How to Cure Puffy Eyes

Three Methods:Quick fixesLong-term strategiesConsidering Permanent Solutions

Do you wake up every morning with puffy eyes? If you're tired of looking sleepy or under the weather, there are plenty of things you can try to give your eyes a lift. Read on to learn about quick fixes, long-term strategies for reducing puffiness and a few permanent solutions, too.

Method 1
Quick fixes

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    Drink several glasses of water. Eyes tend to get puffy due to water retention, which is caused by a high concentration of salt in the area around the eyes. If you ate a very salty dinner or cried before bed you might notice increased puffiness in the morning. Drinking plenty of water flushes the area and causes the swelling to go down.
    • On particularly puffy days, keep drinking water all day long to keep yourself hydrated.
    • Avoid substances that tend to dehydrate you, like caffeine and alcohol.
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    Apply something cold to your eyes. Eye puffiness is a buildup of fluids in the tissues around your eyes, and like other types of swelling, it can be reduced with the application of a cool compress of some kind. Chilled cucumber slices are the perfect size and shape for your eyes, and they work well to temporarily reduce puffiness. Lie back and place them over your closed eyelids for 15 minutes, or until they grow warm..
    • If you don't have a cucumber on hand, wet some tea bags and place them in the freezer for 15 minutes, then lie back and apply them to your eyes for 15 minutes.
    • For a less messy alternative, try putting 2 metal tablespoons in the fridge and use them daily by placing the backs against your eyes.
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    Apply an astringent substance to your eyes. You can buy astringent creams and tonics that help reduce puffiness by tightening the skin around your eyes. Soak two cotton balls in astringent cream or tonic, lie back and close your eyes, and place the cotton balls over your eyes. Let the astringent soak in for about 10 minutes, then remove the cotton balls and rinse your face.
    • Sliced strawberries are also said to help tighten and smooth the skin.
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    Put potatoes over the puffiness. Potatoes are said to have natural astringent properties.[1]
    • Peel raw potatoes. Cut in half. Place the halves over your eyes for 10 minutes. The potato will cool your eyes and any swelling will decrease.
    • Try grated potato.[2] Simply grate a fresh potato and apply it to your eyes for 15 minutes, then rinse.
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    Get some exercise. This improves circulation, which will help your body move fluid through your body, rather than letting it accumulate. If you have time, go for a run, do some yoga, or simply take a brisk walk.

Method 2
Long-term strategies

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    Get enough sleep. If you have puffy eyes all day, it could be that you're simply not getting enough sleep, or the quality of the sleep you are getting is poor. Puffiness under the eyes is a common symptom of sleep deprivation. Aim to get 7-8 hours of sleep every night.
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    Elevate your head when you sleep. It's not unusual to have puffy eyes upon waking. A possible explanation for this may be that when you are lying down for several hours in a horizontal position and then stand up, the fluid that was resting under your eyes is suddenly being pulled down by gravity. To reduce it, you can try using an extra pillow while sleeping so that the fluid is not as drastically drawn down when you get up.[3]
    • If you sleep on your stomach, try to move toward sleeping on your back instead. Stomach sleepers tend to have the puffiest eyes, since this position allows fluid to collect there.
    • If you're a side sleeper, you might find that one eye gets puffier than the other. Try to switch sides or start sleeping on your back instead.
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    Handle your face with care. The skin around your eyes is fragile, and it can get stretched out and damaged by rough handling and exposure to chemicals. To prevent the skin around your eyes from getting loose and filling with fluid, change your routine so that you're treating your face more gently.
    • Don't use harsh chemicals to wash your face. Use a light, gentle cleanser instead.
    • Don't wipe or rub your makeup off your eyes; use a makeup remover so it comes off more easily.
    • Don't scrub at your eyes with a towel. Gently splash water over your face and pat it dry.
    • Use moisturizer on your eyelids and around your eyes.
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    Treat your allergies. Puffy eyes are often caused by allergies, which inflame the face and cause water to collect there. You might see a big difference if you treat your seasonal allergies with a good allergy medication.
    • Try an over-the-counter medication or get a prescription from your doctor.
    • Be sure your house is free of dust, animal fur, and other allergens. Change the filters on your heating system and wash your linens frequently.
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    Make healthy changes to your diet. Do you tend to eat salty dinners frequently? This is a big cause of puffiness around the eyes, since the salt causes you to retain water in the face. If you go to bed almost every night with a lot of salt in your system, it can actually cause the skin in your eyes to stretch out and sag over time from getting filled with fluid. Start these new habits to reduce the chances that this will happen:
    • Use less salt in your cooking. Try reducing it by half, then go lower if you can.
    • Don't eat out as often. You can't control how much salt restaurants use in their food, and it's usually more than you think.
    • Avoid salty foods like chips, salted nuts, pretzels, canned soups, fried foods, and other foods that tend to be high in sodium.
    • Snack on bananas and raisins, both of which alleviate fluid retention.[4]
    • Consume cabbage or cranberry juice. Both are diuretics, which will help you "evacuate" some excess fluid.[4] Don't turn to caffeine as your diuretic of choice, as it can interfere with sleep and bring back the puffiness.
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    Drink less alcohol. Alcohol leads to fluid retention in the face, as well as causing dehydration. Limit your alcohol intake to 1 or 2 drinks at a time, 1 or 2 times per week. Drinking more than this will eventually cause the skin around your eyes to loosen.
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    Determine if you have a condition associated with puffy eyes. Sometimes the swelling is a side effect of another condition. Getting treated for the condition may help cure your puffy eyes. Here are a few conditions that commonly lead to eye puffiness:
    • Pregnancy
    • Hormonal variation in the menstrual cycle
    • Dermatitis (sensitive skin is more likely to swell in response to irritants)
    • Allergies[5]
    • Mononucleosis (puffy eyes may be an early symptom of infection
    • Medication (puffiness or water retention could be a side effect)
    • More serious medical conditions

Method 3
Considering Permanent Solutions

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    Accept yourself. If you've checked with your doctor, then your puffy eyes are probably only a cosmetic issue. It happens with age, and sometimes it just happens. Learn to draw attention to other features that haven't aged, such as the color of your eyes, the curl in your hair, or your attitude towards life.
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    Get blepharoplasty surgery. As a last resort, this surgery removes fat deposits around the eyes and is followed by laser treatment on the skin. The overall result is a tighter look and permanently reduced puffiness. This surgery usually runs in the thousands of dollars with a recovery period that lasts several weeks.[6]


  • Drink lots of water before going to bed and after waking up.
  • Try massaging around the eye to get fluid flowing.
  • Put a spoon in the freezer and when it's cold enough, put it on your eyes.
  • Too much cell phone or tablet usage right before bed can cause eye fatigue and puffiness the next day. Yellow tinted computer glasses help to reduce this effect. For long term, reduce device time right before bed.
  • Use face dry wipes in water and pop in freezer. After 20 minutes put it under eyes.
  • Take a clean washcloth and wet it with cold water and place over eye for 20 minutes. Be careful and do not press hard on your eye!
  • This is also a simply way to get rid of puffy eyes. For this remedy take a glass of warm water and add half teaspoon of salt in it and mix it properly. Make sure the water is not too hot. Now soak cotton balls or wool eye pads in this warm saline water and apply them over your eyelids for a few minutes. Repeat the process for at least half an hour. After some time, your eyes will not have the puffiness.


  • Exercise caution when using a new cosmetic product or trying a home remedy. If the condition worsens, or if you exhibit other symptoms, discontinue use immediately and contact your primary care physician or dermatologist for severe or persisting symptoms.
  • Do not apply ice or extremely cold water directly to the skin around the eyes for more than a couple of seconds.

Article Info

Categories: Concealing Eye Circles | Eye Skin Care