How to get rid of red puffy eyes from crying the night before may seem like a simple fix, and it can be if you have the right tools for the job. However, if you’ve been crying on and off for several hours, you may need to try a different approach to minimizing inflammation and eye redness. The effects of eye inflammation after crying can last as little as a few minutes or several hours. But if you act fast and follow our tips and tricks here, you can look refreshed in no time at all.
The right treatment or home remedy for puffy, red, irritated eyes can vary from person to person. What works for one person may not work for another.
This is especially true if you have seasonal allergies, are prone to eye infections, or have another type of underlying health condition.
Additionally, if you normally have discolored circles under your eyes or eye puffiness runs in the family, finding an effective treatment can be difficult.
The remedies we’ve included are gentle and safe to use, however, if you’re experiencing intense swelling after crying, you may need to speak with your physician in order to rule out an eye infection, which can occur if you’re wearing makeup or you rub your eyes and they come into contact with a contaminant or eye irritant.
Fortunately, most cases of eye irritation from crying are mild and easily treatable at home.
How to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes in the Morning After Crying
Crying for several hours can leave you feeling weak, dehydrated, and can even affect your vision. If your eyes are red and swollen and you don’t want anyone to know you’ve been crying, there are several home treatment options available that can do the trick.
In most cases, there are several home remedies that work great to treat eye puffiness and redness after crying.
If you’re in a rush to make it to work on time and need to get rid of eye inflammation in a hurry, try placing your fingers in a dish of ice cubes for a minute. Next, press down on your eyelids, gently massaging them. You’ll also want to work on the tender skin directly beneath your eyes. Start at the inner corners of the eyes, pressing down on the skin, working your way to the outer corners of the eyes. This process should be repeated several times in order to drain any fluid that has gathered under the eyes. If possible, follow up this treatment with an over the counter eye serum designed to soothe irritated eyes.
In order to treat the whites of the eyes, use over the counter eye lubricating drops, which should get rid of the redness in your eyes almost instantly.
Swollen Eyes from Crying Remedy: Eye Redness and Inflammation Treatment
You’ll find many swollen eyes from crying remedies. Not all of them will work for everyone and can often depend on skin type, how long you’ve been crying and skin sensitivity in general.
If you have more time to treat eye irritation and inflammation, you’ll kick your treatment off by washing your face in cold water. Next, use a bag of frozen veggies that have been wrapped in a towel, placing the bag over your irritated eyes.
Use a couple of green tea bags and steep them in cold water. Be sure to squeeze out any excess water in each bag before placing them over your eyes for fifteen minutes. The antioxidants in the tea will constrict blood vessels under the skin to help reduce any remaining puffiness.
If your eyes are still bright red, slice up a cold cucumber and place the slices over your eyes for ten minutes. This further helps to tighten up blood vessels. The cucumbers also contain a strong antioxidant which works to reduce irritation. You can also cut up a potato and place the slices over your eyes. Potatoes contain catecholase, which is a skin lightening enzyme. Both the cucumber or potato will relieve swelling. However, skincare experts recommend using both, beginning with the cucumber and following up fifteen minutes later with the potato. The potato slices will help to get rid of any remaining puffiness and will also work to brighten the eye area.
If there is any remaining redness this should disappear after a few hours of sleep.
What Happens When We Cry?
We all cry at some point. While people with lighter, more sensitive skin tend to be more prone to redness, most people will experience a degree of puffiness and irritation, especially if they have cried on an off for several hours.
It’s pretty easy to tell when someone has been crying. The red bloodshot eyes, puffiness, and general swelling tend to give it away. But why do we cry and why do we have to deal with itchy, puffy, red eyes after the fact?
When we cry, it sets off a chain reaction in the body. Once your brain senses the intense emotion you’re feeling, then the tears start falling. Powerful emotions such as joy, stress, anger, and sadness are processed in the body as signs of danger. The amygdala, which is the portion of the brain the processes emotions, sends signals to the hypothalamus gland, which is connected to the nervous system. The system handles functions people don’t have control over such as crying, thirst, and hunger.
The autonomic nervous system affects the sympathetic nervous system, revving up the fight or flight response, causing the glottis to swell, which makes the throat feel tight and full. During this process, the body is simply trying to protect itself, so you don’t get any tears or nasal secretions in your lungs. When the fight or flight system is on full alert, a person may experience other symptoms that are closely linked with terror including an increase in heart rate.
Finally, the tears begin to flow.
These intense emotions signal to the hypothalamus gland to generate acetylcholine, which binds to receptors in the brain. These receptors signal the lachrymal glands that are located in the rim of the eyes.
Once stimulated, the glands produce tears. If you only shed a few tears they can drain back into the small opening of the tear duct, but if you’re crying really hard, the tears will drip out of your eyes, streaming down your face. These tears can also flood the nasal cavity.
When you cry, the lacrimal glands pump out secretions. However, the gland’s main duty is to keep your eyes moist around the clock.
When you cry hard, the blood vessels that aid the glands dilate in order to supply them as they’re kicked into overdrive. This is when eye redness occurs.
When a person is crying, the fluid that makes up the tears comes from somewhere. It’s actually derived from the blood that normally flows to the glands. Because of this, when a person is crying the blood vessels must dilate and provide the fluid needed in order to produce tears.
Dark Circles and Puffiness
Dark circles combined with puffiness around the eyes can add several years to the face.
Swelling around the eyes means an accumulation of fluids has gathered. This condition is commonly known as edema. The skin around the eyes is the thinnest skin on the body and because of this, discoloration and swelling are often prominent.
Puffy eyes can result from several different factors including:
- Too much salt in the diet
- Rubbing the eyes
- Sinus issues
- Excessive crying
Often, the eyes are very puffy in the morning because we don’t blink when we sleep. This type of swelling usually goes away within an hour or two after waking, as blinking helps to push trapped fluids back into circulation.
Hemorrhoid Cream for Eye Puffiness and Dark Circle Treatment
Skin discoloration under the eyes can develop from lack of sleep or stress. For skin discoloration and swelling, one of the most common home remedies used is hemorrhoid cream or ointments. These can instantly reduce puffiness because they contain the active ingredient phenylephrine. This medication works by constricting blood vessels.
If dark circles under the eyes are caused by visible blood vessels under the skin, then constricting the blood vessels can help to minimize the discoloration. Constricting the blood vessels can also prevent fluid from leaking from the blood vessels, which can reduce puffiness.
However, using hemorrhoid cream can come with risks. If you accidentally get the cream or ointment in your eye, the eyes can have a severe inflammatory response called chemical conjunctivitis.
Before you use hemorrhoid cream to treat eye puffiness and dark circles, speak with your doctor.
The Best Remedies for Swollen Eyes After Crying
The red, puffy eyes you get after a good cry can make you feel even worse. Fortunately, there are a wide range of home remedies that can get rid of puffy eyes if the treatments we discussed earlier didn’t do the trick.
When we cry, fluid tends to gather around the eye area and in the eyelids. When it comes to minimizing the swelling, it’s all about cooling the area and drawing the fluid away from the eyes.
Check out our guide on getting rid of wrinkles around the eyes.
Using a cold compress to reduce swelling is probably the oldest trick in the book. Just use a cold washcloth and sit upright as you apply the washcloth to the skin around and under the eyes for five minutes while applying gentle pressure.
In order to increase blood flow to the undereye area, gently massage or tap around the eyes. Start by working the pressure points in the brows for thirty seconds before you begin sweeping your fingers from the inside corner of the eye outward in order to force fluid away from the area.
The next step is tapping the sinuses using a couple of fingers on each hand. Begin on either side of the nose and work outward. In severe cases, you can even feel the built-up fluid in these areas.
As we mentioned, reducing eye puffiness is all about moving fluid, so massaging the lymph nodes located in the neck can also help to draw away fluid. When doing so, make sure you work using a downward motion to draw the fluid away from the face.
This face massage can last three to six minutes, depending on the severity of the swelling.
Witch hazel is a gentle astringent that helps to reduce redness and inflammation, which is why it’s a great choice for treating puffy eyes. Use a cotton ball to apply the witch hazel to the areas under the eyes for five minutes.
You can also purchase a metal ball roller and use an eye cooling gel to break up fluid build-up. Eye rollers can work similarly to tea bag treatment, except it feels like a mini massage for the eyes. It’s also hydrating and cooling for the eyes. You can repeat treatment twice daily.
Chilled Serums and Face Creams
As you already know, chilling the skin around the eyes and the eyelids can help to quickly reduce puffiness. You can even use your favorite regular eye cream or face cream, just stick it in the fridge for a couple of hours prior to use. Try to use an eye or face cream that contains aloe vera.
Fighting Eye Redness
The redness that shows up after crying is from blood vessels in the eyes. The only way to ease the redness is by constricting the vessels. However, you can also use some makeup to create a similar effect.
Dark blue eyeliner has been used for years to enhance the whites of the eyes. Tight lining is a technique that’s similar to tracing the waterline. It’s used to simulate the natural area of darkness in the lash line. To do, use a dark blue eyeliner, wiggling it along the lash line. Make sure the eyeliner you choose is waterproof.
The skin under the eyes tends to darken after a good cry. Or there may be some redness on other parts of your face, such as around the nose. Using a good color correcting concealer will help to hide the fact that you’ve been crying. Try to find a green colored concealer to hide any red areas. The green will work to neutralize the redness. On the color wheel, green is the opposite of red, so the two colors will cancel each other out. You can also apply some concealer to any other affected areas, using your finger or makeup sponge to blend well.
Adding some pink colors to other areas of the face can work to draw attention away from red areas around the nose and eyes. To do, use a nice rose-colored blush on the cheekbones and a light rose shade of lipstick.
How to Depuff Eyes After Crying
How to depuff the eyes after crying can be a big process, especially if you’re dehydrated. Often, redness and puffiness go hand in hand. If you’ve been crying for hours, your whole face can become dry and irritated, not just the area under the eyes. Rehydrating the skin can help to bring back moisture and reduce puffiness in one shot.
Begin treatment by drinking eight ounces of water. Water helps to infuse the body with hydration. While you may have heard that you only need to drink a total of eight glasses of water a day, in truth, researchers have discovered that eleven glasses of water is more accurate. Crying can easily cause dehydration in people who normally don’t consume the recommended amount of water daily.
To further reduce puffiness and dry skin use a face wash that’s hydrating, not one designed to combat combination skin or oily skin since this will only make matters worse.
Once you’ve cleaned your skin, use a moisturizer immediately. This helps to lock in the moisture. You’ll need a kind of moisturizer that’s designed for dry skin and one that doesn’t contain salicylic acid or other types of acne fighting ingredients.
These natural treatments should hydrate the skin, helping to reduce puffiness and redness.
How Long Do Puffy Eyes Last After Crying?
How long do puffy eyes last after crying can depend on how sensitive your skin is, how long you’ve been crying, and what you’ve used to treat your eyes and reduce the irritation and inflammation. Of course, everyone is different. For some, eye puffiness can disappear in less than an hour, while for others, the puffiness and irritation can last hours or days. If you’re losing the battle against puffiness then you’re either continuing to cry, you haven’t tried any remedies to soothe your skin and sore eyes, or you have very sensitive skin. On average, puffiness will disappear after one to three hours with a little help from the remedies we’ve covered here.
If You’re Suffering from Dry Eye Syndrome
Sometimes, how to get rid of red puffy eyes from crying isn’t that easy, especially if you already suffer from dry eye syndrome. If you do, then even a short cry can cause the condition to flare up quickly, making treatment difficult and leaving you with sore, irritated eyes for days.
This syndrome is caused by a lack of moisture and lubrication on the surface of the eye. In mild cases, people with dry eye syndrome may deal with mild eye irritation, but in severe cases, this condition can lead to scarring without proper treatment. If you’re suffering from dry eye syndrome, allergies, or other types of underlying eye conditions that can lead to extreme irritation and inflammation after crying, then treatment is even more important.
Dry eye syndrome is actually very common and it’s one of the main reasons for a visit to an eye doctor. Almost half of adults will experience dry eye syndrome on a regular basis, especially if they have desk jobs and routinely spend several hours on a computer.
Symptoms of dry eyes include:
- Tired eyes
- Itchy eyes
- Aching sensation
- Severe swelling after crying
In order to keep the eyes comfortable and healthy, an adequate layer of tears on the surface of the eyes is essential. The tears keep the surface of the eye moist while also washing about microorganisms, debris, and dirt, which can lead to an eye infection and damage the cornea.
When a person with dry eye syndrome cries, the condition is exacerbated since the eye is already lacking moisture. This can lead to severe redness and inflammation, discharge, and pain. It can also take several hours or even days for the swelling and redness to disappear.
In cases such as these, you’ll need to take action immediately after you stop crying in order to fight inflammation. Start by applying a cold compress to the eyes for ten minutes. Next, add lubricating eyedrops to each eye, once every one to two hours. Massage the eyes using the methods we discussed earlier in this article. However, avoid using any serums or creams because they can further irritate the eyes.
If the inflammation fails to subside, you may need to make an appointment with your eye doctor for medicated eye drops.
Fortunately, in mild and even moderate cases, taking action immediately after crying to treat puffiness is often enough to prevent a serious flare-up.
How to Fix Makeup After Crying
This is something every woman should know and learn how to master. If you’re at work, out and about, and you’re wearing heavy eye makeup, you need to learn how to fix makeup after crying in order to prevent infection and severe puffiness and inflammation.
If you’re wearing makeup when you’re crying, your first instinct may be to grab a tissue and wipe your face. Unfortunately, wiping can spread the makeup and make the mess even worse. It can also increase redness and puffiness. The best way to deal with smeared mascara is to dab at the makeup using a makeup spot remover and gently go over the streaks.
If even a little cry causes your eyes to puff up, then you’ll need to find something cold fast. If you can get your hands on some ice, wrap it in a napkin and apply it directly to the skin under your eyes. You can also run your fingertips under the bathroom faucet and press the tips of your fingers to your eyes. Another option is to purchase an over the counter eye de-puffer that’s loaded with caffeine. The caffeine will help draw out excess water. De-puffer sticks with glide-on formulas can easily be stashed in your purse for makeup emergencies.
Learn how to get rid of blepharitis for good here.
Concealing it with Foundation
If you’re out for a night on the town and you’re stuck in a bind with tear-streaked makeup, then your foundation stick will be your best friend. It can help to cover up the redness and puffiness under the eyes and can also help to hide any blotchy spots on the skin.
When it’s Time to Throw in the Towel
If you’re not able to fix your makeup, then starting over may be the only option. If you carry makeup wipes in your purse, then try to remove as much of the streaky makeup as possible. When you’re crying, the face and eyes can become very red, so try cooling off with some cold water. You may be lucky and will only have to redo your eye makeup and not your entire face. Fold a couple of the makeup wipes in half and place them over your eyes for a few minutes to allow the redness to calm down.
Lightening Up the Eyes
Red eyes are a telltale sign you’ve been crying. Some lubricating eye drops can help to soothe your tired, sore eyes, but if you don’t have any in your purse, a white or nude eyeliner is the perfect solution. Applying a lighter eyeliner along the waterline will give the illusion that the whites of your eyes are white and bright. It’s the perfect illusion and one that will work instantly.
If you Have to Reapply
If you’ve been crying hard and none of your makeup is salvageable, whatever you do, don’t go reapplying your eye makeup, especially if severe swelling is already present. If you add eyeshadow, primer, eyeliner, and mascara to sore, irritated, swollen eyes, then you’re just asking for an infection. Additionally, if your eyes are this irritated, then the odds are they’ll become even more so if you apply more makeup. Try to just get by with some foundation, concealer, and a little blush.
Keeping your makeup to a minimum isn’t just to prevent further irritation or another makeup disaster in the event you cry again, but it will also make you look refreshed. However, when it comes to mascara, we recommend investing in a good waterproof brand, one that can easily handle a good cry.
You can also use a soft gray or brown eyeshadow under the eye to mask any puffiness.
Why Do My Eyes Itch After Crying?
The eyes can itch after crying if they become irritated by makeup, or if you rub them. While rubbing may seem harmless, and most people do it while they’re crying, it can lead to a number of issues. Rubbing works to stimulate tear flow and removes dust and other types of irritants, and it can also help to lubricate dry eyes. But if you rub them constantly or too hard when you’re crying it can cause damage.
Rubbing can break several tiny blood vessels in the eye, resulting in unsightly dark circles and bloodshot eyes and intense itching.
The hands carry plenty of germs, so when you rub your eyes the germs are then transferred and can usually result in an injection such as conjunctivitis.
The eyes become itchy after you cry when you irritate them further by using tissues in and around the eyes. The eyes can also be itchy because they have been stripped of their lubrication. You can apply some gentle eye lubricating drops for this. However, before you apply the drops you may need to use a cold compress to reduce swelling beforehand.
How to Avoid Rubbing Your Eyes
If dirt, dust, debris, or some other type of foreign object is stuck in your eye, instead of rubbing your eyes, try to flush it out using artificial tears or saline drops.
When you’re crying, use a soft tissue or cloth to gently wipe your eyes as opposed to rubbing them.
Lubricating eye drops are an excellent imitation of natural tears and are very hydrating. These drops are beneficial to anyone struggling with dry, itchy eyes and they’re available over the counter. There are also drops designed specifically for itchy eyes. These antihistamine eye drops are used in people who suffer from dry eye syndrome, and seasonal and environmental allergies.
When to Seek Treatment
If applying cold compresses and using over the counter eye drops are not enough to help reduce itching, soreness, inflammation, and irritation, then it may be time to make an appointment with your eye doctor. A physician can determine whether you have an infection and may even prescribe medicated eyedrops or an ointment.
Infections can occur easily and are often very treatable. If it’s a viral infection, this will usually resolve on its own in one to two weeks. But a bacterial eye infection will require a round of antibiotics.