How to Reduce Eye Puffiness After Crying

Written by jessica conner
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How to Reduce Eye Puffiness After Crying
Emotional tears cause unwanted fluid retention around the eyelids. (girl with swollen eye / crying / allergy image by Katrina Miller from

Sadness and distress sometimes trigger the flow of tears. As stress relieving as it may be, crying also produces unsightly eyelid swelling. Blood flow increases to the eyes, and excess fluid secretes from the tear ducts. These reflex tears are less salty than the protective fluid normally present in the eyes, and are quickly absorbed by the saltier area around the eyes. This fluid retention, along with the overworking of the eye muscles, results in puffy, swollen eyes.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Cold water
  • 2 tea bags
  • Eye shadow/concealer
  • Eyeliner

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  1. 1

    Splash cold water directly on the eyes at the first sign of puffiness. Splash for three to five minutes, and swollen blood vessels around the eyes will shrink.

  2. 2

    Tap the eyelids and the area underneath the eyes gently for about a minute. This will help trapped fluid to circulate and disperse from around the eyes.

  3. 3

    Massage the area around the eyes lightly for three to five minutes. Using your ring finger, start massaging from beneath the eyes and travel upward in a light, circular motion.

  1. 1

    Soak the tea bags in water. Use caffeinated tea, as it contains tannins that stretch and firm the skin.

  2. 2

    Place the tea bags in the freezer for about 20 minutes.

  3. 3

    Remove the chilled tea bags from the freezer, lie down on a flat surface and place bags over the eyes for about 15 minutes. Frozen tea bags placed over the eyelids will shrink blood vessels and deflate puffiness.

  4. 4

    Dispose of the used tea bags after use.

  1. 1

    Apply make-up strategically to reduce the appearance of puffy eyelids, especially on the top lid.

  2. 2

    Spread a darker shade of eye make-up from the bottom of the eyebrows to the crease in your eyelids. Blend until the make-up has been spread evenly.

  3. 3

    Apply a lighter shade from the crease to the eyelashes. Smooth any rough edges to achieve a natural look.

  4. 4

    Top off eye make-up with a heavy application of eyeliner on the upper eyelid. This will camouflage puffiness as well as make the eyelids appear smaller and more proportionate.

Tips and warnings

  • Men, as well as women, may find these tips useful, although the make-up application section need not apply.
  • Drink plenty of water and avoid drinks and foods containing sodium to decrease the amount of fluid retained by the eyes.
  • A variety of vegetables may be used as a cold compress in addition to tea bags, since many contain antioxidants that can reduce eye puffiness; potatoes and cucumbers are commonly used to reduce eye puffiness.
  • Resist rubbing your eyes during or after crying, since this causes inflammation and results in increased puffiness.
  • Always handle the eye area gently, as it consists of very delicate and sensitive tissue.

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