Skincare for the Changing Seasons: 5 Home Remedies for Puffy Eyes

Published in: Skin Care

This post is part of a series sponsored by Dove.

’round these parts, the holidays are all about the four F’s — food, fun, friends and family — but there’s a fifth F, a special holiday F, and it’s rarely talked about in polite company.



The holidays — gotta love ’em. Don’t get me wrong: I cherish this time of year, but it does place demands on us that can leave us feeling stressed.

I always look forward to the family get-togethers. For the most part, everyone gets along, but every family has its moments. Having so many people with so much history all under the same roof can start to feel like a pressure cooker, and if someone ends up crying, it’s usually me.

I’ve sobbed before, during and after many family feasts. Ah, the joys of being an overly sensitive soul…

There’s always a silver lining, though, even to tears. Now, I have a pretty decent arsenal of tips and tricks to deal with puffy eyes, and most of them can be done for little to no money using products you may already have around the house. πŸ™‚

1. An oldie but a goodie

Ah, the time-honored cold compress… Simple, effective and soothing, and one of my favorite fast ways to reduce swelling around the eyes.

I wet a washcloth or a small towel, wring it out, and place it in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes to get it nice and cold. Then, I close my eyes, place the cloth across my lids, and chill out somewhere comfy for a while. The cool compress constricts the blood vessels in the area to diminish the puffiness right away (within a few minutes).

2. Spoon, man

Tabs loves cold spoons
I picked up this trick from my granny, one of the most stylish ladies at senior bingo night, and a pre-World War II beauty pageant queen. Chill four teaspoons in the fridge (I feel that the freezer makes the spoons too cold); when they’re nice and cold, remove two of them, and place them curved side down on your eyes. When the spoons don’t feel cold anymore, put those two back in the fridge, and replace them with the second pair. Repeat until you’re de-puffed!

3. Make time for tea

El Hub once told me that if he ever becomes a rap megastar, as unlikely as that is, he would like to be called “Old Dirty Tea Bag,” but I digress…

Black tea bags (with caffeine) contain tannins which can be helpful for puffy eyes, while the caffeine constricts dilated capillaries to whisk the puff away. I usually squeeze most of the liquid from the bags so that it doesn’t drip down my neck, and then I chill them in the fridge, and place one on each eye.

Sometimes I also use herbal tea bags (without caffeine), and I think they also work pretty well.

4. Cut the cucumbers

I've got hungry eyes
I always feel a little silly when I wear a salad on my eyes, but dagnabbit if sliced cucumbers aren’t one of the best ways to pacify puffy eyes.

Cucumbers contain a natural astringent and have a high water content. When chilled, that water keeps them cold longer. I like to use several thin slices on each eye, as opposed to one thick slice, and mold them into the shape I want.

I also think they smell so refreshing and soothing…and when I’m done (as long as I’m not wearing any makeup), instant snack!


5. Latch on liquid liner

One of my favorite tricks! This one came about after a mini-nervous breakdown I had a few years back.

After I de-puff, I like to apply a thick cat line along my upper lash line. It doesn’t actually reduce swelling, but I think it does draw attention away from it.

Finish with a bit of concealer and mascara, and you’re ready again to face the day. πŸ™‚

For more help handling the changing seasons, check out…

Your friendly neighborhood beauty addict,



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  1. Nina says:

    I usually just use my cold pack, anything else doesn’t feel nice and cold as it does πŸ˜€

  2. Jenna says:

    I have done the teabag thing..can’t remember where I found it, but I put two green tea bags in a bowl of ice water for a while, squeeze them out a bit, and then relax. Haven’t noticed if it de-puffed anything, but it felt nice πŸ™‚

  3. Sonya says:

    I’m the biggest crybaby, it’s awful (I cry because of commercials about homeless pets, movies, emotional museum exhibits, and sometimes ‘just because’). I usually use cucumbers to de-puff, but I’m looking forward to trying the tea bags – seems very soothing!
    Sonya recently posted … Sinful Colors Extra Shiny Lipgloss in Pucker Up, Carnival – Review, Swatches, Photos

  4. Nina says:

    my lids are not that puffy, but my under eye area — puffdaddy! πŸ™‚ no idea what to do w/ it. so i mostly ignore it LOL!

    • Karen says:

      Hmm, it might be fluid build up? Have you tried sleeping with your head elevated? I’ve read that can help.

      • Nina says:

        thats prolby it. i srsly need to buy new pillows. πŸ™‚

        • Karen says:

          I’m trying to train myself to sleep with my head elevated to alleviate some of the puff! It’s been a little challenging because I like a flat pillow.

          I’ve also heard some makeup artists use Prep H on the skin to deflate it. I’ve never tried it, though, because I’m always super nervous about what I put near my eyes.

          • Nina says:

            i read abt that Prep H thing … i should grab a tube really and just get it done with LOL!

            i get attached to pillows and find it hard to replace them. my doctor told me i needed to change mine every year or year and a half due to my allergies. but its hard. i miss the lived in feel and the perfect spot where my head goes. πŸ™‚

            plus, i sleep on my right side … and i noticed my right under eye bags are bigger than the left. :-/

  5. Hehe, I liked the photo with the tea bags over your eyes. πŸ˜›

    I hadn’t heard about your spoon tip before. Interesting – I may try that one time.
    Swatch And Learn recently posted … Nicole by OPI Sealed with a Kris Swatches & Review

  6. Ruchita says:

    Great tips! I especially like the one about the liquid liner.

    I’m an overly senstive soul as well – seems like the littlest things make me cry. PMS jacks up the emotional factor by million.

    Anyway, hope your upcoming holidays are tear free – unless they are happy tears of course. πŸ™‚

  7. Chris25 says:

    A bag of frozen peas actually works. It fits the contours of the face nicely too.

  8. as a mom to three little ones this is often a problem πŸ™‚ i just posted a makeup tips post for how to help remedy this problem as well.

    also just picked up some cucumbers from the grocery store and you better believe i’m putting them to the test for depuffing these sleep deprived eyes. xo
    Kristie (Blushing Basics) recently posted … Makeup Tip {Budgeting Basics}

  9. resa says:

    Thanks for the tips Karen! I tend to be overly sensitive too but hate people knowing I have cried. I’ll definitely use these tips for next time. The spoon idea is the best since I don’t have to have any cucumbers or drunken tea bags on hand :).
    resa recently posted … NOTD – Guess what I was going for!

  10. Zandra says:

    I once read that you should pour some cold milk on two cotton pads and leave it on for 5min or so while you rest. It works great for me! Last for quite some time as well πŸ™‚

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