You’ve been up all night preparing for a big event – a test, a meeting, an interview – and you’ve now got some rather not-so-attractive bags going on underneath your eyes. Sound familiar? We’ve all been there! Whether it’s because you’re not getting enough sleep, or due to other reasons such as allergies, puffy eyes are a very common complaint, but what’s the solution? A cold compress? A quick nap? How about tea bags?
Do tea bags really work as a treatment for puffy eyes? And more importantly, do you know how to remove tea stains so you don’t end up covered in drips? Here’s everything you’ve ever wanted to know about using tea bags as a quick fix beauty treatment for those busy, hectic days.
What Causes Eyes to Swell?
There are many different causes of swollen eyes but, according to the National Health Portal of India, the most common reasons are allergies and sinusitis. If you’re suffering with a common cold, for example, and feel a bit congested, you may notice that your eyes appear to be slightly swollen. Similarly, if your eyes start watering and your nose starts running due to an allergic reaction, you might also find that your eyes tend to puff up a little. This is a completely normal reaction.
Swollen eyes can also be caused by bug bites on the eyelid, conjunctivitis (or ‘pink eye’), and even by wearing contact lenses. In most cases, swollen eyes can be successfully treated at home, with no need to visit your doctor.
However, it’s always worth watching out for any symptoms that may suggest there’s a more serious underlying cause of swollen eyes that needs to be checked out by a professional. Swollen eyes due to allergies or congestion shouldn’t be painful. They may be quite itchy or uncomfortable, but it’s important to get any pain checked out by your doctor.
If your puffy eyes are accompanied by a high temperature or fever, if you have swelling elsewhere (particularly the mouth or tongue), or if you notice a change in vision, always see a doctor. You may require oral antihistamines for very severe allergic reactions, for example, or the symptoms could indicate underlying problems in your overall health.
Tea Bags for Puffy Eyes
Cold compresses are often cited as one of the most beneficial home treatments for puffy eyes, but what about tea bags? Many of us have heard of tea bags being used to calm swelling, but does it really work, or is it merely nothing more than an old wives’ tale? Tea can actually play a significant role in soothing puffy eyes, but it may not be for the reasons you think.
Many people think that it’s the caffeine in tea that provides a refreshing blast to the skin and improves the appearance of swollen eyes, but it’s actually more to do with the other ingredients. Tea really can work as a quick beauty treatment, but remember to read up on how to remove tea stains before getting started as it can be a little messy!
The ‘secret’ ingredients in tea are polyphenols, which are micronutrients that help to keep us healthy. While we don’t quite understand the extent of the power of polyphenols, many experts believe that they have antioxidant, antiviral, and anti-inflammatory properties, which make them very good for use on external swelling. Green, herbal, and black teas are all good, so use whatever blends you have at home.
- Green & Herbal Teas – Chamomile is believed to be particularly good at reducing swelling, while green tea contains polyphenols called catechins which work as powerful anti-inflammatories.
- Black Tea – The polyphenols found in black tea are called the aflavins and also have strong anti-inflammatory properties. It works best when applied topically, rather than consumed.
So how do you use tea bags on puffy eyes? The good news is it’s really simple and all you need to do is follow these six easy steps:
- Make a cup of tea – brew as normal, using boiling water and your regular tea bags.
- Soak the tea bags – let the bags soak in the boiling water for about 3 to 5 minutes.
- Let them cool – remove the tea bags from the water and allow them to cool. You can place them in the fridge to speed things up a little if you want.
- Place the tea bags to the swollen area – close your eyes and gently apply the tea bags.
- Relax – Keeping the tea bags on your eyes, sit back and relax for 15-30 minutes.
- Clean up – once removed, remember to wash your face and remove any drips from your clothes by following our advice on how to get rid of tea stains.
How to Remove Tea Stains
Before you start using tea bags for puffy eyes as a beauty treatment, it’s important to know how to remove tea stains – from your face and from your clothes. No one said using tea bags on puffy eyes was a clean job and a few drips are sure to get on your clothes.
Some people like to squeeze all the liquid out of their bags before applying to the face, but this just wastes the good stuff and causes the bags to dry out quicker, so it’s definitely worth getting a little messy, especially as getting rid of tea stains is so simple.
For your face, a quick wash with your regular facial soap should do the trick nicely, but what about your clothes? Here’s everything you need to know about how to remove tea stains from your clothes – the easy way!
- Pre-treat the stain – most tea stains can be treated with the ‘flushing’ method. Hold the stain to some warm, but not hot, running water and allow the water to flush away any discolouration.
- Soak the stain – if the stain is stubborn and doesn’t respond well to flushing, soak the garment in a bowl of warm water and liquid laundry detergent for a few hours to ‘soften’ the stain.
- Wash as normal – after these methods, put your clothes in the washing machine and wash as you normally would. Don’t forget to check the care labels on your clothes so you’re washing at the right temperature to avoid any further damage.
Tea stains are some of the easiest types of stain to remove from clothes so you don’t need this to put you off trying this unusual remedy for puffy eyes. As tea is water soluble, its stains respond well to water so you shouldn’t need more than some warm water and a good quality detergent to get any marks out of clothes so what are you waiting for? Try this unusual puffy eyes treatment now and see how you get on.