Nearly everybody has dealt with puffy eyes or ‘bags’ at some point. Although it isn’t a particularly painful issue, it can be a frustrating experience which decreases your overall confidence. Unfortunately, it’s also a dilemma that can’t always be remedied with pro-active steps ahead of time.
Puffy eyes can have many causes and often appear out of nowhere. Stress, lack of restful sleep, sinus infections, colds, allergies, and water retention (such as from an overconsumption of salt) can all contribute to this problem. Thankfully, it is very easy to remedy puffy, swollen-looking eyes with certain essential oils.
There are a ton of expensive commercial products on the market to treat puffy eyes. But these commercial products contain a lot of chemical ingredients, which can have serious adverse effects on your health – particularly if you are in a high-risk category such as the elderly, women who are pregnant/breastfeeding, have a preexisting health condition, or are prone to allergic reactions.
Sometimes it is necessary to move beyond natural home remedies. It is best explained by a natural health expert, Dana Arcuri, who says “…There are a time and place for pharmaceuticals, but it shouldn’t be the first answer, nor the only form of treatment.” Before you run to the drug store, try some natural healing with essential oils.
Why Essential Oils?
“I believe that for every illness or ailment known to man, that God created a plant out here to heal it. We just need to keep discovering the properties for natural healing.”
-Vannoy Gentles Fite in her book, “Essential Oils For Healing.”
Essential oils have been used throughout history for a vast number of ailments, particularly those dealing with the skin – things like burns, rashes, cuts, scrapes, acne, boils, and so much more. These oils have calming effects and a very low risk of adverse reactions. When adverse reactions are noted, they tend to be mild and short-termed.
Essential oils that are particularly useful in reducing puffy eyes include lavender, Germany chamomile, rosemary, and tea tree. Let’s take a look at why these are specific essential oils are so great at easing puffy eyes, as well as how you can use them.
#1. Lavender Essential Oil
Lavender is a widely-used herb extracted from the leaves of the plant bearing the same name. In holistic medicine, it has been used for everything from anxiety to hair loss, and from acne to indigestion. The reason lies in its unique calming effects. Lavender essential oil has been scientifically proven to have unique sedative effects, relax muscles, and calm the skin. Below are two recipes which can help you use this oil at home for puffy eyes.
You can create a lavender eye serum by combining 25 drops of essential lavender oil, 1/4 cup of sweet almond oil, and one tablespoon of organic beeswax in a small container with a lid. To use, put a little dab on the tip of your finger and gently rub beneath your eyes before bed. Leave on overnight, and wash your face in the morning.
A mild solution that doesn’t need to be rinsed off can be made with 4 drops lavender essential oil, 2 ounces witch hazel, and 2 ounces distilled water. Mix and store in an airtight container. Apply a small amount with a soaked cotton ball, and go about your day.
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#2. Chamomile Essential Oil
Chamomile, as a plant, is often used to make teas known for their calming effects. The oil extracted from this plant is incredibly high in azulene, which is an anti-inflammatory compound known to be incredibly useful in skin healing. Check out the two recipes below to see how you can use it to ease your puffy eyes.
For a mild solution that doesn’t need to be rinsed, combine 2 drops of chamomile essential oil with 2 ounces of witch hazel. Apply with a soaked cotton ball. The cold, tingling effect you will feel is healthy and is proof it’s working.
Don’t have the essential oil laying around your house but need a quick fix now? Soak two tea bags in ice cold water for ten minutes, and lay the tea bags on your eyes. Lay back and relax for fifteen minutes before removing the tea bags and rinsing your face with cold water.
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#3. Rosemary Essential Oil
Rosemary essential oil contains anti-bacterial, anti-microbial, soothing, and anti-irritation effects when applied topically. This makes it not only great for reducing puffiness under the eye, but also for dry skin, and acne.
You can create a calming eye oil by combining 10 drops of rosemary essential oil with 10 drops vitamin E, 10 drops of jojoba oil, and 1 tablespoon of sweet almond oil. Gently massage the mixture beneath your eyes and allow to sit for fifteen to twenty minutes. Rinse with cold water, and wash your face as you normally would.
Create an overnight eye cream by combining 1/4 cup of organic extra virgin coconut oil, 5 drops rosemary essential oil, 5 drops lavender essential oil, and 2 tablespoons of shea butter. Microwave the coconut oil for thirty seconds. Remove, and add the other ingredients. Mix thoroughly, and store in the refrigerator to allow it to harden. The chill will give you additional benefits, as cold naturally eases swelling.
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#4. Tea Tree Essential Oil
Tea tree oil is useful in fighting swelling, viruses, and bacterial infections. It has often been hailed by experts as a “medicine cabinet in a bottle” for its broad effectiveness. Tea tree has a distinctive camphor-like smell that many find pleasing.
For a quick fix while you relax, take two chilled cucumber slices and place over your eyes. Place one drop of tea tree oil on each cucumber slice, on the side facing up, away from your face. Allow them to sit until the cucumbers begin to warm, or at least twenty minutes. Try playing your favorite relaxation music at the same time to distress your mind at the same time!
Create an overnight cream by combining ten drops of tea tree essential oil with 1/4 cup of shea butter and 1/4 cup of organic coconut oil. Heat the coconut oil in the microwave for 20 seconds, add the other ingredients, and mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into a sealed container, and place in the fridge to harden. Apply before bed. When you wake, gently rinse your face with cool water, and wash as you normally would.
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Essential Oil Precautions
Although essential oils are usually safe for daily use, here are a few quick precautions to keep in mind:
- If you are allergy-prone or have never used one of the products listed in the recipes above, do an allergy test on the inside of your elbow before putting anything on your face
- Avoid getting mixtures into your eyes. As with most topical products, this could cause anything from mild to severe irritation. If oil does get in your eyes, rinse thoroughly with warm water for a minimum of one full minute.
- Do not ingest recipes listed above, as they may not be safe for consumption.
- Never use undiluted essential oils on your skin, as they may cause irritation – particularly in those with sensitive skin.
- If you are pregnant, nursing, or have any pre-existing health conditions, always consult with your doctor before using home remedies, as certain essential oils or ingredients listed in the recipes above may not be safe for you.