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Makeup-Free Ways to Combat Puffy Eyes

Before you reach for the concealer, here's how to de-puff your peepers like a pro.
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Crow's feet, dark circles, puffiness — your eyes play host to a whole slew of unsightly issues. And while you can knock out the first two with a good anti-aging cream and concealer, puffiness proves to be a bit of a trickier peeper problem. Why? Well, for starters, undereye bags have multiple causes, all of which require slightly different types of treatment. But it's not all bad news! There are a handful of tried-and-true solutions to combat every kind of puffiness. Here are some of the best.

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The Cause: Genetics
Everyone has a fat pad under each eye, credit basic human anatomy. They serve an important purpose, acting as a cushion to protect this delicate area from injury. But exactly how prominent these pads are boils down to genetics (AKA it's out of your control, sorry). If you have constant bags under your eyes that never seem to go away, these fat pockets are likely to blame. It's also worth noting that they can become more apparent with age, too. The older we get, the thinner our skin becomes and the skin around the eye is already super thin to begin with. The thinner the overlying skin, the more noticeable the bulging fat pads are.

Image via Imaxtree

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The Fix
For this kind of puffiness, over-the-counter products aren't going to cut the mustard; in-office treatments are the way to go. As a permanent, although fairly extreme, solution, surgery can redistribute the fat to make the area appear smoother. If going under the knife isn't your jam, going under the needle is another option. Injectable hyaluronic acid fillers can be used around the fat pad, making it much less noticeable. Results will last about a year. Ulthera is another solution: "The treatment delivers ultrasound energy into the deep layers of the skin, creating a tightening effect on the top layers," explains Kavita Mariwalla, M.D., a New York-based dermatologist. Those results will last a few years.

Image via Imaxtree

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The Cause: Allergies
If your eyes are also red, itchy or watery, allergies are likely the reason for your puffy eyes. Allergens in the air (pollen, pet dander, you name it) hit the lining of your eyes and react with antibodies that release histamines, which cause swelling, along with other fun symptoms, like a runny nose.

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The Fix
For chronic allergy sufferers, Mariwalla advises popping an oral allergy pill daily (though be sure to check with your doc first). And, while it seems simple, washing your face regularly is an easy and effective way to keep allergens sticking to your lashes or lids. No matter what, resist the urge to rub your eyes, since this will only make matters worse.

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