Crying can make us feel better, whether it’s because of happiness, sadness, or just life being unpredictable. But when the tears dry up, we’re often left with a not-so-great result: puffy eyes. Swollen and red eyes not only mess with how we look but can also be uncomfortable and make us a bit shy. If you’re wondering how to make your eyes look normal again after a good cry, you’re not the only one. In this guide, we’ll check out lots of easy tricks and things you can do at home to get rid of puffy eyes and make your eyes lively again.


Our eyes are always making tears to keep them healthy. These tears come from a gland called the lacrimal gland and spread across our eyes, then drain out from the corners of our eyelids. There are three kinds of tears:

Basal Tears: These basal tears are like the eyes’ natural moisturizer, keeping them comfortable and safeguarding the clear part at the front called the cornea. They make sure our eyes stay wet, which is crucial for seeing clearly and preventing irritation. Imagine them as a helpful shield that’s there all the time, quietly doing its job to maintain our eye health. So, whenever you blink, thank these basal tears for keeping your eyes feeling good and shielded from the dusty world around.

Reflex Tears: Reflex tears come to the rescue when our eyes are annoyed by things like smoke or strong onion scents. They appear to fight off any harmful bacteria that might try to sneak into our eyes. So, when you tear up while chopping onions or being near a smoky fire, those reflex tears are on duty, defending your eyes from potential intruders.

Emotional Tears: Emotional tears come out when we have big feelings, such as extreme happiness or sadness. They are a special kind of tears that express our emotions, whether it’s a joyful celebration or a moment of deep sorrow. So, when you cry because you’re super happy or something has made you very sad, those are your emotional tears letting your feelings show. It’s a natural way for our bodies to release and express intense emotions.

When we cry a lot because of emotions, we can make more tears than our eyes can handle. This makes the tears overflow from our eyes and sometimes our nose. The tissues around our eyes can soak up the extra tears, making our eyes look puffy.


When you cry, your eyes might get puffy because of a few reasons. First, crying makes the blood vessels around your eyes swell up, which can cause puffiness. The tears themselves contain salt, and when they mix with the skin around your eyes, it can hold onto extra water, making your eyes look swollen. Sometimes, if you rub or wipe your eyes while crying, it can irritate the skin and make it puffy. 

Feeling stressed or tired from crying can also affect your skin, making it more likely to get puffy. Paying attention to your diet, avoiding too much salt, and making sure you stay hydrated can help reduce puffiness. 

If it keeps happening, it might be because of your genes or getting older, as these factors can also play a role in under-eye puffiness.


Here are a few home remedies that might help lessen the look of puffy eyes.


Applying a cold compress or chilled cucumber slices to your closed eyes is a simple yet effective method for soothing and relieving various eye concerns. This technique is particularly beneficial for reducing puffiness, swelling, and alleviating discomfort around the eyes. Anything cold can help with inflammation and swelling, as it reduces blood flow.


If you have witch hazel at home, it can be helpful for puffiness and redness. It’s good for treating swelling. But be careful not to put it directly in your sensitive eye area. Here’s how you can use it: dampen a cotton pad slightly—don’t let it get too wet—then gently press it on your upper cheek, away from the lower eyelid. Before using it, make sure to read the label to see if it’s safe near your eyes.


Another trick to help with puffy eyes is using cold metal spoons. Run two clean spoons under cold water for a few minutes. Then, place the rounded part of the spoons over your closed eyelids for about 30 to 60 seconds. The cold metal can soothe the puffiness and make your eyes feel better.


Drinking enough water is really important for staying healthy and can help a lot in reducing puffiness under your eyes. When you don’t drink enough water, your body can hold onto fluids, making your eyes look more swollen. So, by drinking plenty of water, you help your body circulate fluids better and remove waste, making your eyes look fresher and less puffy.


Using an eye cream or gel with ingredients like caffeine, aloe vera, or chamomile can be really helpful in reducing puffiness around your eyes. These ingredients have soothing and anti-inflammatory properties, which can calm down any swelling and make your eyes look and feel better. Applying a small amount in a gentle, circular motion can give your eyes a refreshing boost.


When you sleep, try using an extra pillow to prop up your head a bit. This helps stop fluid from collecting around your eyes, reducing the chance of waking up with puffiness. It’s a simple trick that can make your mornings more refreshing.


Avoid rubbing your eyes because it can make irritation and puffiness worse. Instead, try blinking a few times to let your tears spread naturally, providing relief without causing more irritation. It’s a simple way to soothe your eyes gently.


Cutting down on salty foods can help lessen under-eye puffiness because too much salt can make your body hold onto water. By reducing salt intake, you can prevent extra fluid buildup, making your eyes look less puffy. Choosing fresh, whole foods and seasoning your meals with herbs and spices instead of salt can be a tasty way to keep under-eye swelling in check. Remember, a little change in your diet can go a long way in keeping your eyes looking and feeling good!


Taking time for relaxation can be really helpful in reducing stress, which might make your eyes puffy. Simple techniques like deep breathing or listening to calming music can make a big difference. When you’re less stressed, it’s easier for your body to stay balanced, and that includes keeping puffiness around your eyes in check. So, find a moment to relax and give your eyes a break from any tension!


Managing flushing, especially around the eyes, involves adopting a combination of practical strategies and utilizing suitable products. When emotions lead to crying, the blood vessels around the eyes may enlarge, resulting in flushing or a change in skin color. To address this, you can incorporate techniques commonly employed to alleviate puffiness, such as placing a cool compress on the eyes or ensuring an adequate amount of sleep. Moreover, specific eye drops tailored to reduce discoloration around the eyes can be beneficial. These specialized drops, along with the use of serums and creams formulated for eye care, contribute to effectively managing flushing.

It is important to follow the recommended usage guidelines for these products and not overuse them, as excessive application can potentially worsen symptoms. Additionally, individuals who wear contact lenses should exercise caution and carefully read product labels, as certain formulas may not be suitable for lens wearers. By integrating these approaches into your daily eye care routine, you can navigate and mitigate flushing, maintaining a refreshed and vibrant appearance.

How to manage dryness

Ensuring proper hydration is crucial for overall health. Although the commonly suggested eight glasses of water per day is not a strict rule, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) emphasizes tailoring hydration needs to individual factors like age and health. Water not only quenches thirst but also plays a vital role in promoting general well-being. Adding flavor to your water with a bit of lemon, slices of cucumber, or your favorite fruit can make it more enjoyable.

Regarding tears, while generally not harmful to the skin, prolonged exposure may lead to dryness. Rinsing your face with cold water and gently patting it dry with a soft towel can help alleviate this issue. If necessary, using a face wash is recommended by the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), with a preference for alcohol-free cleansers devoid of physical exfoliants. It’s important to avoid overwashing your face, as doing so more than twice a day may contribute to persistent dryness and other skin-related problems.

After crying, your skin may feel dry and itchy. The AAD suggests reaching for a moisturizer to help your skin recover. Applying moisturizer immediately after cleansing helps lock in moisture, but it’s essential to read the product label and be extra gentle when applying products near the eye area. Taking these steps can contribute to maintaining skin health and preventing issues associated with dryness.


1. How long do puffy eyes last after crying?

The duration of puffy eyes after crying varies from person to person, but it typically lasts for about 15 minutes to a few hours as the swelling gradually subsides. 

2. Why do I look prettier after I cry?

After crying, some people may feel they look prettier due to increased blood flow to the skin, creating a natural flush or glow, and the eyes appearing more expressive as tears may enhance their sparkle. 

3. Do you burn calories when you cry?

Even though crying burns calories, you’d need to cry continuously for hours or days to burn as many calories as a short, brisk walk. Research suggests that crying and laughing both burn about 1.3 calories per minute.

4. Can crying too much change your eyes?

Crying excessively is not known to permanently change the physical structure of the eyes. However, it can temporarily cause redness, puffiness, and increased blood flow.

5. Should I wash my face after crying?

Yes, washing your face after crying can help remove any residual tear residue, reduce puffiness, and refresh your skin. 


Trying different things at home can help your eyes feel less puffy after crying, but you may need to see what works best for you. If your eyes or face are puffy for a long time, talking to your doctor may help. Taking good care of your skin and eating a healthy diet is important to keep your eyes in good condition overall.