Weather changes usually mean seasonal allergies for me — which mean itchy eyes. If the warmer weather’s making your eye area puffy and sensitive, here’s a soothing remedy to try: Pycnogenol Eye Gel. Made with pycnogenol (pinus pinaster bark extract) and organic aloe leaf extract, this light, clear gel makes the skin around your eyes feel instantly cooler as soon as you put it on.

The witch hazel and organic green tea extract in the gel are supposed to “eliminate” fine lines and wrinkles — a bold claim I remain skeptical about — but I can attest to the gel’s soothing and cooling effects on irritated skin. The gentle gel’s fragrance free and rates a low 2 on Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep cosmetic safety database. Since Pycnogenol Eye Gel’s specifically made for oily, inflamed or puffy eyes, those with drier skin who want the cooling effects of the gel may want to alternate with or add on a more moisturizing eye cream too.

I also like derma e’s Eyebright Makeup Remover, a very light, non-greasy liquid that’s gentle on the eyes. This remover — ranked a low hazard 2 on EWG’s Skin Deep — is less viscous and thus easier to use than the gel-like Earth Science Eye Make-Up Remover I usually use — so I’m making the switch to derma e.

derma e’s a greener and safer personal care product company that shuns parabens, phthalates, and other weird chemical ingredients. Like the makeup remover and eye gel, many of derma e’s products rank in EWG’s “low hazard” zone, though since quite a few fall in the “moderate hazard” range, I recommend checking the Skin Deep database before picking up a product. A few of the plant extracts that derma e uses are organic certified — but the “natural & organic” claim emblazoned on the front of its packaging will likely change soon, or else derma e will get in trouble with Whole Foods, which is now cracking down on “organic” claims on personal care products that don’t meet USDA organic certification standards.

derma e products can indeed be found at Whole Foods, Co-opportunity, and other stores — or online. The Pycnogenol Eye Gel costs $19.50 per half-ounce tube; the Eyebright Makeup Remover $12.75 for a 4-ounce bottle.

Cool care for puffy eyes
derma e's gentle, fragrance-free eye care products soothe puffy, irritated skin without parabens or phthalates.