While eye bags come and go, there’s no doubt they’re a nuisance and can be rather difficult to conceal — but not impossible to treat — especially when you’re aware of the best eye cream for puffiness.
Not to be confused with dark circles (caused by blood pooling in the veins under the skin), puffy bags under the eyes occur when the skin relaxes and sags with age, creating a pouch-like appearance. Due to lifestyle habits, excess fluid can also build up there, which makes the lower lids look even puffier. So, even though there are several causes of swollen eyes, luckily, there are many solutions to fix them — including the best under-eye puffiness reducer.
Related: Best Eye Creams
Not sure where to start looking for the best under-eye cream for bags and puffiness? No worries. Here at the Derm Review, we’ve reviewed hundreds of products with a scientific lens to ensure you’re creating a skincare regimen that’s safe and effective. Best under-eye cream for bags or the best depuffing eye cream? We’ve got 16 of them.
Best Under-Eye Cream for Puffiness: The List
Neocutis Lumière, $97
Key Ingredients in the Best Under-Eye Puffiness Reducer
When shopping for the best eye cream for puffiness, look for ingredients like caffeine, vitamins C and E, retinol, and hyaluronic acid.
- Caffeine: Often derived from coffee, green tea, or white tea, 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 you’ll find in the best eye cream for bags and puffiness.Despite being a significant ingredient in the best eye cream for bags and puffiness, It’s important to understand that caffeine doesn’t repair the skin or improve skin health like retinol or antioxidants. Instead, it provides temporary relief addressing the symptom — not more profound problems. Once you stop using an eye cream for bags formulated with caffeine, the bags are likely to return to their former state — especially if the root cause is lifestyle habits such as diet, smoking, alcohol intake, sleep habits, etc.
- Antioxidants: Vitamin E, along with aloe, can help to soothe puffy eyes. Vitamin C helps the skin look brighter, so it can minimize the look of puffiness and bags.
- Hydrators: In the best depuffing eye cream, 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. These are critical ingredients in the best under-eye cream for bags.
- Retinol: Some of the best eye creams for bags also contain retinol, a vitamin A derivative that helps encourage cell turnover and boosts collagen production to soften the look of wrinkles.
How to Apply the Best Eye Cream for Bags and Puffiness
The best under-eye puffiness reducer should be applied before your daytime moisturizer and sunscreen and before your night cream because it’s lighter, and heavier formulas should go on last.
Avoid using a lot of eye cream — a pea-sized amount for both eyes is enough. Using too much product makes it easier for the cream to enter your eyes, causing irritation, which will only exacerbate puffiness. Here’s how to get the most out of the best depuffing eye cream:
Eye Cream for Bags Finger Application
- Always apply your eye cream for bags with your ring finger. It’s the weakest, so it will naturally have a gentle touch.
- Use a small spatula to scoop up a pea-sized amount of product.
- Gently tap small dots under your eyes, starting at the innermost corner and moving outward. Avoid applying cream too close to your bottom eyelashes.
- Gently pat the eye cream for bags on your skin. Avoid dragging, rubbing, and pulling.
- Wait two minutes to let the cream fully absorb before applying the rest of your skincare products and makeup.
Best Under-Eye Cream for Bags Metal Applicator
More and more eye creams for dark circles and puffiness are being formulated with a specific applicator. It consists of two (or more) metal roller balls attached to the ends of an eye tube cream. Thanks to a massage-like application, the design quickly cools the skin, improves circulation, and reduces puffiness around the eyes.
Related: Best Eye Creams for Dark Circles
Use a light touch and work the applicator with your finger, starting at the innermost corner and moving outward. If possible, take your time with this type of application to get the full benefit.
How to Store the Best Under-Eye Cream for Bags
If you’re using the best depuffing eye cream for bags, make an effort to store the product in the fridge. Cold temperatures tighten blood vessels, which reduces swelling.
If you don’t feel like heading to the kitchen each time you’re taking care of your skin, invest in a mini-fridge that’s designed specifically for beauty products. Such a device only takes up a small amount of space, yet it can improve the efficiency of your eye cream for bags in a big way.
When the Best Depuffing Eye Cream Isn’t Enough
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 and laser resurfacing.
- 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 stimulates new collagen growth, resulting in firmer skin.
Related: Best Firming Eye Creams
Home Remedies for Under-Eye Bags
Kitchen cosmetics won’t have the same effect as the best eye cream for dark circles and puffiness. DIY treatments can be helpful as an occasional quick fix in conjunction with your skincare routine.
- Place a Cool Compress on Your Eyes: While sitting upright, place a cool, damp washcloth on your eyes. Apply gentle pressure. It’s best if you keep the compress on for 10-15 minutes, but rewet it with cool water if it starts to get warm.
- Make a Potato Eye Mask: Spuds contain an enzyme that can help reduce swelling. Grate two tablespoons of raw potato (1 tablespoon per eye) and place them between two pieces of gauze or into two empty teabags. Place over closed eyes for 15-20 minutes.
- Get Creative With Spoons: Place two metal teaspoons under cold running water for a few minutes, then rest the bottom of the spoons’ cups over your eyelids for 30–60 seconds. Repeat as needed. While it’s not an eye cream for bags, this technique has been known to produce results.
- Experiment With Hemorrhoid Cream: While this remedy may sound a bit off-putting, perhaps the best eye cream for puffy eyes is a secret of Hollywood makeup artists and models. A hemorrhoid cream helps reduce the appearance of puffiness by tightening the skin. If the smell turns you off, try mixing a bit of it with your eye cream.
- Slice Up Some Cucumber: While it seems cliche, cucumbers contain antioxidants that can help depuff swollen eye bags while reducing irritation. Place a slice on each eye and relax for 30 minutes.
- Invest in a Device: An electronic eye device is an excellent investment as it can tighten, tone, and stimulate the lymph system, thus reducing puffiness. When used in conjunction with a topical eye treatment (more on that in a bit), it’s like a spa experience at home.
Best Depuffing Eye Cream: Our 16 Picks
What’s the best eye cream for puffy eyes? We’ve got 16 top picks for you to choose from.
Carrot & Stick: The Eye Cream, $60
If you want to send your under-eye bags packing, reach for The Eye Cream from Carrot & Stick. It tackles bags and puffiness and dark circles with powerhouse plant-based ingredients, including Persian silk tree (Albizia julibrissin), which helps tighten and protect the delicate skin around the lids. At the same time, St. Paul’s wort (Sigesbeckia Orientalis) stimulates collagen and elastin to help restore vitality.
Carrot & Stick The Eye Serum, $70
A blend of advanced peptides reduces the look of discoloration and rich moisturizers combat dryness. Crow’s feet are smoothed, puffiness is reduced and skin is visibly lifted and brightened with every application.
Formulyst Anti-Aging Eye Cream, $85
Formulyst’s Anti-Aging Eye Cream is formulated to address five anti-aging actions in one. This advanced eye treatment softens the look of puffiness, dark circles, 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.
Deep Science Brightening Eye Serum, $59
This eye serum contains advanced peptides which reduces the look of darkness and discoloration.
Eve Lom Radiance Antioxidant Eye Cream, $75
Eve Lom’s Radiance antioxidant eye cream formula is a triple threat, meaning it helps combat puffiness, dark circles, and wrinkles. Fine lines become minimized thanks to sodium hyaluronate (the salt of hyaluronic acid, which can also hold 1,000 times its weight in water). Under-eye bags fade, 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.
Related: Best Eye Cream for Wrinkles
Kiehl’s Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado, $50
This best-selling, vibrant green eye cream contains avocado oil, beta carotene, and shea butter. These ingredients help nourish the eye area to keep wrinkles at bay while helping to plump fine lines, brighten the area, and reduce puffiness. This top eye cream is suitable for all skin types — including sensitive skin.
La Mer The Eye Concentrate, $245
Some people consider this eye cream a miracle worker, and it’s priced accordingly. The secret ingredient 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 and under-eye bags. Bonus points for the cooling metal applicator that helps reduce puffiness and gives an instant cooling feel.
Origins GinZing Eye Cream, $34
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 vital ingredients include ginseng root extract and magnolia extract to condition skin for a softer look that helps reduce the appearance of eye wrinkles.
La Roche Posay Hyalu B5 Hyaluronic Acid Eye Cream, $29.99
As the name suggests, hyaluronic acid is the main ingredient in this best-selling eye cream for bags and puffiness. It features both fragmented and high molecular weight hyaluronic acid to plump up the surface wrinkles, as well as stubborn deep crinkles. The addition of vitamin B5 provides hydration and improves skin texture associated with puffiness.
RoC Retinol Correxion Sensitive Eye Cream, $24.99
This dermatologist-recommended drugstore eye cream for puffiness is an affordable option for sensitive skin. The main ingredient is a mild form of retinol, the gold standard ingredient for helping to reduce signs of aging. Retinol helps diminish puffiness by boosting collagen production — but it’s gentle enough not to irritate.
Sunday Riley Auto Correct Brightening + De-Puffing Eye Contour Cream, $64
Ginseng and caffeine are the star ingredients in this best-selling eye cream that rapidly reduce puffiness and give the eyes a refreshed appearance. It’s also incredibly hydrating thanks to watermelon rind extract, sodium PCA, and cocoa and shea butters. Antioxidant-packed lutein (as found in egg yolks) provides a luminous glow to the otherwise dull eye area.
Garnier Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller, $12.99
Considered a best drugstore eye cream for puffiness, this budget 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.
Clarins Multi-Active Eye Cream, $47
This depuffing 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. As noted above, metal applicators are ideal for helping to depuff eye bags as they feel cool and soothing while giving 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 address puffiness.
Dr. Brandt No More Baggage Eye Depuffing Gel, $42
As the name suggests, this needle-free eye gel works to depuff eye bags, thanks to caffeine and elasticity-strengthening peptides — bonus points for targeting dark circles, too. Note that this treatment works best when worn over a more decadent eye cream.
StriVectin Peptight 360° Tightening Eye Serum, $69
Thanks to a cooling applicator, this lightweight serum visibly tightens and firms the entire eye area while providing instant depuffing effects. StriVectin’s number one selling eye serum has been clinically proven to improve firmness, elasticity, fine lines, wrinkles, under-eye bags, and puffiness, so it’s genuinely an all-encompassing treatment product.
Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm, $68
A multitasking balm that diminishes the appearance of puffiness and dark circles and serves as an excellent base for under-eye concealer? Who couldn’t get on board with that? Formulated with patented alguronic acid, vitamin C, caffeine, cucumber, aloe, and green tea extracts, clinical studies showed significant improvements after just ten days.
Skinceuticals Physical Eye UV Defense SPF 50, $30
While this isn’t precisely a de-puffing eye cream, sun protection is the best defense against premature aging — including eye bags. This formula is 100% mineral-based and has UVA/UVB protection. It also features a tint, so it helps to conceal bags and shadows.
Neocutis Lumière, $97
This power-packed eye cream is formulated with hydrating hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, and a patented blend of peptides called PSP (Processed Skin Cell Proteins) that work synergistically to brighten, de-puff, and remove dark circles. You’ll need a prescription for this one, which is an excellent excuse to make an appointment with a dermatologist.
Best Eye Cream for Puffiness: The Bottom Line
Puffy bags under the eyes occur when the skin relaxes and sags with age, creating a pouch-like appearance. Due to lifestyle habits, excess fluid can also build up in this area. Other causes include genetics, diet, sleep habits, fluid retention, alcohol, allergies, crying, and health issues.
The best depuffing eye cream contains ingredients such as caffeine, retinol, hyaluronic acid, and vitamins C and E. The application process for the best eye cream for puffy eyes matters, too.
In fact, More and more eye creams are being formulated with an eye cream applicator, which are metal roller balls attached to the ends of tubes of eye creams that are meant to quickly cool the skin, improve circulation and reduce puffiness around the eyes, thanks to a massage-like application.
While there are several home remedies for bags, we think the best under-eye cream for puffiness and wrinkles comes from some of the leading beauty brands in the industry.
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.”
Other causes include genetics, diet, sleep habits, fluid retention, alcohol, allergies, crying, and health issues.
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. It’s a buildup of fluid around the eyes, which can sometimes be a symptom of a medical condition or a side effect of a medication.
While there are several eye creams for bags that specifically target puffiness, some can cause puffiness because they’re too rich. In this case, you’ll have to experiment with different textures to find the right one for your bags. Just make sure it’s not lacking the necessary active ingredients.
Another potential cause of puffiness could be allergies or a sensitivity to a specific ingredient (or ingredients.) Or, perhaps you’ve applied too much product —or too close to the lash line. Every time you blink, your lashes lift microscopic amounts of product, which could migrate into your eyes, causing irritation and puffiness.
“How to Get Rid of Bags Under Your Eyes,” John Hopkins Center for Facial Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery.
“Bags Under Eyes: Symptoms and Causes,” Mayo Clinic.
“Puffy Eyes: What Causes them and What to Do About It,” Cleveland Clinic.
“Periorbital Edema: Pictures, Causes, and Treatments,” Medical News Today.