Have you ever woken up with your eyes feeling heavy and are shocked to discover they're twice their normal size? Allergies, too much salt or alcohol, lack of sleep, crying, and even makeup can attribute to swollen, puffy, and red eyes. While it may take hours or even a few days for them to return back to normal, take these 10 steps to help shrink the swell. Remember, even though it's tempting, don't rub your eyes! It will only make the irritation and redness worse.
- Don't underestimate water. Splash your face with cold water as you wake up to help calm puffiness, then drink a few glasses to hydrate yourself.
- Remove any and all eye makeup using cotton swabs and eye makeup remover. Makeup caught in the tear ducts and waterlines will continue to cause inflammation and potentially infection unless you remove it.
- Dip a cold rag or cotton balls into an ice bath. Apply to the face for five-10 minutes.
- If you can think ahead, keep an ice pack or gel face mask in the freezer. Place on your eyes for 10 minutes.
- Chilled chamomile, mint, ginseng, or black teabags sooth and tighten up the skin around the eyes. Set them over the eyes until the teabags are at room temperature.
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- Dunk cucumber or potato slices in an ice bath, and place over the eyes for 10 minutes. The natural astringents contract the skin around the eyes.
- Drugstores sell pretreated eye patches, which contain inflammation-reducing ingredients. Stick the patches under the eyes, and leave them on for 15 minutes.
- Chill a few spoons in the fridge or in a cup of ice water, then gently place the back sides of the spoons over your eyes.
- Store your eye cream in the fridge and dab it on and under the lids with the tip of your ring finger.
- Spritz your face and eyes with toner or rosewater to contract the skin.