Here's How To Mask Your 'I Just Cried' Face, Because It's No One's Business TBH

Crying is nothing to be ashamed of, but that doesn't mean you want to announce to the world every time you do it. Whether you're mourning a recent death or breakup or are simply feeling extra emotional about the sad animal rescue commercial you just saw (you know the one), your reason for crying is your own.

With that being said, if you just returned from a massive ugly cry session, you know how hard it is to conceal what just happened. From the swollen, red eyes, to the runny nose and dripping mascara, a good cry always leaves behind physical evidence. Similarly, crying your eyes out the night before is always made obvious by huge, puffy eyes the next day that make you want to take a sick day and hide in bed. Because let's face it, not only do those infamous swollen eyes make it incredibly obvious that you were crying, but they also have the potential to lead to follow-up questions — and who wants to talk about why you are sad about something when you're specifically trying to focus on quite literally anything else? Luckily, there are ways to conceal the evidence and keep the fact that you have been crying under wraps because it's no one's business but your own.

Use a cold compress

If you are left with puffy eyes following a crying session, the first thing to do is apply a cold compress to help bring down swelling. "When crying, the blood vessels around the eyes, face, and nose become dilated with increased blood flow leading to swelling, puffiness, and redness," says board-certified ophthalmologist Dagny Zhu, MD (via Healthline).

Simply applying a cold, wet washcloth to your puffy eyes can be enough to help counteract the swelling and redness. "Using cold compresses helps by constricting the blood vessels and tissues (known as vasoconstriction), which brings down the redness and inflammation and leads to a decrease in swelling," says board-certified dermatologist Erum Ilyas, M.D. (per Shape). 

You can also use something frozen that stays colder longer, which might be more beneficial if the swelling is severe. You can freeze the washcloth, use a bag of ice, or a bag of frozen vegetables like peas. Whatever you choose, make sure you are never applying ice directly to your skin and are wrapping it in a cloth or paper towel. Board-certified dermatologist Dr. Robert Finney also recommends sticking two spoons in the freezer before placing them over each eye area for a few minutes (keeping in mind to wet the spoons prior to touching them to your face to prevent them from sticking to your skin.) "This will help constrict the vessels and reduce inflammation in the area," he says (via Byrdie).

Moisturize your skin

Because crying dehydrates your skin, it's important to replenish it by applying moisturizer. Board-certified dermatologist Diane Madfes, M.D., recommends utilizing one with ceramides, hyaluronic acid, or squalene for extra nourishment (per Shape). Dr. Ilyas recommends pre-cooling your moisturizer in the refrigerator prior to applying it to your face. "The coolness of the cream will lead to vasoconstriction to further reduce facial swelling," she says.

When moisturizing around your eye area, ensure you are being gentle, as rubbing or pulling your skin can make your eyes look even more irritated and worsen inflammation and puffiness. Instead, licensed esthetician Ali Tobia recommends gently tapping it into the areas of the skin around your eyes. This will keep you from further irritating your skin while also helping to promote lymphatic drainage (per Byrdie).

In addition to a moisturizing cream, you might also want to use a gel for added hydration and cooling, as Renée Rouleau notes that they "naturally retain a cooler temperature" than creams, making them more effective at calming redness and irritation (per Well + Good). When it comes to calming angry, puffy eyes, "eye gels with active ingredients like caffeine, licorice, and other antioxidants are helpful," says board-certified dermatologist Dr. Corey L. Hartman (via Byrdie). "Especially if they are cooled before application."

Massage your face

Gently massaging your face can help encourage lymphatic drainage and the expulsion of fluid buildup that occurs when crying. "Starting with your neck to get the drainage started, drag the backs of your knuckles down along the sides of your neck," says Ali Tobia (via Byrdie). "Then, work your way up your face, sweeping your fingertips outward from the center of your face to your ears. When you reach your eye area, you'll want to make sure that you have your fingertips gliding across the bone just under your eye with a feathery touch."

Though you can easily massage your face using just your hands, there are also tools like jade rollers, ice rollers, and gua shas that can make the process easier. "Eye rollers are a way to provide a gentle massage to the area and are quite effective if used regularly," says Corey L. Hartman, MD, board-certified dermatologist and the founder of Skin Wellness Dermatology, though he warns that rolling with too much pressure can further exacerbate inflammation around your eyes (per Byrdie). Gently tapping around your eyes can help increase blood flow while also encouraging the movement of fluid away from the area.

Whether you use your fingers or another facial tool, make sure you aren't tugging or pulling on your skin without first applying some type of oil for slip. This will help your knuckles, your roller, or your gua shua glide easily over the surface of your skin without irritating it or leading to long-term consequences like wrinkles and fine lines.

Caffeinate your skin

Just as the caffeine in your cup of coffee may be just what you need for a little pick me up, your tired, puffy eyes can also benefit in a similar way. "Caffeine is soothing, anti-inflammatory, and vasoconstrictive, which can decrease redness and puffiness," says certified clinical and research dermatologist Dr. Jeannette Graf (via Dermstore).

Many eye creams on the market take advantage of caffeine's skincare benefits, which are great to apply to puffy eyes. "Eye creams with caffeine and calendula can help to shrink the swelling by contracting the tissues," says Dr. Madfes, noting that caffeine is an antioxidant, which is what makes it so great at reducing inflammation (per Shape).

If you don't have any eye cream containing caffeine on hand, you can also use tea bags in a pinch for a similar effect, as most forms of green, black, and white tea contain some amount of caffeine. If you want to try the tea bag method, wet two tea bags — one for each eye — and leave them in the refrigerator to cool for 20 minutes before placing them on your eyes and wearing them for 15 to 30 minutes (per Healthline). The tea bags act not only as a source of caffeine but also as a cool compress, offering additional aid in soothing inflammation and swelling. In addition to caffeine, tea also contains tannins, which dermatologist and dermatologic surgeon Dr. Kavita Mariwalla says can also help tighten puffy, sad-looking skin and reduce inflammation (per Dermstore).

Fake it with makeup

Makeup can always be used to help conceal any redness caused by crying. Makeup artist Jenna Menard recommends tightlining your eyes with a nude liner to cancel out any lingering redness in your eye area. "When we cry we don't only mess up our makeup but we also create redness on the face which also is a dead giveaway that we've been upset in any sort of way," she says (per Well + Good). "Tracing the water line with a nude liner helps to decrease the redness on the inner part of the eyelid which can help you look more refreshed and less sad."

She also notes that applying a subtle color to your lips can help balance out any unwanted color elsewhere, which can make it less obvious that your eyes are red. Sheer-tinted products will provide the most natural-looking finish, and adding a bit to your cheeks can perk up the look of your skin. 

Because crying causes redness on and around the nose in addition to the entirety of your eye area, you may want to touch up with concealer before reemerging into society following an ugly crying session. "Any time you cry, your blood vessels enlarge and rise near the surface of your skin, so they're more visible," says makeup artist Joanna Schlip (via Cosmopolitan). "You want to conceal them thoroughly to hide the redness." Finishing it off with a setting powder will help ensure it doesn't budge. Lastly, reapply any mascara you likely cried off (though you may want to consider waterproof this time.)