How to Get Rid of Bags Under Eyes
Reproduced from original article:
- Under eye bags may be reduced by moisturizing your face, sleeping on your back, getting enough sleep, avoiding smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke, adding an extra pillow below your head when sleeping, avoiding rubbing your eyes and treating your allergies
- Diet changes such as drinking enough water, avoiding salty food, reducing alcohol intake and consuming vitamin C- and retinol-rich foods may also help get rid of bags under eyes
- Easy home remedies that may help include applying cucumber, avocado, cold compress, egg whites, potato, tomato, lemon juice or caffeinated tea over the affected areas
Periorbital hyperchromia, or dark circles under the eyes, is a common dermatological condition that can affect a person’s self-confidence because it makes them appear tired.[1 It’s a normal thing to happen, though, since this is a physical change that takes effect when you age.2
Also known as periorbital hyperpigmentation, periorbital melanosis and dark circles, under-eye bags may appear as the lower eyelid’s bluish discoloration (vascular type) or brownish to black hyperpigmentation (constitutional type).3 The eyelid skin is the thinnest of all body parts, particularly the lower medial eyelid, which has the lowest dermal to epidermal ratio.4 This is where fat accumulates through time, resulting in the development of bags under the eyes.5
Bags under your eyes aren’t always caused by getting too little sleep at night, contrary to what many people believe. They can be caused by factors that differ from one person to another. According to a 2007 study:6
“DC (dark circles) are caused by multiple etiologic factors that include dermal melanin deposition, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation secondary to atopic or allergic contact dermatitis, periorbital edema, superficial location of vasculature and shadowing due to skin laxity.”
Puffiness and bags under the eyes that appear in the morning may be caused by your sleeping position. Sleeping only on one side places pressure on the blood vessels under your eyes. The pool of blood that accumulates in this area makes the skin appear darker.7 According to Medical News Today, buildup of excess fluid and weakened muscles may cause dark bags under the eyes as well.8
Stress may also contribute to the appearance of dark circles. In Chinese medicine, having puffy eyes can be a symptom of water or kidney imbalance, while dark bags under the eyes may imply allergies.9
According to a Reader’s Digest article, most eye creams in the market are a waste of money because they basically contain the same ingredients as facial moisturizers. They’re usually water-based to ensure that the skin would be hydrated.10
If you intend to use an eye cream, choose products that contain organic ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, acai oil, green tea leaf extract and chamomile flower extract to help moisturize your skin and to ensure safety from harmful chemicals. For more convenient and easy-to-follow methods, I have provided a list of remedies below.
Conventional treatments for under-eye bags include topical medications, surgery, chemical peels and laser treatments.11 However, I advise you to turn to safer and more convenient noninvasive methods to help diminish the bags under your eyes.
Although it is considered more of a cosmetic concern than a medical one,12 you can improve your appearance by getting rid of the bags under your eyes through these methods.
• Moisturize — Wrinkles and bags under the eyes become more visible when your skin is dry.13 Keep your skin well-moisturized, especially around the eyes, by using all-natural moisturizers such as pure emu oil and pure coconut oil.
• Use Brazilian ginseng — A 2009 study found that topically applying a serum sample containing Brazilian ginseng twice a day may help reduce the intensity of dark circles around the eyes.14
• Opt for eye creams with coffee extracts — A 2013 study found that caffeine has antioxidant properties that may work as a sunscreen. These polyphenol compounds protect the skin from UVB radiation, which may help prevent rapid skin aging.15
A 2018 study also found that skin care products with caffeine may help reduce under-eye bags caused by dilatation of blood vessels.16
• Use a safe sunscreen and wear sunglasses — Though sun exposure is vital in achieving optimal health, you must consider factors such as weather conditions, season and time of the day when you stay under the sun to avoid photodamage and the appearance of wrinkles.
According to a 2013 study, using a broad spectrum sunscreen and wearing UV-coated sunglasses may help reduce bags under the eyes.17 However, in choosing a sunscreen, make sure that it doesn’t contain oxybenzone, synthetic fragrances or retinyl palmitate; your safest choice is a lotion or cream with zinc oxide. You may also wear a wide-brimmed hat or a cap to protect your face and eyes.
• Gently remove your makeup — Excessively scrubbing your face may break your blood vessels, which may worsen the bags under your eyes.18 Avoid this by gently swiping some mild makeup remover over your eyes (coconut oil is a good option) and leaving it on your face for a minute before washing it off.
• Drink enough water — Staying hydrated will help restore your skin’s moisture and may help eliminate toxins from it.
• Avoid salty food — Sodium contributes to fluid retention,19 which causes bags under eyes. Cutting down on your salt intake at night is one way to reduce bags under eyes and puffiness in the morning.20
• Add retinol-rich food to your diet — Retinol or vitamin A helps prevent further thinning of the skin.21 Nourish the skin under your eyes by adding food rich in retinol such as grass fed beef liver, cheddar cheese, pasture-raised chicken giblets, turkey liver, grass fed butter and organic, pastured eggs to your diet.
• Reduce or avoid alcohol intake — Alcohol is one of the fluids that can dehydrate your body, including the skin under the eyes. This thin area may likely sink and form a bag.22 If you do imbibe in alcohol, be sure to balance it with at least 8 cups of water throughout the day.
• Consume vitamin C-rich food — A 2009 study found that vitamin C from sodium ascorbate lotion may help thicken the skin of the lower eyelids. The results showed that dark coloration is significantly diminished when the dermis has thickened.23
Reduce the appearance of bags under your eyes by adding foods rich in vitamin C such mango, papaya, pineapple, watermelon, broccoli, tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, strawberries and winter squash to your diet.24
If you want to know how to get rid of bags under eyes fast, here are additional lifestyle changes you should follow today:
• Sleep on your back — Sleeping on one side or on your belly contributes to the buildup of blood and fluid to the face. Try to sleep on your back to avoid morning face puffiness due to fluid accumulation.25
• Add an extra pillow below your head — Elevate your head when you sleep to avoid fluid buildup around your eyes.26
• Avoid smoking and exposure to secondhand smoke — Besides chemical irritation, smoking may cause skin damage and rapid aging, especially around the mouth and eyes. Preventing exposure to tobacco smoke is one of the ways you can avoid or remove bags under eyes.27
• Get enough sleep — One of WebMD’s recommended ways on getting rid of under-eye bags is ensuring you get high-quality sleep at night. To help prevent your skin from sagging, aim for seven to nine hours of sleep to give your skin more time to produce collagen.28
• Deal with your allergies — According to a Sage Journals study, dark bags under the eyes may be caused by nasal allergies in children. The authors note:
“Prolonged and persistent allergic edema of the mucous membranes of the nasal cavities produces pressure effects on the veins, interfering with their normal drainage. Thus the discoloration under the eyes develops from obstruction and slowing of the normal drainage of the lower venous marginal arcades and palpebral veins.”
Commonly known as allergic shiners,29 these may be mitigated by using natural antihistamines such as butterbur, vitamin C and green tea.
• Avoid rubbing your eyes — Frequent rubbing of the eyes may aggravate the appearance of dark circles, according to a study published in 2014.30 Doing this may break the blood vessels in your eyelids and create a blood buildup that causes the discoloration of the lower eyelids.31
If you’re looking for an easy home remedy for the bags under your eyes, here are different things that you may use at home:
• Cucumber — Cucumber is one of the most popular natural remedies for bags under eyes as it contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help reduce puffiness. Simply put two slices of chilled cucumbers over your eyes for about 25 minutes.32
• Cold spoon —One of the most convenient under-eye bags treatments is placing a cold spoon over your lower eyelids to cool down your blood vessels.33
• Cold compress — Placing a cold compress over the eyes significantly reduces the swelling of blood vessels. Simply place a damp, ice-cold face towel over your eyes for 15 minutes to do this.34
• Egg whites — Times of India suggests applying beaten egg whites around the eye area as a bags-under-eyes remedy. Leaving the egg whites on your skin for 20 minutes may help tighten it35 as they contain astringent properties.36
• Potato or tomato — To lighten the dark circles under your eyes, use a cotton ball soaked in potato extract or fresh tomato juice. Squeeze out the excess and then place it over your under-eye skin for 10 minutes. Rinse after.
• Avocado — This fruit has emollient properties that make it a good moisturizer for your skin. You may either directly place avocado slices over your eyes or make a mask mixed with a few drops of almond oil.
• Lemon juice — With its natural bleaching properties, lemon juice may be used to help reduce the discoloration of the bags under your eyes. Remember to dilute it in water before applying the mixture to your under-eye skin to prevent irritation.37
• Caffeinated tea — Cold tea bags are known to help slow down skin aging because of their antioxidant properties.38 If you’ve got spare tea bags, soak them first in warm water and then place inside the refrigerator to chill. Afterward, place the tea bags over your eyes for five minutes.39
Remember that these methods for eliminating under-eye bags using home remedies may or may not work for you as these marks are caused by different factors, as found by a 2014 study involving 200 patients with different forms of periorbital hyperpigmentation.40 Try a few and see which ones work best for you.
In aromatherapy, essential oils are used to help boost a person’s mind, body and spirit. They may be diluted in carrier oil to be massaged on the skin, used with a diffuser or infused with hot water and inhaled via the steam.41 Aside from their therapeutic purposes, some essential oils such as lavender and Roman chamomile may help reduce puffiness and bags under the eyes because they contain anti-inflammatory properties.
Here’s a recipe for helping you reduce those dark circles using essential oils:42
• 1 drop chamomile essential oil
• 1 drop lavender essential oil
• 30 ml aloe vera gel, lotion or cream
1.Mix the essential oils with aloe vera gel.
2.Cleanse your face then pat it dry.
3.Take a small amount from the mixture then gently apply it to the skin around your eyes.
Alternatively, cotton balls soaked in witch hazel oil may also be placed over your eyelids for 20 minutes to reduce the dark circles.43 Witch hazel has moisturizing and astringent properties that may tighten and hydrate the skin under the eyes.
Before doing any of these, see how your skin responds by testing the various topical ingredients on a small area of your forearm. Be sure to consult your health care provider or a professional aromatherapist if you intend to use essential oils, as some oils may contain compounds that may not be suitable for your skin.44
As mentioned, having noticeable bags under the eyes is not a medical concern, but an aesthetic one that doesn’t imply a disease or a health-threatening condition.45 If the saggy skin obstructs your peripheral vision, an under-eye bags surgery or blepharoplasty could be done. This procedure gets rid of the excess tissue in your eyelids46 through an incision.
After removing the excess fat, the skin would then be stitched together.47 If your condition calls for a surgery, opt for transconjunctival than transcutaneous blepharoplasty so that the scar would not be visible.48
Having to remove bags under eyes by means of surgery may pose benefits and risks, so be sure to consult an expert before intending to undergo one.
Under-eye bags may be common, but data on how this condition develops is scarce.49 Many of the home remedies mentioned above may be easy to follow, but proper guidance from your health care provider is necessary for those to take effect. Make sure that you know the cause of your under-eye bags so that you’ll know which method is right for your condition.
Aging and genetics are two common causes of under-eye bags that you cannot control, so having a better lifestyle and attending to your skin care needs may be beneficial in reducing the appearance of these marks.
When you feel like the bags have become itchy, painful or severe, or if they blur or obstruct your vision, it’s best to visit your doctor immediately to address the problem and avoid further complications.50
Q: How do I get rid of dark circles and bags under my eyes?
A: Home remedies that may help reduce bags under your eyes include moisturizing your skin, using sunscreen, wearing sunglasses, caps or hats, avoiding salty foods, adding foods rich in retinol and vitamin C to your diet, and placing tea bags, potato peel, cucumber slices or cold spoons over your eyes.
Q: How do you fix bags under your eyes?
A: Having the thinnest skin of all body parts, eyelids and the skin around them are likely to develop damage as you age. Photodamage from exposure to UV rays may cause bags under the eyes. Some ways to help reduce this are topical antioxidant usage and sunscreen application.51
Q: Do eye creams really work?
A: Eye creams actually have the same formulation as facial moisturizers.52 When buying eye creams, look for organic ingredients such as shea butter, jojoba oil, acai oil, green tea leaf extract and chamomile flower extract to ensure safety from potential chemicals.
- 1 Semantic Scholar, “Periorbital Hyperchromia”
- 2 “Is Gender Recognition Affected by Age?”, 2009
- 3 J Cutan Aesthet Surg. 2012 Jul-Sep;5(3):183-184
- 4 Aesthetic Surgery Journal, “A Comprehensive Examination of Topographic Thickness of Skin in the Human Face”, 2015;35(8):1007-1013
- 5, 47 Mayo Clinic, January 26, 2018
- 6 Journal of Cosmetic Dermatology, 2007;6(3):211-215
- 7 United States Patent No. US 6,607,735, “Method for Reducing the Appearance of Dark Circles Under the Eyes”
- 8, 13, 25, 50 Medical News Today, April 3, 2017
- 9, 27 “Staying Healthy with Nutrition, rev: The Complete Guide to Diet and Nutritional Medicine,” 2012
- 10, 52 Reader’s Digest, October 25, 2017
- 11, 51 Clinics in Plastic Surg. 2013 Jan;40(1):225-36
- 12 Dermatol Surg. 2009 Aug;35(8):1163-71
- 14 J Cosmet Dermatol. 2009 Jun;8(2):127-35
- 15 Skin Pharmacology and Physiology, “Caffeine’s Mechanisms of Action and Its Cosmetic Use”, 2013 Jan;26(1):8-14
- 16 EJPMR, “Preparation and Evaluation of Caffeinated Fairness Cream”, 2018;5(4):475-478
- 17, 48, 49 J Clin Aesthet Dermatol. 2016 Jan;9(1):49-55
- 18 Reader’s Digest, February 10, 2017
- 19 WedMD, January 21, 2018
- 20 WebMD, “Slideshow: Banish the Bags Under Your Eyes”
- 21 Medical News Today, May 10, 2018
- 22 WebMD, June 8, 2016
- 23 Skin Res Technol. 2009 May;15(2):214-7
- 24 Medline Plus, J anuary 7, 2017
- 26 Mayo Clinic, “Bags Under Eyes”
- 28 WebMD, November 19,2015
- 29 Clinical Pediatrics, “Allergic Shiners: Dark Circles Under the Eyes in Children”, 1966 Nov;5(11):655-658
- 30 Indian J Dermatol, 2014 Mar-Apr;59(2)151-157
- 31 Essilor, “Think Twice Before You Rub Your Eyes”
- 32, 35 Times of India, August 6, 2018
- 33, 39 Reader’s Digest, August 28, 2018
- 34 “Prescription for Nutritional Healing,” 2006
- 36 “Eggs in Cookery: Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium of Food and Cookery 2006,” 2007
- 37 Medical News Today, November 24, 2017
- 38 United States Patent No. US20110081333A1, “Apparatus and System for Treatment and Prevention of Bags Under Eyes”
- 40 Indian J Dermatol. 2014 Mar-Apr;59(2):151-157
- 41 National Center for Biotechnology Information, August 7, 2018
- 42 “100 Plus Essential Oil and Organic Recipes Box Set”, 2015
- 43 “Growing Younger: Breakthrough Age-Defying Secrets for Women”, 2001
- 44 WebMD, October 19, 2017
- 45 Dermatologic Surgery, “Infraorbital Dark Circles: Definition, Causes, and Treatment Options”, 2009 August;35(8):1163-1171
- 46 Mayo Clinic, March 28, 2018