Charge Up for Good Health

Best Cures for Puffy Eyes

Beat puffiness and dark circles with these smart, refreshing treatments.

I inherited lots of things from my mother: A generally long and lanky frame, a love of food and travel, and a deep appreciation of family. I also carry on a legacy of dark under-eye circles. If I miss even an hour of necessary sleep, I look like I've been on the losing end of an alley fight.

Throughout my adult life, I've learned to beat back the circles in a number of ways. A strong and reliable under-eye concealer is my most effective weapon. But I'm also partial to soothing DIY eye treatments. Applied weekly, I find these totally natural -- you should have the ingredients in your cupboard or fridge -- under-eye soothers to be part of a successful campaign to keep the circles at bay. Added perk: Applying these treatments requires you to sit back, relax and close your eyes for at least 10 minutes.

1. Tea Bag Compresses
I once bought a fabulous under-eye cream that boasted caffeine as one of the main ingredients. Turns out caffeine helps to reduce swelling. So, I applied the theory at home, seeping two black tea bags in boiling water for a few minutes and then refrigerating them until cold. (Be sure to squeeze out any excess water.) I then lay back and placed the cool bags on my eyes for 20 minutes. I was aiming for 10 but drifted off -- this is a particularly refreshing exercise on a warm day. Afterward, my eyes were notably less puffy, and I had a hankering for a tall glass of iced tea.

2. Cucumber De-puffer
This is a spa classic -- for good reason. Cucumbers contain ascorbic acid and caffeic acid, which work together to reduce the puff factor. Chill two half-inch slices of cucumber -- placing them on some ice cubes works well -- and then place the cukes on your eyes for 15 minutes. I love this! My tired eyes always look refreshed afterward, and I feel as if I was just treated to a day at the spa.

3. Milk Eye Soother
Even the lactose intolerant will benefit from this one. When chilled, milk helps to constrict blood vessels, which reduces that luggage-under-the-eyes look that most working moms seem to be sporting this season. And don't go for skim with this one. The fat content in whole milk moisturizes dry skin. Simply soak two cotton pads in cold milk and apply to eyes for 15 minutes. I like to do this one in the morning before jumping in the shower. There's a breakfast-like feeling to the milk that fits with the early part of the day, and you get to start the day off puff-free!



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