A black eye doesn’t look good on anyone, and unless you got it from a heroic fist fight, you probably want to get rid of that shiner thing ASAP.
Black eyes are typically just like any other bruises you get from blunt force trauma (a.k.a. something hitting you without breaking the skin). The purple-black discoloration occurs when blood vessels around your eyes break open from a hit, causing blood to leak into the surrounding tissue. But black eyes are slightly worse than a bruise on your leg or shoulder because the skin around your eyes is thinner and more sensitive. Plus, the bruise is, well, on your face. A few other conditions can cause a black eye (or eyes) as well, such as a concussion, a bloody nose, or a recent surgery.
Although it might be painful, black eyes are typically not too serious and will go away on their own in around two or three weeks. But for most of us, three weeks of running errands, talking to coworkers or going out on the town with a big black shiner simply won’t do. Luckily, there are a number of hacks to make a black eye go away faster, as well as some quick fixes to cover it up in the meantime. Follow the steps below to make sure you get rid of a black eye fast and keep it covered while it’s still there.
1. Gel Ice Cold Compress
BEST ICE PACK
The first thing to do when you get a black eye is to apply ice and rest. Ice the area in 20 minute intervals, but limit the icing to about an hour total, and also be sure not to apply too much pressure to the eyeball. This will reduce swelling and stop the bleeding under your skin, keeping the black eye from looking (or hurting) too bad. A bag of frozen veggies or crushed ice will work, but a real cold compress like this will be more effective and less uncomfortable to use. It’s made of a soft vinyl that doesn’t get too cold, so you can simply lay it across your eyes while you rest.
2. Boiron Arnicare Gel
After icing the eye, apply some homeopathic arnica pain medicine. However, be sure to avoid aspirin, as it’s a blood thinner and will make a black eye worse. Arnica works double duty to reduce the pain and also decrease swelling. This will slow down the flooding of blood in your tissue, reducing blackness and minimizing pain. As you heal, continue to apply arnica each day to relax the blood vessels and speed up the re-absorption of blood. We like this arnica gel from Arnicare because it’s non-greasy, and comes very highly-rated with users noting it’s powers of eliminating bruises.
3. Maybelline Age Rewind Concealer
BEST MEN’S CONCEALER
Even after successfully icing and treating a fresh shiner, it’ll still be very visible. You’ll need something to quickly cover it up for work or going out, such as this Maybelline concealer stick. Yes concealers sound feminine, but they’re a secret weapon for guys too.
This discreet stick smoothly covers any blackness, while reducing signs of age and everyday dark circles around the eyes. It’s one of the best concealers for guys because it’s very lightweight and has a natural finish that’ll blend in with your normal skin. Plus, the small, sponge-equipped applicator stick makes it easy to stash in a backpack or car. To use it, twist the collar of the applicator to get the product on the sponge and apply as much as necessary around the eye area.
4. TrueSkin Vitamin C Cream
BEST VITAMIN C CREAM
Vitamin C is an effective way to speed up the recovery process and ensure that the black eye goes away as fast as possible. Vitamin C aids healthy skin, strengthens your blood vessels and improves overall eye health. These special powers – especially on the blood vessels – will speed up the healing of the broken blood vessels and decrease the bruising. Pick up some concentrated Vitamin C cream like this one from TrueSkin and gently rub a small amount around your eye.
5. Carlyle Bilberry Extract Capsules
BEST BILBERRY EXTRACT
Another great way to boost your eye health and heal faster is bilberry capsules. It’s a close relative of blueberry and cranberry, containing powerful antioxidants that strengthen capillaries and also boost the effectiveness of Vitamin C. Bilberry is often taken to improve eyesight, but when you have a black eye on your hands, it will decrease the bruising as well. Take one of these potent bilberry capsules from Carlyle twice daily with meals while you recover.
6. Optix 55 Warm Eye Mask
BEST WARM COMPRESS
After a day or two of icing the black eye, use a gentle warm compress to increase blood flow and start the healing process. Grab an eye mask like this one from Optix 55, throw it in the microwave for 20 seconds, and then wear it around your eyes while napping or listening to a podcast. Just make sure the mask is warm – not hot – as too much heat can be harmful. Users like this mask in particular because it stays warm for a long time, and provides a moist heat that also improves the skin around your eyes.
7. Esarora Ice Roller
BEST ICE ROLLER
You might still have some pain for several days, which calls for a little more cold on the black eye. Although an ice pack will work, it’s a little excessive and not very convenient. An ice roller like this, on the other hand, can be used quickly in the morning to reduce any overnight swelling and pain, getting you ready for the day. Make sure the head is clean and stick it in the freezer before going to bed (although it’ll get cold enough in about 10 to 15 minutes). Then gently massage your face and eye area to reduce pain and calm your skin.
Even if you don’t have a black eye, this best-selling roller is great for just relaxing and restoring your face too.