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by Elizabeth Cornell

December 14, 2020

A few tips for avoiding the impressions around your eyes caused by your goggles

When you get out of the pool after a good swim workout you probably take two things with you: a wonderful swimmer’s high and a serious pair of goggle eyes. Goggle eyes, in case you’re one of the lucky few who is immune to this problem, is impressions or dents around your eyes caused by the two silicone or plastic suction cups that have been clamped onto your face for the duration of your swim workout.

A new or different pair of goggles may be the solution for some people. But veteran goggle-eye sufferers know that approach alone doesn’t work. To prove it, they have drawers full of goggles they’ve tried that didn’t do a darn thing.

Sure, you can embrace your goggle eyes and endure your co-workers’ comments about your pre-work swim habit, or you can hide them by wearing glasses with frames that cover the dents. But you don’t have to view goggle eyes as the price you pay for a good swimmer’s high.

The following multi-pronged approach may not eliminate goggle eyes but trying one or more of these suggestions could reduce the severity and the length of time the condition persists after your workout ends.


Moisturize the skin around your eyes before and after swimming. Any moisturizing lotion will do, but consider cream specifically made for this delicate part of your skin. Aside from keeping your skin moist, the cream adds elasticity to your skin and enables it to bounce back more quickly after you remove your goggles. Apply the cream before you go to bed and 15–30 minutes before you swim.

Eye moisturizer is usually packaged in small jars and sold at a range of prices. Try a higher-quality brand at night and a less expensive one before swimming, so you won’t feel so bad when it washes off in the pool.


According to manufacturers, a vibrating facial roller—often made from rose quartz crystal—stimulates, lifts, and tones your skin, thus reducing puffiness and improving skin elasticity. Moreover, it leaves your skin feeling perky, even if you’re arriving for an early workout after only four hours of sleep. Use the roller after you moisturize at night, and before and after swimming. Look for a roller with a special attachment designed for use around the eyes.

If extra equipment isn’t your thing, let your shower do the work. Take a deep breath, close your eyes, and let shower spray gently massage your eye area.


Dab a bit of concealer around your eyes to hide the dents. My go-to concealer at the moment is called “Bye Bye Under Eye.” Just a drop the size of a pinhead works all day. The product comes in 48 true-skin shades and doesn’t crack or crease.


A new pair or different brand of goggles might not fully address the problem but a change can be an important part of the solution.

First, start with your current pair. If they’re more than six months old and have seen you through a few hundred thousand yards, it’s probably time to replace them, even if they don’t appear to have worn out.

Second, wear your goggles as loosely as possible. The tighter they are, the deeper the dents. Tighten them just to the point where they don’t leak or slip when you’re pushing off the walls. If you’re practicing starts, tighten them for that and then loosen them back up when you resume regular swim sets.

Third, consider the type of goggles to wear. This is a very individual thing—some people prefer goggles with lenses lined with foam, others like ones with super-thin rims. Both can help you avoid goggle eyes. Just find what works best for you.

Ask Around

Many of these suggestions came from my teammates. Ask your teammates about their solutions. Their answers may surprise and enlighten you.


  • Technique and Training