6 Tips for Reducing Puffy Eyes If You're Over 60, According to Experts
Turn back the clock on aging with these dermatologist-approved tips.
As you age, you may begin to notice signs of wear and tear on your skin. Embracing these changes as normal, healthy, and beautiful can help you enter your senior years with a greater sense of confidence and freedom. However, that doesn't mean that going completely au naturale is your only option, especially when it comes to one sign of aging in particular: Puffy eyes.
Having bags or puffiness under the eyes becomes more common with time, as the skin tissue and muscles around the eyes become weaker. "Fat that helps support the eyes can then move into the lower eyelids, causing them to appear puffy. Fluid may also accumulate below your eyes," explains the Mayo Clinic.
The good news? A wide range of experts say there are several ways to reverse this particular sign of aging, putting the control back in your hands. Read on to learn our top six tips for reducing puffy eyes if you're over 60, according to dermatologists.
6 Tips for Reducing Puffy Eyes
1. Prioritize sleep.
To reduce puffiness around the eyes, it's important to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, says Burak Ersoy, FACS, an associate professor of plastic, reconstructive and aesthetic surgery and the founder of Badge Clinic.
"Lack of sleep can cause fluid to build up around your eyes, making them puffy," he explains.
You can set yourself up for a good night's sleep early in the day by getting regular exercise, limiting your caffeine and alcohol intake, eating healthy foods whenever possible, and sticking to a daily sleep routine.
When it's finally time to hit the hay, sleeping with your head elevated may help prevent fluids from building up in the face and pooling around the eyes, several experts pointed out.
2. Stay hydrated.
When it comes to reducing puffy eyes, nearly every expert we spoke to emphasized the importance of staying well hydrated.
"Drink plenty of water throughout the day to help flush out excess fluids from your body," urges Ersoy. "Water is very beneficial for the body—not only will it help reduce eye puffiness but it can also improve your skin complexion and texture as well."
Anju Methil, MD, MBBS, a dermatology and cosmetology expert and a medical consultant at ClinicSpots, recommends drinking a tall glass of cold water first thing in the morning.
"This flushes out the stomach and therefore balances the lymphatic system," she says. "When lymph circulation is impaired, cellular waste builds up in and around the cells, which can cause swelling, puffiness, and even bags under the eyes."
For more beauty tips sent directly to your inbox, sign up for our daily newsletter.
3. Cool the area.
Applying cold temperatures to your eye area can also work wonders in helping to reduce puffiness. What you use is up to you, but Ersoy suggests a cool compress, chilled cucumber slices, or a gel eye mask for 20 minutes to reduce swelling.
Applying frozen tea bags may come with the added benefit of an antioxidant effect, says Valerie Aparovich, certified cosmetologist-aesthetician and biochemist at OnSkin.
"Green tea is high in flavonoids and tannins, which help to draw out the fluid from the skin and alleviate puffiness. It also contains caffeine, which causes blood vessels to narrow, reducing the swelling and tightening the skin," she explains.
"Steep two tea bags, wring out the water, and cool in the fridge; then apply them as compresses to your closed eyes and keep them on for 15-20 minutes," she recommends.
4. Reduce your salt intake.
Your diet may also be to blame for puffiness around your eyes, according to Ersoy. "Eating too much salt can cause your body to retain water, leading to puffiness, so where possible always limit your salt intake and avoid processed foods that are high in sodium," he says.
Though the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends that adults limit their sodium intake to under 2,300 mg per day, most Americans consume 3,400 mg daily. Many people over 60 require an even lower sodium diet and should limit their intake to 1,200 to 1,500 mg daily, experts say.
5. Incorporate a de-puffing eye cream.
There are several types of eye creams that are likely to help reduce the appearance of puffy eyes. Ersoy recommends a retinol-based cream to get started.
"Applying a retinol-infused eye cream nightly can help stimulate collagen production. This helps to reinforce the delicate skin surrounding the eyes, making the skin tighter and smoother in appearance, and reducing puffiness," he says.
Other experts suggest eye creams or gels that contain caffeine. "Caffeine possesses vasoconstrictive properties, which means it makes capillaries constrict, thus decreasing blood supply towards the puffy area and reducing swelling," explains Aparovich.
"It's also shown to be efficient against dark circles, which are likely to be present as well, in case your eye puffiness results from poor sleep or dehydration," she adds. "Remember that a lasting effect comes with regular use; caffeine-based eye creams are suitable for both morning and evening routines."
Finally, creams that contain mint and its derivatives have "a proven cooling effect, stimulating the fluids to draw out of the swollen area," says Aparovich. "They also improve microcirculation in these sensitive tissues, normalizing blood and lymph flow, and possess astringent properties, toning the skin."
6. Try a jade roller.
Though there is inadequate research to support the benefits of jade rollers on wrinkles, many experts agree that they may help reduce puffiness around the eyes and on the face.
"Gentle massage with a specially-designed massage tool will help you normalize lymphatic drainage in the area and reduce fluid stagnation," Aparovich says.
She suggests moving the roller from the inner corner of the eye to the outer corner without adding any pressure to the skin. "Lightly tapping under your eyes with your ring fingers by the same trajectory can also provide a beneficial anti-puff massage."