiness as the vitamins found in aloe vera include folic acid, vitamin B-12, and choline which may help tighten the skin and repair damage around the eye area. A 2008 study in the Indian Journal of Dermatology concluded that aloe vera has many benefits for treating skin issues and could help reduce skin inflammation, making it the ideal treatment for puffy eyes.

Meanwhile, another study in 2010 published in Pharmaceutical Biology found that aloe vera extracts "may be used in eye drops to treat inflammations and other ailments of external parts of the eye such as the cornea." This makes aloe vera a great natural option if you prefer plant-based remedies. Aloe vera is considered safe to use as a gel to treat eye puffiness or to reduce external skin inflammation but you should avoid getting it close to the inside of your eyes (via Healthline).

5. Keeping a chilled teaspoon in your freezer is a puffy-eye life hack

We all love simple life hacks and this easy way of alleviating eye puffiness has to be one of our favorites. Using a clean chilled teaspoon to soothe the swelling of your skin is not only effective, but it's also super easy. "Use the convex side of a clean, chilled teaspoon to give yourself a gentle lymphatic drainage massage, working from the inner corner of the eye outward," Dr. Diane Hilal-Campo told The List.

If you want to accelerate the results, Dr. Hilal-Campo recommends doing this over a caffeine eye cream as it can help speed up the process. So, if you are someone who is always experiencing puffy eyes or if you've been crying and need a quick and easy cost-effective way to make your eyes look fresh, this is it. "Keep a pair of teaspoons in the freezer for moments like this!" said Dr. Hilal-Campo.

6. Rose water is a home remedy that can provide eye relief

Roses: we love receiving them and smelling them. They look beautiful, their scent is divine, and they're often used to create perfumes and essential oils. But historically, roses were used to make remedies and were valued for their health benefits, with many cultures using rosewater to help soothe skin irritation or treat eye issues. For example, a 2011 study published in the Iranian Journal of Basic Medical Science found that rosewater benefits the skin and is effective in healing wounds and improving skin health. 

Rosewater is worth giving a try if you want an easy home remedy to treat your eye puffiness. According to Healthline, the most common way to apply rosewater to puffy eyes is to "dip a cotton ball or cotton pad into rose water, and then place the cotton over your closed eyes for about 20 minutes." Although rosewater has been used to treat puffy eyes for generations in some cultures, more research into its benefits and side effects still needs to be completed. For this reason, it's always best to consult a doctor if you have sensitive skin around your eye area or if you experience irritation when patch-testing rosewater on your skin.

7. Gentle tapping or an eye massage can move the fluid away from the eye area

If you experience eye puffiness, consider lightly massaging the eye area regularly. According to experts, it can help make your skin look smoother and minimize any swelling. "Gentle tapping under the eyes moving from the inner corners outward, as if you were applying eye cream, can help move the fluid causing puffiness away from the eye area," Dr. Diane Hilal-Campo told us. Furthermore, massaging your eye area for just 30 seconds a day can help reduce puffiness and lighten the skin, according to Healthline.

If you prefer to feel a cooling sensation, you could massage the area with a chilled teaspoon or a jade roller. Make sure your skin is clean and make-up free before massaging the area. "We only get one set of eyes and it's critical to keep them healthy," warned Dr. Hilal-Campo.

8. Applying a cool gel eye mask helps constrict the blood vessels

Incorporating a gel eye mask treatment into your nightly beauty routine is a great way to hydrate your eyes and relax after a long day at work. Using a mask is a quick and simple way to relax your eye area, and it's especially beneficial to those with sensitive skin who prefer not to use creams around their eyes. For instant relief, ophthalmologist Dr. Diane Hilal-Campo recommends a chilled gel eye mask, which helps "constrict the blood vessels and de-puff for about 15 minutes."

Dr. Hilal-Campo also recommended being selective when choosing an eye mask. There are many masks on the market, but for the best results, she suggests a gel mask that can cool the area around the eyes. "I'm not referring to a skin care product like undereye patches, though those can help — it should be the type that you store in the refrigerator and covers the whole eye area," she said. "This can also be very soothing if you're prone to migraines or seasonal allergies."

9. Stay hydrated or use hydration creams to keep your eyes looking fresh

If you know what is causing your eyes to become puffy or swollen, you are one step closer to solving the problem. According to experts, one cause of under-eye puffiness could be related to hydration, so if you feel like you're not drinking enough water, doing so will improve your skin's condition. "Dehydration makes all skin problems appear worse than they are," Elyse M. Love, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City, told Insider. "Depending on the body's salt balance, the skin may hold onto water even when the body is dehydrated."

You can up your H₂O intake by keeping a bottle of water on your desk at work or setting yourself reminders to drink more during the day. Also, be sure to monitor your skin to see if hydration is helping its appearance. If you want an even quicker solution to puffy eyes, Dr. Love says you can also hydrate swollen eyes externally by using hydrating eye creams (via Insider).

10. Applying witch hazel could help the skin around your eyes look smoother instantly

Native to North America, witch hazel is a plant that has long been used to create home remedies to treat skin issues, including eye puffiness. According to a 2013 study published in Advances in Dermatology and Allergology, plants like witch hazel "have an anti-inflammatory action" and can help reduce redness and swelling. Another 2011 study published by Kingston University found that witch hazel is effective in making the skin firmer. So, depending on your skin type and sensitivity, witch hazel could be an excellent choice to treat inflammation or tighten the skin around your eyes. 

However, it's important not to apply witch hazel directly on the skin but rather, apply it on a cotton ball or pad first. Also, avoid getting witch hazel inside your eyes. As research into the effectiveness of witch hazel for treating eye puffiness is still limited, speak to your doctor first to make sure witch hazel is a good solution for you.

11. Using the correct eye cream for your puffy eyes will help improve your skin's appearance

So many eye creams on the market claim to effectively treat puffy eyes, and according to a 2019 study published in the Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, certain ingredients in eye creams have proven effective in treating eye puffiness. The study found that people who used eye creams that contained "low molecular weight heparan sulfate (LMW‐HS) and a blend of naturally derived extracts" saw a 75% decrease in eye puffiness ​​and an overall improvement in the appearance of their eye area. That sounds good to us! However, eye cream was used consistently for a minimum of two weeks to achieve these results. So, if you want to try an eye cream to de-puff your eyes, use it consistently and monitor your results.

According to board-certified dermatologist Dr. Robert Finney, you should invest in a "good moisturizing eye cream with ingredients such as green tea, caffeine, niacinamide, peptides and other antioxidants" (via Byrdie). Dr. Finney also said that these ingredients can help "reduce inflammation and constrict blood vessels to reduce puffiness."

12. Taking allergy medication could be the answer to soothing puffy eyes

A 2007 study published in Seminars in Plastic Surgery found that allergic reactions can cause puffy or swollen eyes. Whether you're suffering from seasonal allergies or your allergies are from something else like dust, pollution, or chemicals, you could be on the right path to finding the solution to your puffy eyes. 

If you're confused about why your eyes are puffy, get an allergy test done by a professional so you can treat the problem effectively. It's also, a good idea to seek medical advice if you're unsure of what medication is best to treat your allergies. If seasonal allergies are causing your puffy eyes, oral antihistamines will usually be prescribed, according to ophthalmologist Dr. Brian Boxer Wachler. "If you have sinus issues and swollen eye bags, consider a neti pot," Dr. Boxer Wachler also suggested.

Furthermore, be mindful of what products you're using close to your eyes in case you're experiencing an allergic reaction to any of them. "Many common beauty practices, such as using a retinol eye cream, applying eyeliner to the waterline, getting lash extensions or tints, or wearing glittery eye makeup can be hazardous to your ocular health," Dr. Diane Hilal-Campo told The List. "You must treat this [your eye] area with care and keep it clean."