An hour of weeping through This Is Us. A night of staying up to greet the new year at dawn. A month straight of allergies, just because it's April. A big, steaming bowl of salty ramen. A decade of working that 9 to 5... or 6, or 7, or 8. The question isn't so much if major under-eye puffiness will come for you — it's a matter of when. The real question is, what are you going to do about it?
The first thing to determine is what kind of puffiness you're dealing with. If it's an around-the-clock situation, the swollen look is likely due to the presence of fat pads under the skin, which can be hereditary and require surgical removal. But if the scourge of under-eye puffery comes and goes, it's likely due to water retention (thanks to crying, hormonal changes, lack of sleep, and other temporary causes) and can be minimized far less invasively.
For the 411 on quick fixes, we asked New York-based dermatologist and assistant professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine Dendy Engelman, MD, who offered these lifestyle tweaks: "If you have allergies, speak to your physician about getting antihistamines, such as Zyrtec or Claritin," she says. "DIY lymphatic-drainage massages can also reduce the puffiness, as can leveling your pillow so that water doesn’t pool underneath your eyes while you sleep."
Then there's skin care: In addition to caffeine-charged eye creams, investing in cooling eye masks, primers, serums, and gels can decrease the amount of fluid retention under the eyes, and therefore minimize swelling. "Topical products that contain vasoconstrictors like peptides, green tea, and witch hazel help reduce puffiness, as does vitamin K, which helps with blood coagulation and circulation," Dr. Engelman explains.
Ahead, see the hero products that helped deflate our under eyes after long nights, during periods, and straight through hay fever season. Here's to looking bright-eyed and well-rested in 2019.