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5 Reasons I Swear by Gel Eye Masks

Joanna Douglas

5 Reasons I Swear by Gel Eye Masks

Photo: Torkil Gudnason/Trunk Archive

As a lifelong night owl naturally prone to dark circles, concealer has been my best friend since high school. However, those inexpensive gel-filled eye masks from the drugstore are a close second. You’re probably thinking, “What? Those don’t do anything.” But let me tell you, I have at least five in my freezer at all times and enthusiastically spread the word of their magical powers to roommates, friends, and even my boyfriend. Here’s why:

1. Mid-day sleep deprivation

Ten minutes under an icy cold mask wakes you right up. The act of sitting still, not looking at an electronic device, and soothing my eye area is almost meditative. My current fave is Bausch + Lomb Thera Pearl EyeMask ($8.99). 

2. Headaches and migraines

Did I mention they’re soothing? Stress and tension builds in the eye area, and the cool sensation around my eye sockets and forehead gives more relief than any headache medication. Try Earth Theraputics Soothing Beauty Mask ($7.49)

3. When I’m restless in bed

You know how they say you’ll sleep better with a cool pillow? If I have trouble shutting off at the end of the day, I wear one to bed.

4. Rough mornings

When no amount of concealer is enough, I velcro on a gel mask for a few minutes before work. Puffy circles shrink immediately, it’s easier to apply makeup, and I’m wide awake!

5. If I have a cold or an allergy attack

When sinus pressure attacks, I pop my Bausch + Lomb gel mask in the microwave for 20 seconds (make sure yours says it’s safe to do so—some can also be soaked in hot water). The heat calms my swollen eyes and nose.