Puffy Eyes: How to Get Rid of Dark Circles Under Eyes

Tired of looking so… tired? You know the signs: puffy eyes, dark eye bags, an ashen complexion, and a half-glazed look. Sometimes it seems as though we’re forever cursed with puffy eyes and dark circles—even after a great night’s rest.

The good news is, you’re not doomed to have puffy eyes forever. If you want to learn how to get rid of dark circles or puffy eyes, we can help. Whether you’re mildly curious or desperately hoping to restore that plump vitality, we have you covered. In this guide, we’ll go over the causes behind puffy eyes and share the best methods for getting rid of dark circles under your eyes, so you can achieve a renewed glow.

Read from start to finish to learn all about puffy eyes, or use the links below to go to a specific section:

  • What Causes Puffy Eyes?
  • How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes?
  • What Causes Dark Circles Under Eyes?
  • How to Get Rid of Dark Circles
  • When to See a Doctor about Puffy Eyes

    What Causes Puffy Eyes?

    While puffy eyes are easy to identify, they aren’t so easy to diagnose. Unless you were crying or had a sleepless night, getting to the bottom of what’s causing your puffy eyes can be a challenge. However, in order to treat puffy eyes, we need to understand why you have them in the first place—which might require a process of elimination.

    Let’s take a look at some of the most common causes of puffy eyes, so you can see if any might apply to you:

    1. Lack of sleep

    This one’s a no-brainer. If you’ve ever had an especially long night or missed out on sleep altogether, you know the pain of looking at your tired-looking reflection in the morning—complete with puffy eyes.

    This is especially common for those who are under stress. Excessive cortisol (the stress hormone) secreted from your adrenal glands can alter the salt balance in your body. When this balance is off, you can retain water and swell, often leading to puffy eyes.

    2. Allergies

    Puffy eyes are a common side effect of allergy season. When you’re allergic to something in your environment, your body goes into full-on attack mode and releases histamines in your system. Histamine is known for triggering inflammation and hive-like reactions, especially around the eye area.

    Allergies are frequently associated with itchy, watery eyes, which you might be tempted to rub or scratch. Try to resist, otherwise you risk irritating your eyes further and making them appear even puffier.

    3. Temperature changes

    When temperatures change—say it’s winter instead of spring—your puffy eyes in the winter or fall could be due to colder temperatures versus seasonal allergies. Additionally, cranking up your heater can cause your eyes to become drier than usual due to a parched mucous membrane. The tissue becomes thicker and more irritated, which could result in puffiness.

    4. Sensitive skin

    Harsh chemicals—such as drying agents and citrus extracts—can be particularly brutal on the eye area since the skin is so thin. When the skin around the eye is agitated, it may become inflamed and appear puffy. If your blood capillaries leak, blood cells can also accumulate under the eye.

    Woman touching her cheek with broken capillaries.

    5. Aging

    Time takes its toll on our skin, whether it’s through chronological aging or photoaging due to the sun. As we mature, we retain more fluids, resulting in puffy under eyes. Keep in mind that diet also plays a part in fluid retention, so be mindful of foods high in sodium that can lead to bloating or dehydration!

    6. Sun damage

    Sun damage is among the leading causes for skin issues, from wrinkles to dark spots and uneven texture. It’s probably the reason you’re trying to get rid of crow's feet, and it also might be the explanation for puffy eyes.

    Since the skin tissue around your eyes is so thin and delicate, any damage to the region could result in puffiness. There are numerous products and treatments that help minimize the effect of crow's feet and puffiness from sun damage.

    7. Genetics

    Unfortunately, some people are just genetically endowed with excess fat pads beneath their eyes. If you constantly face a puffy under eye no matter how many eye bag cream products and solutions you try, the bags could be part of your genetic makeup. Puffy eyes can indicate a sluggish thyroid, so consider getting checked for hypothyroidism.


    How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes

    Now that you have a better idea of what might be causing your puffy under eyes, it’s time to find a solution that will help get them under control. Luckily, most of these methods are fairly easy to administer and inexpensive.

    How to get rid of eye puffiness & dark circles under eyes

    1. Cold Compress

    Anything cold will instantly help reduce inflammation and swelling in puffy eyes, but some methods work better than others. Laying a cold compress on your eyes for several minutes at a time can help bring down swelling. You can use an ice pack or create a makeshift cold compress with something from the freezer.

    woman putting cucumber slices on each of her cheeks to get rid of dark circles under eyes

    2. Spoons

    Run two spoons under very cold water for a few minutes then lie down and place the bowl of the spoons over your eyelids for 30-60 seconds; the sharp cold of the metal will revitalize your eyes (and perhaps your energy levels!).

    3. Tea bags

    The tannins found in caffeinated tea are a mild diuretic and have been a well-known home remedy for decades. Chill a few freshly soaked bags in the refrigerator before placing one on each eye for about five minutes.

    4. Hemorrhoid Cream for Puffy Eyes

    Have you heard this tip for improving puffy eyes? Hemorrhoid creams work by constricting blood vessels, which could improve redness. They also typically contain hydrocortisone, an anti-inflammatory which may help reduce puffiness or under eye bags.

    Note: Before you slather Preparation H all over your eyes, be sure you apply cautiously. You don’t want the harsh ingredients to get in your eyeball. Know that this beauty tip is more of an urban legend than a proven fact—so keep in mind that this “hack” might not work for everyone.

    5. Eye Creams

    If you want an eye cream to reduce puffy eyes, we recommend using hyaluronic acid with vitamin A for a safe and powerful eye treatment method. Our award-winning Total Eye® 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy with SPF 35 has a cooling applicator that can instantly reduce puffiness, refreshing your appearance. Not only that, but with regular use, it can help protect against photoaging and other factors that can cause puffy eyes.

    Woman applying eye cream under her eyes and smiling.

    6. Adjust Your Eating and Drinking Habits

    Dehydration, too much salt, and lack of potassium could all be contributing to puffy eyes. A simple way to see if dietary factors are the cause of puffy eyes is to make a few adjustments to your eating and drinking habits. For starters, increase your water intake and reduce how much alcohol you're drinking.

    With a little patience, getting rid of eye bags can be fairly easy.


    What Causes Dark Circles?

    Another common under-eye complaint is dark circles, which can occur with puffiness or on their own. With age, our skin thins out and the blood vessels beneath become more visible, but dark circles can be seen even in kids. The same fluid imbalance that leads to swollen eyelids can cause shadows which make the eye area appear darker.

    In addition to the same culprits responsible for puffy eyes, dark circles under your eyes can also be explained by:

    • Food intolerances
    • Vitamin deficiencies
    • Poor circulation
    • Eye strain

    Based on this list, you probably have a good idea of what’s causing dark under eyes, but what do you do about it? Let’s go over how to get rid of dark circles, so you can look and feel your best.


    How to Get Rid of Dark Circles Under Eyes

    The same treatments for puffy eyes can be used to improve the appearance of dark circles under eyes, as well. In addition to cold compresses and creams, try out these tips for correcting uneven coloration.

    1. Foods

    Certain foods can be helpful in getting rid of dark under eyes, including:

    • Avocado: Placing slices of ripe avocado on your dark under eyes can help by literally lightening the shadows. You can also make a paste using ground almonds and milk.
    • Cucumber: The ascorbic acid and caffeic acid in cucumbers will reduce excess fluids. It can also have a lightening effect will improve the darkness around your eyes. Place one over each eye and relax for a while—it’s good for the skin and mind!
    • Potatoes: These contain enzymes, vitamin C, and starch which nourishes the eye area. A cold potato will also reduce inflamed blood vessels, while its whitening effect will improve dark circles under eyes.

    2. Concealer

    Want to lighten your complexion without putting food on your face? Remember that a good concealer can do wonders for dark circles under eyes. Apply a few dabs before your foundation for an instant lightening effect. Use the following chart to choose the best concealing hue:

    Woman looking in the mirror while applying concealer under her eyes.

    The Colorescience® Mineral Corrector Palette includes five neutralizing shades to help conceal dark circles as well as other concerns such as broken capillaries, redness, and even bruising. It also has SPF 20 to help prevent sun damage.

    Total Eye 3-in1 Renewal

    While concealer makes it so you don’t see your dark circles, they aren’t exactly a treatment. That’s why you should pair your corrector with an eye cream that can help address the underlying issues and prevent dark circles from worsening.

    If you’d like to refresh your complexion, the Colorescience® Total Eye™ 3-in-1 Renewal Therapy SPF 35 is the only product you’ll need. Instead of juggling a frustrating assortment of gels, serums, and creams, Total Eye can help you combat puffy eyes, dark circles under your eyes, wrinkles, and dark spots in one formula.

    • See immediate results. The peachy tint will instantly brighten the eye area and reduce dark circles.
    • Mineral-based and chemical-free SPF 35. Now you can safely protect your skin without exposing it to strong, irritating ingredients.
    • Hydrate your under eyes. Our nutrient-rich formula addresses your puffy eyes and dark circles by restoring the skin’s health and hydration. Enhance the appearance of the upper eye with provided support against sagging, while improving the skin’s firmness and elasticity. You can also enhance the appearance of the lower eye and surrounding areas with this skin firming eye cream.

    Total Eye is the revitalizing cream to solve your puffy-eyed woes and dark circle complaints. Order yours today to take back your tired appearance and shed years off your image’s age.

    Have other concerns you want to address in addition to dark circles and puffy eyes? The Total Eye® Restore Regimen is a three-step solution that helps with dark circles immediately and provides long-term results with active ingredients that fight against worsening dark circles and visible signs of aging.

    When to See a Doctor about Puffy Eyes

    As mentioned, puffy eyes aren’t necessarily a cause for serious concern. However, if they’re persistent and none of the solutions above provide relief, it may be time to see your doctor—especially if you’re in pain or they seem to be getting worse. Scheduling an exam can help you ensure that there isn’t an underlying condition like allergies, conjunctivitis (pink eye), or hyperthyroidism that needs addressing. And, if puffy eyes seem to be getting in the way of your vision, they may be able to recommend a procedure to address it and restore your quality of life.

    Restore Youthfulness to Your Eyes

    Tired of staring at dark circles and puffiness every time you look in the mirror? It’s time to do something about it. With the recommendations above, you can make some simple changes to your lifestyle and start using Colorescience products specifically designed to improve puffiness and dark under eyes. These new habits are easy to maintain and can make a significant difference in your appearance, helping to make your eyes look brighter and more youthful. Instead of looking tired, you can look refreshed and ready to tackle anything your day has in store for you.