Maybe you stayed up late studying for an exam or binge-watching a TV show on Netflix. Or maybe a night out got a little too festive. Perhaps a high pollen count is making your eyes and sinuses miserable. Whatever the cause, swollen, puffy eyes in the morning tell the tale of your rough night. Don’t despair — you can restore your bright eyes in just a few moments!
Start by wetting a washcloth with very cold water (ice water from the fridge works best) and lie down with the cloth over your eyes for about ten minutes. Besides reducing swelling, the cool compress soothes itching and soreness, and just feels good! If you don’t have cold enough water, try a bag of frozen veggies or a soft ice pack from the freezer.
While you are resting, soak two tea bags in cold water or wet them and place them in the freezer. After using the cool cloth, replace it with one tea bag on each eye. Keep your eyes closed and the tea bags on your eyelids for several minutes. Either green or black tea will work. Green tea has a dose of antioxidants, and black tea has tannins that help tighten the skin around the eyes.
As you go through this process, put off drinking your favorite caffeinated morning beverage and instead sip 8 to 12 ounces of water. This will help you rehydrate your system and further reduce redness and swelling around your eyes.
Your eyes should look and feel a lot better. Continue with your normal morning routine. Before applying eye makeup, use your fingertips to very gently apply an eye cream to your eyelids and under your eyes to add moisture. Try an eye cream with caffeine in it to constrict the tiny blood vessels around the eyes and prevent further fluid buildup. Keep your eye makeup light to avoid additional irritation.
You can get a jump-start on this process the night before. If you know you are having a late night, avoid high sodium foods, like salty snacks and ready meals, that can cause you to retain water, and before bed start rehydrating by drinking some water.
While the actual ingredients in this process help repair the damage, the ritual of taking the time to relax and engage in self-care is just as important. It gives you the opportunity to get past that initial groan and head into your day with a brighter outlook in addition to brighter eyes!