Dry eyes can strike seemingly out of nowhere, from something as routine as staring at your computer screen for too long or getting in on a red-eye flight (they don't call it a red-eye for nothing, after all). Even something as simple as the weather or air conditioning can lead to dry eyes that burn and sting, which, in addition to being uncomfortable, is just plain annoying. While eye drops are definitely a must-have, you can also help your eyes recuperate with one of the best eye masks for dry eyes.
It goes without saying that you should schedule an appointment with an ophthalmologist if you're experience chronic eye dryness, or, if you're experiencing styes or blepharitis (which is just a fancy term for eyelid inflammation). But many of the masks on this list involve heat compresses, which are generally recommended to help with those symptoms, as well as more temporary causes of dry eyes. Basically, hot compresses work by adding moisture, soothing inflammation, and improving circulation, which helps unclog the oil glands around your eyelids that cause swelling and irritation when clogged.
Some of the situations that make eyes feel tired (think low humidity or a long flight) can also leave the skin around your eyes dry, too. If that's the case, you can benefit from trying an eye contour patch (which are also often referred to as eye masks). A more concentrated take on traditional eye creams, these types of eye masks are designed to help with dryness and puffiness in about 20 minutes. They also usually have a cooling effect that feels refreshing, and they feel even better when stored in your fridge or freezer.
Whether you're looking for a sleeping mask, a heated compress, or some under-eye patches, you'll find all of those and more in this guide to the best eye masks for dry, puffy eyes.
1. The Best Silk Eye Mask For Dry Eyes
To help prevent your eyes from getting dry in the first place, try wearing a silk sleep mask when you go to bed. Not only does a sleeping mask block out light that can disturb your sleep, but it also shields your eyes from any fans or air conditioning units you have running. Plus, the silk material is gentle on the skin around your eyes, unlike the majority of other non-silk sleeping masks.
"I have extreme dry eyes and sleep under a ceiling fan," shared one reviewer who gives this adjustable mask five-stars. "My eye doctor suggested I sleep with an eye mask, [and] this one is perfect and comfortable to wear."
2. The Best Gel Mask For Dry Eyes
For more immediate relief from dry eyes, there's this 20-minute solution from Bausch + Lomb. This BPA-free latex mask contains beads inside that absorb and hold onto heat to bring you relief. You simply need to pop this in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds and let it sit over your eyes for the doctor-recommended amount of 20 minutes to soothe your eyes and restore moisture. It also doubles as a cold compress you can store in the freezer. It will still work in 20 minutes, but when cold, it helps reduce puffiness and swelling. Or, you can slide it up across your forehead to help with headaches or migraines.
3. The Best Eye Mask Compress
If eye drops freak you out, or you're looking for a more natural solution to dry eyes, the Kimkoo Eye Compress might be just what you need. The reusable mask, which comes ophthalmologist-recommended, works to add moisture to your eyes and improve circulation. This compress uses a flaxseed filling to absorb and store moisture from the air, which is released when you microwave it for about 30 seconds just before use. This process creates a hot water vapor that helps with dry eyes and can even help with more complex conditions like blepharitis. Experience soothing, fast-acting relief whether your eyes are dry, tired, or inflamed.
4. The Best Self-Steaming Eye Masks
For a self-heating option, many Amazon reviews refer to these single-use Kao steam eye masks as the equivalent of a spa experience right at home. The masks, which come in a set of 14, are a Japanese beauty favorite for reviving dry, tried eyes in mere minutes. The patches work to produce steam once you apply them over your eyes using thermo pads that reach 104 degrees Fahrenheit. This particular set of masks is even infused with a lavender-sage scent to further help you relax during your 10-minute steam session, but they also come in an unscented version. Just be sure you've completely cleansed your face of any eye makeup before you pop these on or the steam will smudge it (which might cause more irritation).
Since these masks heat up on their own without the help of a microwave, they're an excellent option for treating dry eyes on flights and during other forms of travel.
5. The Best Splurge-Worthy Eye Mask Treatment
If you're more concerned about dry skin around your eyes, try incorporating a more targeted skin-care product into your routine. This Joanna Vargas Bright Eye Hydrating Mask is definitely a bit of a splurge, but it works double-duty to hydrate and firm the delicate skin around your eyes. To fight dry skin, the bamboo sheet mask contains hyaluronic acid to lock in moisture and licorice extract to soothe. It's also formulated with arbutin to even out pigmentation, five different peptides to boost elasticity, and Matrixyl 3000 to stimulate collagen production. Though the mask was designed to be used for just 15 to 20 minutes, once it's removed, you can pat the remaining serum into your skin.
6. The Best Eye Patches For Dry Eyes
For a more budget-friendly eye mask option, the Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels come in a pack of four sets for less than $20. The transdermal eye patches work in 10 minutes to infuse the skin around your eyes with a combination of hydrating, soothing, and plumping ingredients including jojoba oil, olive fruit oil, and hydrolyzed extensin. Additionally, gingko biloba leaf extract brightens and de-puffs; coenzyme Q10 offers antioxidant protection; and the brand's own Icelandic complex, which comprises a blend of detoxifying and hydrating ingredients, like glacial water and arctic cloudberry, moisturizes skin even further. Store these in the fridge, and they'll feel even more amazing when placed beneath your dry, tired eyes.
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