Top 10 Causes of Puffy Eyes—and What You Can Do to Treat Them!

Many people suffer with puffy eyes and spend a fortune on products trying to get rid of them.  Most of the time, products won’t work as the cause is either fluid retention, allergic reactions, skin inflamed by irritation, too-prominent fat pads distended around the eye area, or a combination of these issues.

Dry Skin

Not all moisturisers should be used around the eye area, look for once labelled safe for eyes or find a specialised product – creams tend to nourish the tissues more than gels which have more of a cooling and tightening effect on the skin around the eyes.  Dryness around your eyes can contribute to swelling, and make them look wrinkled and tired

Sleep Position

Poor sleep position can cause many conditions and puffiness in the eye area is just one of the problems.  If you are able to sleep on your side or even flat, this can cause the fluid to collect in the tissue around your eyes. Sleeping with your head slightly raised with good support under your neck can help prevent fluid build-up in the eye area. Gentle fingertip pressure point massage around the eye area when you get up can help relieve this kind of swelling or just laying on your back with your head raised for 20 minutes before getting up can also help.

 Contact Lenses

Most contact lenses on the market these days are porous and absorb water from the eye causing the tissue to swell and become irritated.  Lack of oxygen to the eye also can cause puffiness and increase your likelihood of eye infections. Keeping your eyes lubricated with the appropriate eye drops also is a helpful preventive step.

Sun Damage

Sun damage causes wrinkles, loss of skin elasticity, and dark skin discolorations. If you already suffer from puffy eyes, the your eye area is even more susceptible to the negative impact of unprotected sun exposure. The resulting sun damage causes the skin around your eyes to lose its elasticity, which in turn allows more fluid to accumulate in the area. In addition, sagging skin just tends to look puffier. Wearing a sunscreen and sunglasses is essential


Lack of water in your diet can actually contribute to your body holding on to fluid, Alcohol  and a diet high in salt causes water retention and increases puffiness around the eyes too. Improve your diet by increasing the intake of fruit, vegetables and fish whilst reducing processed foods should make a difference.


We have no idea how often we touch and rub our eyes with allergen laced fingers.. It’s best to avoid touching your eyes, because rubbing not only pulls at the skin (which encourages sagging), but also increases inflammation, making puffiness worse. Pharmacists are very good at advising about allergies and can prescribe medication which can reduce swelling and puffiness.  Cold compresses are also very useful.  .

Makeup Residue

Eye Makeup is loaded with chemicals and if left on overnight  can cause irritation, a sure way to cause puffy eyes! Be sure to always  remove your makeup every night. Use an appropriate eye cleanser without parfum, or colour. Remember not to rub or pull the skin around your eyes when removing your makeup.


Crying is so detrimental for the eyes on so many levels!  The physical act of crying causes inflammation around the eyes. Your skin is naturally acidic but your tears are alkaline so tears on the skin around the eye do literally sting.  The act of crying initiates wiping or rubbing of the eyes which further irritates and causes swelling which leads to puffiness.


Exposure to Irritants

If your makeup or skin-care products (especially those you use around your eyes) contain irritants of any kind, you are causing irritation and inflammation, which almost guarantees puffy eyes..


Fat Pads

Genetically, some people are pre disposed to puffy eyes caused by fat pads around the eyes. For some people, puffy eyes may just be their natural appearance, based on genetics. Over time the fat pads can pouch through the muscles causing sagging which is referred to under eye bags or puffiness.  If that is the case, the only way to get rid of the problem is with cosmetic surgery.