If the eyes are the windows to the soul, what do yours reveal when they look puffy and tired?
A 2013 study from Stockholm University compared pictures of people who were well-rested to pictures of those same people after they hadn’t slept for 31 hours.
The results weren’t pretty. Those who didn’t get enough rest were thought to look more depressed and less attractive than those who were rested.
While getting enough sleep can help you improve your appearance, in some cases changes to the eyes are connected to the aging process. If you don’t want to wake up with puffy, droopy, or otherwise sleepy-looking eyes, there are a number of things you can do, from at-home treatments to eyelidsurgery.
Cold and Caffeine
Crying late at night, staying out and up too late, and eating a lot of salty snacks can all lead to puffy eyes the next day. Your eyes might also look puffy if you have a cold or allergies, as fluid builds up under the thin skin in the eye area.
If you want to reduce puffiness at home, you have several options. Use a product designed for the eye area that contains caffeine.
Along with providing a jolt of energy when you drink it with coffee or tea, caffeine helps firm up your skin by shrinking the blood vessels.
If you don’t have a caffeinated eye cream or lotion, try applying wet, cold black-tea bags to your eyes.
Another quick, at-home remedy to reduce puffiness in the eye area is to put something ice-cold on the eyes. Freeze two tea bags or soup spoons for a few minutes, then place them over the eyes. You can also place a bag of frozen vegetables, such as corn or peas, over your eyes or apply a cold washcloth.
Change Some Habits
Your habits can contribute to puffiness, resulting in tired-looking eyes. Certain foods and drinks dehydrate you, also leading to puffiness. Try to avoid very salty foods or drinking a lot of alcohol. If you do drink alcohol, make sure you are also getting plenty of water. Alternate your cocktails with water or limit yourself to one alcoholic drink a night.
How much and how you sleep also plays a part in how refreshed your eye area looks. Never go to bed with your eye makeup on. Not only can it clog up your pores, mascara, eyeliner or eyeshadow can get into your eyes while you sleep, causing irritation that leads to swelling.
Try to get a full night’s sleep, at least eight hours. You might want to change the way you sleep, too. Sleeping on your stomach or side lets fluid pool around the eye area. But, sleeping on your back helps it drain away from the eyes, reducing puffiness.
Before you go to bed, get in the habit of putting a lotion or moisturizer on the eye area to keep it hydrated and to reduce the look of fine lines. Since the skin around the eyes is very thin, it’s the first area to show signs of aging.
Consider a Filler
If sunken eyes and dark circles are causing you to look tired or old beyond your years, an injectable filler made of hyaluronic acid, such as Restylane, might be the solution. The injection can fill in hollow areas below the eyes. Results can last up to one year.
When considering a filler to treat sunken or hollow eyes, it’s essential that you choose a surgeon with ample experience with the injectable, as the risks can be severe if it’s performed by a less experienced or untrained person.
In an untrained hand, the filler can make your eyes look more puffy. Other risks include lumpiness and even blindness.
Opt for Eyelid Surgery
Eyelid surgery, or blepharoplasty, should be considered if you want something that lasts longer than a filler. The surgery can reduce signs of sagging and puffiness in the eye area by removing extra fat, muscle, and skin from the area.
Depending on your needs, the surgery can be performed on just the upper eyelids, just the lower lids, or both.
The surgery is ideal for you if you’re in good health and are able to take up to a week to recover from it. Usually, you’ll be able to resume your daily activities after a week, but will have to wait longer to start more vigorous activities and exercise.
If you are tired of having tired eyes, Dr. Jessica Kulak of the Naderi Center in Virginia and Maryland can help. She can discuss treatment options with you and help you choose the treatment that best fits your life. To schedule a consultation, call (703) 481-0002 in Virginia or (301) 222-2020 in Maryland.