Spring is a time of refreshing rain showers, fragrant flowers, breezy butterflies...and of course, wretchedly puffy eyes! For the last two weeks, the blooming garden buds that aggravate my seasonal allergies have caused me to wake up more swollen around the eyes than a not-so lucky prizefighter at Madison Square Gardens and while this little fellow up above is as cute as a button with his swollen sleepy gaze, once the umbilical cord falls off and you can stomach solid foods, the look doesn't seem as cute anymore, does it?
Spring allergies, teary-eyed moments at weddings and the occasional hangover that accompanies a really super night out with the girls can pack a bloated wallop to even the prettiest of mugs so we have gathered the top ten ways to fight off the dreaded eye puff!
(Share your tips and tricks with us for battling the puff!)
1. Cold water splash
This should always be your first step in fighting swollen eyes. A few quick splashes of cold water on the face will give a mini shock to your body temperature and jolt circulation, starting the de-puffing process.
(We always follow this step with a couple of redness-reducing eye drops like Visine. Puffiness and redness seem to go hand in hand for most of us)
Salty foods are one of the worst culprits for bloat and puffiness. Staying away from salty foods, especially the days leading up to a special event will reduce the build-up of fluids and water retention in the body and eye area caused by this tasty nemesis.
Place a teaspoon in a glass of ice water for a few minutes to chill sufficiently and gently place the back of the spoon on puffy lids with just a touch of pressure. Switch to other eye and repeat, going back and forth between eyes 4 or 5 times. The cold spoon not only reduces the puffiness but also seems to temporarily constrict the blood vessels under the thin skin around the eye area, minimizing under-eye darkness.
I love sleeping on my stomach but 8 hours of lying on one side of your face will not only cause body fluids to pool in the facial area (and specifically around the eyes) but will increase the wrinkles on the side of your face that you favor sleeping on due to your skin being constantly scrunched up in the same nightly pattern. Sleeping on your back or side (with an extra pillow if you can handle it) will keep fluids circulating away from your face, reducing the dreaded puff.
Cut up a cold cucumber into about 10 thin slices and apply two slices directly onto your eyelids. Keep them on your eyes for a couple of minutes and then replace with new ones until you have worked your way through the entire ten. Watery cucumber slices contain a significant amount of caffeic acid and ascorbic acid (or vitamin C) both of which ease skin inflammation and irritation as well as reducing water retention. The fresh cucumber scent is also very invigorating, increasing your energy level and waking up those peepers.
6. Frozen eye pillow
This is a favorite of yours truly and basically my go-to when I have had a little too much 'fun' the night before. Always have an eye pillow tucked into your freezer, ready to be pulled out and placed on the eyes for at least 10 minutes. Lie comfortably on a pillow or two (the higher the elevation the better since we are trying to drain the excess fluid away from the face. This is probably the one time that gravity is a good thing!) Eye pillows can be bought just about everywhere, from spas to dollar stores. Make sure that the fabric surrounding the inner material is soft and comfortable against you face.
A green teabag compress was the number one choice for de-puffing the eyes of the many beauty bloggers that we heard from, like the lovely Arianne from The Glitter Geek who said "My tried and true way are frozen green tea bag compresses".
The caffeine in green tea has excellent anti-inflammatory properties which stimulate circulation, tightening the skin. Soak teabags in hot water and let teabags steep in the liquid while they cool (pop them in the fridge for an extra boost).
Place teabags on eyes till they have reached room temperature, about 10 minutes. Remove teabags and splash a little cold water on eyes to remove any residue before applying moisturiser or primer.
(And in the spirit of being green and reducing waste, the tea that you steeped earlier can be enjoyed as well, just another way to increase the hydration of the body and therefore decrease sluggish circulation which adds to under-eye swelling)
As with quite a few of the other de-puffing methods, this is another product that you might already find in your home. Aloe Vera gel is a natural anti-inflammatory and cooling agent that can be kept in your fridge all the time.
Place a couple of tiny cool drops on your fingertip (preferably your ring finger) and gently massage it under the eye area, making sure you don't get any in your eye (this one might sting a little bit if your not careful). Once dry, the gel will feel quite tight under the eye, your clue to wash off any residue with a few splashes of cool water.
Pop a raw potato in the freezer for 10 minutes, cut it up into thin slices and place over the eyes for another 10 minutes. The hero here is the starch found in potatoes that is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties which cool the swollen tissue around the sensitive eye area.
Under-eye roller treatment
Touted as the quickest way to decrease under-eye puff, a little rolling movement gently back and forth under the eye is suggested with any of the roller products available out there. We can attest to them making the under-eye area feel tighter and look less puffy but we have found (and heard from many readers) that most of them leave a bit of residue once they have dried which made it harder to apply your make-up properly.
(Please share if you have found one that you love!)