21 Effective Ways How To Get Rid Of Under-Eye Bags
If you clicked on this article, you’re most probably wondering how you can get rid of under-eye bags.
Whether you’re in your 20s or older, dark circles under your eyes and puffy eyes are the last things you want. In addition to making you look older and tired, bags under the eyes represent a cosmetic concern for many people. Luckily, they aren’t usually a sign of serious health issues and you can treat them with natural remedies at home.
There are thousands of creams, solutions, and under-eye concealers available on the market that claim to help reduce the swelling and lighten the dark circles under the eyes, but not everyone finds them effective.
Applying tea bags and using cold compresses under the eyes can help you get rid of puffy eyes fast too, but the only way to get rid of this problem for good is by adopting healthy eating habits and making certain lifestyle changes.
So, in this article, we’re going to explain what causes bags under the eyes and how you can get rid of them in the long term. So, without further ado, let’s dive right into it.
What Is The Cause Of Under-Eye Bags?
Bags under the eyes occur due to changes of the skin of your eyelids and the fat around your eyes. The skin of your eyelids and around your eyes is very thin and as you grow older, the tissue and muscles around your eyes become weak, elastic, and saggy whether it be a result from age, genetics, or sunlight exposure.
When the tissue underneath the skin of your eyes weakens and becomes saggy, the fat behind it moves into your lower eyelid, causing it to appear swollen. In addition, water can also accumulate in this area, which further contributes to the puffy appearance.
Bags under the eyes can be genetically inherited, but other most common causes of this problem include:
- Chronic fatigue
- Lack of sleep
- Sun exposure
- Pigmentation issues
- Poor diet
- Dry skin
- Unhealthy skin
And now, let’s see how you can get rid of bags under the eyes.
21 Effective Ways To Get Rid Of The Bags Under Your Eyes
1. Use Cold Compresses
Using a cold compress can help shrink the blood vessels around your eyes, thereby causing your eyelids to appear less swollen.
You can do a cold compress with a pack of ice, a bag of frozen peas, or a cool cucumber. You can also use a cold compressed mask, a wet washcloth, or even do the frozen spoon trick. And of course, you can also buy cold compresses at the store. But, before you apply it to your eyelids, make sure you wrap a dry, clean cloth around your compress so as to prevent the skin under your eyes from getting frosty.
Whatever way you choose to shrink your eye bags, just make sure you get something cold to your eyelids.
2. Keep Your Body Hydrated
When your body is dehydrated, this can lead to under-eye bags. So, increasing your intake of water may help shrink them. Women are recommended to consume approximately 9 cups of water and men about 13 cups of water a day.
If you don’t like drinking plain water, you can drink flavored or sparkling waters, fruit-infused water, or even herbal teas.
3. Apply Tea Bags To Your Eyelids
Caffeinated tea bags can help you make your eye bags go away since the caffeine present in tea has antioxidant effects and may improve the flow of blood to your skin.
Green tea can be singled out as a type of tea that has considerable anti-inflammatory effects. (1)
To apply tea bags to your eyelids, you need to:
- Soak 2 tea bags in water for 3-5 minutes.
- Next, put the bags in the refrigerator to cool for around 20 minutes.
- Squeeze out the excess liquid.
- Apply the tea bags to your eyelids and leave them on for around half an hour.
4. Take Antihistamine Medications
Allergies are one of the most common causes of under-eye bags. They can cause your eyes to become itchy, red, watery, and puffy. Such reaction is produced as a result of the response of your immune system to allergens.
If the bags under your eyes seem to be caused by allergies, ask your healthcare provider whether you can take antihistamine medications, such as Zyrtec, Benadryl, Dimetane, and Claritin.
It’s also recommended that you avoid allergens, such as makeup products, soaps, shampoos, and hair dyes.
5. Use Skin Lightening Products
Skin lightening products can help you get rid of dark circles under your eyes and eye bags since the hydroquinone present in them can affect melanin production in your skin.
To buy such products, you need a prescription and to see long-term results, you need to regularly use them.
When you apply skin lightening products to your skin, make sure you don’t expose your skin to sunlight. It’s best to use them at night.
In addition, these products can cause side effects in some people, such as irritation and dryness. If you can notice such symptoms after applying skin lightening products to your skin, stop using them.
6. Wash Your Face Before Going To Sleep
Taking your makeup off prior going to bed can help prevent under-eye bags.
If you sleep with your makeup on, you can have an allergic reaction, irritate your eyes, contract an infection which causes puffiness and redness as well as damage your skin.
How – you may wonder? Well, when you sleep with your makeup on, your skin is exposed to free radicals. That can create oxidative stress, which, in turn, can lead to premature aging of your skin. (2)
7. Regularly Wear Sunscreen
Regularly wearing UV-protective sunscreens as well as sunglasses and wide-brimmed hats when you are outside is a great way to protect your skin against sunlight damage, which is a common cause of skin conditions, such as hyperpigmentation, premature aging, and skin cancer.
Since the vast majority of damage to the tissues of your skin, particularly the eyelids, is caused by sunlight exposure, wearing sunscreen may be helpful in preventing under-eye bags from getting worse.
When buying sunscreen, make sure it’s with SPF of 30 or higher and resistant to water. You can reapply it several times throughout the day or as stated in the instructions on the package. To protect the skin on your face, use a face moisturizer which is with high SPF as well.
You can also protect your skin against the harmful rays of the sun by wearing protective clothing, avoid going to tanning salons, and sitting in the shade.
8. Use Retinol Creams
Applying retinol creams to the area around your eyes can help you get rid of the bags under your eyes quickly. These creams have been used to treat different skin conditions, such as psoriasis, acne, and aging.
Retinol can help shrink under-eye bags by improving collagen deficiency.
You can find retinol (vitamin A) as liquid, gel, or cream. It is present in lower concentration in various over-the-counter products, but in order to buy creams in which retinol is present in higher concentrations, you need a prescription.
Creams containing retinol should be applied to the skin about 30 minutes after you wash your face, and you can apply them only once per day. In addition, you should not apply retinol creams to your skin if you are pregnant.
9. Keep Your Head Elevated While You’re Sleeping
Keeping your head elevated while you’re sleeping helps prevent the accumulation of fluid in your lower eyelids, which, we already said, it leads to puffiness.
So, putting two pillows under your head when going to sleep can help prevent under-eye bags. In case, sleeping this way disturbs your sleep or hurts your neck, try to elevate the head of your bed.
10. Clear Out Your Sinuses Using A Neti Pot
A neti pot can be effective in shrinking under-eye bags. To clear out your sinuses with this device, you need to:
Pour saltwater solution into your neti pot. To make the solution dilute half a teaspoon of salt in one cup of sterilized or distilled water.
Heat the water until it dissolves and then let it cool until it becomes warm.
Tilt your head over the kitchen sink and put the spout of the neti pot in the upper nostril.
While you’re carefully pouring the saltwater solution into your nostril, breathe through your mouth. You’ll see the solution draining through your other nostril.
Repeat the previous steps with the other nostril.
Rinse your neti pot with sterile water and let it air dry prior to storing it.
11. Get A Good Night’s Sleep
To prevent under-eye bags and dark circles under your eyes as well as prevent your complexion from becoming pale, try to get 7-8 hours of sleep a night.
If you have difficulties falling asleep, you might try the following tricks:
- Try to go to sleep and wake up at approximately the same time every day.
- Do not consume coffee and other caffeinated drinks 6-12 hours prior going to sleep.
- Do not consume alcoholic drinks before going to sleep.
- Finish having dinner 2 hours before going to bed.
- Finish any kind of physical activity a couple of hours before going to bed.
- Get rid of any distraction before going to sleep. Turn off your phone, TV, and laptop.
12. Consume Foods Rich In Iron
When there’s lack of red blood cells in your body, iron deficiency anemia occurs. This condition can cause your skin to become pale as well as lead to dark circles under your eyes. Cold hands and feet, fatigue, and brittle nails are also common symptoms of iron deficiency.
If you’re anemic, consult your doctor so that they can see if they need to prescribe medications or just increase your intake of foods rich in iron to increase your iron absorption.
Foods that are a good source of iron include:
- Leafy greens, such as spinach, cabbage, and kale
- Legumes, such as lentils, beans, and chickpeas
- Pork, red meat, and poultry
- Dried fruits
- Foods fortified with iron, such as pastas, breads, and cereals
13. Give Up Smoking
Not only is smoking a bad habit, it also diminishes the stores of your body of vitamin C, which plays an important role in helping your body produce collagen. Smoking can lead to discoloration, wrinkles, and bags under the eyes as well.
By quitting smoking you can also greatly decrease your risk of developing certain diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer.
14. Reduce Your Alcohol Consumption
Believe it or not, alcohol can cause under-eye bags by contributing to dehydration, and as we already said, dehydration is a common cause of bags under the eyes.
If you have a craving for an alcoholic drink, try substituting this for fruit-infused or sparkling water.
15. Limit Your Intake Of Salty Foods
When you consume a lot of salty food, this is going to cause water accumulation in your tissues, which, in turn, will cause your eyes to become swollen.
Consuming a lot of salty food can also cause other health conditions, such as stroke and heart disease.
It is recommended that you consume less than 2,300 milligrams of salt a day by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. (3)
In what follows, we’ve presented how many milligrams of sodium are contained in different teaspoon measurements:
- 1 teaspoon = 2,300 milligrams of sodium
- ¾ teaspoons = 1,725 milligrams of sodium
- ½ teaspoon = 1,150 milligrams of sodium
- ¼ teaspoon = 575 milligrams of sodium
The best way to limit the amount of salt you consume a day is avoid consuming processed foods. Replace such foods with more fresh fruits and vegetables.
16. Consume Foods Rich In Collagen
As we already said, as you grow older, the tissues and muscles around your eyes become weak and the skin in that area may become saggy. Increasing your vitamin C intake can cause your body to absorb more hyaluronic acid.
Consuming foods that are packed with amino acids and vitamin C can help your body produce more collagen as well by increasing your hyaluronic acid levels, thereby creating healthier skin.
Foods that are high in vitamin C include:
- Red peppers
- Brussels sprouts
17. See If You Have Any Underlying Health Conditions
Some underlying health problems can lead to under-eye bags, and therefore it is important to get medical check-up so as to make sure your eye bags are not related to any serious health condition.
Making sure that the function of the sinuses and thyroid is not impaired is essential. If it is, it may lead to inflammation which may manifest as puffiness under your eyes.
In addition, your period can also contribute to under-eye bags.
18. Control Your Levels Of Stress
Increased stress levels affect the levels of cortisol in your body, which, in turn, causes your eyes to become puffy.
19. Try Lymphatic Drainage
This technique involves massaging your lower eyelid with a gua sha stone so as to stimulate lymphatic movement. This technique can be very effective when combined with eye cream to reduce unintentional friction to the thin and soft skin of your eyelids.
Another tool that can stimulate lymphatic drainage is the jade roller. This tool should be used by rolling it slowly toward your nose.
20. Try Microneedling
Microneedling is a cosmetic procedure which helps shrink under-eye bags as well as reduce dark circles around the eyes, scarring, and wrinkles.
This procedure involves inserting tiny needles into the skin, thereby stimulating your body to produce more collagen, which, in turn, makes the treated skin looks smooth and young.
Microneedling is normally performed over a 6-month period. So, if you want to see instant results, this procedure is not the right one for you. In addition, this procedure is less expensive than other laser procedures.
Microneedling can pose some risks, such as scarring, bleeding, infection, and bruising.
It’s not recommended that you try this procedure at home using kits as there’s a risk of contracting infection.
21. Eyelid Surgery (Blepharoplasty)
Sometimes surgical correction is the best treatment for bags under the eyes.
To perform this surgery, your surgeon is going to make an incision in your upper eyelid or underneath your lower eyelid and remove all the excess fat.
Besides correcting under-eye bags, eyelid surgery can also correct:
- excess skin on upper and lower eyelids
- baggy or swollen upper eyelids
- droopy lower eyelids.
How To Get Rid Of Eye Bags In The Morning
In addition to all of the above-mentioned ways for treating under-eye bags, you can get rid of this problem in the morning by applying natural solution to the skin around your eyes.
To make this solution, mix witch hazel with aloe vera, lavender oil, and chamomile oil. Pour the solution into a jar and store it in the refrigerator overnight.
When you wake up in the morning, apply a tiny amount of the natural solution to the skin around your eyes and let it sit for 15 minutes. Remove the solution with a facial wash and then apply an eye cream or moisturizer.
How Can Men Get Rid Of Under-Eye Bags?
Some men believe their under-eye bags make them appear less energetic, older, and like they need more sleep.
In addition, a lot of men don’t like wearing makeup to disguise their under-eye bags or dark circles.
But, if you’re a man, know that you can get rid of the bags under your eyes in other ways which don’t involve wearing under-eye concealers or foundation.
Here’s how you can get rid of under-eye bags:
1. Make Changes To Your Diet
Replace processed foods with foods that support collagen production. Consuming foods rich in amino acids and vitamin C can improve the production of hyaluronic acid and collagen.
In addition, try to consume more foods packed with iron as well as plenty of water and caffeinated teas.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can make you look pale, which may make bags and dark circles under your eyes look even more swollen and darker respectively.
3. Quit Smoking
Smoking can make your under-eye bags or dark circles appear worse.
4. Treat Your Allergies.
Allergies can cause your eyes to become red and swollen – which is exactly what you’re trying to avoid.
5. Put Two Pillows Under Your Head When Sleeping
This can prevent fluid from accumulating in your lower eyelids.
6. Wear Sunscreen When You’re Outside
Wearing sunscreen will protect your skin against damage that the harmful rays of the sun can do to your collagen and elastin.
When Should You See Your Doctor?
Under-eye bags are not normally a sign of a serious health condition. However, if you notice discoloration or puffiness under only one eye or if these symptoms become worse with time, it’s best to see your doctor.
Sometimes under-eye bags may appear due to infection or other health problems that require medical attention.
Make sure you visit your doctor if the swelling under your eyes is:
- accompanied by pain, itching, or redness
- causing you pain in other parts of your body
Under-eye bags are a common cosmetic concern.
By adopting healthy eating habits and making certain changes to your lifestyle, you can treat under-eye bags at home.
Under-eye bags can be genetically inherited or caused by other factors, such as ageing, extreme fatigue, allergies, stress, dehydration, smoking, poor diet, and dry skin, to name just a few.
One great way to get rid of under-eye bags in the morning is by applying a natural solution to the skin around your eyes which consists of witch hazel, lavender oil, chamomile oil, and aloe vera.
In addition to using makeup, men can get rid of under-eye bags in other ways too.
You should see a doctor if the swelling under your eyes is long-lasting, causing you other health problems, or accompanied by itching or redness.