Do you have swollen bags under your eyes and are they making you look older than your age?
Bags under the eyes are definitely not a sight to behold. You are not alone. Many people deal with the same problem.
This cosmetic issue can cause mild swelling around the eye area, saggy or loose skin, and dark circles.
Everybody wants to get rid of the problem as soon as possible. But before you look for a treatment option, it is important to determine the cause behind it.
Tiredness and lack of sleep are the most common causes of under-eye bags. Other common causes include stress, water retention, lots of traveling, crying, allergies, eczema, pigmentation issues, sun exposure, aging, excessive smoking, certain medications, drinking too much alcohol, eating excess salt, nutritional deficiencies, an underlying medical condition and even heredity.
Although there are countless products in the market that claim to help de-puff and lighten the area under the eyes, there is no need to waste your money on them.
Bags under the eyes are usually a cosmetic concern and don’t require specific treatment or products. Getting rid of this problem is something that you can easily do with things you have around the house. Several natural remedies and simple lifestyle changes can bring relief quickly.
Here are the top 10 ways to get rid of bags under your eyes.
1. Cold Compress
The simplest and most effective home remedy to deal with bags under eyes is to apply a cold compress. The cold temperature will help relax the blood vessels and reduce swelling in the under eye area.
- Wet a clean washcloth with cool water. Hold the wet washcloth against the skin under and around your eyes for 10 minutes. Do it a few times a day.
- Chill a few metal spoons in the refrigerator for 30 minutes. Place the curved back of a cold spoon on each of your eyes, or one at a time. Hold this position for about 10 minutes, replacing the spoons when they get warm. Repeat a few times.
- You can also splash cold water on your eyes as often as possible until the swelling reduces.
Caution: Make sure the water you use is not icy cold or it can lead to frostbite.
2. Tea Bags
Tea contains antioxidants that rejuvenate the skin around your eyes and help reduce swelling and puffiness.
It also protects the skin against ultraviolet (UV) sunrays and potentially slows the aging process.
Whether you have black tea or green tea bags, you can use them to treat bags under your eyes. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research found green tea to be more active than black tea, plausibly due to the higher flavonoid content of green tea (1).
- Steep 2 tea bags in hot water for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Chill the tea bags in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Then, squeeze out the extra liquid and place them on your under-eye area.
- Leave the tea bags there for 15 to 30 minutes.
- Repeat a few times a day.
Cucumber can also help get rid of under-eye bags. The astringent and anti-inflammatory properties in cucumber help reduce eye puffiness and swelling.
According to a 2014 study published in the International Journal of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences, cucumber has hydrating, nourishing and astringent properties that benefit the skin in many ways (2).
To treat under-eye bags, you need to use chilled cucumbers.
- Cut thick slices off a cucumber.
- Chill the slices in the refrigerator for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Put the cold slices over your closed eyelids for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat several times a day.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil is also very effective in dealing with bags around the eyes. Being rich in nourishing vitamins and minerals, coconut oil can replenish and rejuvenate the delicate skin under the eyes.
Lauric acid and other components of coconut oil possess anti-inflammatory properties. A 2010 study published in Pharmaceutical Biology highlights the anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil (3).
- Lightly massage a few drops of extra-virgin coconut oil onto the delicate skin under the eyes.
- Allow it to sit for at least 30 minutes.
- Wash it off with cold water.
- Use this remedy 2 or 3 times a day.
You can also rub a bit of extra-virgin coconut oil under your eyes before going to bed at night, then wash it off with cold water in the morning.
5. Aloe Vera
Aloe vera is very nourishing to the skin, supplying vitamins and minerals as well as supporting collagen production. It also reduces inflammation, due to its astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
Plus, aloe vera is good for aging skin and delaying signs of aging.
- Extract pure aloe vera gel from an aloe vera leaf.
- Gently massage the gel around your eyes.
- Allow it to sit for 10 minutes.
- Rinse it off with cool water.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times a day.
Note: When applying the gel, be very careful that it does not get in your eyes.
6. Egg Whites
Another common ingredient that you can use to treat eye bags is egg whites. Egg whites contain properties that help tighten the skin around your eyes. This in turn reduces eye bags.
- Break open 1 egg and separate the yolk from the whites.
- Whip the egg whites to get a foamy texture.
- Optionally, add a few drops of witch hazel and mix well.
- Using a clean makeup brush, apply this mixture under your eyes.
- Allow it to dry.
- Rinse it off with plenty of cool water.
- Repeat once daily.
7. Witch Hazel
Witch hazel is a natural astringent and also has a tightening effect on the skin, thus helping get rid of bags under the eyes.
In addition, the polyphenols in it help strengthen blood vessels, which in turn reduces the appearance of swollen skin.
- Mix 10 to 15 drops of witch hazel extract into 1 cup of lukewarm water.
- Soak a washcloth in this solution.
- Place it over your closed eyelids for 10 to 15 minutes.
- Repeat 2 or 3 times daily until you notice improvement.
8. Saline Water
Saline water is another good remedy to reduce inflammation under your eyes and treat eye bags.
Salt aids in the process of osmosis to absorb the fluid around the eyes and promotes drainage of water trapped around the eyes, which in turn reduces the puffiness.
- Add ½ teaspoon of salt to 1 cup of lukewarm water, and stir it until the salt completely dissolves.
- Soak 2 cotton balls in this solution.
- Lie down with your head elevated.
- Place a cotton ball over each of your closed eyelids for 5 minutes.
- Finally, rinse the area with cool water.
- Repeat as many times as needed.
However, stay away from food containing a high concentration of salt, as sodium intake can contribute to water retention and puffy eyes.
9. Sleep Properly
To reduce bags under your eyes, make sure you clock in enough shut-eye each night. You must aim for at least 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night.
The position in which you sleep can also make a lot of difference. Sleeping with your head elevated above your heart can prevent puffiness. It prevents fluids from settling in your face and keeps blood moving freely throughout your body as you sleep.
Also, try to sleep on your back. Sleeping on your side or stomach can affect circulation.
Plus, never go to sleep wearing makeup, as the chemicals in makeup can irritate your eyes. Always wash your face before going to sleep to remove all your makeup.
10. Drink More Fluids
To deal with bags under the eyes, make sure you drink plenty of water throughout your day.
Drinking enough water helps keep your body hydrated and skin supple. When the body is dehydrated, it holds onto fluids, which can cause puffiness.
Also, drinking enough water helps flush excess salt from your system, which is another reason behind puffy and swollen eyes.
To stay well-hydrated, drink at least 8 to 10 glasses of water each day. If you do not like the taste of plain water, try flavored waters or even water infused with fruit. Hot or cold herbal decaffeinated tea or fruits rich in water content are other good choices.
In addition, avoid caffeinated and carbonated beverages that can be dehydrating.
- If you wake up with puffy eyes, use a dry brush and gently massage the area for a few minutes to help move fluid out of your under-eye area.
- Use a pencil and roll it upward and outward on your face with light pressure to encourage lymphatic drainage and boost circulation.
- Exposure to harmful UV rays damages and degrades your natural collagen and elastin, making loose skin and bags more prominent. Never go out in the sun without applying a sunscreen lotion.
- If the under-eye bags are allergy-related, take over-the-counter allergy medications. However, it is always best to consult your doctor first.
- As you get older, your skin may begin to sag, including that around your eyes. Increasing your intake of vitamin C can help with collagen production to help keep your skin firm.
- Moisturize your face regularly and make sure your eye area gets enough moisture to help the skin retain elasticity and strength.
- Another pleasant remedy for puffy eyes is rose water. Dip 2 cotton balls into the rose water and apply it around your eyes. Rinse it off after 15 minutes.
- You can use cosmetics to mask dark circles under your eyes.
- Iron-deficiency anemia can also cause puffy eyes. If you are anemic, eat more iron-rich foods.
- Eating too many salty foods is one of the prime causes behind under-eye bags as it causes edema. So, cut back on salty foods. The best way to do this is to steer clear of fast foods and processed foods.
- Deficiency of vitamin K in the body can cause your eyes to swell up and form eye bags. Hence, it is important to eat foods rich in vitamin K like green leafy vegetables, broccoli, sprouts, carrots, strawberries and liver.
- If you smoke, try to quit to improve your skin health.
- A daily walk or other form of exercise can improve circulation and reduce swelling.
- Evaluation of anti-inflammatory effects of green tea and black tea: A comparative in vitro study. Journal of Advanced Pharmaceutical Technology & Research. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3401676. Published 2012.
- Invigorating Efficacy of Cucumis Sativas for Healthcare. International Journal of Chemistry and Pharmaceutical Sciences. http://www.pharmaresearchlibrary.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/IJCPS2001.pdf.
- Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, and antipyretic activities of virgin coconut oil. Pharmaceutical Biology. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20645831. Published February 2010.