- Puffy eyes are often the result of a lack of sleep, poor diet, crying or an allergic reaction.
- Tea bags are beneficial in reducing swelling in the eye area.
- Green and black tea contain caffeine, which causes blood vessels to constrict.
- Some herbal teas can also aid in reducing puffiness in the eye area.
- Several types of tea contain antioxidants with anti-inflammatory properties.
Puffy eyes are typically caused by fluid retention, which can occur for a number of reasons including dehydration, high salt intake, fatigue and crying. It can also occur due to irritation from allergies or infection. As the skin is thin and delicate around the eyes, this makes almost any irritation or fluid retention clearly visible.
The anti-inflammatory and vasoconstrictive properties of tea have the potential to reduce fluid retention and soothe irritation in the eye area. These qualities have led tea bags to become a popular home remedy for puffy eyes.
Benefits of Using Tea Bags for Puffy Eyes
Tea bags can provide a natural, low-cost option to temporarily reduce eye puffiness by easing swelling and reducing irritation. For those with persistently puffy eyes, it is advisable to see a physician to determine the underlying causes and find the right solution.
Do They Work?
All tea bags can provide temporary relief from puffy eyes when used for their cooling properties. When they are chilled prior to use, the cold temperature will cause blood vessels to constrict, reducing the amount of fluid in the eye area.
For additional benefits, select a caffeinated tea bag, as caffeine also functions as a vasoconstrictor and causes blood vessels to constrict. You may also choose a tea rich in plant-based phytonutrients, known as flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties.
Best Types of Tea to Use
Choose teas with ingredients that will penetrate the skin to constrict blood vessels; alternately choose those with anti-inflammatory properties.
Green and black tea
The caffeine in green and black tea has anti-inflammatory properties that are effective in reducing puffiness. These two teas are similar as they are both made from the same plant, Camellia sinensis.
Green and black tea both contain tannins, acidic compounds that function as astringents, which help tighten skin and draw out any excess fluid. Both teas also contain flavonoids, which have anti-inflammatory properties; although more studies are required to gauge their efficacy as topical anti-inflammatories.
Chamomile tea has also been found to have anti-inflammatory properties, as well as antibacterial properties that may help to reduce swelling around the eyes caused by blocked tear ducts or minor underlying infections.
Chamomile is generally safe to apply around the eyes, but it can cause allergic reactions in some people.
Clary sage tea
Clary sage, also known as eyebright, has a long history of use in traditional medicine for treating various eye disorders, and has been found to have anti-inflammatory properties.
Efficacy of other teas
Other herbal teas, such as calendula, lavender and fennel, have also been widely used in folk medicine and home remedies, but no evidence has been found to suggest they can relieve puffy eyes.
Concerns and conditions
Some types of tea bags may treat some conditions better than others.
|Type of Tea||Condition|
|Green||Treats puffy eyes caused by lack of sleep; the caffeine constricts dilated blood vessels|
|Chamomile||Soothes irritated, puffy eyes|
Reduces inflammation caused by infection
|Clary sage||Relieves swelling caused by eye infections|
How to Use Tea Bags to Treat Puffy Eyes
Steep two tea bags in hot water for about 60 seconds. Refrigerate until cool, then place on the eyes for about five to ten minutes.
Black tea may stain the skin of light-complexioned individuals. Those who are allergic to plants in the Compositae family, such as daisies, asters and chamomile flowers, may experience an allergic reaction to chamomile tea.
DIY alternatives to using tea bags to reduce puffy eyes include chilled cucumber slices, cold compresses and chilled spoons.
Those suffering from swelling in the eye area may find effective relief with oral antihistamines or eye drops containing antihistamines. Using a vacuum cleaner with a HEPA filter may help to reduce the amount of allergens in your home environment.
Gently massaging your eye area can help reduce swelling. Lifestyle changes, such as reducing your dietary salt intake and getting enough sleep, may also lower your risk of developing puffiness in the eye area.
Certain types of tea bags may provide benefits when it comes to reducing puffiness in the eye area. Black and green tea bags are effective because they contain caffeine, flavonoids and tannins, which can reduce inflammation and tighten skin around the eyes.
Clary sage tea can also reduce inflammation, while chamomile tea has antibacterial properties that can ease swelling caused by infection.
Most other tea bags will also help to reduce puffiness when they are chilled and applied to the eye area. The cold temperature causes dilated blood vessels to constrict, reducing blood flow to the inflamed area and reducing fluid retention. Cold compresses work in the same way.
While tea bags are a fast-acting and cost-effective option, other at-home methods for reducing puffiness are available. These may include applying cucumber slices, gently massaging the affected area or reducing your salt intake.
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