Erase those late nights and tired eyes by adding a dose of coffee to your morning skincare routine. While you’re sipping away on a cup of Joe, you can also use it to attack dark circles and fine lines with this homemade mask for puffy eyes.
Excellent for perking up and toning skin [source], the caffeine in coffee acts as a stimulant to get the blood flowing, which reduces fluid buildup and may improve under-eye circles. And since coffee is a diuretic, it can help reduce swelling and puffiness (bye-bye bags!), while its antioxidants fight free radicals that destroy collagen and age skin [source]. How’s that for a skin-boosting superfood?
What causes puffy eyes?
Whether allergies or that second margarita are to blame, swollen eyes are usually caused by a buildup of excess fluid in that area. Dilated blood vessels that are visible underneath the thin, delicate eyelid skin may also be responsible for the puffy, darkened appearance.
If you suffer from excess puffiness, prevention is key:
1. To keep bags at bay, sleep propped up with a couple of pillows, preferably on your back, to reduce fluid buildup.
2. If you have allergies, consider an air purifier for your bedroom to eliminate dust mites and other allergens.
3. Avoid frequent rubbing of the eyelids as this causes inflammation, which would worsen the puffiness and might cause accentuation of the natural skin lines under the eyes, called Dennie Morgan lines.
4. If your eyes get red and itchy after you get ready in the morning, you could be allergic to your makeup, cleanser, makeup remover, or nail polish. After a long bout with eye irritation, I finally realized it was stemming from my mascara.
Detox these ingredients from your makeup bag, and look for products without fragrance. Keep your fingers away from your eyes to avoid transferring other irritants, like makeup and nail polish, to your eyes.
If you still suffer from puffiness after making these changes, then a coffee face mask can help. Whip up a batch a couple of times a week, and apply it in the morning before putting on your makeup. You should notice decreased puffiness in minutes!
Coffee Mask for Puffy Eyes
Combine coffee with the vitamins and proteins in an egg white to tighten and firm skin, and you have a mask that’s especially effective on puffy eyes and pesky crow’s feet.
- 1 egg white
- 2 teaspoons coffee grounds (Unused grounds are best because they contain the most caffeine, but used grounds are fine if the coffee has just been made.)
Combine the egg white and coffee in a small bowl. Beat mixture together with a fork until frothy, about 1 minute.
How to Use a Coffee Eye Mask
1. In the morning, when puffiness is usually at its worst, mix up the ingredients for a fresh mask.
2. If your eyes are extra puffy, place your mask in the refrigerator for about 15 minutes before applying. The cold will help to further reduce swelling and shrink the dilated blood vessels.
3. With clean hands, apply the mask around and under the eyes. Avoid the eyelids because you don’t want to get it in your eyes. You can apply the mask to your entire face if desired. Wash your hands after handling the egg whites.
4. Let the mask dry for 10 minutes. You will definitely feel the mask tightening your skin as it dries! If it gets uncomfortable, go ahead and remove it before the 10 minutes are up.
5. Use a soft, wet towel to gently clean off the mask. Be careful not to get any in your eyes or mouth, and wash your hands again thoroughly.
6. Finish with moisturizer and a nourishing eye cream. Then apply your makeup, and face the day!
7. Throw away any unused mask.
Coffee Eye Mask FAQs
Can I use this coffee mask on the rest of my face/body?
Sure! You can use this mask anywhere you might need a little extra toning, such as the face, neck, arms, and legs.
Do I really need to throw out the leftover mask? Can I store it in the fridge?
Because of the risk of bacterial infection, it’s best to use this mask immediately. Whenever you are dealing with raw eggs, make sure they are pasteurized and always kept refrigerated to prevent the growth of Salmonella bacteria [source]. It’s best not to store any leftover mask.
Can I use instant coffee to make this mask?
Personally, I’d stick with ground coffee beans to cut down on the mess factor (instant coffee dissolves in liquid, and it might make this mask super runny). But if you’re not afraid to experiment, try using instant coffee and see if you get the same results.
How often can I use this mask?
Two times a week is a great place to start. If you don’t notice any irritation or adverse reactions, then you can bump it up to three times a week.
Does coffee stain or make skin dark?
Nope, it shouldn’t! Unlike some herbs or spices (such as turmeric), coffee does not stain or darken the skin.
Can I use carton egg whites for this, or does it have to be fresh?
Carton egg whites contain preservatives, which may irritate the eyes. I recommend using a fresh egg white to cut down on chemicals that may make puffiness worse.
Other Beauty Uses for Coffee Grounds
If you have leftover coffee grounds lying around, why not put them to use with the help of these beauty recipes:
- Toning + Tightening Full Body Coffee Scrub
- Coffee-Infused All Night Eye Cream
- 8 Coffee Face Mask Recipes
This post was medically reviewed by Dr. Rina Mary Allawh, M.D., a dermatologist who practices adult and pediatric medical dermatology, skin cancer treatment, and cosmetic dermatology. Learn more about Hello Glow’s medical reviewers here. As always, this is not personal medical advice, and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
Photos by Ana Stanciu