- Natural treatments for puffy eyes aim to temporarily reduce swelling.
- Of these, both cucumber slices and green tea bags are safe and effective.
- Another tried-and-tested way to relieve puffiness is cold compression therapy.
- Getting more sleep and eating a healthier diet may also help.
Puffy eyes can have many causes, but they are most often related to crying, poor diet, or a lack of sleep. While surgical procedures can be used to permanently tighten the skin around the eyes, there are various natural remedies which can provide temporary relief at a fraction of the cost.
Natural Treatments for Puffy Eyes
There are a number of purported home remedies for eye puffiness. These household ingredients consist of a variety of astringents, vasoconstrictors, and anti-inflammatories — all of which are said to reduce swelling, but only provide temporary relief.
Cucumber juice contains various compounds which reduce swelling. By placing cucumber slices over closed eyes, you allow some of this juice to work its way into the skin around the eyes. Also, if the cucumber is cold, it doubles as a form of cold compression therapy.
Cut two thick, half-inch slices off a refrigerated cucumber. Lie down and place one slice over each eye for 15 minutes.
Potato contains a number of anti-inflammatory chemicals. Putting potato rounds over your eyes should allow these chemicals to reduce swelling in the surrounding areas. Like cucumber slices, cold potato rounds can be used to mimic cold compression therapy.
Cut two thick, half-inch rounds off a potato — preferably cold. Lie down and place one round over each eye for 15 minutes.
Green tea bags
There are anti-inflammatory compounds called tannins in green tea. Moreover, green tea contains caffeine, which may shrink blood vessels to further decrease swelling. Finally, if tea bags are allowed to cool, they can also act as a cold compress.
Steep two green tea bags in cold water for 10 minutes. Squeeze any excess water out of the bag. Lie down and sit one bag on top of each eye for 15 minutes.
Aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory. There are plenty of skin-safe aloe vera-based gels, lotions, and creams available at the drugstore, but you can also use the plant itself!
Cut a thumb-sized blade off the aloe vera plant. Peel the skin off the blade and soak it in water for 30 minutes. Then, chop the blade into two even pieces, lie down, and place one over each eye for 15 minutes.
Egg whites also contain some anti-inflammatory compounds. Although it may sound weird, many people swear by using both beaten and unbeaten egg to reduce swelling around the eyes!
Separate one egg white. Optionally, beat the egg for 30 seconds with a fork. Using a cotton swab or small brush, apply the egg mixture to the skin around the eyes.
DIY Caffeine Balsam for Puffy Eyes
Since caffeine is believed to reduce swelling, it’s the basis of many homemade eye balsams. This recipe for a simple caffeine oil uses only two ingredients:
- Melt a cup of coconut oil in a small saucepan over low heat
- Add a tablespoon of coffee grounds and allow the mixture to infuse for 30 minutes
- Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth
- Once cool, dab up to a tablespoon of the oil on the skin around your eyes
There are many variations of this caffeine balsam. Some use cocoa butter or beeswax to create a firmer product, while others make use of essential oils for added fragrance.
Are Natural Treatments for Puffy Eyes Effective?
There is reason to believe that all of these home remedies can help reduce puffiness around the eyes. However, not all of them are safe; for example, fresh aloe vera can cause allergic-like reactions, while egg whites may contain harmful bacteria.
The most tried-and-tested ingredients on this list are cucumber — which has been used on the eyes for decades — and green tea.
At-Home Puffy Eye Remedies
Other ways to relieve puffy eyes include using cold compression therapy, which reduces blood flow and thus swelling, or making lifestyle changes.
A cold compress is any cold object you hold against yourself to reduce swelling. The most common type of cold compress is a cool, damp washcloth, which you can hold against your eyes to alleviate puffiness.
Often, puffy eyes — as well as other eye imperfections like bags, wrinkles, and dark circles — are caused by a lack of sleep. The fix for this is easy: get more sleep! Aim to get at least 6-7 hours of sleep every night to ensure your eyes don’t suffer.
Puffiness around the eyes is associated with fluid retention, which can be caused by a diet high in salt. If you know you eat a lot of salty foods, try weaning them off to treat your puffy eyes.
Hemorrhoid creams like Preparation H are often touted as an effective way to treat puffy eyes. While they may be effective, these creams are unsafe for use around the eyes.
There are plenty of remedies for reducing puffiness around the eyes, but the safest include cucumber slices and green tea bags. Like using cold compression therapy, these remedies only offer temporary relief. For a long-term reduction in puffiness, changes to your diet and sleep patterns might be needed.