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14 SteamTherapy Tips for Reducing Tired, Puffy Eyes

Nobody likes to look in the mirror and see tired, puffy eyes staring back at them. Worse is when there’s also dark discoloration around your baby blues, making it look like you just went a couple of rounds with Mike Tyson.

Puffy eyes aren’t usually associated with serious or chronic disease, but it does have a medical name: periorbital edema. It’s caused by inflammation or swelling in the eye orbit. It can occur in one or both eyes, and it’s usually temporary. In rare instances, it is a symptom of serious illness, such as lymphoma and thyroid disorder, but most of the time it’s the result of nasal irritation or a sinus condition. Researchers say that 70% of periorbital edema cases are caused by sinusitis. Allergies and fluid retention are also responsible for a lot of minor, everyday cases of puffy eyes. 

Some people go to great lengths to rid themselves of puffy eyes, even applying Preparation H to the area around their eye sockets. (Preparation H dehydrates and shrinks tissue.) But let’s face it—natural remedies are preferable to slathering hemorrhoid cream on your face. 

If puffy eyes are a regular occurrence in your life, you need to take charge. 

One powerful treatment worth trying is steam therapy. Spending time in a steam room can help you in numerous ways. Let’s look at 14 treatments for red, puffy eyes, and learn how steam therapy plays a role. 

Steam Therapy Tip 1: Get More Sleep

Getting more sleep is a simple treatment for puffy eyes, yet for many it’s the hardest to achieve. Try to aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night to give your eyes the rest they need. Yes, we realize that’s easier said than done, but with steam in your life, you’ll have a much better chance of improving sleep quality and duration. See here for more, but research supports the notion that intermittent heat treatments help improve sleep, even in the elderly. And steam therapy has also proven to help reduce stress, which may be a factor in your insomnia. 


Steam Therapy Tip 2: Drink More Water

We've noticed when visiting dry locations (e.g., Las Vegas, Nevada) that our eyes tend to look puffy. The dryer the locale, the more important it is to drink water. (See Two Big Water Lies: Steam Therapy Healthy Lifestyle Advice.) Why? Drinking water actually helps flush out your body of excess fluid. Steam plays a role here, too, by helping you regulate your fluid retention through the sweat mechanism. With steam showers a regular part of your routine, you’ll get in the habit of hydrating properly as you detox and cleanse your skin from steam therapy’s healing mist. 


Steam Therapy Tip 3: Place Cold Cucumber Slices on Your Eyes (or Granny Smith Apples and Strawberries)

Placing cucumbers over eyelids is popular both in-home and at spas and beauty salons. The moisture in cucumber slices is refreshing and soothing, and they also contain an anti-irritation ingredient that helps deflate the skin around your eyes to reduce swelling. Or you can try other items in the produce aisle, including sliced strawberries, which contain alpha-hydroxy, and Granny Smith apples, which have tannins. Steam therapy helps augment these treatments because steam showers support healthy skin by cleansing pores of deep-rooted impurities. It’s a natural lubricant that will help leave your entire skin surface looking more healthy, not just your eyes. 


Steam Therapy Tip 4: Use Sinus Relief Methods 

Antihistamines are a go-to for allergy relief that may also help reduce swelling around the eyes. Then there’s the prescription drug prednisone, but tat’s only if you have serious allergy symptoms, not just cosmetic results of allergy-causing irritations. But if you want something that’s natural for sinus relief, then steam therapy is a great choice. Spending time in a steam room helps relieve congestion in multiple ways (see here for more). Steam opens up nasal passages and acts as a natural expectorant, whether or not you suffer from allergies. But if you have seasonal allergies, it can help you deal with the symptoms, including red, tired eyes. 


Steam Therapy Tip 5: Try Using Tea Bags 

This is one of those out-of-the-box beauty tips suggested by some women's magazines, but it really can help. Caffeine from tea shrinks blood vessels (puffy eyes can be caused by irritated blood vessels and increased blood flow to the eyes). Tea also contains tannic acid, which acts as an astringent and may even tighten the skin around the eyes, at least temporarily. Adding steam therapy to this method also helps by further expunging bacterial debris from the skin area around the eye. 


Steam Therapy Tip 6: Reduce Your Salt Intake

Sodium contributes to fluid retention, and reducing your salt intake will help reduce puffy eyes. It’s always a good idea to control sodium for multiple health reasons. The American Heart Association recommends that adults ingest no more than 2,300 mg a day, with an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg daily. As previously mentioned steam therapy is great for helping to keep your body’s fluid balance and sodium levels at healthy levels. 


Steam Therapy Tip 7: Try Face Creams, Gels, & Rollers

There are corticosteroid creams or those with Aloe vera may help reduce the swelling around your eyes. Also, such ingredients as jade and hyaluronic acid have been relied on for years to help reduce puffiness and are included in some creams and gels. In fact, some companies make jade rollers for the purpose of treating puffy eyes. Of course, steam therapy is the perfect complement to these cosmetic applications. As noted earlier, steam’s cleansing effects will also help you remove excess buildup of makeup, which can contribute to periorbital edema. 


Steam Therapy Tip 8: Use Ice or Ice Cold Spoons 

According to some beauty experts, cold spoons fresh out of the freezer placed on your eyes for 10 minutes can do wonders. Ice wrapped in cloth has the same effect, but the spoons may be more comfortable to apply. For this remedy and the one below, the heat of steam showers can help aid the effectiveness of cold treatments by better regulating your body’s core temperature. 


Steam Therapy Tip 9: Ice Cold Milk 

Another home remedy idea for tired puffy eyes is to dunk large cotton balls into very cold milk, which you then place onto your eyes for 10 to 15 minutes. Again, like cold spoons and ice, this is a soothing treatment that’s natural and comes with no side effects—except a milky film on your skin, perhaps, which you’ll remove later if you take a steam shower. 


Steam Therapy Tip 10: Apply a Cold Compress or Rosewater Compress 

A soothing compress can help reduce puffiness and eye irritation, according to beauty experts. This is direct and simple enough, and could be part of your regular skincare routine. Of course, steam therapy’s ability to help skin health can help you achieve a similar result, but combining them is even more effective. 


Steam Therapy Tip 11: Apply Witch Hazel 

Witch hazel has long been used to treat minor cuts and abrasions on skin, and its natural healing powers can help reduce eye puffiness. It also acts as an anti-inflammatory but like hemorrhoid creams. Try applying cotton balls or pads soaked in witch hazel, a natural astringent, onto the eyes for about five minutes. Steam therapy also has been associated with anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce swelling around the eyes. 


Steam Therapy Tip 12: Try Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Self-administered massage can do wonders. To better understand how to do this effective treatment, watch this seven-minute video by Massage by Heather. Other resources on the Internet can help guide you. It’s a great idea to do lymphatic drainage massage after a steam shower. That’s because experts suggest that you do this treatment when your muscles are warm. Since steam therapy also helps increase circulation, you may see a greater response from the massage after a steam session. 


Steam Therapy Tip 13: Eyes Masks and Patches

Kim Kardashian is just one high-profile celebrity who swears by specially made masks and eye patches that are designed to help keep eyes looking young and healthy. Again, these are cosmetic products that may not appeal to you if you prefer more natural and less costly remedies. Few treatments are as natural as steam therapy in providing many of the same benefits as these products. So….


Steam Therapy Tip 14: Just Steam Already!

Making steam therapy part of your regular wellness routine can help you in so many ways in addition to improving skin quality, fluid retention, circulation, stress relief, etc. And it’s never been easier to install a steam shower in your home. Check out MrSteam’s case studies or visit a dealer showroom to see for yourself how easy it is to bring steam therapy into your daily routine and puffy eyes out of your life forever!


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Topics: Health & Wellness