- Specially-designed eye masks are an effective way to treat puffy eyes, thanks to numerous anti-inflammatory and regenerative ingredients.
- Simple pointers such as chilling your mask before use will help you get the most out of these skincare products.
- Alternative treatments for puffy eyes include a number of creams and serums, as well as home remedies such as cold spoons, cucumber slices, and green tea bags.
Puffy eyes are a common cosmetic issue with a wide variety of treatments, but specially-designed eye masks are some of the easiest. Formulated with proven ingredients, these masks are a cheap and convenient way to fend off puffiness.
Benefits of Eye Mask for Puffy Eyes
Unlike face masks, eye masks are specifically designed to alleviate puffy eyes, as well as other eye-related blemishes like under-eye bags and dark circles. Eye masks can include both creams and patches, and are almost always applied underneath the eyes.
Eye masks are effective in treating puffy eyes thanks to a wide range of active ingredients, which reduce inflammation and tighten the skin:
Produced in small amounts by our own skin cells, hyaluronic acid is a popular topical ingredient for lifting the appearance of skin. With both regenerative and anti-inflammatory properties, hyaluronic acid is commonly added to eye masks to reduce swelling under the eyes.
While retinol is primarily added to eye masks to fight off wrinkles and fine lines or improve skin tone (by brightening the skin), there is some evidence that it may be effective as an anti-inflammatory. This means it can further help to relieve swelling around the eyes.
The appearance of puffy eyes is sometimes caused by loose skin, in which case, collagen-building peptides are particularly effective. By encouraging long-term skin growth, these ingredients firm up the skin to reduce both puffiness and under-eye bags.
Caffeine is often added to eye masks for its vasoconstrictive effects, which improve skin tone and may also reduce puffiness.
Three of these ingredients — hyaluronic acid, retinol, and caffeine — only provide temporary relief from puffiness. However, collagen-building peptides can help to permanently repair the skin, reducing puffiness in the long term.
Choosing the Best Eye Mask for Puffy Eyes
There are hundreds of eye masks on the market, but which one is best for treating puffy eyes? Here’s some advice on how to choose:
- Make sure the mask has one or more of the above ingredients. Many eye masks claim to reduce puffiness, but it’s best to stick to products with proven ingredients.
- Know your skin. If your puffiness is caused by loose skin, be sure to choose a mask with collagen-building ingredients. If you also suffer from wrinkles around the eyes — which may contribute to the appearance of puffiness — look for masks containing retinol.
How to Use an Eye Mask for Puffy Eyes
Aside from the fact that some eye masks are designed to be left on overnight, there are no set rules for how you should include an eye mask in your skincare routine. However, some general tips and suggestions include:
- Thoroughly wash your skin before using an eye mask to ensure maximum absorption.
- Apply eye masks in the morning, so that you can reap any temporary benefits during the daytime.
- Unless your chosen mask specifically recommends against it, chill the mask in the refrigerator before use. The cold will further help to reduce puffiness.
DIY Eye Mask for Puffy Eyes
Although store-bought eye masks are specifically formulated to treat puffy eyes, another option is to make your own, homemade eye mask. There are plenty of DIY eye mask recipes on the web, but one of the most popular is this cucumber and rose eye mask:
- Grate half a cucumber and squeeze out the juice.
- To the cucumber juice, add two drops of rose water.
- Using a cotton pad, apply the mixture to the eye area.
- After 15 minutes, wash off the mask with water.
Alternative Puffy Eye Treatments
In addition to the store-bought and do-it-yourself eye masks, there are plenty more alternative treatments for puffy eyes. These include over-the-counter creams and serums as well as various compression-based and/or anti-inflammatory home remedies.
Other creams and serums
There are plenty more eye care products (such as eye creams and serums) which are effective in treating puffy eyes as well as eye circles, and under-eye bags. These products include many of the same active ingredients as used in eye masks.
The combination of cold and compression is one of the most effective ways to reduce puffiness. A cold compress is any cooled object you place over your eyes to reduce puffiness; this can be a damp washcloth or even a cold spoon.
Aside from doubling as a cold compress, placing cucumber slices over the eyes allows small amounts of anti-inflammatory cucumber juice to seep into your skin and relieve swelling.
Green tea bags
Green tea also has anti-inflammatory properties, so placing a moistened green tea bag over each eye has the same benefits as cucumber: directly reducing swelling while doubling as a cold compress.
Eye masks for puffy eyes often contain several tried-and-tested active ingredients, like hyaluronic acid, retinol, or caffeine, which provide temporary relief from puffiness. Masks containing collagen-building peptides may also help to fight off puffy eyes in the long-term. Eye masks should be applied on clean skin — preferably chilled and in the morning — but are otherwise very easy to incorporate into an existing skincare routine.