"Salty food, alcohol, and lack of sleep are the main culprits of puffy eyes in your 20s," says Great Neck, N.Y., dermatologist Jeannette Graf. Drinking more water (while cutting down on the burgers and booze) goes a long way toward solving the problem, as does a daily swipe of a cooling eye stick. Look for one with vitamins E and C, which constrict blood vessels and prevent fluid from pooling. Need immediate relief? It's a cliche, but it works: Chilled cucumber slices (or cuke-infused eye pads) reduce swelling, instantly tightening the skin.
Collagen and elastin begin to deteriorate in your 30s, so "add a richer eye cream to your regimen to help maintain elasticity," says Dr. Graf. She recommends using something with caffeine and antioxidants-which fend off collagen-devouring free radicals—to tighten skin. If the area around your eyes is prone to irritation, look for a soothing serum with chamomile to calm inflammation throughout the day.
The goal now is to fix loose, crepey skin and support the fat and muscles that are starting to sag. "A cream with growth factors, like the patented TNS formula, decreases fine lines and wrinkles while also firming the tissue," says Montclair, N.J., dermatologist Jeanine B. Downie. To temporarily make bags less noticeable, try an eye roller. The massaging action helps disperse fluid.
Hormonal shifts at this age can make droopy eye bags more pronounced, says Dr. Graf. "The muscles are falling, fat is shifting, and skin stops holding in moisture as effectively," she explains. A serum containing electrically charged zinc and copper, activated by a moisturizer, stimulates collagen and elastin growth. To aid moisture retention, use a mask with hyaluronic acid.