Of all the common, everyday ailments out there, there’s something particularly painful and irritating about eye problems. Red, puffy eyes look as bad as they feel, adding insult to injury and making your mood dip every time you glimpse your reflection. If your normal reaction to waking up to puffiness is just to power through and hope it gets better, you should know there’s a better way! While we always recommend you consult a doctor about any health concerns, there are also tried-and-true home remedies that can offer you relief and beauty. Here are our twelve favorite DIY treatments for red eyes, puffy eyes, dark shadows and everything else. Read on and pick a few to try!
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Since water is helpful for pretty much everything, of course it’s helpful for puffy eyes! Drink more and stay hydrated to both prevent and heal the puffiness. You can also splash your face with cold water, or wrap a small bag of ice in a towel and hold it on your eyes. Salt water can also help— just soak some cotton balls or wool eye pads in it and place it over your eyes for a few minutes.
- Tea Bags
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The anti-inflammatory properties of tea are such a help to irritated eyes. Twice a day, put used green (or even black!) tea bags in the refrigerator for 30 minutes, then put on your eyelids for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Egg Whites
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If bags or wrinkles are your concern, egg whites can help tighten things up. Whip them to a stiff consistency, then use a soft cloth to apply it to your under-eye area. Allow it to dry and sit for about 15 minutes.
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Sweet strawberries are high in alpha hydroxy acid, an organic acid that reduces swelling, so placing some slices under your eyes for a few minutes can give you some fruity relief.
- Hemorrhoid Cream
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Home remedies don’t have to be pretty to be effective, and hemorrhoid cream is a multitasking puffiness-fighter. If the smell bothers you, try mixing a few drops into your regular moisturizer— and always be careful not to get any in your eyes.
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Another reason to love this green favorite! Putting slices under your eyes can help heal dark shadows.
- Teething Rings
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What’s soothing to sensitive baby-gums is also soothing to the delicate eye-area. Grab some of the gel-filled kind – of course, make sure they’re clean! – and stick them in the freezer until they’re ice cold. Then lie down with them on your closed eyelids and breathe a sigh of relief!
- Aloe Vera
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Aloe vera is full of antioxidants and vitamin E, making it the perfect thing to fight off any eye-area complaint you might have. All you have to do is carefully apply some underneath your eyes for cooling healing.
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Did you know starch has anti-inflammatory properties? And what’s more full of starch than a potato?! Grate a peeled, washed-and-dried potato, wrap the shavings in a clean cloth, and place the cloth over your closed eyes for several minutes.
- Whole Milk
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You might not want to drink whole milk, but its vitamins, proteins, and amino and lactic acids make it ideal for fighting inflammation around your eyes. Simply soak a cloth in it and place it over your closed eyes for 15 minutes.
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There’s a reason every stereotypical spa image involves a woman with cucumber slices on her eyes— they work! Their flavonoids and antioxidants make them ideal puffiness-fighters. Go traditional and let the slices sit on your eyelids for 30 minutes, or soak some cotton balls in cold cucumber juice – you can blend two cucumbers together and strain the pulp to DIY it – for 15 to 20 minutes. Make sure to rinse off afterward!
- Cold Spoon
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Sometimes the best relief is just something cold, and spoons are just the right shape for placing over your eyes. Put them in the refrigerator overnight for optimal coldness, and wrap them in a cloth or towel for better comfort and safety.
So many great DIY options. If you want to learn more about any of these remedies and at-home puffiness fighting, check out these lists from Top 10 Home Remedies, Reader’s Digest, and Womanitely. Do you struggle with red or puffy eyes? How do you take care of them?