Puffy eyes are one of the most common symptoms that bring people to seek services from an aesthetician, makeup artist, or other beauty professional. They can be caused by many things, from allergies to lack of sleep. But no matter what the cause, puffy eyes can be a real hassle – they make you look tired and older than you are, and they’re often accompanied by a headache or sinus pressure. If you’re looking for an integrative approach to help your clients relieve puffy eyes, you’ve come to the right place.

Recently, NAA President, Rachael Pontillo was interviewed for Consumer Reports on the subject of under-eye puffiness–what some of the causes are, and what changes can be made in one’s skincare routine and lifestyle to improve the problem. The writer, Laura Murphy, got so much information from Rachael, as well as dermatologist, Dr. Jennifer David, that Consumer Reports split it into two full articles! In this blog post, we’ll share an overview of different holistic and integrative strategies for dealing with under-eye bags, including dietary changes, acupressure points, and herbal remedies, and link to those articles so you can get more information. So whether your clients’ puffy eyes are caused by allergies, a late night out, or something else entirely, help is on the way!

Potential causes of puffy eyes


puffy eyes due to infection or allergiesDr. Jennifer David states that “puffy under eyes (also known as under-eye “bags”) is most often caused by an accumulation of fluid (edema) under the skin which is precipitated by aging.” She also adds that “sometimes puffy under eyes are not caused by fluid, but from hereditary factors. Some people will be prone to a puffy appearance of their eyes due to a protrusion of fat from the eye socket.” Dr. David adds that “there’s a difference between eye puffiness and eye swelling from an infection or medical condition”–allergies, eye infections, or even certain health conditions like Graves Disease (an autoimmune form of hyperthyroidism) might be the cause.

Rachael Pontillo added some integrative perspectives on the potential causes of under-eye puffiness: “In Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, under-eye puffiness is associated with weakness or some sort of blockage in the kidneys—due to genetics, eating too many of the wrong kinds of foods, or diabetes/chronic kidney disease…In functional medicine or naturopathic medicine, they would look at the root cause in terms of nutrient deficiency such as B12 or K, as well as eating the wrong kinds of fats, too much sodium, etc.”

Read more about what factors contribute to under-eye puffiness, and get Rachael’s top lifestyle changes to help remedy the condition in the Consumer Reports article “Prevent Puffy Eyes with These Expert Tips.

Natural remedies for under-eye puffiness and eye bags

cucumbers to relieve puffy eyesIn the second Consumer Reports article, Rachael Pontillo teams up again with Dr. Jennifer David and writer, Laura Murphy to focus more on remedies to improve the appearance of puffiness and under-eye bags. From additional lifestyle factors like hydration and movement, Rachael also discusses certain facial massage techniques and tools, as well as naturally astringent botanicals to apply topically either as single remedies, or to look for in lightweight skincare products (as long as they are safe to use in the eye area).

Read the full Consumer Reports article, “Expert Tips to Get Rid of Bags Under Your Eyes” here.

For more information on how a Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner® might address puffy eyes with a client, read our blog post: “Puffy Eyes from A Nutritional Aesthetics® Perspective.”

Would you like to become a Certified Nutritional Aesthetics Practitioner® (CNAP) so you can more effectively serve your clients using integrative skin wellness practices?

Learn more about our professionally accredited CNAP Training Program and download our syllabus HERE. You can start earning your certification today!