Best Eye Cream for Puffiness 2021 - The Dermatology Review

Best Eye Cream for Puffiness 2021



Puffiness is ideal for things like marshmallows, clouds and cotton balls. But the eyes? Not so much. Puffy eyes are one of the unwelcome signs of aging but can also be caused by things like lack of sleep or too much salt. Swollen, puffy eyes can make a face look older or more tired than it really is. Here’s a look at what causes puffy eyes, and some of the best eye creams for bags and puffiness.

What Causes Puffy Eyes?

The number one cause of puffy eyes is an inevitable one. As Dr. Shaun Desai, a facial plastic and reconstructive surgeon at Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery notes, “The most common cause of under-eye bags or puffiness is natural aging.” Specifically, this is due to a weakening of the muscles in the eye area. As Dr. Desai explains, “Older skin becomes too lax and tends to fall or wrinkle. The muscles and tissues around the eye can also weaken and contribute to the baggy look. This weakening allows the fat surrounding the eye to bulge out, creating that bubble-like appearance.” 

Related: Best Firming Eye Creams


Best Eye Cream for Puffiness

Other causes can be chalked up to lifestyle habits such as eating too much salt, lack of sleep or smoking. Some people have prominent eye bags due to genetics.

Should You Worry About Puffy Eyes?

The Mayo Clinic notes that most eye puffiness is harmless and doesn’t require medical attention. However, the clinic suggests seeing a doctor if the swelling is “severe, persistent, painful, itchy or red” as it could be a sign of an infection, eye allergy or a thyroid issue. Dr. Annapurna Singh tells the Cleveland Clinic that “any swelling that lasts longer than 24 to 48 hours should send you to an eye care professional because there are times it can be something severe that can blind you.”

According to Medical News Today, the medical term for puffy eyes is “periorbital edema,” which also means a buildup of fluid around the eye area. Periorbital edema isn’t quite the same thing as an under eye bag; periorbital edema is a buildup of fluid around the eyes which can sometimes be chronic and is often a symptom of a medical condition or side effect of a medication. 

How To Reduce Puffy Eyes At Home

There are plenty of ways to reduce puffiness around the eyes, ranging from home remedies to the right eye cream (more on that below). Some easy, low cost ways to tackle them at home include a cool compress to the eye area or applying chilled cucumber slices. An ice cube wrapped in a face cloth may also help reduce swelling and provide an instant cooling effect, while antihistamine drops could help if the puffiness is allergy related. Applying something cold to the area may help to reduce inflammation and puffiness as it reduces the appearance of puffiness as it temporarily reduces blood flow to the area.The Cleveland Clinic also suggests washing or rinsing the eye area if the puffiness is associated with discharge. Some people swear by using a face roller to tackle eye bags; think of it as a gentle facial for the eye area to help move the fluid along.

Related: Best Eye Creams for Dark Circles

Other Options for Bags and Puffy Eyes

Someone with chronic or severe under eye bags may want to consider seeing a doctor. According to Johns Hopkins, some of the most common treatments include a chemical peel, laser, fillers and surgery. A chemical peel will remove the outer layers of the skin to reveal tighter, brighter skin, thereby minimizing the look of the eye bags. Laser resurfacing removes surface layers of skin around the eyes and also stimulates new collagen growth, resulting in firmer skin. Fillers are another option, and it can be injected in the area where the cheek meets the under eye area to soften the transition. Some patients may opt for blepharoplasty, or an eyelid lift which readjusts the fat in the lower eye area and tightens the muscle and skin.

Ingredients to Look For in Eye Creams for Bags and Puffiness

Some of the best ingredients to look for in an eye cream or serum designed to tackle under eye bags include caffeine, vitamins C and E, retinol and hyaluronic acid. Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor which means it helps to constrict blood vessels so it can help depuff eyes. It’s one of the most common ingredients in the best eye creams for bags and puffiness and is often derived from coffee, green tea or white tea. There is however new research that suggests that caffeine may not be as effective for puffiness as once thought. The research suggests that other elements such as the type of formulation such as gel and other ingredients such as hyaluronic and vitamin A may be the beneficial ingredients. 

Antioxidants like vitamins C, E and aloe can also help to soothe and brighten the eye area. Vitamin C helps the skin look brighter so it can minimize the look of puffiness and bags. Look for peptides to help firm and tighten the look of the eye area, along with hyaluronic acid and glycerin which boost the skin’s moisture levels. Some of the best eye creams for puffiness also contain retinol, a vitamin A derivative that helps encourage cell turnover and boosts collagen production to soften the look of wrinkles.

Related: Best Eye Cream for Wrinkles

And while miracles can’t happen when it comes to erasing puffy eyes instantly, there are a few products that can help provide a feeling of quick relief. Gel eye pads can feel soothing and cooling on swollen eyes, along with eye masks that can be tissued off.

What Is The Best Eye Cream For Puffiness?

The best eye wrinkle cream for puffiness is Carrot & Stick The Eye Cream. Followed by Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Eye Cream.


1 Carrot & Stick The Eye Cream

If you want to send your under eye bags packing, reach for a tube of The Eye Cream from Carrot & Stick. It tackles bags as well as puffiness and dark circles with power house plant based ingredients including Persian silk tree (Albizia julibrissin) which helps tighten and protect the delicate skin around the lids, while St. Paul’s wort (Sigesbeckia orientalis) stimulates collagen and elastin to help restoring vitality.

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Anti-Aging Eye Cream

2Formulyst Anti-Aging Eye Cream

The eyes are one of the first places to show the signs of aging, including dark circles, puffiness and fine lines. Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Eye Cream, our best pick, is formulated to address all of those issues. Delivering five anti-aging actions in one, this advanced eye treatment softens the look of dark circles, puffiness and stubborn crow’s feet while protecting the delicate eye area from environmental aggressors. The cream is powered by hyaluronic acid, which draws in moisture and helps plump up fine lines, while leaving the eye area looking refreshed.

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Advanced Dermatology’s Youthful Boost Eye Gel

3Advanced Dermatology’s Youthful Boost Eye Gel

Just about everyone could benefit from a youthful boost. Advanced Dermatology’s Youthful Boost Eye Gel helps to reduce dark circles, puffiness and wrinkles with its formula of tetrapeptides and plant extracts. Tetrapeptides have shown in studies to be effective at stimulating collagen and increasing hyaluronic acid levels. Collagen is the protein that gives skin its structure. Without it, our skin would be loose and saggy which is what happens when collagen degrades. Tetrapeptides can potentially help prevent this and prolong the skin’s firmness for a few more years.

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Eve Lom Eye Cream

4Eve Lom Eye Cream

Eve Lom’s eye cream formula is a triple threat, meaning it helps combat puffiness, dark circles and wrinkles. Fine lines are minimized thanks to sodium hyaluronate (the salt of hyaluronic acid, which can also hold 1,000 times its weight in water). Under eye bags are reduced thanks to peptides, which help firm up the overall eye area for a tighter look. Dark circles are brightened thanks to extracts of Swiss garden cress, which promotes a more even tone throughout, helping to diminish discoloration and brighten the eye area.

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5 Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment

This best-selling, bright green Kiehl’s eye cream contains avocado oil, beta carotene and shea butter. These ingredients help nourish the eye area to keep wrinkles at bay and plump up any existing fine lines. The Creamy Eye Treatment also works to brighten the area and reduce puffiness but won’t seep into the eyes and cause irritation. This top eye cream is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive skin. It definitely belongs on your beauty shelf.

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6 La Mer The Eye Concentrate

Some people consider this eye cream a miracle worker, and it’s priced accordingly. The secret ingredient in La Mer’s The Eye Concentrate is the brand’s signature Miracle Broth, which contains fermented seaweed. The Miracle Broth provides intense hydration to help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles while diminishing the look of dark circles. This eye cream also comes with a cooling metal applicator that helps reduce puffiness and give an instant cooling feel.

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7 Origins GinZing Eye Cream

This soothing, refreshing formula harnesses the power of caffeine to help depuff swollen eyes. The caffeine comes from Ethiopian coffee as well as green tea leaf extract. Other key ingredients include ginseng root extract and magnolia extract to condition skin for a softer look that helps reduce the appearance of eye wrinkles. Like all the best eye creams, it contains super moisturizing ingredients, including shea butter and olive fruit oil. This one is truly a triple whammy of multi-tasking active ingredients.

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8 SkinCeuticals A.G.E. Eye Complex

Ideal for dry, normal and aging skin, this SkinCeuticals eye cream adds a hefty dose of hydration while also brightening the look of the eye area. The A.G.E Complex is packed with some of the best hydrators and skin protectors that can be found in an eye cream, including blueberry extract, proxylane and optical diffusers. Proxylane is derived from beechwood and provides hydration, while the antioxidant blueberry extract works to fight off free radical damage. The flavonoid/peptide complex is also a top notch puffiness reducer. Finally, optical diffusers perk up eyes that may look tired and dull.

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9 La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream

As the name suggests, hyaluronic acid is the main ingredient in this best-selling eye cream. This eye cream for bags and puffiness features both fragmented and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid to plump up the surface wrinkles and go deeper into the dermis. Put another way, it targets wrinkles in two ways, from deep down and on the surface, to help reduce them in depth and length. The addition of vitamin B5 provides hydration to help smooth away fine lines and improve skin texture.

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10 RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream

This dermatologist recommended drugstore eye cream for puffiness is an affordable option for sensitive skin. The main ingredient is a mild form of retinol, or vitamin A, which is the gold standard ingredient for helping to reduce signs of aging. The retinol helps diminish the appearance of wrinkles while strengthening skin by boosting collagen production, but is mild enough to not cause irritation. Strengthening skin is important because firmer skin is less likely to sag and develop eye bags. By promoting cell turnover, retinol can also help reduce the appearance of dark circles. Think of it is a miracle worker with a wallet friendly price tag.

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11 Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening + De-Puffing Eye Contour Cream

Caffeine and Brazilian ginseng root are the two main de-puffing ingredients in Sunday Riley’s Auto Correct Brightening and De-Puffing Eye Contour Cream, a best-selling eye cream. Both help reduce under-eye swelling for a more uniform and energized look. Other ingredients like concentrated horse chestnut and acmella oleracea (also called the toothache plant) help smooth away the look of fine lines and wrinkles. Cocoa and shea butters provide deep hydration to soften the look of lines.

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12 Garnier Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller

A budget drugstore choice (it’s only $12.99), Garner’s Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller is an effective under-eye puffiness reducer that will cool, calm and soothe away puffiness. Active ingredients include vitamin C, mint and caffeine. Vitamin C brightens and promotes collagen production, mint soothes irritation and caffeine constricts blood vessels to help depuff. Vitamin C can also help reduce dark circles thanks to its skin brightening ability. As an added bonus, this product is applied with a metallic roller that also helps to soothe and depuff eyes and give in instant cooling effect.

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13 NeoCutis Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream

This multi-tasking cream is powered by hyaluronic acid, caffeine and bisabolol. Hyaluronic acid zeroes in on wrinkles, caffeine targets puffiness and bisabolol (found in chamomile) is a soothing ingredient that acts as an anti-inflammatory. This means it can help to calm skin irritation and provide an overall soothing sensation. It also helps other ingredients absorb more readily into the skin. When combined, all of these ingredients pack quite a punch against the most common eye area complaints, landing this product a spot on our best eye cream list.

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14 Clarins Multi-Active Eye

Clarins Multi-Active Eye cream is applied with a two step process. First the product is squeezed out and tapped on lightly with a finger, before going over the area with the built in metal tip. Metal applicators are ideal for helping to depuff eye bags as they feel cool and soothing, and give the eye area a gentle massage. Key ingredients include organic teasel (a prickly plant with diuretic properties); vitamin E (to fight off free radicals), glycerin (to soften and moisturize) and caffeine (to also help with depuffing).

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Johns Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, the Mayo Clinic, Cleveland Clinic, Medical News Today, Self magazine
Ahmadraji, F, & Shatalebi, M, 2015. ‘Evaluation of the clinical efficacy and safety of an eye counter pad containing caffeine and vitamin K in emulsified Emu oil base’, Advanced Biomedical Research, vol. 4, is.10.
Pinsky M, 2017. ‘Efficacy and Safety of an Anti-aging Technology for the Treatment of Facial Wrinkles and Skin Moisturization’, The Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology, vol. 10, is. 12, pp. 27–35.
Sami, M, Soparkar, C, Patrinely, J, & Tower, R, 2007. ‘Eyelid edema’, Seminars in Plastic Surgery, vol. 21, is. 1, pp. 24–31.
Belcaro, G, Dugall, M, Maramaldi, G, Togni, S & Giacomelli, L, 2016. ‘Under eye-bags in healthy subjects: evaluation of the effects of a new escin-based cosmetic cream in an eight-week study’, Minerva Oftalmologica, vol. 58, pp. 65-69.



Carrot & Stick

Carrot & Stick takes a tough love approach to skincare. What does this mean? It perfectly balances the power of plants with innovative science, offering the best of both worlds.Read More


The philosophy of Formulyst is long-term and effective skincare, rather than covering up any imperfections. The comprehensive line of products tackles everything from wrinkles to dark spots and dry skin. While some brands rely on unnecessary fillers and scents, Formulyst focuses on ingredients that help create results, such as vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.Read More

Advanced Dermatology

The Advanced Dermatology skin care regimen addresses the most pressing aging concerns.Read More
  • User Original review: May 15, 2020. Reply

    How to Find the Best Eye Cream for Eye Puffiness

    Treating eye puffiness can be a challenge, as there many factors that cause it, from how much salt you eat to how much sleep you get. If you’re shopping for a cream to treat this puffiness, look for ingredients such as hydrating, non-greasy oils and those that soothe inflammation. However, with eye puffiness, even the best eye cream may not show significant results without accompanying dietary and sleep pattern changes.

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