Looking To Perk Up Swollen, Puffy Eyes? Here’s How!

I’m one of the lucky ones…I don’t normally suffer from bags under my eyes. When I do, it’s usually because I’m having some sort of reaction/environmental allergy or sleep deprived.

When they do appear out of the blue, I’m on a mission to get rid of them as quickly as I can. I’ve collected a few different remedies over the years that help reduce the puffiness and swelling, you’ll find them listed them below.

Nothing fancy, you’ll likely have most of these items in your fridge or pantry right now.

Tip: If you have frequent occurences, try cutting salt intake from your diet (though don’t overdo it, salt is good for you) and drink plenty of water. Waking up with them can be a sign of fluid retention.

Each of the remedies and treatments should be applied when you have a chance to rest with head elevated for at least 10 minutes.

*Careful that nothing gets inside eyes.

  • Used Tea Bags (chilled or slightly warm–both work).
  • Cold Milk: Soak up with a cotton makeup pad or cotton ball then apply to skin for about 20 minutes.
  • Slices of Potato, Cucumber, Lemon or Apple (cucumber slices soaked in lemon juice for a few minutes works nicely too).
  • Strawberries (mashed then use to cover skin or slices). Can also use organic strawberry jam or preserves.
  • Plain Yogurt (dabbed).
  • Whipped egg whites: Beat until stiff then use a clean craft brush or makeup brush to apply to area. Leave on for 20 minutes before rinsing off with cool water.
  • Aloe Vera gel fresh from a plant (dabbed, leave on for 10 minutes).
  • Chilled teaspoons (rest directly on swelling for several minutes).
  • A bag of frozen peas pressed into position, apply a thin washcloth or tea towel over skin first to avoid discomfort (other veggies work too but peas fill in the facial contours nicely).
  • A compress first soaked in cool water, rung out then spritzed with lavender or witch hazel water–a light, even spray will do.

A few tips:

  • When using sliced food items, cut really thin then apply a couple layers over the skin. This will help them form to face easier. Spritz or dab cool water over the area first, this will help prevent drying and make removal easier (less likely to stick to skin).
  • If crying is the culprit, you’ll find quick results with cooling methods (chilled spoon, aloe vera, etc.).
  • Another idea is to sew small pillows and fill them with rice or flax seed. Keep them in the freezer and apply for several minutes, resting with head elevated. Follow the same directions as these heating pads, just make the bag small enough to set on eyes. There are mask templates here that would also be ideal.
  • If they are particularly troublesome on a regular basis, you may just have inherited them. If no one in your family has this issue, check with a doctor since the puffiness could be caused by allergies or even indicate a problem with your thyroid or kidneys.

Old-Wives Tale: We’ve all heard of this tip, using Preparation H under the eyes will help reduce swelling. The problem is that the ingredients in this product are not safe to use around the eye area. Should you try it? Pass. It’s not worth causing injury or damage to your face.

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What Readers Are Saying: 9 Comments
  1. Joan says:

    The website for the eye mask doesn’t work. Anyone know of any other? Thanks

  2. TipNut says:

    hmmmm, it’s not working for me either Joan. It’s Martha Stewart’s website, I can load the webpage just not the pdf template. Maybe give it a try tomorrow? I’m sure they’ll get it fixed (hope so!).

  3. Sandy says:

    I have had horrible puffy eyes for weeks at a time. They are finally normal again and mine were so bad due to thyroid issues.

    Anyway, my doctor told me to put some ice in baby socks. He said to rub them gently around the eyes in a circular motion.

    He also said to be careful over the products you can buy to put on your eyes. Some of them will cause discoloring.

  4. TipNut says:

    Joan I’ve changed the eyemask template link from martha stewart’s site to another pattern that was sent in. You should be able to get the pattern now :).

  5. On the Glam says:

    Another great tip is to sleep with your head slightly elevated on two pillows – this will promote lymphatic drainage overnight. Caffeine is a vaso-constrictor so any products with that ingredient should help too! Happy deflating!

  6. Judy says:

    You also have to cut down on your salt intake which causes puffy eyes. Also try to eliminate these kinds from diet before going to bed: potato chips, popcorn with salt, etc. In my case, this worked. Good luck!

  7. jogs4201 says:

    Thanks so much for the info on “puffy eyes” due to thyroid issues. I too have that and have just recently been diagnosed — it was on going and untreated for about 2 or 3 years. Yikes. I’ve been wondering about why my eyes are puffy and just bugging me lately. ugh. Well, I’m going to try it….thanks so much


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