Staying up late binge-watching the latest season of Game of Thrones has probably resulted in a case of puffy eyes, but a lack of sleep isn’t the only culprit: Your diet could be causing the annoying swelling, too.
While genetics and your anatomy play a role (thanks, mom and dad!), there are things you can do to de-puff the situation—like this 30-second acupressure technique. “So many veins, arteries, and capillaries feed the eye, so that’s a major reason why you get puffiness and dark circles,” says Julie Clark, holistic health practitioner and founder of Canada-based skin-care brand Province Apothecary, who is a fan of the acupressure approach.
But you can also prevent puffiness altogether by changing your habits. And the first place you might want to look? What you’re drinking—and how much. Dermatologist Arielle Kauvar, MD, told Byrdie dehydration commonly causes the problem, whether you’re not drinking enough water or you’re drinking two things in excess: alcohol and caffeine. Yep, even your coffee is working against you.
Dehydration commonly causes the problem, whether you’re not drinking enough water or you’re drinking two things in excess: alcohol and caffeine.
Aside from your liquid intake, another thing to be weary of is high-sodium foods—even if you’re cozying up with something seemingly healthy like canned soup. “The sodium in foods encourages water retention under the eyes, resulting in excessive swelling of the eye tissue,” celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau tells Byrdie. “This swelling encourages more rapid wear and tear on the connective tissues.”
Since those cans typically have sodium levels that are through the roof, it’s better to get your quick cold-weather go-to with better-for-you options like Fawen’s Drinkable Soup or ZÜPA NOMA’s Superfood Soups.
By avoiding these foods and drinks, you can fight off puffy eyes with minimal effort—and you don’t even have to buy expensive skin-care products to do it.