Puffy eye
31 May 2021

How to treat eye puffiness differently to dark circles?

The choice of eye cream can be an overwhelming one. The eye concern, if any, that most needs addressing can also add to the confusion. The following discussion with Dr. Maryam Zamani will hopefully dispel some of the uncertainty or indecision around finding the right formula and the causes of eye ‘puffiness’ and how best to reduce dark circles.

Do I have to use an eye cream?

Creams for the periorbital area are preferable as they are specifically formulated with active ingredients aimed for this delicate area which help combat fatigue and signs of skin ageing.

It is important to note that with the application of eye products, application with your ring finger is best so as not to apply the product too aggressively. Also, when treating the periorbital area, it is important to look for ingredients that have potent antioxidants which protect from free radical damage and promote collagen production.

What ingredients should I look for in an eye cream?

Given the delicate and thin nature of the periorbital area, eye creams are formulated with better penetration of actives and retention of hydration for this area.

Ceramides help lock in moisture. Hyaluronic acid tends to create moisture but needs to be well formulated in order to help penetrate the skin. Growth factors, tri peptides. liquorice, caffeine, can help minimize and reduce dark circles. SPF is also a benefit as most tend to forget this around the delicate eye area.

Depuff & Define Contouring Eye Rescue

Depuff & Define Contouring Eye Rescue is a high potency caffeine and peptide complex to counter fluid and fatty deposits that can lead to puffiness and bags. Cellular boosting and pigmentation correcting actives help diminish the signs of shadowing and dark circles. Skin tone is improved by strengthening the cellular matrix beneath the skin’s surface. It helps to instantly smooth, lift, and tighten to give a more youthful appearance.

Dr. Zamani says Depuff & Define is a great product to address puffy lower eyelids caused from either fat prolapse or generalized puffiness from a lack of sleep or allergies. For actual flat dark lower eyelids, she recommends Brighten & Perfect, followed by Soothe & Smooth eye cream and an at home eye treatment mask such as Hydra-Bright Golden Eye Masks or Anti-Pollution Illuminating Eye Masks. Top tip; Placing eye masks for a few minutes in the freezer can help constrict blood vessels and therefore decrease any darkness of the lower eyelids.

How do I know if I have puffiness or darkness to address?

It is important to note that not all tired eyes are created equal. Dark lower eyelids or under eye bags can be caused from a number of reasons:

  1. Volume loss: As we enter our 30s, our faces begin to change from cumulative exposure to sun, weight fluctuations (including pregnancy), lifestyle, genetics and simple aging. A tear trough begins to form at the eyelid-cheek junction, and we develop a ptosis of downward descent of the mid cheek that accentuates the tear trough. The skin loses some of its elasticity and some people develop outward pouches of fat prolapsing or bulging forward. In younger patients without excessive skin laxity and fat prolapse, a combination of non-surgical treatments can be done.
  2. In those patients that have fat prolapse, this can also be improved with hyaluronic acid fillers or surgery depending on the extent of the prolapse and the rest of the facial anatomy.
  3. Some patients have a genetic predisposition to dark circles, particularly those with southeast Asian skin tones. These patients are the hardest to treat and often need long term lightening agents that can take months to years to see improvement. Sun protection on this delicate area is imperative.
  4. Other individuals who have sinus disease, atopic propensity or allergies, and smokers can also suffer from dilated blood vessels that can easily be seen through the thin lower eyelid skin. Smoking cessation can help smokers and those suffering from allergy can be treated long term with antihistamines to improve the situation. Dark circles can be accentuated by lack of sleep because of the dilated blood vessels.

What’s the best way to reduce puffiness around the eye area?

First, Dr. Zamani would recommend drinking a large glass of warm water and lemon to help hydrate the skin, then wash the face with cold water, followed by an MZ Skin Eye mask for 5-10 minutes to depuff, soothe and hydrate the skin. Follow this with a light lymphatic massage around the eye with MZ Skin Depuff & Define, gently massaging into the lower eyelid. Puffy periorbital skin will be diminished quite quickly.

How can you get rid of dark circles fast?

Dark circles are different that puffy eyes. Cooling this area to vasoconstrict tortuous blood vessels is ideal. Again, hydration is important. Drink plenty of fluids in the morning. If there is time, use an MZ Skin Eye Mask to help hydrate and soothe the skin. Eye creams again with specific ingredients can help maintain bright lower eyelids.

MZ Skin Soothe & Smooth is a firming eye cream that contains a tri-peptide to stimulate collagen and elastin. Albizia Bark Extract detoxifies and strengthens capillaries, reducing dark circles and puffiness. Hyaluronic Acid and Ceramides restore moisture and plump and smooth fine lines. Provides long-lasting hydration to smooth fine lines and restore suppleness around the eye.

What else can you do to conceal and get rid of under eye circles?

There is nothing wrong with using makeup to conceal dark circles, however those with skin laxity and fat prolapse can actually accentuate the eye area if too much is placed on the lower eyelids. Generally hydrating the skin can also help.

What are your other suggestions for at-home-remedies for getting rid of bags under your eyes?

Sleep is number 1!

Light lymphatic massage can help puffy lower eyelids that can be accentuated in those individuals who suffer from fluid retention in this area from diet, alcohol consumption, high altitude, and during menses. Light lymphatic drainage starting from the medial lower eyelid outward can help. The MZ Skin Rose Quartz Gua Sha is the perfect component to assist lymphatic massage and it is lovely and cooling too! Use the Gua Sha to aid absorption of Depuff & Define or Soothe & Smooth.

It is also true that tea bags can help. The best way to use this is to make a cup of green tea the night before. Once cooled, place into the refrigerator. The next morning you can remove the tea bag and squeeze excess water out. Place the cool tea bags onto the eye lids for 5-10 minutes.

What other steps do you take to reduce eye circles when a celeb or model sits down?

At home treatments are an excellent way to minimize the appearance of dark circles but for individuals who have either volume loss or too much volume, in office treatments are required.

Treatments to Consider:

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As a leading Oculoplastic Surgeon with special interest in Facial Aesthetics, Dr. Maryam Zamani has garnered a global reputation - both in the US and UK - for her meticulous attention to detail and sought-after techniques for eyes and facial aesthetics.

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