These 10 Dermatologist-Approved Eye Creams Will Revitalize Puffy Eyes

Updated 04/20/19
Product Disclosure
Best Eye Creams for Puffiness
@harperandharley

We’ve all had one of those mornings when we wake up to find that our eyes are unfortunately rimmed with bags. When we were younger, the solution for this was easy: We’d throw some water on our faces and let time quickly diffuse the situation. As we’ve gotten older, however, the bags have not only become more stubborn, but they’ve also decided to pop up on more than one occasion. We get them after a sleepless night. We spot them as a result of crying. And we know they’re coming after eating the wrong foods. In fact, sometimes puffiness can happen for no apparent reason at all. And as we slather on creams or wear cold eye masks to get things back to normal, we also can’t help but feel like there’s nothing common about persistent puffy eyes at all.

As it turns out, all of that worry might be for nothing. Because according to Ronald Moy, MD, at MFC Dermatology in Beverly Hills, eye puffiness is to be expected with age. “Other than decreasing your salt intake or treating allergies, nothing helps,” he says. “Most of the puffiness is due to getting older, or it’s genetic.”

It’s comforting to know that aside from french fries and pollen, most of what’s behind puffy eyes is out of our control. Nevertheless, there has to be more to this common insecurity than this simple answer, and that’s why we asked Moy to delve deeper into the subject. Read on for his explanations on eye puffiness, as well as his 10 recommendations for eye creams that can soothe its appearance.

Anatomy 101: Understanding the Basics

Best Eye Creams for Puffy Eyes
@moderosaofficial

The skin around the eye is thin and delicate, and as we get older, those tissues—and sometimes the muscles under them—weaken. When that happens, Moy says, fat deposits that are distributed around eyes can slowly anchor themselves under the eyelids, creating bags. Less commonly, fluids can also build up under eyes to create these bags.

“Imagine it like this: When a balloon deflates, loose material develops,” he says. “The same thing happens as we get older. We lose fat, which causes deflation, and that leads to puffiness.”

Puffiness around the eyes is rarely seen as a medical concern because of our skin’s natural tendency to lose its elasticity as we get older. Instead, the sagging and swelling are often considered “normal,” even if it’s tough to accept.

Breaking Down the Underlying Factors

Eye Creams for Puffiness
@harperandharley

“Everything drops as we get older: the face, the neck, and the eyelids,” he says. But aside from the understandable factor of time—and a predisposition to eye puffiness from genetics—Moy says that there are some lifestyle choices that may contribute.

Salt can be a factor. “Salt causes everyone to retain water because fluids are attracted to salt,” he notes. “This is a chemical reaction that causes swelling because fluids will always move toward salty areas.”

Allergies can cause flare-ups. If you notice that your eyes are puffier in the spring or whenever you’re in a particular environment, then allergies are the most likely culprit. “Allergies cause this inflammation in the skin,” he notes.

Some other causes include lack of sleep, allergic reactions to makeup or medication, genetics, smoking, and excessive dryness, which causes inflammation.

Lifestyle Changes to Make

Eye Creams for Puffy Eyes
@harperandharley

Although Moy is clear that most of what has to do with eye puffiness comes as a result of aging or genetics, he does suggest that getting enough sleep and monitoring your salt intake can lessen bags’ appearance. If you suspect that the puffiness is a result of allergies, Moy recommends consulting a doctor about a prescription to help.

Lastly, if the swelling is severe, painful, itchy, or continuous, reach out to a doctor as soon as possible. Here are some other tips:

Avoid rubbing eyes. As hard as it is to stop, this will only increase inflammation and discomfort.

Use cold compresses. Something as simple as a chilled cloth or eye mask can lessen the appearance of bags.

Look for creams with an epidermal growth factor. “The best ingredient that helps eye puffiness is an epidermal growth factor,” he says. “Everyone has epidermal growth factor in their skin, but we make less of it as we age. Most other ingredients are just variations of moisturizers.”

The Best Eye Creams for Puffiness, According to Moy

DNA Eye Renewal $70
Shop

“This is made with a barley-derived growth factor that stimulates the remaining stem cells in your skin to boost collagen and tighten and thicken under-eye bags,” he says.

Hyaluronic Marine Dew It Right Eye Gel
Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare Hyaluronic Marine Dew It Right Eye Gel $48
Shop

“This product builds elasticity and has caffeine to improve dark circles and puffiness,” he notes.

1851 Midnight Recovery Concentrate
Kiehl's 1851 Midnight Recovery Concentrate $123
Shop

“The essential oils in this product help revitalize puffy under-eyes,” Moy advises.

SkinMedica TNS Eye Repair $102
Shop

“The anti-aging peptides in this formula help improve under-eye puffiness,” he says.

RéVive Intensité Crème Lustre Night Firming Moisture Repair $385
Shop

“This has a unique blend of peptides to help puffiness, and it also firms around the eye area,” he notes.

La Mer The Eye Concentrate $215
Shop

“Try looking for products with a cooling metal applicator like this one to help depuff throughout the day,” he continues.

Sensibio Gel Eye Contour
BioDerma Sensibio Gel Eye Contour $20 $19
Shop

“The caffeine in this gel will help puffiness,” he says.

Renewing Eye Cream
Murad Renewing Eye Cream $80
Shop

“This has an eye-brightening complex that aids puffiness and dark circles,” Moy explains.

Black Tea Firming and De-Puffing Eye Cream
Fresh Black Tea Firming and De-Puffing Eye Cream $68
Shop

“Consider this to be a power nap for your eyes, and it has a cooling effect,” he says.

Repairwear Anti-Gravity Eye Lift Cream
Clinique Repairwear Anti-Gravity Eye Lift Cream $45
Shop

“This helps to lift and depuff the under-eye area,” he explains.

Related Stories