If you often have dark, swollen bags under your eyes, you may want to try treatments with lasting results, to remedy the root of the problem and get rid of it for good. Fortunately, there are also short-term effective methods that will allow you to reduce, eliminate or temporarily camouflage your dark circles and puffiness, in a few hours or a few days. While these solutions won't fix the root of the problem, they might come in handy if you need to get rid of your puffy eyes quickly.
Method 1 of 4: Cool your eyes for immediate relief
Step 1. Apply a cool compress
Soak a clean, soft washcloth in cool water, then wring out the excess water. Gently press the cloth under and around your eyes, making sure to cover the entire swollen area. Do this for about 5 minutes.
- As you do this, sit up straight to help drain any fluids that may be trapped under your eyes.
- The cold compress (and other methods of using cold) works by constricting the blood vessels responsible for the coloring and swelling of the area below the eyes.
Step 2. Squeeze a cold spoon against your eyes
Place four stainless steel spoons in a cold glass filled with ice water. Let them cool for 2 to 4 minutes. Remove a spoon and gently apply it to your dark circles and puffiness, below your eye, pressing lightly. Hold the spoon until it warms to your skin temperature.
- Return the used spoon to the ice water and take a new one. Repeat the process on the pocket of your second eye.
- Continue in this way, swapping the warm spoons for cold spoons, for 5 to 15 minutes, depending on how long it takes to reduce your puffiness.
Step 3. Cover your eyes with cucumber
Cut two slices of chilled cucumber, 1 cm thick, and place them over your closed eyes, making sure to cover the area to be treated. Sit in a seated position, with your head tilted slightly back, for about 25 minutes.
Cucumbers are very high in water, so they are naturally fresh and hydrating. For this, they are perfect for relieving puffy eyes. Cucumbers also contain quercetin, an antioxidant that blocks histamine, which may reduce your bags under your eyes
Step 4. Use refrigerated tea bags
Immerse two tea bags in cold water, then place them in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, to cool them even further. When they're ready, place the tea bags over your closed eyes, covering the swollen area. Lie down with your head slightly elevated and continue the treatment for 25 to 30 minutes.
- After that, wash your eyes and face with cool water, and pat your skin dry with a cloth.
- Avoid tea bags with strong spices, which could irritate your eyes. Chamomile and green tea both have calming properties, making them ideal options. Classic black tea or decaffeinated black tea will also do the trick.
Method 2 of 4: Quickly address the underlying problem
Step 1. Take an antihistamine
Allergies can be the root cause of bags under the eyes. If you have other allergy symptoms, take an antihistamine without a prescription, and see if the medicine is working on your pockets.
Likewise, bags under the eyes can appear when you have a cold or have a sinus infection. Non-prescription drugs to treat these infections may also reduce your bags under your eyes
Step 2. Cleanse your sinuses
If sinus problems are the cause of your swollen eyes, but an antihistamine isn't enough to clear your puffiness enough, consider using a Neti pot to remove excess fluid that has accumulated under your eyes.
- Dissolve 1/4 teaspoon of fine non-iodized salt in 250 ml of lukewarm water.
- Pour this solution into a clean Neti pot. Tilt your head to the side and use your Neti pot to pour the solution into one of your nostrils. To help the solution flow out of your other nostril, tilt your forehead lower.
- Repeat with the rest of the solution, pouring the liquid into your other nostril to clear your sinuses more effectively.
Step 3. Apply eye cream
There are many eye creams designed to help with puffiness. For quick results, choose one that touts itself as a quick-acting product.
- Retinol eye creams are a very popular choice. While these creams, by promoting the production of collagen, are effective in the long term, you may not notice immediate results.
- For faster action, you could try an eye cream that contains caffeine. Caffeine constricts the blood vessels that are responsible for the inflammation and staining of the area.
- You could also try an eye cream with arnica, a natural anti-inflammatory ingredient.
Step 4. Stay well hydrated
Make sure you drink the recommended 8 x 250 ml glasses of water each day. Puffy eyes can be caused by water retention, but dehydration will actually cause your body to retain more water.
Similarly, when you have bags under your eyes, you should also avoid consuming foods and drinks that could promote dehydration. These include salt, alcohol, and caffeine
Method 3 of 4: Make eye bags disappear overnight
Step 1. Remove makeup carefully
Before bed, carefully remove all makeup that you applied to your face that day. Eye makeup can cause them to run off while you sleep, and you will wake up with bags under your eyes.
- If possible, use a real makeup remover to remove your makeup before going to bed. Makeup removers are specifically formulated to catch and remove makeup particles. They are therefore much more effective than soap and water.
- If you don't have a makeup remover, you can still use a regular facial cleanser and water. Just be sure to clean your face until you have removed all traces of makeup from your eyes.
Step 2. Sleep with your head elevated
Before falling asleep, slip an extra pillow under your head. You could also elevate the head of your mattress, or even your bed. The idea is just to keep your head higher than the rest of your body.
Keeping your head elevated should help drain blood, mucus, and other fluids from your face, to prevent them from building up under your eyes and causing puffiness
Step 3. Lie on your back
If you sleep on your stomach or on your side, get into the habit of sleeping on your back. By keeping your face up, you will be allowing gravity to pull fluids away from your eyes, instead of pulling them back towards them.
If you think you'll naturally fall back on your stomach or flank overnight, try placing pillows on either side of your body, so you can't move and turn around too easily
Step 4. Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep is one of the most well-known causes of bags under the eyes. Set your bedtime ahead of time, so you can get about 7-8 hours of sleep before your alarm goes off the next day.
Lack of sleep causes the body to make cortisol, the "stress hormone," which can cause collagen in the skin to dissolve. This weakens the skin around the eye area, which promotes the appearance of dark circles and puffiness
Method 4 of 4: Camouflage your bags under the eyes with cosmetics
Step 1. Apply eye cream
Before putting on makeup, apply eye cream to your pockets. Let the product dry for a few minutes before continuing.
- Choose a moisturizer. For even more effectiveness, consider choosing a product that contains retinol or caffeine.
- Whichever cream you choose, it will help moisturize the skin around the eye area and fill in those fine lines that tend to wash off makeup.
Step 2. Cover the area with concealer
Apply a thin layer of concealer in the color of your skin on your bags, below your eyes. Use the applicator or a brush to pat the product in, but avoid rubbing it on your skin as this may make the irritation worse.
- For best results, choose a light concealer with a creamy texture. Correctors that are too thick tend to slip into the fine lines around the eye area, highlighting the signs of skin aging.
- Avoid applying your concealer with your finger, as you may apply more than necessary. A small, flat brush will be your best option.
Step 3. Apply a small touch of bronzer
If this is optional, applying a touch of tanner to your cheeks will make your puffy eyes less noticeable. Apply the bronzer to your cheeks, and blend it upwards, just below your eyes, with a blush brush.
The contrast created by the tanner will minimize the appearance of puffiness, without directly covering them. However, avoid bronzers containing glitter, which will tend to bring out your bags under the eyes
Step 4. Cover the area with powder
Using a fan brush, apply a thin layer of transparent loose powder just under your eyes and on your cheeks.