A close up of a puffy eye

Here’s How To Deal With Skin Bunching Or Puffiness Under Your Eyes When You Smile

Having puffy and bunched-up eyes can make us look tired, dull, and old. Here's how to sort it out.
Updated: November 9, 2022
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Article Contents

According to research, one of the most common skin complaints people have revolves around skin bunching and puffiness under the eyes. Considered to be almost universally unattractive, millions of consumers of all ages are on a never-ending quest to solve this source of frustration and rid themselves of their tired and dull-looking eyes.

If you’re having puffiness or bunching under your eyes, especially when you smile, you may want to read on.

What causes skin bunching and puffiness under the eyes?

As with many aspects of skincare, there isn’t just one simple answer to this question. There can be numerous reasons why someone could have bunching and puffiness, and those reasons could be entirely different from someone else’s.

Unfortunately, it seems that the most common reason is due to the natural process of aging. There’s no getting around it, we all get older, as much as we don’t want to admit it! As we age, our skin begins to sag and develop wrinkles. This can be managed with strong anti-aging products, or, if you are so inclined, minor surgery. Of course, if you are considering surgery you should always consult a doctor for professional advice.

Another cause is the retention of fluid under the eye. Again, this will affect people differently, and in some cases, it is genetically determined.

Next, certain allergic reactions can increase the likelihood of puffiness. If you’ve ever had a sneezing fit while walking through a park on a summer’s day, you’ll know exactly what we’re talking about.

Finally, other triggers can include bad lifestyle habits such as smoking and drinking. We don’t need to dive too deeply into the potential harms of these things, but it is important to stress that they can also have a hugely detrimental impact on the skin’s condition.

Is skin bunching and puffiness harmful?

While nobody wants to have excessive skin bunching and eye puffiness, the good news is these things are usually completely harmless. For most people, the only damage done will be to their self-esteem. However, if you are experiencing pain or irritation alongside these conditions for a prolonged period, it might be a good idea to contact your doctor for further advice.

Methods to reduce bunching and puffiness

Okay, you understand the reasons why puffiness and bunching occur, but what can you do about it? Great news! There are several home remedies you can try to alleviate symptoms and get your eyes looking back to their best again. Let’s run through some of them now.

Lifestyle & diet

First off, making positive changes to your lifestyle and diet can go a long way in improving puffy eyes and skin bunching. We know it’s easier said than done, but giving up cigarettes and cutting down on the booze will result in huge benefits almost immediately. Similarly, lowering your salt intake can help prevent water retention, which could relieve areas of puffiness. Finally, getting more collagen into your diet by eating more eggs, meat, and fish will help your skin retain its strength and youthfulness.

Good sleep

Getting adequate, high-quality sleep is imperative in helping to combat bunching and puffiness. As a general rule, a normal adult is advised to get 8 hours of sleep per night. Your sleeping position can also play a role, as sleeping on your back can use the forces of gravity to lower the chances of puffiness emerging. Something to consider, at least.

Sun exposure

Spending too much time in the sun can have a problematic effect on your skin, especially under the eyes. It’s a fact that continuous, unprotected exposure to sun rays can dry out skin, accelerate the formation of lines and wrinkles, and encourage sagging. Always be sure to protect yourself properly before going out into the sun.

Eye products

Creams, gels, oils, and serums can be a godsend in tackling both bunching and puffiness. The active ingredients, especially in anti-aging products, can help to stimulate collagen production, hydrate the skin, smooth over lines and wrinkles, and reduce other visual problems. Retinol in particular is a powerful ingredient that you should keep an eye open for when choosing these products.

Conclusion

Skin bunching and under-eye puffiness is natural, but incredibly frustrating and unsightly. The positive news is unless you have a genetic predisposition that may require surgery, there are simple and effective home remedies and lifestyle adjustments that can significantly improve your skin’s condition.

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This article has been reviewed by the in-field experts on our Medical Content Advisory Board to ensure everything is up-to-date and accurate.