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DIY Eye Soothers

Photography: Kana Okada

Source: Body+Soul, February/March 2006


The skin in the eye area is especially thin and sensitive, so it flares up fast when you're stressed and fatigued -- or surviving on a less-than-perfect diet. Natural remedies, though, can lessen redness or puffiness almost as quickly as it appears. Many remedies use simple ingredients that are already in your kitchen. With the help of Dr. Jeanette Jacknin, a holistic dermatologist and author of "Smart Medicine for Your Skin," we've assembled five of the most effective solutions.

Chamomile, Green, or Black Tea Bags
Chamomile tea, a natural anti-inflammatory, helps ease redness and puffiness around the eyes. Green and black teas contain compounds called tannins, plus caffeine. Tannins have an astringent effect on the skin and shrink swollen tissue, while caffeine constricts blood vessels to reduce swelling.

Chilled Spoons
In this case, it's the cool temperature of the metal spoons that constricts blood vessels, which helps decrease redness and puffiness in the eye area.

Cold Milk
As with the spoon method, temperature is key; cold milk constricts blood vessels and reduces swelling. The fat in whole milk soothes dry, irritated skin.

Cucumber Slices
A classic remedy for puffy, irritated eyes, cucumbers contain ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and caffeic acid, both of which help reduce swelling.

Egg Whites
Egg whites act as an astringent, making your skin appear tighter and smoother. They are also high in vitamin B2, or riboflavin, which is associated with improved circulation.

Text by Erin Sinclair


  • Two chamomile, green, or black tea bags

  • Four metal spoons

  • Whole milk or cream

  • Cotton balls

  • Small bowl

  • Two 1/2-inch-thick cucumber slices

  • Bed of ice

  • Two egg whites

  • Witch hazel

  • Brush


  1. Steep two chamomile, green, or black tea bags in just-boiled water for three minutes. Remove them from the water and place in the refrigerator until cooled. Place one bag over each eye and relax for 15 minutes.

  2. Place four metal spoons in a glass of ice water. When chilled, place one spoon on each eye, following the contour of your eye socket. As the spoons begin to warm, switch them with the spoons chilling in the glass of ice water. Continue this process until swelling subsides.

  3. Pour ice-cold whole milk or cream into a small bowl; soak two cotton balls in the liquid. Then squeeze out the cotton balls slightly and put one over each eye. Once the cotton balls warm up, soak two more and repeat for up to 15 minutes.

  4. Rest two 1/2-inch-thick cucumber slices on a bed of ice to chill. Once cool, place one slice over each eye, lean your head back, and relax for 10 to15 minutes. Remove the slices and rinse your face with cool water.

  5. Beat two egg whites until stiff, and then apply to the under-eye area using a brush. Let the mixture dry for about 15 minutes; rinse well with water. Jacknin also recommends adding a drop or two of witch hazel to the beaten whites, which further reduces swelling and keeps the egg whites from drying too rapidly.

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