9 Ways to Reduce Under Eye Bags
How to get rid of under eye bags is one of the most frequent questions makeup artists, aestheticians and plastic surgeons get. Under eye bags are the tell-tale sign we’ve had a late night, the dead give-away we’re skipping out on our #wellness routines or they’re the hereditary gift we’ve been given by our parents.
While we’ve all held out hope that a magical eye cream or newly minted gua sha technique will answer our woes, we’ve all been disappointed. So, we investigated the best ways to address under eye bags once and for all (and yes, there are some product suggestions).
What Causes Under Eye Bags?
There’s a (slight) difference between under eye bags and under eye circles. Under eye bags can have a lot to do with the structure of your face — if you have deep set eyes and prominent cheekbones for instance, you’ll be more likely to experience them. Under eye circles are also hereditary, and are caused by a thinness of the skin, and the shadow created by the overall shape. Some people will have pronounced under eye bags and under eye circles from the time they are children.
But, there are some other factors. Loss of collagen and elastin can increase the prominence of under eye bags and dark circles, and our collagen and elastin production starts decreasing around the age of 25.
This doesn’t mean a potent eye cream will necessarily fix your problems. Here are the things you should do if you’re looking depuff your under eye bags:
Take a Holistic Approach
Under eye bags can occasionally be linked to more serious health issues like thyroid problems, and sinus issues. Inflammation caused by certain foods, and seasonal allergies can also increase the prominence and puffiness of under eye bags. If you’re under eye bags are bothering you, or seem to have become more prominent, consider checking in with a healthcare professional.
A Healthy Diet
@nicolinanunes #howto balance your meal #nutrition #learnontiktok #fyp #nutritiontips ♬ ABRACADABRA by Qveen Herby – Qveen Herby
Sadly, those delicious late night heavily salted chips could be exacerbating your under eye bags. Salt causes water retention. When we consume high levels of salt, our body can’t get rid of the extra sodium. Water makes up 50 to 60% of an adult’s total body weight, so additional water can cause bloating and puffiness in all areas of the body, including your under eyes. If you’re wanting to look bright eyed for an event, skipping the chips could be a cheaper option than investing in those bougie under eye patches (we don’t blame you if you do both though)!
Sadly, your after work wine, champagne nights and post-work Aperol Spritzes do exacerbate your under eye bags. Alcohol is bad for your skin on many levels. It’s actually, kind of the worst next to sun exposure. Alcohol causes dehydration and inflammation. Like salt, excess alcohol causes fluid retention. If you have an event, you can drink water to offset some of the effects of alcohol. Fortunately for you and your complexion non-alcoholic or light alcoholic beverages are actually trending, with the “sober curious” movement picking up steam. Consider picking up a non-alcoholic or light alcohol beverage for your next event.
You’re not you when you’re tired, and neither are your under eyes. Proper sleep is one of the quickest fixes for under eye bags, and lack of sleep is a great way to make them look instantly worse! This is because lack of sleep causes dehydration, raises your cortisol levels and makes it harder to stick to your healthy, glowing under eye diet. If you want some tips on improving your sleep, head here.
There are a number of things you’re using that could be irritating your eyes and causing fluid retention. It could be makeup, your contacts, or a seasonal allergy. Experiment with switching things up. Tubing mascaras are generally considered better for sensitive eyes, and the Kevyn Aucoin, The Volume Mascara ($48) has close to 3088 five star reviews on MECCA, picking it up could make a difference.
Avoid Sun Exposure
The best thing you can do for preventing accelerated skin laxity, and minimising thinning and weakening of the tissue under your eye is avoiding sun exposure, and wearing sunscreen. Consider this a part of your daily preventative ageing strategy.
Use the Right Tools
If you’re looking for a quick fix pre-event, there are several tools you can use to brighten and tighten your under eye area.
Cryotherapy works in a similar way to the ice pack you used post-basketball injury in high school. They instantly decrease swelling and inflammation, causing blood vessels to contract and triggering a (temporary) tightening of the skin. Exposure to super cold water has also been shown to have positive impacts on stress, slowing the heart rate and a reset of the parasympathetic nervous system. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was famously spotted using this technique to destress after a day in congress back in 2022. If you’re not willing to dunk your head in a bowl of ice water, leave a cryo roller in the fridge overnight. We love the BeautyBio, Cryo Dual Ended Roller ($141) — its double end makes reaching the corners of the under eye a breeze. If you’re looking for something a little less bougie, try the Kitch Facial Ice Roller ($25).
Use the Right Products
While skincare isn’t a quick fix, certain ingredients can boost collagen production and increase circulation. This minimises dark circles and under eye puffiness over time. We suggest looking for eye creams that include caffeine, peptides and vitamin C — they’ll minimise pigmentation, trigger the production of collagen and elastin and brighten the under eye area.
You may want to consider using a retinol or vitamin A in the evening. Doing so will boost collagen production, strengthening and thickening the fragile skin around this area.
Fortunately, you don’t need to spend a fortune on preventative care. A few products we love? Garnier, Vitamin C, Eye Cream ($23) is a super affordable treatment with a host of beneficial ingredients. It contains caffeine, vitamin C, anti-inflammatory niacinamide and gently brightening banana powder which provides an instant corrective effect.
Wan a accessibly priced anti-ageing retinol eye cream? Consider La Roche Posay, Redermic Retinol Anti-wrinkle Eye Cream Gel ($47), a product formulated specifically for sensitive eyes. Sensitivity-specific formulations are important, as mentioned, you don’t want your treatment product to irritate your eyes and cause more puffiness. This eye cream contains a retinol complex along with tightening and circulation boosting caffeine. Obsessed.
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