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How to get rid of puffy eyes

As the facial feature we first focus on when we’re introduced to someone, the eyes are key to making a good initial impression. Here’s how to keep yours looking fresh, bright and puff-free. By NEWBY HANDS

Beauty

The lowdown

With 22 muscles working up to 10,000 times a day, protected only by the thinnest, driest, most fragile skin on the body, it’s no surprise that your eye area is the first to show signs of age. Before you even begin to see lines, loss of elasticity can be measured in the skin. And while the weakest part is the upper eyelid, the real problems appear below the eyes, with a recent study showing that the delicate skin directly beneath can appear to be a staggering 10 to 20 years older than that on your cheeks, and generally shows signs of aging more quickly than other facial features.

The products to use

Increasingly, women are abandoning their eye creams and using their normal skincare around the eyes. But it’s just not enough: the eyes need targeted, specific products. Choose light-textured gels and creams (heavier creams can cause puffiness) that absorb easily to hydrate this ultra-dry skin – everyone will benefit from more moisture here, as very often those fine lines are from dehydration, not age. Alternatively, light-textured oils, such as UMA Oils Absolute Anti-Aging Eye Oil, can be excellent for plumping up flat, fragile and crepey skin. Whatever you use, apply it to the bone around the eyes using the pad of your ring finger – it’s been shown to use the least pressure on this delicate area – and work outwards to help drain any puffiness.

Call in the specialists

Eye masks are brilliant and can transform the look of your eyes – they’re an opportunity to literally trap active ingredients against the skin, boosting absorption. Decree’s new SOS Revitalising Eye Mask is an excellent option for all concerns in the eye area, but is particularly effective for tackling puffiness. The 15-minute masks are loaded with ceramides, glycerin and panthenol which, together, strengthen the skin, reduce irritation and increase moisture.

The lifting technique

“The product makes up 70% of results, while 30% is how you apply it,” says Dallas-based aesthetician Joanna Czech. “Work around the eye, using the fingertips to press and release – this microscopically opens up the skin, allowing the cream in, so, when released, the skin holds the cream like filler.” To lift the upper eyelids, she advises: “Start at the inner ends of the brows, and firmly pinch and hold for 20 seconds – on a scale of discomfort, you should feel an eight. Work outwards along the brow. Then repeat, but this time pinch and pull the brows out and up. Do this three times daily and you’ll see the results,” says Czech. She always keeps two dessert spoons in the fridge, too, as “they’re excellent to press around tired, puffy eyes”. Alternatively, Anne Semonin Eye Express Radiance Ice Cubes soothe and hydrate weary eyes.

For a more targeted lifting option, try FaceGym’s new Electrical Muscle Stimulation Eye Mask. Inspired by its popular Electrical Muscle Stimulation Mask for the lower face, it uses electrical pulses to shock the muscles around the eyes into action, helping to lift and tighten the whole area. It’s comfortable to use and great for skin that has lost definition but, like all devices, you must consistently use it to see the best results.

Some of our favorite eye products take into account application methods, too. Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair Eye Concentrate Matrix, for example, uses a clever cryo-steel wand to apply its iconic skin-renewing serum. The steel is instantly cooling, helping to reduce puffiness, and is particularly effective when used in the morning after a late night. Another favorite is KORA Organics Noni Radiant Eye Oil – applying this silky oil with the bottle’s integrated rose quartz roller ball is a cinch, but the rose quartz also remains cool, so it feels instantly soothing.

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The model featured in this story is not associated with NET-A-PORTER and does not endorse it or the products shown