Puffy eyes underlined by dark circles tell the world that you stayed out way too late last night or— gasp! — are growing older. Dermatologists have a name for one condition that’s to blame for circles and discoloration: lymphedema. The triggers can be varied, and they include plain old genetics, sleep deprivation, hormonal imbalance and eating high sodium food. The second culprit producing under-eye baggage is the aging and weakening of muscles around the eyes that allow tissue to sag.
You can adopt habits that will help in the long run such as sleeping face up and avoiding rubbing your eyes. There are, however, solutions that act faster. Some tried and true home remedies still work. The best of the newer creams almost instantly soothe and brighten tired eyes. Look for products with gentle ingredients such as chamomile, algae extract, liquorice root, hyaluronic acid, and oils such as argan, marula and pomegranate. Skin hydrators, antioxidants and retinol stimulate collagen production, reduce inflammation and plump the skin. Use care and apply creams by patting gently around the eyes.
Try these eight remedies that cost under $40 for fast relief.
The Estée Edit by Estée Lauder Late Night Eraser Brightening Eye Balm With Pink Peony, $42; sephora.com
When you party hearty the night before, reach for this balm the morning after to banish the tell-tale signs. Wake up those droopy eyes with this combination of pink peony, cucumber and pearlized powers.
Kate Somerville Goat Milk De-Puffing Eye Balm, $38; sephora.com
You’ll be tempted to munch on this pocket-sized stick when you read the label and see the ingredients are goat’s milk and manuka honey. Resist the urge, and apply around your tired eyes to smooth and soothe.
BareMinerals Brilliant Future Age Defense & Renew Eye Cream, $38, bareminerals.com
Here’s an anti-aging formula that reduces those annoying signs you may be getting just a teensy bit older. Say goodbye to the lines, bags and circles that hint at your age. This eye cream banishes them with natural age-fighters such as vitamin C, alfalfa seed extract and manganese.
First Aid Beauty Eye Duty Triple Remedy AM Gel Cream, $36; sephora.com
Powerful peptides, red algae and plant extracts are the natural ingredients that refresh and hydrate. This lightweight gel brightens and smooths and won’t cake under your concealer.
Youth to the People Prevention Superfood Eye Cream, $35; sephora.com
Want to avoid applying harsh chemical around your eyes? This eye cream comes from a natural beauty line that specializes in small-batch, cold-pressed products crafted from superfood ingredients.
Puffy the Eyebag Slayer Wake Up Under Eye Patches, $11, GlossyBox
These patches are specially formulated to revitalize delicate skin around the eyes while reducing the appearance of wrinkles and fine lines.
Preparation H Hemorrhoidal Cream Maximum Strength, $7, Walgreens
You heard about this one forever, and it still works to reduce puffiness and bluish undereye discoloration. The trick is that the old standby causes muscles in blood vessel walls to constrict, and voila!
Caffeinated Tea Bags
Home remedy experts have another trick up their sleeves. Put black caffeinated teabags under the eyes to help reduce dark circles. Tea’s natural tannins act as astringents to reduce puffiness by constricting the body’s tissue.