You can see them a mile away as you approach the bathroom mirror. Soon, you’re scrambling for your jade roller and regretting that salty meal the night before. It’s a problem as common as high sodium levels in soy sauce, but fortunately, the best creams for puffy eyes can quell even the most swollen scenarios.

And though everyone deals with puffy eyes at some point, the reasons behind them are vast. Good old genetics aside, causes include lack of sleep, allergies, water retention, and eye strain (darn you, blue light), but the most common puffy eye perpetrator, according to Joomee Song, esthetician and de-puffing guru to the stars, is diet.

We’re not exactly in the business of telling folks to never to indulge in a margarita or two, and no matter how hard you prep for a good night’s sleep, your sound machine won’t always get the job done. The point is, no matter how conscious we are of puffy eye triggers, things are going to get a little swollen from time to time. You just have to be prepared.

And who better to arm you with a perfect de-puffing product than top estheticians? To zero in on the best in the game, we tapped Song, founder of the transformative KAIKA massage, and celebrity facialist Candace Marino (aka The LA Facialist).

Ahead, we break down the best creams for puffy eyes that suit a variety of scenarios. So whether you’re looking for the best drugstore find, a nighttime de-puffer, or a cream that works best for mature skin, we have your eyes covered.

Image by Belathée Photography

What Ingredients Help Reduce Under Eye Puffiness?

Before we get to the best creams for puffy eyes, it’s helpful to know what makes them work so well. Knowledge is power, especially when you’re shopping the overwhelming aisles of Ulta or Sephora.

Vitamin K

Though it’s not quite as famous as vitamins A, C, or D, Marino and Song both doubled down on this fat-soluble vitamin (known in the skincare world as phytonadione). “Vitamin K is a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory that helps stimulate blood flow and is excellent for moving stagnant fluid that may be causing puffiness and dark circles,” Marino adds.

Arnica

Song added the bruise healing arnica to her vitamin K recommendation. “They are both known to treat blood clotting and bruising by helping the blood flow through the capillaries, and this movement helps under-eye puffiness,” Song explains. “I also use them to treat dark circles.”

Caffeine

Looking for something to perk you right up? Caffeine can get the job done topically as well.

Manual Facial Massage

It’s not an ingredient per se, but nothing gets the blood flowing quite like a massage. That being said, vigorous movements around your eyes don’t seem like something you should wing. Thankfully, Song offers a helpful visual guide.

“The stiffer your tissue becomes, the less drainage occurs, so massage is the most accessible and straightforward treatment you can do at home to reduce puffiness,” Song shares. “You can use your hands or your favorite tools, providing you are always gentle. Taking a warm shower or hopping in a sauna to stimulate the body’s metabolism will also help reduce puffiness.”

Image by Chelsea Francis

The Best Eye Creams for Puffy Eyes

Marino offers a helpful tip to go along with your cream: “In the morning, give yourself an under-eye massage to stimulate the lymph. Tap around the eye area and massage outward toward the ears and down the neck. Then apply your eye cream.”

Best Morning Cream for Puffy Eyes: Revision Vitamin K Serum

“Although this is marketed for the face, it’s so well-formulated you can use this as an eye treatment. As mentioned, I love using vitamin K and arnica to treat puffiness and dark circles, and this serum is loaded with both.” — Joomee Song


Best Evening Cream for Puffy Eyes: Chanel Revitalizing Eye Cream

“More than 90% of its ingredients are derived from natural resources. You can almost feel their commitment to incredible product formulation when you apply this eye cream. It’s packed with Tsubaki flower extract to target and treat dark circles and puffiness.”— Joomee Song


A Top Caffeine Cream for Puffy Eyes: Sunday Riley Auto Correct

There’s a reason antioxidant-rich Auto Correct sold out in Sephora immediately after launching in 2017. The people had spoken, and the people knew a good eye cream when they saw one.


Best Drugstore Pick for Puffy Eyes: Maelove, The Eye Enhancer

“It’s loaded with antioxidants and peptides and has a super light texture. I genuinely appreciate what Maelove is doing because their formulations are really good, and their price points are accessible to many.” — Joomee Song


Another Great Budget Option: The Ordinary Caffeine 5% + ECGC Depuffing Eye Serum

This serum features a high concentration of green tea leaves, but goes on light as a feather. It’s perfect for those just beginning to incorporate eye creams into their daily routine—just be careful what you mix it with.


Great All-Around Option: Furtuna Skin’s Visione Di Luce Eye Revitalizing Cream

“Beyond addressing puffiness, it provides deep nourishment to the delicate eye tissue, combats lines and wrinkles, and improves dark circles. Regarding puffiness, the eye cream contains vitamin K, one of the most potent anti-inflammatory vitamins that aids in promoting circulation, reducing water retention, and also helps heal and strengthen the tissue.” — Candace Marino


Best Gel for Puffy Eyes: Dr. Loretta Tightening Eye Gel

This lightweight gel and Allure Best of Beauty winner is packed with peptides to help tighten the skin around the eyes, smoothe out crows feet, and contour away any puffiness.


Best for Mature, Puffy Eyes: In Fiore’s Vis Clair Supreme Firming Eye Complex

“This cream includes a high apigenin content, which helps prevent UVA/UVB-induced inflammation and addresses redness and swelling.” — Joomee Song


Best Cream for Puffiness and Dry Skin: Kiehl’s Mini Creamy Eye Treatment with Avocado

This nourishing bestseller features avocado oil and shea butter for hardworking hydration when you need to bounce back.


Best De-puffing Cream With SPF: SkinCeuticals Physical Eye UV Defense

This derm-loved product tackles dark circles and hydrates with ceramides, all while firming up and protecting the delicate skin around the eyes from harmful rays with broad-spectrum SPF 50.


Best Brightening Cream: Summer Fridays Light Aura Vitamin C + Peptide Eye Cream

Formulated to work for a range of skin types, this cream pairs caffeine’s de-puffing magic with vitamin C to brighten, firm, and visibly energize your skin.


Best Cream for Sensitive Skin: Lather Toning Eye Gel with Peptides

Gentle but effective on the delicate area around your eyes, this nourishing gel is the one to reach for when your aim is to reduce puffiness and revitalize skin after a night of less-than-optimal sleep. Pro tip: Store the gel in your fridge for a super-soothing experience.


Best For Layering: BeautyStat Universal C Eye Perfector

This lightweight pick is a good option if you’re applying makeup immediately after your skincare routine. Formulated to reduce puffiness, quell crow’s feet, and brighten dark circles, this moisturizing maven can be seamlessly woven into your daily routine.


Best Clean Cream: Youth To The People Dream Eye Cream with Vitamin C and Ceramides

Cult-favorite Youth To The People has a way of formulating products that effectively target all of our skincare woes. Hydrated, bright, and rejuvenated are the results you can expect after even just a single application. Get ready to wake up feeling (and looking!) refreshed.


Best Firming Cream: Biossance Squalane + Marine Algae Firming & Lifting Eye Cream

Another recipient of the coveted Allure Best of Beauty award, this cream boasts a super-luxe, velvety texture that smooths and hydrates for visibly firmer skin. Sugarcane-dervied squalane seals in moisture while Marine algae doubles down on fine lines and wrinkles.


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