As I sit shivering at my keyboard just after New York City’s first snowfall, advising you to remove (and then use) anything from the refrigerator as a beauty treatment seems ill-advised. But as late nights spent at holiday parties leave everyone with dark circles and puffy eye bags, I’d be remiss to not mention one of the best ways to stop them in their tracks, which is, in fact, inspired by the weather outside.
“Cooling skin with any kind of a pure temperature change can help bring down puffiness,” says Rachel Nazarian, MD, a New York City dermatologist at Schweiger Dermatology Group. “This happens for the same reason your fingertips go numb when you go outside and it’s cold.” That’s because blood vessels constrict when the temps are cooler, which is why for years pros have suggested placing spoons in the fridge as an under eye remedy.
The other issue, fluid retention, is best dealt with by movement and massage, especially in the eye area, says Rachel Lang, co-founder of FaceLove Fitness in New York City. Puffiness is often tied to your lymphatic system, so to help move stagnant fluids trapped in the under-eye area, Lang suggests using outwards motions with your cold tools. Here, the ones that’ll de-puff on demand.
Keep scrolling for all sorts of de-puffing eye tools.
For the ultimate chill, opt for metal-tipped tools. “Metal tends to hold temperature well, so put it in the fridge before using,” says Dr. Nazarian. But be cautious of overuse—you don’t want to cause freezer burn! To avoid this, she advises holding it on the skin for 10-seconds, removing it for 10 seconds, for up to a minute on each eye.
Create a spa-like experience at-home by incorporating a jade roller into your de-puffing routine. Lang suggests keeping it on ice before using. One perk of rolling, she says, is that blood follows wherever you massage, so using a roller will help boost circulation to any given area, while also reducing inflammation.
It’s common knowledge that your sleep position can cause fine lines, but it can also cause puffiness if you sleep face-down, explains Dr. Nazarian. To deal, find a comfortable face-upright position and then slip on this calming gel mask, which helps block out light while simultaneously preventing your eyes from swelling up while you nap.
Metal and vibration?! Now that’s double duty. The benefits of the vibration are two-fold—first, it helps to push all of your serums and eye creams into the skin. At the same time, the cold metal tip helps to reduce puffiness.
Like a jade roller, these funny-looking globes also help with lymphatic drainage. Place them under your lower lash lines and slide them from the inner corners to the outer corners of the eye area 10 to 15 times. “It’s like a ‘half-moon’ stroke,” says Lang. Then repeat under your brow bone, slightly lifting your eyelid while moving them across.
This nifty tool, filled with water and gel, takes refreshing to a whole new level. “Roll each eye for a max of 20 to 30 seconds,” says Dr. Nazarian. She warns, “you have to be very careful about causing friction to the delicate eye area,” so take care not to push too hard. After all, you’re just trying to chill.
Originally posted December 11, 2017, updated August 10, 2018.
Speaking of de-puffing strategies, this is what model Damaris Lewis uses to tackle under-eye bags and this is a good way to determine what type of under-eye formula might be best for you.
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