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Under-eye bags are a common issue faced by many people. While puffy eyes caused by short-term conditions such as lack of sleep or illness tend to resolve easily, eye bags caused by genetic factors or old age can be difficult to get rid of and can even become permanent.
As you grow older, collagen levels in your skin tend to decrease. This decline causes saggy and loose skin, which leads to wrinkles and bags under the eyes.
The good thing is there are simple home remedies that may help temporarily reduce or eliminate the swelling under your eyes.
Home Remedies for Under-Eye Bags
Many people attest to the effectiveness of the following home remedies in reducing under-eye bags.
1. Cold compress
Cold compresses are a great way to reduce any swelling or inflammation in the body. The mechanism at play is the cold temperature constricts the underlying blood vessels, curbing blood flow in the area and thereby reducing inflammation.
This topical therapy can instantly relieve puffiness around your eyes, but only for a temporary period.
How to use:
You can make cold compresses using different ingredients. Here are the most common ones:
- Leave a teaspoon in the freezer for 2–3 minutes. Apply this chilled spoon onto your under-eye area for at least 10 minutes.
- Apply cold cucumber slices to your eyes for 15 minutes.
- Use an ice pack as a cold compress for your eyes. Wrap an ice cube in a soft clean cloth, and gently massage it on the swollen area for no more than 2 minutes. You may repeat the application after a 5-minute break.
- Store a jade roller in the freezer for 5 minutes until it is chilled. Roll it gently under your eyes for a few minutes.
- Use a cool, damp washcloth to soothe your eyes.
- Reusable eye gel masks can be stored in the freezer. Apply them onto your eyes for at least 10 minutes.
2. Tea bags
Green tea is rich in antioxidants and caffeine. (1) Caffeine binds to certain receptors in the nerve cells to block the action of adenosine, causing narrowing of the blood vessels. This ability helps in the reduction of swelling or inflammation by decreasing blood flow to the area. (2)(3)
Plus, green tea is loaded with antioxidants that help fight inflammation and swelling.
How to use:
- Soak 2 tea bags in cold water for a few minutes.
- Apply the tea bags to your eyes and let them sit for at least 10 minutes before rinsing your eye area with cool water.
- Repeat this process twice a day for best results.
How to use:
- Cut a cucumber into round slices.
- Refrigerate the cucumber slices for at least 10 minutes.
- Place the cucumber slices on your eyes for 15 minutes or more.
4. Coconut oil
Coconut oil is a staple in many households, but most people use it for either hair care or cooking while ignoring its skin benefits.
Packed with powerful antioxidants including vitamin E and essential fatty acids, this oil is credited with antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and moisturizing properties – all of which can help relieve the puffiness under your eyes. (5)
How to use:
- Take a few drops of coconut oil.
- Gently massage it under your eyes for at least 5 minutes. Massaging the coconut oil helps it penetrate deeper into the skin.
5. Witch hazel
Witch hazel, when used topically on your eye bags, shrinks the underlying blood vessels to restrict blood flow in the area, which helps bring down the swelling. (6)
However, be careful when applying witch hazel. Make sure it doesn’t get into your eyes, which can cause a lot of stinging.
How to use:
- Chill 1 tablespoon of witch hazel in the refrigerator.
- Apply it to your under-eye area using a cotton ball or Q-tip.
- Close your eyes and leave the witch hazel on for at least 5 minutes.
- Rinse it off with cool water.
- Repeat this remedy 2–3 times a day for best results.
6. Egg white mask
Egg whites are rich in proteins that get absorbed into the skin and boost the production of collagen. Collagen is a structural protein manufactured by the body to build new skin cells.
Thus, applying egg white on the saggy skin under your eyes can stimulate cell renewal in the area to make it tighter and thereby reduce the appearance of eye bags.
How to use:
- Separate an egg white from the yolk.
- Beat the egg white until it turns frothy.
- Use a brush to apply the egg white to your under-eye area.
- Leave it on for at least 10 minutes or until it dries up.
- Rinse it off with cold water.
7. Aloe vera gel
Aloe vera gel is full of antioxidants that exhibit strong anti-inflammatory effects, which can help bring down the swelling around your eyes. Plus, its inherent cooling properties can relieve the inflammation to a certain degree.
Aloe vera gel also helps increase collagen synthesis to build new skin cells that can help repair and tighten the skin around your eyes. (7)
How to use:
- Slice open a fresh aloe vera leaf to reveal the gel inside it.
- Place the gooey sides of the leaf under both eyes and leave it on for at least 10 minutes.
8. Cold milk
Milk is a rich source of many vitamins and lactic acid, which are extremely beneficial for your skin. Lactic acid helps get rid of wrinkles and under-eye bags and also moisturizes the skin.
The vitamin A and vitamin B6 found in milk help build new skin cells to tighten the loose, baggy skin around the eyes.
How to use:
- Place a cotton ball in cold milk and let it soak for a minute.
- Place the soaked cotton ball on your under-eye area and leave it on for 10–15 minutes.
- Remove the cotton balls and rinse the area with cold water.
Lifestyle Changes and Tips to Manage Under-Eye Bags
These measures can greatly help in preventing and reducing under-eye bags:
1. Elevate your head
Fluid can accumulate in the pouches under the eyes at night, leading to swollen or puffy eyes in the morning.
Thus, make sure your head is slightly elevated above your body to prevent this from happening. You may achieve this by resting your head on two pillows stacked together instead of just one.
2. Decrease your salt intake
Salt contains sodium, which causes the body to reserve water. The pouches under your eyes are on one of the most common places water is stored by your body.
3. Avoid alcohol
Alcohol is a well-known dehydrating agent and may cause tiny blood vessels to dilate and leak. Both of these side effects may lead to puffy or swollen eyes due to water retention under the eyes.
4. Use sunscreen daily
Exposure to too much sunlight can be a causative factor behind dark circles and under-eye bags. Harmful UV rays can cause collagen loss and weakening of the skin around the eyes.
Using good-quality sunscreen under your eyes regularly can help protect your skin and prevent these issues.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking is another major cause of collagen loss from the skin, which leads to wrinkles and baggy skin under the eyes. Smoking also dehydrates the body, which may lead to fluid retention and puffiness.
6. Stay hydrated
Drinking adequate amounts of water every day can go a long way in treating dark circles and under-eye bags.
7. Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep is one of the most common reasons for temporary or sudden puffiness in the eyes. Sleep deprivation leads to dark circles and makes your under-eye bags more prominent.
8. Use high-quality products
The skin around your eyes is extremely fragile and prone to damage, which is why it is often the first to sag or wrinkle. Needless to say, you must handle it gently and pay special attention to it while doing your daily skin care.
Eye creams should be a mandatory part of your beauty regimen. They are specially designed to hydrate, nourish, and repair this sensitive area.
You can find many brands of cream, but only buy those that are dermatologically approved, have good reviews, and are made with the right and best-quality ingredients.
9. Exercise and meditate
Facial exercises are a great way to tone the muscles around your eyes, which will inadvertently tighten the skin over them. This will help lift the entire under-eye area and reduce the appearance of eye bags.
- Never go to bed without removing your makeup as this can significantly harm your overall skin health.
- Wash your face thoroughly in the morning to reduce overnight puffiness.
Most-Asked Questions About Under-Eye Bags
Can bags under the eyes be permanently removed?
Making necessary changes in your lifestyle and following the treatments that work best for you can go a long way in eliminating your under-eye bags and dark circles.
Can under-eye bags be caused by a nutrient deficiency?
Deficiencies of certain vitamins such as vitamin K, vitamin B12, and vitamin D can cause puffy eyes.
Under-eye bags come with a lot of baggage – literally. They may give your face a dull or tired look. The good news is that with proper treatment and care, they can be eliminated or at least reduced. And if all else fails, remember that concealers exist for a reason.