How to Get Rid of Dark, Puffy, Baggy Eyes

@stuart.renneberg via Twenty20

You might wake up looking a little groggy on your wedding day for any number of reasons. Perhaps that rehearsal dinner turned a bit too crunk or you stayed up all night to write your vows. Those are both forgivable, but puffy, tired eyes are simply not acceptable on your big day.

One of your vows should be to stock up on a few eye-care products for yourself and your wedding party, so that everyone looks photo ready, and more importantly, not hungover. Besides, you’ll need these goodies on more than this one occasion. They also come in handy for work meetings, after long flights, once the babies take over your life, and really, every day.

Here’s a primer on why eyes get dark and puffy in the first place — to help you prevent them altogether — as well as what to do when you wake up looking like a raccoon.

Why Puffy Eyes Happen

Puffy eyes happen when your skin retains fluid and, because the skin around the eyes is much thinner than anywhere else, this swelling darkens and results in the aforementioned racooning of your face. (Or the panda bear-ing of your face, if you prefer that visual.) You can often prevent this with 7-8 hours of sleep each night, staying hydrated, and avoiding salty foods. Stress is also a surefire way to invite a fluid buildup, as are allergies and sinus issues. So…don’t be stressed. And try not to be allergic to things. Or just bring your allergy pills.

If you can keep all those things in check, you might be able to avoid puffy eyes. However, if living this way sounds impossible, or if you’re just plain prone to tired, puffy eyes in the morning, then it’s wise to stock up on a few products.

They fall into two categories: Prevention (to be used routinely before bed) and reduction (and/or masking the swelling). Below are some key terms.

How to Prevent Puffy Eyes


This is one of those words we all read on product packaging but never actually understand. Peptides are amino acids and they’re very proficient at stimulating collagen production in the skin, which will keep eyes looking younger and firmer.

Try this: Youth to the People Superfood Peptide Eye Cream


Sunblock prevents harmful damage to the skin cells, which in turn preserves the skin’s elasticity. By keeping UV rays off of your face, you keep skin firm. And by keeping skin firm, you reduce the magnitude of any swelling.

Try this: Jack Black Double Duty Face Moisturizer SPF 20

Hyaluronic Acid:

This ingredient helps the skin retain its moisture and, while that might seem counterproductive when you’re trying to get rid of fluid buildup, it’s actually the opposite. Hydrated skin stays firmer and looks fresher. Using an eye cream with hyaluronic acid on a regular basis can prevent your eyes from looking puffy in the first place.

Try this: La Roche-Posay Hydraphase Intense Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream

Vitamin C:

Whether it’s ingested as a supplement or mixed into an eye serum, Vitamin C stimulates collagen production in the skin. Which, as you know by now, keeps everything taut and radiant. (That’s what they’ll say about you, when reflecting on your wedding day: He was taut and radiant.)

Try this: Perricone MD Vitamin C Brightening Eye Serum

To Reduce/Mask Puffy Eyes


Like a cup of coffee in the morning, a caffeine-packed eye cream will stimulate the circulation in your skin, which helps get rid of fluid buildup underneath. The caffeine works by constricting the blood vessels on the surface of the skin, which pushes everything out from the area and into the circulatory system.

Try this: Kiehl’s Eye Fuel


If you don’t feel tired and are just experiencing eye bags or if you’re so beyond tired that you need a miracle solution, then concealer is your best friend. Its job is to hide things like pimples and dark circles so nobody will ever know. Consider it a wedding gift from the grooming industry.

Try this: MAC Cosmetics Mineralize Concealer

Massage device:

Some solutions aren’t creams or serums; they’re tools that look a little like sex toys. They’re engineered to gently massage the eye area, which reduces swelling, boosts circulation, and maximizes product potency for the creams and serums you apply after.

Try this: FOREO Iris Illuminating Eye Massager


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