For as long as I’ve been alive, I’ve suffered from puffiness. Here’s a picture of me the day after I was born:
See? The puff already had me in its clutches. Imagine that face ever so slightly less red and with a few more wrinkles, and you’re pretty much picturing me on waking now. I know: hot stuff. There is an upside to years of waking with eyes that resemble a Black Moor Goldfish’s and cheekbones/a jawline lost to swelling: I have an encyclopaedic knowledge of how to take it down in double time. Here’s what I’ve learned //
THE LIFESTYLE STUFF /
Diet is hugely important in reducing distension. The first – and main – enemy is salt. I stopped sprinkling any extra on my food about ten years ago and doing so singlehandedly cut my puffiness in half. Alcohol is also a bit of a devil for we puffy people, as is dehydration (so reducing caffeinated drinks and upping water-rich foods is a good idea). Sleeping in the wrong position can also have an effect (for me this means no sleeping on my side, which I so love to do), and a lack of/far too much sleep tends to fuel the beast.
POOR & PUFFY /
Don’t worry if the below are out your budget – once puffiness has descended, anything cool really helps to reduce it. The first trick is to keep some spoons in the fridge and roll the backs of them over your face once you’ve applied a serum in the morning (you’ll need something on your skin to help them move without pulling). Lightweight or gel formulas tend to be better at bringing down puffy eyes in particular, though anything cooled in the fridge will help. For a quick fix if things are particularly bad, make like Kate Moss – she famously fills her sink with cool water and some ice cubes in the morning and then dunks her face in. If it’s good enough for her…
THE TOOLS /
Onto stuff you can buy. Let’s start with the tools. Now both these pretty much do the job of the spoons when cooled in the fridge, but with added bonuses. The 001 Skincare Eyecicle is made of seamless glass, so you can slide and ease it around eyes (and creases around the mouth) without having to break the motion. The ends are also good for moving into crevices and encouraging lymph drainage, while the fluid inside keeps the temperature just right so as not to damage skin. I am fully aware that this one is a total extravagance, but it feels lovely and given that two come in a pack, you could share the cost with a pal.
The Ju Ling Rollers Small Jade Facial Roller does a similar job, though it offers more vigorous stimulation and is particularly handy for softening crow’s feet and minor wrinkles as it encourages blood flow to the surface of the skin. It’s also hand-carved and beautiful to behold so if you get an extra kick from that sort of thing, that one may be for you
THE PRODUCTS /
All Over / While the Bakel Deep Hydration Serum makes no claims on the depuffing front, I’m really keen on using it when I’m suffering because it’s lightweight enough not to exacerbate the situation, slippy enough to really ease the tools (or spoons) over skin, and the hyaluronic helps pad out furrows and wrinkles.
Eyes Only / Sisley’s Eye Contour Mask when kept in the fridge is a lifesaver – it is cooling, soothing and strengthening. The arnica content offers an added bonus: thanks to it not only will the mask bring down puffiness and soften lines, but it will also reduce darkness under the eyes slightly, which I find makes my bags look less prominent.
The final product is a real find. Lots and lots of eye gels/serums/creams now come with balls or tools on the end to make application easy and provide a gentle massage, but I find most of them ineffectual because they’re either a bit puny or drag the skin. Neither is true of Exuviance’s DePuffing Eye Serum. The serum itself is brilliant and contains caffeine, chamomile, cucumber and green tea to soothe and stimulate circulation, therefore carrying away excess water. The head is fantastic and comprised of three roller balls that firmly glide over skin and really, truly have an effect.