De-puff my crying eyes
September 27, 2019 1:50 PM   Subscribe

I cry pretty easily in emotional upset. If I cry in the evening, I often look pretty awful the next day. My eyes aren't red but I look very tired and sometimes the areas under and above my eyes are really puffy. It's getting worse here in my 40s (like, a co-worker will ask me if I'm okay a few hours into the work day when I cried the night before). Can you help me?

The extreme puffiness is getting a bit ridiculous, extending sometimes into the area above my eyes (sometimes one eye, sometimes both), not just below. This sometimes happen even if I've gotten a good night's sleep, so it's not just being tired (though of course that doesn't help).

I'd welcome tips for dealing with this at night before I go to bed and/or in the morning. I don't wear a ton of make up, and it seems unlikely to help (though I'm open!), but is there any sort of massage or other treatment that will actually help this? I'm guessing some of this is related to general aging? (Sigh...)

I'm a white, light-skinned woman who has, once or twice, cried at a commercial.
posted by bluedaisy to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
Gentle lymphatic drainage massage around the eye area could help - look on youtube or ask your massage therapist or esthetician about it. Some massage therapists are specifically trained in lymphatic work. Also put some spoons in the freezer and put one on each puffy undereye area in the morning when you wake up.
posted by zdravo at 1:59 PM on September 27, 2019

I swear by this ice roller. Keep it in your freezer. It both depuffs and feels extremely soothing. (I use it right after I put on face oil.)
posted by sallybrown at 2:01 PM on September 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

A cool, wet, cloth over the yeys, while you cry. No rubbing of the eyes. Cucumber slices after. Rinse only no rubbing.
posted by Oyéah at 2:02 PM on September 27, 2019 [2 favorites]

I use cold compresses and try to wake up early to give my eyes time to open and blink so that more of the swelling gets pushed away by movement. I also freely blame allergies for the puffiness if anyone mentions it.
posted by quince at 2:07 PM on September 27, 2019 [3 favorites]

I don’t cry really ever, but my eyes puff up like it’s their freaking job on a regular basis. Above, not below. Here are some things I’ve found that help somewhat:

-Try to sleep with your head elevated, so fluid drains down.
-Splash eyes with cold water in the morning, and also if you happen to get up during the night.
-Cold cucumber slices held over the eyelids until they warm up. Can be repeated multiple times.
-Ice cubes on the eyelids. (Don’t hold it in place, that would hurt; just move it around so the whole puffy area is getting iced.)
-This stuff from Origins. I keep mine in the fridge.
-Exercise/movement, even just walking around the block a few times.
-Lymphatic massages mentioned above, I just find them on YouTube, don’t know if they help but maybe a little?
-Also gently massage face/eyes when you’re washing your face, and when you’re putting on moisturizer. And gently tap on your eyelids with your fingertips.
-Not helpful after the fact, but diet definitely makes a difference for me. I don’t know if this would apply to crying-induced puffiness as it does to just plain old puffiness. But maybe if you know you’re going to cry, like you’re going to a sad movie, try not eating any salt or wheat for a few days beforehand, and drinking at least 3L of water every day, and see if that reduces the puffiness?

I’m looking forward to seeing what others have to say too because I feel like if you’re prone to puffy eyes, it’s just really hard to get rid of them entirely.
posted by DestinationUnknown at 2:29 PM on September 27, 2019

I find that used teabags, frozen, work well
posted by Morpeth at 4:21 PM on September 27, 2019

I use ice and hemorrhoid cream under my eyes when they are puffy. Hey, I learned it from Hollywood.
posted by Young Kullervo at 4:41 PM on September 27, 2019

If the stuff above doesn't work, I telll them "hayfever/ allergies, someone on the bus drowned themselves in cheap perfume."
posted by b33j at 5:43 PM on September 27, 2019

I get this too, my eyes are especially puffy above my eyelids every single time I cry. The combination of using an eye mask similar to this one that I keep cold in the refrigerator and to use it before I get into a warm shower. Something about the combo of cold and then warm steam helps the swelling for me.
posted by blacktshirtandjeans at 6:02 PM on September 27, 2019

I keep a couple of table spoons in the fridge. Placing these on puffy areas for a few mins in the am makes all the difference.
posted by koahiatamadl at 6:57 PM on September 27, 2019

I get this too, complete with the coworkers asking what’s wrong well into the next day (I tell them allergies too). I’ve had it since my 20s, so I don’t think it’s necessarily age-related. I haven’t found a magic bullet solution, but here are some things that I find helpful:
  • Elevating my head with an extra pillow when I’m sleeping
  • Teaspoons in the freezer then applied to my eyes
  • I don’t usually wear makeup, but I find it helps to use a matte eyeshadow that’s close to my skin tone on the lids to cover up the shine and redness, and then mascara to make my eyes look more open.

posted by Whichty at 8:16 PM on September 27, 2019

I have this same issue. Sometimes my eyes are so puffy the morning after crying that I have trouble keeping them open. I've tried the cold compresses, ice masks, and cucumber slices, but none of those make the slightest bit of difference for me. The only thing that truly works, and it might not be any better than the puffy eyes, is a high intensity workout where I'm sweating hard. When the workout's over, I can pass for normal.
posted by Barnifer at 8:54 PM on September 27, 2019

I noticed that I could cry undetectably (except if someone saw the tears or heard the sobbing) if I didn't touch my eyes or face *at all* when it was happening. You have to be careful about blowing your nose, too, because you can easily redden it with simple friction.
posted by the Real Dan at 1:25 PM on September 28, 2019

Thanks, all! This was super helpful. I have nothing to report back yet but appreciate the excellent suggestions.
posted by bluedaisy at 5:26 PM on October 28, 2019

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