8th February 2022

How to soothe and reduce puffy eyes, fast

Want to learn how to get rid of puffy eyes? We hear you. There are few things more frustrating than looking tired. And even more frustratingly, the 3D nature of puffiness under the eyes means it can’t be instantly covered with a quick slick of concealer like dark circles can.

What causes puffy eyes?

To learn how to prevent puffy eyes for good, we first need to understand the factors that cause them to form.


To an extent, puffy morning eyes are an unavoidable consequence of a night’s sleep. During the day, our eyes are busy blinking tears away, but at night, our eyes are closed, so this fluid can build up. It’s then absorbed into the surrounding tissue, hence those swollen eyes come morning.

Lack of sleep

It’s a catch 22 when it comes to puffy eyes, as they form when you do sleep, and when you don’t.

The way you sleep

It’s not just how much sleep you get, but the position you nod off in that counts too. Sleeping face down or lying very flat can cause water to gather around the eye area. Lying face down can also contrubute towards sleep wrinkles.


Whenever our bodies come into contact with something you’re allergic to (like grass, animal dander and dust mites) they release a chemical called histamine. This can cause inflammation, which is why your eyes become swollen and red.


Happy tears or sad tears, sometimes we all need a good cry. Unfortunately, puffy eyes are a tell-tale sign of sobbing, and it’s all down to the influx of excess moisture in this area.

Salty foods

Step away from the crisps. When we binge on salty foods (processed meals and savoury snacks are among the worst culprits) our bodies hold on to extra water in an attempt to flush out the salt. This could be the reason why you still look tired, even after a full eight hours.


Alcoholic drinks are full of sugars, which can cause inflammation in the body that leads to puffiness.


We have natural fat pads beneath our eyes, which for most people, aren’t very visible when we’re younger. As we age, our skin loses its elasticity and plumpness, meaning the pads become more prominent.


A bloated middle around the time of your period isn’t breaking news, but did you know that hormones can be responsible for water retention in your face too? Just like bloating in your stomach, monthly puffiness around the eyes should go down in a few days.


Not removing every scrap of makeup and pawing at your eyes to scrub away stubborn mascara can leave eyes sore and irritated. Alongside redness, this irritation also shows itself as puffiness.


When we’re stressed, the levels of hormone cortisol start to spike. The body perceives itself as under threat, and starts to prioritise sending blood to your vital organs. It also holds onto extra water for our organs, making us look puffier.

How to get rid of puffy eyes

Some factors, like the ageing process and hormones, are unavoidable, but there are a number of lifestyle tweaks you can make to prevent puffiness.

Get more sleep

Easier said than done, we know, but getting eight hours of sleep a night can make a huge difference to how your peepers look in the morning. Struggle to nod off? It might be time to re-think your bedtime routine to help you sleep better. Shutting down all blue light tech at least an hour before lights out, unwinding with a milky drink and listening to a meditation podcast can all help.

Take time to massage

Toxins and waste are carried around the body in our lymphatic system. But, this can become blocked, which leads to a build-up of fluid. Facial massage can boost drainage in our faces, springing the system back into action.

The key drainage points are at the side of your face, so you want to work your fingertip from the inner corners of your eyes outwards along the cheekbone. Make light movements, gently sweeping outwards and pausing every few seconds to press down without taking your finger off entirely. This will help to jolt and kickstart the drainage. Think of it like stepping on a hosepipe, as you ease off the water bursts through in response to the pressure buildup. Doing this with an eye cream will give your fingers more slip and avoid dragging the delicate eye area.

Change the way you sleep

Instead of face-planting your bed, prop your head up on a pillow when you sleep. This will help with fluid retention, stopping it from pooling around the eye area.

Invest in an eye cream

While an eye cream doesn’t have the power to deflate puffy under-eyes, what it can do is cover dark circles and make the skin look brighter – a clever diversion tactic. Our BFF Eye serum-concealer has a cooling metal Zamac tip applicator, making it a joy to apply to sore, swollen morning skin.

Cool down

A speedy solution for puffy eyes? Two spoons kept in the fridge overnight. Massage the smooth backs of them around the eye area or hold over your lids. You could also use slices of cucumber or chilled tea bags.

Cut down on salt and sugar

Remember, everything in moderation. We’re not suggesting you ban sugar and salt from your diet, but making a conscious effort to cut down will show itself in your skin.

Rehydrate, rehydrate, rehydrate

We know it sounds counterintuitive to drink more water to counteract fluid retention, but the more water you drink, the better your bodily functions will all work. Think of it like oiling a piece of machinery – everything will flow better with no blockages or sticking.

Consider anti-allergy treatment

If our bodies produce histamine when we have an allergic reaction, what you may need is an antihistamine to thwart its symptoms. If you suffer from known allergies such as pollen or animal dander, consider visiting your doctor to seek advice on allergy medications.

Move more

Everyone deserves a cosy night on the sofa, but if this lack of movement is becoming more of a habit than a treat, you’ll start to notice it in your face. Getting out and about every day to enjoy a walk or a spot of exercise will stop your body from retaining excess water.

The T-Zone

Read, watch and be inspired...

BLOG cleanse your skin at any age

How to use your cleanser for satisfyingly clean skin

read more
BLOG What are antioxidants

How antioxidants work to brighten up your skin

read more
BLOG What is double cleansing

What is double cleansing – do I really need to wash my face twice?

read more