15 Best Remedies To Reduce Swollen, Puffy Eyes After Crying

De-puff before you move forward.

Last updated on Dec 15, 2022

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While crying is a perfectly natural thing to do, it doesn't always happen at the most opportune times. Surprisingly, our bodies don't just automatically produce tears.

Our limbic system, which is the part of our brain that regulates emotions, needs to send a certain signal to our brain's messaging system to activate our lacrimal glands in order to produce physical tears. It's a whole process for us to cry, so it's no wonder it leaves evidence like puffy eyes.


But while there are plenty of benefits of crying, sometimes it helps to know how to get rid of puffy eyes from crying, especially if you are at work or a party.

Why do eyes get puffy while crying?

Why do your eyes get puffy after crying, anyway?

Well, it has to do with your eyes' so-called drainage system, which can easily become overwhelmed and clogged when you cry emotional tears. This is because the lacrimal drainage system can't handle the number of tears that come when we cry emotional tears.

The tears come out of our eyes and even our noses sometimes, but are then reabsorbed by the surrounding skin, making the eyes seem puffy.


There's no set time for how long puffy eyes last after crying. While someone may be fine after a few minutes, others might notice their eyes are still puffy hours later. To speed up the process of reducing puffiness and fluid from around the eyes, you need to cool the area.

RELATED: 6 Reasons You Cry Easily & Get Overly Emotional (Sometimes For No Reason)


15 Ways To Get Rid Of Puffy Eyes From Crying

1. Cucumber slices

So refreshing... and effective! Refrigerated cucumber slices are great for reducing the swelling of your red puffy eyes.

In addition to acting as a DIY cold compress, cucumbers are packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants and flavonoids in cucumbers soothe inflammation and reduce swelling.

Make sure they're cold when you place them over your eyelids. When the cucumbers no longer feel cool, remove them.

2. Cold compress

Applying a cold compress to your swollen eyes can reduce puffiness and swelling.

Cold compresses restrict blood vessels, stopping them from swelling, which can also relieve some discomfort from puffy eyes. It can also decrease inflammation around your eyes.


Grab a washcloth and dampen it with cold water. Apply it to the skin of your under-eye area with gentle pressure.

3. Tea bags

Another easy trick to getting rid of puffy eyes is using tea bags — caffeinated, of course.

Some studies suggest that the caffeine in tea can penetrate the skin and reduce puffiness. Caffeine has the ability to constrict blood vessels, which helps reduce inflammation.

First, wet two tea bags and promptly refrigerate them. After 20 minutes pass, take them out of the refrigerator and place them under your eyes. Do this for 15-30 minutes. Green tea or black tea, both high in caffeine, work.

4. Chilled eye serum

Applying a cool eye serum to your eye area constricts the blood vessels and therefore reduces puffiness. Not only will the serum treat the area around your eyes, but the fact that it is cold helps to reduce inflammation.


Choose your favorite serum, stick it in the fridge for around 20 minutes, then massage it around the affected area. It's a lot more relaxing than using a bag of frozen peas to reduce puffy eyes from crying, that's for sure.

5. Ice cubes

This home remedy is just like a cold compress. What you are trying to do with the ice is stop your blood vessels from swelling, creating puffiness. In basic terms, you are freezing the puffiness in its tracks.

Wrap an ice cube or two in paper towels, and apply it to the puffy area. This one's a quick, easy, and cheap solution that acts as a cold compress.

6. Concealer

Concealer isn't just great for covering up acne — it works to cover up evidence of crying as well.


Choose the right color-correcting concealer to help cover up your red puffy eyes. Go for yellow-tinted concealer to battle the flush redness that comes with your puffy eyes. Avoid any foundation or powder.

Apply some concealer underneath and even on the corners of your eyes and you're good to go.

7. Massage

Gently massaging the eye area is also a quick way to get your blood circulating. Though not proven scientifically, many people have expressed that massages have helped their puffy eyes.

It's best if you put your fingers under cold water before massaging the area. Then, place your index finger on the bridge of the nose and massage the under-eye area, working your way out to your temples. Remember to also tap gently to help your blood to flow easily within the vessels.


8. Hyaluronic acid

This hydrating ingredient works miracles on your face. It is actually a natural substance found in the fluids in the eyes!

Hyaluronic acid is famous for hydrating and plumping the skin. It has several other benefits for your skin, too. So why not kill two birds with one stone with this double whammy?

RELATED: How To Stop Yourself From Crying & Control The Tears Quickly

9. Witch hazel

Witch hazel is super helpful for reducing inflammation. Witch-hazels are a group of flowering plants in the Hamamelidaceae family that contain antioxidants to help to treat irritations and even lessen bleeding.

To reduce puffiness around the eyes from crying, the witch hazel will help keep the puffiness under control by shrinking the blood vessels. Apply a little witch hazel to a cotton ball or pad and dab your eye area for 10-15 minutes.


10. Moisturizing cleanser

Wash your face with a moisturizing cleanser to lock the moisture into your face. If your face is already hydrated, the excess tears that come when you cry will fall down your face instead of getting absorbed and causing puffiness.

When doing this, use lukewarm water. This is more of a preventative measure, but washing your face after you cry is always helpful for your skin.

11. Dietary changes

Eat water-rich food daily like cucumbers, fruits, and other veggies. Drink tea or chew on parsley leaves to help flush out toxins in your skin. Cut back on the amount of salt you consume as well, and avoid alcohol or extremely caffeinated drinks.

This may help reduce the appearance of puffy eyes and take care of your skin.


12. Whole milk

Whole milk contains lactic acid that can help reduce your puffy eyes. Milk has a plethora of amino acids, enzymes, and antioxidants that make your skin strong and moisturized.

Whole milk can reduce and relieve inflammation on your eye area and exfoliate dead skin cells that lay on the top layer of your skin.

Just soak cotton balls in organic whole milk and place them on top of your eyes for a good 10 minutes. Then, rinse your face with room-temperature water.

13. Egg whites

Egg whites are also packed with amino acids that are geared towards tightening your skin. This reduces puffiness and redness from crying.

Egg whites are also famous for having anti-inflammatory properties that can bring down the swelling around your eyes. It also repairs your skin, giving it a glowing and healthy finish.


14. Saline solution

A saline solution can reduce puffiness by decreasing fluid retention within the skin. Sodium is an anti-inflammatory product, so it can help with swelling.

The saline solution should be a little warm, as this heat will stimulate blood circulation and support lymph drainage.

To try this at home, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of lukewarm water. Soak 2 cotton balls and squeeze out any extra fluid so they are damp, then place them over your eyelids for 5–10 minutes.

Once finished, remember to wash your eyes with water. Do this every 15 minutes immediately after you finish crying.

15. Aloe vera

Aloe vera contains great antioxidants and is packed with vitamin E, which helps stimulate good blood circulation. It also reduces excess fluids, which is often the culprit to puffy eyes.


Aloe vera is also a great beauty product that rejuvenates skin, making it seem less tired. Leave the gel on your eyes for 5-10 minutes before rinsing it off with warm water.

RELATED: 7 Reasons You Have Dark Eye Circles (And How To Treat Them)

Tips For Soothing Dry Eyes After Crying

1. Use redness-reducing eye drops.

Eye drops are great at reducing dryness and soothing irritation or inflammation of the eye.

When looking for the best eye drops, be sure they correspond with what you wish to treat. In other words, don't get an itch relief eye drop medicine when your eyes aren't itchy.


Just adding a drop or two in each eye is beneficial. These drops usually help calm and constrict your blood vessels which can be the main culprit behind red, dry eyes.

2. Apply a warm compress to your face.

A warm compress can instantly provide relief to your sore eyes. As opposed to cold compresses, warm compresses give soothing and hydrating relief.

Just leave the warm compress on for 10-15 minutes, re-warming it as much as possible.

3. Give yourself a gentle eye massage.

This will stimulate the oil glands on those eyelids. Just like a massage for increasing blood circulation, you can also incorporate a jade roller to relieve any stress your eyes may be holding onto.


Tips To Manage Red & Flushing Cheeks

1. Apply a cold compress.

Similar to puffy eyes, a cold compress or cold water is a smart way to combat flushing, red cheeks.

Avoid hot water if you can, since this will only loosen your blood vessels and bring the blood to the surface. It could just increase the redness on your face instead of reducing it.

2. Use green-tinted makeup or foundation.

Green is a complementary color to red, which means it can neutralize the redness in your face. You can also look for yellow undertones in your makeup to balance everything out.

Of course, make sure you aren't allergic to certain ingredients in the products or you may end up with a rash, making things worse.


3. Avoid irritating products.

Strong retinoids and retinol can irritate sensitive skin. Avoid these if you’ve just had a good cry.

The best thing to do when you have just cried is to wash your face, getting rid of excess fluid and making you feel refreshed. Be sure to avoid all sorts of irritating products within your skin care routine.

How To Prevent Puffy Eyes

The best way to prevent puffy eyes from crying is to get enough sleep, stay hydrated throughout the day, take the proper steps to treat any allergies you may have, and take breaks from screens to reduce eye strain.

It's also a great idea to visit your eye doctor every so often to make sure everything is okay. If you have persistent puffy eyes, there could be an underlying cause.


RELATED: Why I Finally Allow Myself To Cry In Front Of People

Izzy Casey is a writer who covers pop culture, news, and entertainment. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop. Her work has been published in The Iowa Review, The Columbia Review, Black Warrior Review, MSN, and more.