Although there are certainly emotional and psychic benefits to a good, old-fashioned cry, you don't necessarily want the whole world to know you've been weeping. All too often, however, your puffy, reddened, swollen eyes are a dead giveaway. Many people turn to home remedies to reduce the appearance of puffy eyes caused by crying. Before using a remedy, apply a small amount to your wrist to make sure you're not allergic.
Use cold tap water and a washcloth to gently rinse and clean the area around your eyes. Not only does this help remove the sticky, salty residue that tears leave behind, but the cool temperature of the water can begin to reduce puffiness. Don't scrub too hard to remove tear stains, however; this could redden and irritate skin further.
Use your middle fingers to gently press along the eyebrow, the brow bone underneath and all around the eye sockets. According to Health Guidance, this technique helps to stimulate the lymphatic system and drain excess fluid.
Brew two cups of green tea, then allow the tea bags to cool and wrap them in tissue paper. Place them in the freezer until they are very cold, then lie down with several pillows under your head and place the chilled bags on your closed eyes for 15 minutes. According to PaulasChoice.com, keeping your head elevated helps to keep additional fluid from gathering under your eyes and causing more puffiness. Health Guidance notes that the tannins in the tea are a natural astringent, and can help reduce puffiness. There is some scientific research suggesting that tannins have protective and antioxidant effects. In a study conducted at the Nagasaki University School of Medicine in Japan and published online in the June 28, 2007 issue of "Clinical and Experimental Pharmacology and Physiology," researchers found that tannins isolated from green tea leaves have a scavenging action on free radicals, which can prevent cell damage.
Beat three raw egg whites with a fork until they are fluffy, then add two drops of witch hazel to the mixture and stir well. Use a cotton ball to apply the mixture to the skin under and around your eyes, taking care not to get any in your eyes. This remedy, suggested by Health Guidance, employs the mild astringent properties of egg whites and witch hazel to help tighten the skin and reduce the appearance of slackness and puffiness.
If you eat or drink anything before, during or after a crying spell, don't make it a margarita. Stick to non-alcoholic, low-sodium treats; both alcohol and salt can cause bloating and water retention, making puffy eyes appear even more swollen.
To reduce the bloodshot appearance of your eyes after crying, Health Guidance suggests rinsing them out with 2 tablespoons water mixed with 8 ounces of mineral water.