Updated on  February 22, 2024
7 min read

How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes

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Puffy eyes can occur for a variety of reasons, from lack of sleep to excessive alcohol consumption. Sometimes, making puffiness go away is as simple as drinking plenty of water. Other time, getting rid of bags under your eyes may require medical treatment.

The most effective remedy for puffy eyes and dark circles under your eyes depends on the cause. Treatments range from home care to surgical procedures.

This article covers everything you need to know about puffy eyes, including common causes, treatment options, and how to prevent them.

Puffy eye illustration edited scaled

12 Ways to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes 

Here are some effective ways to treat puffy eyes and dark circles:

1. Get the Recommended Hours of Sleep

Chronic sleep deprivation can result in eye swelling and/or dark circles around the eyes. Adults should sleep around 7 to 9 hours a night, according to the National Sleep Foundation (NSF).

These tips can help you get a good night’s sleep:

  • Stick to a regular sleep schedule
  • Avoid caffeine at least 6 hours before you go to bed
  • Finish eating dinner about 3 hours before bedtime
  • Turn off electronics an hour or two before bedtime
  • Avoid alcohol before bed
  • Exercise in the morning, or at least several hours before bed

2. Stay Hydrated

Dehydration is a common cause of puffy eyes. Make sure you’re drinking enough water every day. Benefits of staying hydrated include:

  • Reduces inflammation
  • Keeps skin healthy
  • Improves overall health

Most people need to drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily to stay hydrated. Eating water-rich foods like cucumbers also helps.

3. Change Your Sleep Position

Sleeping with your head propped up can prevent excess fluid from collecting around your eyes. Try sleeping on your back with an extra pillow to elevate your head. 

4. Reduce Salt Intake

Salty foods increase the accumulation of fluid in your body. In addition to eye puffiness, this can lead to serious health problems like a greater risk for stroke.

According to the American Heart Association (AHA), most adults should limit salt intake to 2,300 milligrams per day. If you have high blood pressure, you should consume much less than that.9

Most of the sodium found in American diets comes from:

  • Processed foods
  • Salty snacks like chips
  • Cured meats
  • Cheese
  • Bread

Many canned foods, such as pre-made soups, are high in sodium. Make sure to read nutrition labels, even on products that are advertised as “reduced sodium.”

Instead, aim for a healthy diet rich in whole foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, and protein.

5. Go Easy on the Alcohol

Drinking too much alcohol is a major culprit for puffy, tired-looking eyes. This is because alcohol makes you dehydrated.

If you do drink alcohol, make sure to replenish your hydration with plenty of water.

6. Try a Facial Massage

Fluid buildup around the ocular area can lead to the appearance of puffiness and bags under the eyes. To reduce this, try a self-massage to improve lymphatic drainage and boost blood flow.

To perform a facial massage on yourself:

  1. Wash your hands with soap and hot water
  2. Run your clean fingers under ice-cold water
  3. Using your ring finger, gently massage or tap the under-eye area from the inner corner to the outer corner
  4. Repeat step three 10 to 15 times per eye
  5. Repeat this process twice a day

7. Use a Cold Compress

Cool compresses may help you get rid of eye puffiness. You can try cooling masks.

You can also take advantage of the anti-inflammatory properties of products you likely have around your home, such as:

  • Chilled herbal, black, or green tea bags
  • Cucumber slices
  • Refrigerated spoons
  • Frozen bags of vegetables
  • Ice packs
  • A towel or washcloth soaked in cool water

Simply place any of these items over your eyes for a few minutes.

8. Try an Eye Cream or Mask

Certain over-the-counter (OTC) skincare products can rejuvenate and heal the skin. Try eye creams and puffy eye masks to help shrink the blood vessels in the under-eye area.

You should also look for products, such as a retinol cream, that have collagen as an ingredient. Collagen is a vital protein for healthy skin.4

Eye Cream: L’Oreal Paris Skincare Collagen Face Moisturizer

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe

L’Oreal Paris Collagen Face Moisturizer is perfect for daily and nightly use, designed to replenish your skin’s suppleness with deep, revitalizing hydration. This luxurious formula works diligently to smooth your skin’s surface.

Eye Mask: 24K Gold Eye Mask

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe

Our luxurious gold eye masks are enriched with essential vitamins, specifically formulated to rejuvenate and energize weary, puffy skin. Available in various packs and formulations, these masks cater to all skin types.

Retinol Cream: Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Max

Acuvue Oasys 1-Day with HydraLuxe

The Olay Regenerist Retinol 24 Max moisturizer works its magic overnight, deeply penetrating your skin to achieve a remarkable transformation. This unscented formula is enriched with the maximum dose of Retinol 24’s hydrating complex, ensuring optimal hydration and rejuvenation.

9. Practice Self-Care

If your under eye bags are a result of crying, try one of these relaxation techniques to reduce stress:

  • Exercise
  • Meditation
  • Yoga
  • Journaling
  • Breathwork 

If you find yourself crying frequently due to stress, consider speaking to a mental health professional. Therapy helps address anxiety, depression, and other mental health conditions. 

10. Manage Allergies

Seasonal allergies trigger your body’s inflammatory response, which can lead to eye swelling and redness. Allergy symptoms like itching can cause you to rub your eyes, increasing puffiness.

Even if you don’t have seasonal allergies, puffy eyes can result from an allergic reaction to foods or other substances like pet dander.

If you’re experiencing seasonal allergies or are having an allergic reaction, you may need medical attention. Ask your doctor for advice on how to best manage your allergies.

11. Don’t Smoke

Smoking weakens and dries out the skin on your face. This leads to wrinkles, fine lines, and bags under your eyes.

12. Talk to a Doctor

If at-home remedies do not help the puffy appearance of your eyes, consult your doctor. You may have an underlying health condition they can identify and treat. 

Medical conditions that may cause puffy eyes include:

For some people, a puffy appearance to the eyes is a genetic characteristic that runs in their family. If puffiness is a concern, treatments are available.

How Does a Doctor Treat Puffy Eyes?

Many health care providers treat puffy eyes. In addition to your primary care provider, you might want to speak with a board-certified dermatologist or cosmetic surgeon.

Depending on your needs, professional treatments for puffy eyes include:

Dermal Fillers

A medical esthetician or dermatologist can apply fillers around your eyes to reduce the look of puffy skin under the eyes. Many popular fillers contain hyaluronic acid, naturally occurring substance in your body that keeps your skin moisturized.

More than a million Americans get injections of hyaluronic acid each year. These fillers can last from about 6 to 18 months.8

Laser Resurfacing

A medical laser can remove surface layers of damaged skin in the under-eye area. The laser also stimulates collagen production, leading to long-lasting firmer skin.

Chemical Peels

Like laser treatment, a chemical peel also removes the top layers of your skin. The new layers beneath are tighter, brighter, and younger looking.


In more severe cases, some people may be eligible for surgery to treat puffy eyes. Also known as an eyelid lift, this surgery is called blepharoplasty. It is a quick, outpatient procedure. 

During this surgery, your surgeon will remove any excess fat under your eyes. They may also tighten your muscles and skin around the area.3 


Many things can cause puffy eyes, and the best way to get rid of them is to understand the cause. Sometimes all you need is a little more sleep or water.

By following the tips above, you can help keep the skin under your eyes from becoming inflamed. If you develop puffy eyes and choose to treat them at home, make sure to monitor their healing.

If you notice the swelling is not improving, your doctor can recommend professional treatments and home remedies.

Updated on  February 22, 2024
9 sources cited
Updated on  February 22, 2024
  1. Turbert, D. “What Are Eye Allergies?” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2022.
  2. Bags under the Eyes.” American Academy of Ophthalmology, 2021.
  3. Blepharoplasty.” Mayo Clinic, 2022.
  4. Collagen for Your Skin: Healthy or Hype?” Cedars Sinai, 2020.
  5. Fathi, R. et al. “Minimally invasive eyelid care in dermatology: Medical, laser, and cosmetic therapies.” Clinics in Dermatology, 2015.
  6. Suni, E. “How Much Sleep Do We Really Need?” Sleep Foundation, 2022.
  7. How Much Water Should You Drink?” Harvard Health, 2022.
  8. Injectable Dermal Fillers Guide.” American Board of Cosmetic Surgery, nd.
  9. Shaking the Salt Habit to Lower High Blood Pressure.” American Heart Association, 2016.
The information provided on VisionCenter.org should not be used in place of actual information provided by a doctor or a specialist.