The Ultimate DIY Guide to Banishing Puffy Eyes

Dear Erin,  I'm spending the summer in the mountains, where it's incredibly dry and hot. I keep waking up with super puffy eyes. Why is this happening and how can I depuff??  --Sarah F


I got this email last week and sent Sarah a missive of ideas that she could pick up at the grocery store (+ a product to make it easy) but wanted to share with you as  we've all been there: whether it’s from a change to a drier climate (which can suck the hydration out of your skin), a late-night Netflix binge, or an unexpected bout of tears, puffy eyes can make you look like you’ve been up all night wrestling raccoons. Here are some tried and true remedies that can help in a pinch:

Cold Spoons

spoons in a drawer

Starting off with a classic: the cold spoon trick. It's as simple as it sounds and as effective as a charm (and back in my days of being on set as a makeup artist we did this for models more than once). Pop two clean metal spoons into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes. Once they’re chilly (not frozen - don't put frozen spoons on your eyes!), gently press the rounded side against your closed eyes and hold for a few minutes. The cold constricts blood vessels, reducing swelling and making you look more awake. 

Chamomile Tea Bags

cup of chamomile tea with tea bag and flowers

Chamomile tea bags are the multitaskers of the tea world. Brew two bags of chamomile tea, squeeze them out, pop them in the fridge for a bit, and then place them over your eyes for as long as feels good. Chamomile has natural anti-inflammatory properties that help reduce puffiness and soothe your skin. Plus, you get to enjoy a relaxing cup of tea while you’re at it. Double win!

Cucumber Slices

4 year old asian girl lying in bed with cucumber slices on her eyes, smiling - very cute!

Quick and easy and my personal favorite - cucumber slices. Not only do they make you look like you’ve stepped out of a fancy spa, but they also work wonders on puffy eyes. When I was a swimmer in high school and my eyes were red from chlorine cucumbers always did the trick. They contain antioxidants and flavonoids that reduce irritation and swelling. Simply slice a chilled cucumber and place the slices over your eyes for 5-10 minutes. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, pair this with a cucumber-infused water to stay hydrated and glamorous.

Milk Soak

pitcher and glass full of milk on blue background

Another quick one - Milk isn’t just for your morning cereal. Its lactic acid helps to soothe and hydrate the skin, while the cold temperature reduces puffiness. Soak a couple of cotton pads in chilled milk, squeeze out excess and place them over your eyes for 5-10 minutes. It’s a simple, refreshing treatment that leaves your skin feeling silky smooth.

Aloe Vera Gel

aloe vera slices

Aloe vera gel is like the Swiss Army knife of skincare. It’s packed with vitamins, minerals, and anti-inflammatory properties. Apply a small amount of pure aloe vera gel under your eyes and leave it on for about 10 minutes before rinsing off (bonus points if it was in the fridge). Not only will it help reduce puffiness, but it’ll also leave your skin feeling cool and refreshed. Plus, if you have any left over, you can use it to soothe sunburn or as a lightweight moisturizer.

Firming Eye Gel


bottle of firming eye gel on kitchen cutting board with cucumber slices

 Want an easy fix for every day?  I did too!  That's why I made our Firming Eye Gel - it contains both Organic Aloe Vera and Cucumber Seed Oil - it feels super cooling and tons of new moms who are getting zero sleep swear by it.  You can put it in the fridge but I never do and it works great :).  


So next time you wake up looking like you’ve gone twelve rounds with a pillow, head to your kitchen, raid your fridge, and give these DIY remedies a try (or just grab our eye gel). Your eyes will thank you, and you’ll be ready to face the day looking fresh and fabulous!

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