We have all woken up with puffy eyes after an all-nighter at the office (or the club), and let’s be honest; they don’t precisely make us feel like the fountain of youth is knocking on our door. Puffy eyes and dark circles are pesky little critters and can knock our confidence and make us look a lot older (and more exhausted) than we really are.
Unfortunately, as we get older, we lose elasticity and collagen, making the skin under our eyes saggy and puffy. This can give us that baggy under eye look. While there are sometimes genetic factors at play (which cause dark circles), puffy eyes can also result from certain lifestyle factors. Luckily, these can often be treated to eliminate under eye puffiness.
There are a few natural ways to tackle puffy eyes. If you have ever wondered how to remove eye bags, this guide is for you. Let’s explore them!
What Causes Eye Bags?
There are a few causes for under-eye bags, and sometimes they result from the aging process. As we get older, the muscles under our eyes begin to weaken, and as a result, the skin can start to sag.
When this happens, the fat that was once located in the orbit (around the eye) moves under our eyes, creating bags. Certain lifestyle factors can also increase fluid retention and result in an excess fluid build-up beneath our eyes. If it’s a lifestyle factor or allergy that you are dealing with, there are happily a few fantastic ways to tackle puffy under eyes.
How to Get Rid of Under Eye Bags
Get Plenty of Sleep
One of the best ways to make yourself look and feel rested is to get enough sleep. So often in our busy world, we forget just how critical it is to get enough shut eye. However, it is super essential for various bodily functions.
Getting the advised 7-9 hours a night can reduce the levels of the stress hormone cortisol in our bodies, which can allow us to relax properly. As Dr. Natasha Sandy reveals, “Rest not only gives your mind time to regenerate and rejuvenate, but it also does the same for your body. Rest has the same effect on your under eyes.”
If you are struggling to get enough shut eye, you are certainly not alone. Follow these top healthcare tips to improve your sleep, and as a bonus, those bags!
Prop Up Your Pillow
Sometimes you just need a little elevation. Slighting propping up your pillows (so that you aren’t lying flat) can make a world of difference when it comes to eye bags. Thanks to gravity, when we lie on our backs or sides, a fluid build-up can form under our eyes.
By elevating ourselves slightly, this is reduced. Try adding an extra pillow if you are dealing with perpetual bags, even after 8 hours of sleep.
Hydration is paramount to overall health, and it might also help those bags. While bags are often blamed on fluid retention, dehydration can also cause problems as it can amplify the impact of dehydration. When we are dehydrated, our blood doesn’t flow optimally, and excess fluid is retained. By drinking more water, circulation improves, and excess fluid is removed. Be sure to keep a bottle of water handy at all times to ensure that you get your 2 + liters a day!
Improve Your Diet
Sometimes changing up your diet can make a dramatic difference when it comes to under-eye bags. Salty food is known as a big culprit when it comes to water retention, and as we know, this retention can lead to puffy bags.
Switch up your diet by adding delicious superfoods that enhance hydration and have anti-inflammatory properties. Opt for foods with Vitamin A or C like peppers and carrots, or oranges and broccoli as these can reduce inflammation and are water-soluble. Pineapple is also a fantastic choice as it contains the bromelain enzyme, which prevents swelling. You can add these ingredients into salads, smoothies, or juices and enjoy them throughout the day.
Cut Back on Alcohol
While many of us love sipping on those summer cocktails, they aren’t helping our eyes or skin. Sadly, booze is a significant dehydrator and can suck the moisture out of your skin. While a glass of bubbly or your favorite drink is fine every now and then, be sure to keep hydrated. If you do have a bit of a party night, drink lots of water in-between drinks and moisturize the eye area before bed.
Try a Cold Compress
Many of us have enjoyed those at-home spa days with a slice of cucumber over our eyes, and this is for great reason. A cold compress, like a cool teabag or cooling under-eye patch, can reduce inflammation and puffiness by reducing the flow of blood. You could even use some ice wrapped in a soft cloth or a bag of peas. Lay down, close your eyes, and listen to your favorite tunes while the cool compress de-puffs those bags.
Keep Your Seasonal Allergies Under Control
Allergies can cause a lot of puffiness and inflammation. When fighting allergies like pollen or pet dander, our bodies (and immune systems) release histamine, and this enhances blood flow which causes inflammation. If you are struggling with allergies, chat with your doctor about antihistamine medications such as tablets or nasal sprays. Keeping allergies away will make you feel tons better and might reduce any under-eye swelling.
Manage and Reduce Stress
Unfortunately, stress can lead to a lot of health problems such as high blood pressure, anxiety, heart issues, and more. Stress from not sleeping enough can also cause skin problems such as puffy eyes, reduced elasticity, fine lines, acne, and uneven pigmentation. Ensure that you get enough shut eye and if you are struggling to switch off, consider activities that promote calm. Try out yoga, beautiful walks in nature, that local dance class, or connect with good friends for a meal. As always, if you are struggling with Stress, chat with a professional who can give you some practical tools in managing it.
Rule Out Any Health Problems
While puffy eyes are pretty standard and shouldn’t be an immediate cause for alarm, there are instances when it points to an underlying health issue. If you are struggling to get rid of the bags with the abovementioned means, it might be worth chatting to your doctor. As oculofacial plastic surgeon Dr. Chaneve Jennington reveals:
“[make] sure that the thyroid function is balanced and that sinus dysfunction are not to blame is important….These conditions cause inflammation that can manifest as fullness under the eyes. Seeking treatment for the underlying condition is the first step to addressing the appearance of swollen eyes.”
Treating the cause of puffy eyes is better than treating the system if it’s a health issue. Interestingly, fluctuations in the menstrual cycle can also sometimes cause puffy eyes.
Consider Professional Treatments
If all else fails, you might consider some in-office eye bag treatments such as Botox or derma fillers to help the appearance of puffy under eyes. Laser might also be a brilliant solution. When opting for these procedures, always consult a medical professional rather than a beauty salon. They can offer expert advice, taking your unique medical history into account, and curate a bespoke treatment plan to suit your needs.
Sadly, many fly-by-night salons offer some of these procedures without the necessary experience and this can cause more harm than good. Always check the credentials when it comes to your skin and the sensitive under eye area.
Other Top Tips to Keep Eye Bags in Check:
- Always remove your makeup before bed. This prevents the build-up of any product on your lash line and keeps your eyes healthy. Finish with a nourishing moisturizer or eye cream.
- Practice gentle lymphatic drainage massages to get the fluids moving and toxins releasing. You can even use some popular beauty tools to help you with this, such as a jade roller or gua sha stoneto help you along. As an added bonus, pop these in the fridge before use, and they’ll be extra calm and soothing.