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I have not found any product for eye puffiness in the cosmetic marketplace that work, but there are several categories of products available.
How do the topical products for eye puffiness work?
This is an excellent question, especially because I have not found any product for eye puffiness in the cosmetic marketplace that work. There are several categories of products available. One category of under-eye product would be best classified as a concealer. These are products that are lighter than traditional facial foundations that minimize the appearance of eye puffiness by eliminating under-eye darkness. These products may also contain mica or other tiny particulate light reflective particles to increase under-eye light reflection and optically decrease eye puffiness.
The second category of under-eye puffiness products contains a thick dimethicone that fills in lines around the eyes much like caulk. These lines can be filled and then camouflaged with an under-eye concealer or a facial foundation. These products are highly effective when placed on the skin, but are removed with washing and need to be applied on a daily basis. Line fillers do not really reduce puffiness, they only minimize the deepness of the lines.
A third category of products for under-eye puffiness is a caffeine containing moisturizer. Caffeine is an alkaloid extracted from the leaves and beans of the coffee tree. While caffeine is a well-known stimulant, it also can function as a diuretic. It is the diuretic effect that may improve under-eye puffiness, since some of the puffiness may be due to extracellular fluid. I am not sure how much topical caffeine under the eyes is necessary to produce improvement. Remember that the caffeine is always placed in some type of moisturizing vehicle and indeed the vehicle may have an important role.
Finally, a fourth type of under-eye puffiness cosmetic has a novel approach to the problem by using a contracting polymer. In this technique, the polymer is allowed to polymerize on the skin surface and the contraction provides a “girdle” type of effect on the undereye tissue. Some of the undereye puffiness in mature individuals is due to herniation of the fat pad. This fat herniation does not respond to any other treatment except for fat pad support.
Under-eye puffiness is common universal problem in maturing individuals that is challenging to treat.