Bags under eyes, also known as periorbital puffiness, are a common cosmetic concern characterized by mild swelling or sagging of the skin beneath the eyes. They can be caused by various factors, including aging, lack of sleep, genetics, fluid retention, allergies, and lifestyle choices.
As we age, the tissues and muscles around our eyes weaken, causing the fat that supports the area to shift downward, leading to the appearance of bags. Although they are generally harmless, some people find them bothersome.
Fortunately, there are a variety of different treatments that can help reduce the appearance of bags under your eyes. This article provides you with 15 natural remedies to get rid of the bags under eyes.
Symptoms of bags under the eyes
Symptoms of bags under the eyes include mild swelling or puffiness beneath the eyes, sagging or drooping skin under the eyes, and dark circles or shadows around the eye area.
These symptoms can be more noticeable in the morning or after a period of inadequate sleep. Bags under the eyes might also make a person look tired or older than they are.
Some common symptoms of bags under the eyes may include:
- Swelling or puffiness beneath the eyes
- Dark circles or discoloration under the eyes
- Sagging or drooping skin beneath the eyes
- Mild discomfort or itchiness in the affected area
- Tired or fatigued appearance
Common Causes of Bags Under Eyes
As we age, our skin loses collagen and elastin, causing it to become thinner and less elastic. The fat that supports the skin around our eyes can also migrate downwards, causing the skin to sag and form bags. Other factors that can cause bags under the eyes include:
- Genetics: Some people are genetically predisposed to having bags under their eyes, as the trait can be passed down through families.
- Lack of sleep: Insufficient sleep can lead to fluid retention and dark circles under the eyes, causing a tired appearance.
- Allergies: Allergic reactions can cause inflammation and swelling around the eyes, resulting in bags and puffiness.
- Dehydration: A lack of adequate water intake can cause the skin to become dry and thin, making the blood vessels under the eyes more noticeable.
- High salt intake: Consuming too much sodium can cause fluid retention, leading to puffiness and bags under the eyes.
- Alcohol and tobacco use: Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking can dehydrate and weaken the skin, causing bags under the eyes to become more prominent.
- Stress: Chronic stress can cause hormonal imbalances that lead to fluid retention and puffiness around the eyes.
- Poor diet: A diet lacking essential nutrients and antioxidants can contribute to skin aging and the appearance of bags under the eyes.
15 Natural Remedies to Get Rid of Bags Under Eyes
Bags under the eyes can be an unwelcome sign of aging, lack of sleep, and seasonal allergies. These puffy, dark circles can be difficult to get rid of, but there are natural remedies that can help reduce their appearance.
1. Manage Your Allergies
Seasonal allergies can cause puffy eyes and other uncomfortable symptoms. Try natural remedies such as essential oils for allergies to manage your symptoms and catch them before they start. Keep a small vial of an allergy essential blend handy so that you can use it when you need it.
2. Exercise the Muscles Around Your Eyes
Facial exercises can help tone and tighten the muscles around your eyes. Licensed aesthetician and author of The Yoga Facelift, Marie-Veronique Nadeau, explains that yoga for the face involves slow exercises of the facial muscles to help tone and tighten them. (Resource)
To get rid of bags under your eyes, you can try the following exercises that focus on improving blood circulation and reducing puffiness:
- Finger tapping: Start by tapping the under-eye region lightly, moving from inside to outside in a circular fashion till above your eyebrows. This helps improve blood circulation and lightens dark circles.
- Victory sign massage: Make a victory sign with your index and middle finger, and gently press down on the outer and inner corners of your eye to remove puffiness.
- Eyebrow lift: Place your index finger on your eyebrow and your middle finger under your eye. Pull both fingers towards your hairline with light pressure, which will help smoothen the skin under your eyes and enhance blood circulation.
3. Reduce Salt Intake
Salt is often linked to high blood pressure, but it can also cause fluid retention and lead to puffiness under the eyes. If you use salt, opt for pure Himalayan sea salt and use only a small amount.
Avoid high-salt foods such as pizza and some soups, and instead, go for fresh vegetables, especially celery, which can help curb your desire for salt.
4. Quit Smoking
Smoking cigarettes dries out and weakens the skin on your face, causing premature aging around the eyes.
The chemicals found in cigarettes are toxic and can cause irritation around the eyes, which could result in dark circles or undereye bags in addition to a wrinkled, droopy appearance.
5. Try a Cold Compress
A cold compress is an effective and simple remedy to reduce bags under the eyes. It helps constrict blood vessels, alleviates swelling, and minimizes the appearance of puffiness.
- You can use a cold spoon, a bag of frozen peas, ice cubes wrapped in a soft cloth, or a gel eye mask placed in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes.
- Gently clean your face and remove any makeup or impurities.
- Place the cold compress on the affected area (under your eyes) and hold it there for 10-15 minutes. Be careful not to apply too much pressure or hold the compress for too long, as it may cause discomfort or irritation.
- If necessary, you can repeat the process several times a day. However, it is essential to give your skin a break in between applications.
6. Protect Your Skin from the Sun
Overexposure to the sun can cause the skin around your eyes to sag and wrinkle. Use mineral-based or homemade sunscreen, a good pair of UV-protected sunglasses, and a hat to protect your face from the harmful rays of the sun. (Resource)
7. Use a Neti Pot
The ancient Indian remedy of a neti pot can help flush out excess moisture from your sinuses, which can cause puffy eyes. Purchase a neti pot from a health food store and fill it with salt water.
Pour the water through one nostril and let it drain out of the other. This will cleanse and refresh your nasal passages, reducing eye inflammation.
8. Remove Your Makeup
Before Bed Leaving your eye makeup on can irritate your eyes, causing them to water and become puffy. Make sure to gently remove your eye makeup before going to bed to help eliminate any added irritation around the eyes.
9. Limit or Eliminate Alcohol
Alcohol dehydrates your body and skin. This dehydration can cause the delicate area around your eyes to appear sunken and dark. Also, alcohol can cause bloodshot, tired eyes. Drink lots of water instead to stay hydrated.
10. Get Enough Sleep
One of the easiest and most effective ways to reduce bags under your eyes is to get more sleep. Aim for 7-9 hours of sleep each night, and try to establish a regular sleep routine. This can help reduce fluid retention and prevent the skin from sagging.
To improve the quality of your sleep, establish a regular sleep schedule and stick to it as much as possible. This will help your body get into a routine and promote a better sleep cycle. Additionally, make sure your sleeping environment is comfortable, cool, and dark to promote restful sleep.
11. Stay Hydrated
Drinking plenty of water is essential for keeping your body and skin healthy. It can also help reduce puffiness under the eyes. Aim for 8–10 glasses of water per day.
12. Eat Healthy Foods
To get rid of bags under the eyes, it’s essential to consume a diet rich in hydrating, antioxidant, and mineral-rich foods. Some healthy foods that can help reduce eye bags and dark circles include:
- Cucumber: Known for its high water content, cucumber helps rehydrate the skin around the eyes and reduces puffiness.
- Watermelon: Another hydrating fruit that helps alleviate eye bags.
- Blueberries: Rich in omega-3, vitamins K and C, and manganese, blueberries support good eye health.
- Tomatoes: These contain antioxidants that help improve circulation and reduce dark circles.
- Celery: Aids in hydration and provides essential nutrients.
- Mulberries: Contain antioxidants and minerals that boost eye health.
- Beetroot: Rich in vitamins and minerals, beetroot improves blood flow and reduces dark circles.
- Goji berries: Packed with antioxidants, these berries support eye health.
- Baobab: Rich in vitamin C, baobab supports collagen production, which helps maintain skin elasticity.
- Bee pollen: Contains essential nutrients that promote eye health.
- Spirulina: A superfood rich in nutrients and antioxidants that benefit eye health.
13. Reduce Stress
Stress can cause your body to produce hormones that can lead to the development of bags under the eyes. Try to reduce stress by taking time for yourself and engaging in activities that make you feel relaxed.
14. Use Eye Creams
There are many eye creams available that claim to reduce puffiness and bags under your eyes. Look for eye creams that contain ingredients such as caffeine, vitamin C, or retinol, which can help tighten and firm the skin around your eyes.
15. Get Regular Facials
Regular facials can help keep the skin around the eyes healthy and reduce puffiness. Additionally, they can help exfoliate the skin and remove any impurities that could be causing bags under the eyes.
It’s important to remember that the effectiveness of these methods can vary from person to person and that consulting with a medical professional may be necessary for persistent or severe cases.
Medical Treatments for Bags Under Eyes
While most cases of bags under the eyes can be treated with lifestyle changes or home remedies, in some cases, medical treatment may be necessary.
If you have persistent bags under your eyes that are accompanied by redness, itching, or pain, or if your bags are due to an underlying medical condition, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:
1. Topical medications
Your doctor may prescribe a topical cream or ointment that contains a corticosteroid or retinoid to help reduce inflammation and puffiness. These medications can be effective, but they should only be used under the guidance of a healthcare professional.
2. Chemical peels
Chemical peels can help reduce the appearance of bags under eyes by removing the top layer of skin and stimulating collagen production. This can help tighten and firm the skin around your eyes. Chemical peels should only be performed by a licensed healthcare professional.
Dermal fillers such as hyaluronic acid or collagen can be injected into the area under your eyes to help fill in hollows and reduce the appearance of bags. Fillers are a temporary solution, and the effects typically last for 6-12 months.
In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove excess skin and fat from the area under your eyes. This procedure is called a lower eyelid blepharoplasty, which can be performed by a plastic surgeon or ophthalmologist.
When to See a Doctor?
While bags under the eyes are usually harmless and don’t require medical attention, there are certain cases where you should see a doctor. Here are some signs that you should make an appointment with your healthcare provider:
- If you have bags under your eyes that are accompanied by redness, itching, or pain, or if they persist despite lifestyle changes or home remedies, you should see a doctor.
- If you experience other symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, hives, or swelling in other parts of your body, you may have an allergic reaction and should seek medical attention immediately.
- Bags under the eyes can sometimes be a symptom of an underlying medical condition such as thyroid disease or an infection. If your doctor suspects that an underlying condition may contribute to your bags, they may recommend further testing or treatment.
- If you are bothered by the appearance of bags under your eyes and are considering cosmetic treatments, it’s important to discuss your options with a healthcare professional. They can help you understand the risks and benefits of different treatments and recommend the best approach for your needs.