So, you woke up with puffy, swollen bags beneath your eyes, and now you’re frantically attempting to deflate them before work/school/a day of taking selfies. The good news: Those sudden bags aren’t permanent. The bad news: There’s no real tried-and-true way of getting rid of them in seconds, which is why most of the “miracle” eye creams you see are actually just gimmicks.
Sorry to burst your bubble, but eye puffiness is actually just fluid retention caused by either lack of sleep, allergies, excess salt, or the four margaritas you downed last night, which means unless you turn back time, you’re kind of stuck waiting around until your body naturally breaks up and drains the fluid on its own.
Luckily, though, there are ingredients that actually help speed up the process, like caffeine (which constricts and tightens skin) and certain antioxidants (like aloe and green tea), which help reduce swelling after you massage them in. And rather than have you read every single ingredient label in the drugstore, we picked the five absolute best, most-effective eye creams and serums that will take those bags down ASAP. Check them out, ahead.
Algenist Complete Eye Renewal Balm, $68
If we could put every single good-for-you ingredient in a single product, the formula would look a lot like this silky, ultra-hydrating balm from Algenist, which not only takes down puffiness immediately, thanks to its caffeine, green tea, and aloe, but also helps to brighten dark spots and smooth fine lines over time with vitamin C.
Clinique All About The Eyes De-Puffing Eye Massage, $32
Dry skin and fine-line haters, please meet your new best friend. This caffeine-spiked eye serum is loaded with glycerin and sodium hyaluronate to immediately pull water into the skin and plump those itty-bitty eye creases, and a huge mix of brightening and calming antioxidants. Keep this stick in the fridge to amp up its cooling effects, too.
Garnier SkinActive Clearly Brighter Anti-Puff Eye Roller, $9
There’s a reason you’ve seen this little stick everywhere for the last few years: It really, truly works, and it’s also hella affordable. The cool-tip rollerball helps break up fluid beneath the skin, and the mix of brightening vitamin C and tightening caffeine in the formula help de-puff bags fast.
100% Pure Caffeine Bean Eye Cream, $26
In case you haven’t noticed a pattern, here, the main ingredient to look for in your fight against puffed-up eyes is caffeine. Of course, just because a product says it contains caffeine, it doesn’t mean you’re actually getting an effective amount. But this lightweight (and certified organic!) cream has a short list of ingredients, filled with multiple coffee and green tea extracts to deflate and tighten your eye bags as soon as you massage it on.
Honest Beauty The Depuffed Eye, $32
We fully believe that natural isn’t always better, because, sadly, most natural formulas actually contain ingredients known to irritate your skin. But this natural-based eye cream is stuffed with legitimate swell-reducing powerhouses, like the antioxidant green tea, the anti-inflammatory marigold extract, and, most importantly, a hefty dose of caffeine.