Under Eye Puffiness: Seeking the Best Solutions

How do you get rid of tired, puffy eyes? Over the years, I tested many under eye de puffer serums. Here are my results with pictures...

by Linda Robison

Solutions for under eye puffiness are in high demand, and many products promise a quick remedy for under-eye swelling.

They also claim to tighten crepey skin, mask eye wrinkles, and reduce the look of dark circles.

Over the years, I've been experimenting at home to find the best over-the-counter eye bag treatment that works in minutes.

Because I don't always have time to sit around with cold tea bags or ice cubes over my eyes! 😒

Instant DIY eye bag treatments

This article reviews my experiences with the following:

  • Plexaderm
  • Peter Thomas Roth FirmX
  • Ageless
  • Insta-Tox
  • Preparation-H
  • Easy Eye Solution

All part of my quest for an eye bag treatment that works in minutes. And here is what I found …

Looking for the best treatment for puffy under eyes

I've had lower eyelid puffiness and wrinkles since my early 20s!😒 And, now that I'm older, my under eye skin can look a bit wrinkly and crêpey!

I knew I had to find a solution.

While a lot of under-eye skin care serums worked, each had a problem that was difficult for me to deal with. I'll explain below...

Note: The following reviews are based on my personal experience. It doesn't mean one product is better or worse than the other. Since everyone is different, personal experimentation is a must to find what works best to reduce your under eye puffiness.

Under eye treatment for puffy eyes & wrinkles: My results …

Here are my results using some popular under eye treatments and serums. Listed from least to most favorite: 

Preparation-H Hemorrhoid Ointment

Photo of preparation H under eye puffiness.

Can Preparation H be used for bags under eyes?

No, Preparation H is not to be used for under eye bags. But, many people, including celebrities, have tried it and even endorsed it!

This hemorrhoid cream/ointment is formulated to help shrink swollen tissues and reduce their size. But, it did nothing to reduce my eye bags or get rid of that tired look.

In fact, it caused my eyes to swell up a bit due to the heavy greasy consistency of the product, as you can see from the picture.

I read that the original product formula changed, and the American version didn’t contain the special “live yeast cell” that it once did.

But, regardless of the formula change, there are plenty of dermatologist and skincare specialists that say Preparation H can damage under eye skin. 😮 

Instantly Ageless

Remedy for puffy under eyes. Sample of Instantly Ageless.

Even though there are several YouTube videos showing how well it worked for others – I had a very hard applying it.

It comes out chunky and pasty, and you have to mix it with water to smooth it out, in order to apply it smoothly. But maybe my product was old.

It Looked Good at First:

The first few minutes after it dries, all looked good. My under eye puffiness was gone, and my skin looked smooth and tight, just like you see on the YouTube videos.

But, after a few hours, the skin under my eyes started to flake and peel. It looked like I had eczema.

I’ve also tried applying it with a makeup brush – as suggested by some sellers. But my results are always the same – dry, flaky, and peeling.

And, worst of all, it cannot be applied on top of any creams, makeup, or moisturizers.

I need to use a moisturizer under my eyes every day! I can't live without my eye cream. Unfortunately, it was not good for me.

Plexaderm Rapid Reduction Eye Serum

When I tried Plexaderm under eye cream (for under eye bags) it was a cream based product. But the company has since reformulated it, and now it's a liquid like serum.

So, it might work better, I haven't tried the newer one.

However, I found their original cream product (which felt similar to Ageless) a bit drying and hard to work with. 

Here is their product update statement:

Update: Plexaderm recently reformulated the Rapid Reduction product and rebranded it from a “cream” to a “serum”. This new formula is similar to the old one but incorporates some additional ingredients: Propylene Glycol (a common hydrating agent), Hydrolyzed Rice Protein (to increase moisture retention), and Soluble Collagen (a hydrating and smoothing agent).

My results with Plexaderm were similar to Ageless, as I found the cream a bit hard to work with.

It was dry, and I had to add a bit of water to thin it out. But, I don't know how the product works now, as it's been updated to a serum consistency.

Personally, I like serum/liquid based under eye products. 

Plexaderm equivalent

What is better than Plexaderm for wrinkles?

If you're looking for an affordable Plexaderm equivalent, the following two options are great alternatives: 

  • Peter Thomas Roth FirmX
  • Easy Eye Solutions Instant Eye Tuck

Like Plexaderm, both contain skin-tightening ingredients that can temporarily reduce under eye puffiness, fine lines, crepiness, and those tiny crisscross lines under the eyes.

And, many find the serum consistency of Peter Thomas Roth FirmX and Easy Eye Solutions easier to apply evenly without flaking compared to Plexaderm's thicker formula.

Which is better for you?

Of the two comparable products, the Easy Eye Solution is softer, gentler, and more suitable for mature, sensitive, or dry skin types.

Additionally, both Peter Thomas Roth and Easy Eye Solutions can be applied over makeup and serums, unlike Plexaderm which requires bare skin application.

Note: If you're looking for maximum tightening power between these two Plexaderm equivalents, Peter Thomas Roth FirmX has very strong holding capabilities.

However, it is also more drying and has a higher chance of leaving a white residue under the eyes.

I'll discuss my experience with the two in the content below:

Peter Thomas Roth Instant FIRMx Eye Gel

Quick fix for puffy eyes

One thing I can say about this eye firming gel is it works!

It will tuck away those puffy eyes, but maybe it works a little too well? Because my eye area felt a little tight.

It was a bit too drying for my delicate under eye skin. And, sometimes it left a crusty, powdery white residue on the skin.

However, I found if I used less or mixed it with a tiny drop of water, it wasn't too bad. 

Thomas Roth puffy eye serum compared to Easy Eye Solutions.Under eye puffiness is less, but I don't like the white film it left. Using less product can help with the film.

So, if you're willing to play around by adding a bit of water, this might be a good solution for your under eye puffiness.

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INSTA-TOX - Serious Skincare

eye serum for puffy eyes

Well, as you can see from the picture, this eye serum is very wet. If you don't shake up the tube before dispensing, it'll sputter out all over your fingers.

I guess the ingredients separate when it sits for a while.

This serum works ok. It's not as strong as Peter Thomas Roth, so if you have really deep puffy eyes, this may not be for you.

Also, it dries to a powdery film, which I'm not a fan of. If I'm going to have to deal with a white, powdery film, I'd rather use Peter Thomas Roth. 

Easy Eye Solutions Instant Eye Tuck

Looking for best products for puffy eyes.

This anti-aging eye treatment serum worked best for me. It’s soft, not too drying and does not crack or accentuate my fine lines when I smile.

Check my Before and After pictures!

This under eye serum helps camouflage those tiny lines and crepe-like, criss-cross lines under the eyes. 

Does this serum completely get rid of under eye puffiness?

Will not hide the bags completely? No, but none of them do. They just help reduce puffiness and the appearance of lines and crinkly skin.

But, this one is the least drying and most gentle for dry or mature skin types.


Unlike the other under eye serums, this one can be applied on top of moisturizers, makeup, and sunscreen, as long as you the other products soak in before applying the under eye serum.

Here is how I wear it with other skincare products:

  • Apply your favorite sunscreen, moisturizer, etc…
  •  Let everything soak in for about 15 minutes, then very lightly blot the area with a tissue before applying the serum.

The serum needs to make contact with the skin in order to work. So the least amount of creamy products applied in that area, the better results.

I like the consistency of this product too.

As you can see from the picture above, it’s more fluid, like a thick liquid, and much easier to apply. So you're not stretching and pulling skin.

The only problem with that consistency is it's easy to apply too much. If you notice a white residue, the best bet is to wet your finger or a tissue and dab a little off.

Best way to use an under eye puffiness serum

Best Way to Get a Flawless Finish

To reap the benefits of under-eye serums, you need to know how to apply them correctly. You don't need to be a makeup artist to get it right.

You don't need to use a setting spray, setting powder, or cream concealers.

And you don't need a beauty blender or makeup brush to smooth it on...Just your ring finger.

Here is my advice:

Small drop of under eye puffy serum.In this photo, I'm using the Easy Eye Solution Serum.

1. Place a tiny drop half the size of a pea. DON'T USE TOO MUCH!

2. Then smooth it across the delicate skin starting at the inner corners (right under the lash line) and bring it out across the undereye area.

Remember, a little goes a long way, but if that's not enough, then next time add a more until you find what amount works best for you.

I usually apply this serum after I've finished apply ALL of my makeup, and I'm ready to walk out the door.

Best eye serum for puffy eyes: Summary

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Here is a quick summary of the review of anti-aging eye products I've tried. It's listed from least to most favorite: EES, Peter Thomas Roth, Plexaderm, Instantly Ageless, Insta-TOX.

  • Easy Eye Solultions (EES)  - is by far the most effective, less drying and easy to apply. Just swipe it under each eye, let dry, and you're ready to go!

EES - Free Shipping Always.

  • Peter Thomas Roth - worked well to reduce puffiness, But it might be too drying for sensitive or mature skin.

Peter Thomas Roth FirmX on Amazon

  • Plexaderm under eye cream - I was not too crazy about the old version. I don't know what the serum feels like. But, if you're interested in trying, you can purchase it on Amazon.

Plexaderm Rapid Reduction Eye Serum on Amazon

  • Instantly Ageless - for me this was the hardest to work with and didn't last as long as the others.

Instantly Ageless on Amazon

  • Insta-TOX Serious Skincare - Meh. It was ok, I didn't like how it dried. And, it's a little hard to work with because it's so wet.

Serious Skincare Insta-TOX on Amazon

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Under Eye Puffiness: FAQ

Q: Insta-Tox vs Plexiderm vs Peter Roth? Which did you like the best?

A: If I only had to choose between Serious Skin Care's Insta-Tox, Plexaderm, or Peter Thomas Roth Insta-Firmx Eye .... I'd pick Peter Thomas Roth Insta-Firmx Eye. 

It is a bit drying compared to the rest. But, it does give the best hold for lifting saggy, baggy under eyelids. Like I said in the review above, I would mix it with a drop of water and use a tiny amount. This is something each individual has to play around with to see what works best for their needs and skin type.

That's why my favorite pick is the Easy Eye Solution because it's like Peter Roth's Insta-Firmx, but softer and more gentle. Especially for aging, mature skin.

Q: Is Plexaderm the same as hemorrhoid cream?

A: No, Plexaderm is not the same as a hemorrhoid cream. Plexaderm is for the under eye area, and hemorrhoid creams are used to reduce swollen hemorrhoids in the lower region of the body. 

Q: Plexaderm Cream vs Serum for Wrinkles? Which would work better if I have under eye puffiness and eye wrinkles too?

A: Anti-aging serums for wrinkles do not provide instant results. Anti-aging serums contain nutrients for long term skin health. If you're looking for a quick fix for puffy eyes with fine lines, a product like Plexaderm or Easy Eye Solution will do the trick.

Q: Does Benadryl help puffy eyes from crying?

A: Benadryl might help better if your issue is caused by an allergic response or seasonal allergies. But, it might take a few days to see results. You're better off using a cold compress like tea bags to reduce eye swelling from crying.

Q: How can I hide eye bags after 50?

A: Of all the under eye serums I've tried, the Easy Eye Solution seems to be the least drying and therefore works best on dry mature skin. And, you can layer your favorite eye moisturizer under the serum too! You can't do that with many of the others.

Q: My eyes feel puffy all the time all day, not just in the morning. Would an eye serum last all day?

A: Yes, if you don't wash it off, most under eye puffy serums will last a long time, even if you sweat.

Q: Why not just use a cold compress for puffy eyes?

A: You can use a wide variety of cold compresses like cold cucumbers or frozen spoons, if you have the time. But, if you're looking for a quick fix, these types of serums are the best.

Q: I thought Plexaderm was an under eye cream. The picture you show in this review looks like a pink paste.

A: Plexaderm and Instantly Ageless have a pasty-like cream consistency.  Unlike Peter Thomas Roth and Easy Eye Solutions, which have a liquid-like serum consistency. Personally, I feel the light serum type products are easier to apply and work with and don't feel as tight or mask-like as the pasty cream products. 

Q: Is plexaderm the same as preparation h?

A: No, Plexaderm is not the same as Preparation H. They are two different products designed for different purposes.

Plexaderm is a skincare product that is designed to reduce the appearance of wrinkles, fine lines, and under-eye bags. It's typically used to provide a temporary tightening and smoothing effect to the skin.

Preparation H, on the other hand, is a brand of over-the-counter medication used to relieve discomfort and itching associated with hemorrhoids. It comes in various forms, including creams, ointments, and suppositories.

Q: Can you use preparation H on your face for wrinkles

A: No, Preparation-H will not have any effect for smoothing out wrinkles on your face or anywhere else.

Q: Does Plexaderm work on turkey neck?

A: Plexaderm is designed to temporarily smooth the appearance of wrinkles, lines, and eye bags. You can try it on neck wrinkles, but if your turkey neck is due to loose or sagging skin, issues with elasticity or lack of muscle tone, then it probably won't work.  

If you're looking for natural solutions to tighten a turkey neck, check out this post. You'll also find my before and after neck pictures.

Q: What is the main ingredient in plexaderm?

A: The active ingredient in Plexaderm is sodium silicate. This ingredient can temporarily tighten the skin. 

It's works by forming a thin film on the skin's surface, which can temporarily tighten and create a smoother appearance. 

Q: What's an alternative to Plexaderm?

A: Easy Eye Solution (EES) Instant Eye Tuck is my first alternative to Plexaderm. And Peter Thomas Roth FirmX is my second choice.

Both are easy to work with and both are a light gel that goes on smoothly. The difference is the EES is lighter and less drying, but both work very well, especially for sensitive, mature under eye skin.

Q: Peter Thomas Roth vs Plexaderm? Which is better?

A: Personally, I prefer Peter Thomas Roth FirmX vs Plexaderm. It has a thinner gel like consistency and is easy to apply and work with. But, the Easy Eye Solution is even thinner and easier to use, especially if you have dry, crepey under eye skin.

Q: Easy eye solutions instant eye tuck, do you have before and after pictures?

Q: Difference between Insta-tox vs Plexaderm?

A: Insta-tox has a consistency similar to Peter Thomas Roth FirmX. It's a thick, white gel. It works similar but the FirmX, is stronger and a bit more drying.

Q: Is Vaseline good for eye bags?

A: No! There is no indication that Vaseline contains anything to help reduce swelling of the eyes.

Personally, I would never use Vaseline under the eye area. Anything greasy like that would cause my eyes to swell up! 

Q: Why do i suddenly have wrinkles under my eyes?

A: Ah, who knows the mystery of sudden wrinkles under your eyes!

However, I can tell you a few logical reasons why those little lines might have decided to make an appearance:

Age - As you get older, your skin loses some of its elasticity and collagen, leading to wrinkles.

Dehydration - Not drinking enough water can leave your skin parched and more prone to developing fine lines.

Sleep Habits - If you're not getting enough quality sleep, your skin might show it with some extra lines, especially under your eyes.

Sun Exposure - UV rays from the sun can speed up the breakdown of collagen and elastin, leading to premature wrinkles. But this can be helped with proper and constant use of sunscreen. In fact, studies show it's possible to reverse some skin aging and wrinkles by using sunscreen. Exciting stuff!.

Smoking - Smoking reduces blood flow to your skin and damages collagen, contributing to wrinkles.

Squinting - Regular squinting (due to sunlight or poor vision) can lead to lines around your eyes.

Genetics - Sometimes, it's in the genes. If your parents developed under-eye wrinkles early, you might too.

Q: Does Garnier remove eye bags?

A: I've tried and wrote about my experience using Garnier eye cream. It didn't remove or reduce the appearance of puffiness, but it didn't make it worse. However, I did think it was a bit pricey for a drugstore brand eye product.