As we age, a very observable change can be seen around our eyes. Dark circles begin rimming our eyes which are accompanied by puffiness; this gives a dull and tired appearance. Unsightly bags under eyes appear due to an increase in fluid retention below the eyes. This fluid retention gives the presence of a swollen puffiness under eyes. So, how to get rid of bags under eyes?
Seasonal allergies can lead to an appearance of bags under eyes. Factors, like sleeping on the stomach or face down, water retention in the body, etc., will also cause bags to appear under the eyes. Bags under eyes is not a medical condition, and just by making a few lifestyle and dietary changes, you can get rid of bags under eyes.
Why do bags under eye appear?
Lack of adequate sleep prevents your body from flushing out excess fluid. Excess water gathers below the tissues of our eye giving it a puffy look. Lack of sleep also causes the blood vessels underneath your eyes to dilate, creating a dark tint that is visible through the thin skin under the eyes (1).
When you strain your eyes
An under-eye trough can also develop due to staying an extended amount of time on computer and cellphones. The continuous tension fatigues the skin around the eyes causing for it to sag.
Rubbing your eyes consciously or doing it out of habit can disrupt the tiny capillaries below the skin under the eyes. This can cause swelling in the eye area. It will also disturb the collagen under the skin, making it sag.
Getting under eye bags is part and parcel of our ageing process. As we age the ligaments and muscles that hold the fat together in our face begin to weaken. The usual fat deposits supporting the eyes can then move into the lower eyelids.
This leads to sagging of skin as we lose the fat and collagen under our eyes (2).
There is a strong correlation between unhealthy lifestyle and appearance of under eye bags. Smoking causes damage to skin cells hastening the ageing process. Alcohol consumption leads to skin dehydration.
The skin to compensate this dehydration starts withholding water. This fluid retention leads to the appearance of under eye bags.
Continual exposure of sun
Exposure to the sun can cause free radical damage and an increase in the level of melanin, below the eyes. Sun exposure draws natural pigmentation to the surface of the skin making it look dark.
The harmful UVA and UVB rays damage the sensitive skin around the eyes causing premature ageing (3).
Increased consumption of salt
Increased consumption of salt is responsible for severe fluid retention in our body. The sodium present in common salt is one of the chief contributing factors that can lead to puffy eyes.
As we know, sodium causes water retention in the body, which further leads to oedema. Having a substantial salt meal before bed can create the appearance of under eye bags in the morning.
It is partially proven that bags under eyes and dark circles are hereditary. Some people may have more pigment beneath their eyes, and other people may have a slower vascular movement.
These genetic traits can lead to the appearance of bags under eyes. Developing an early skincare regime can help in delaying the process.
The treatment for the condition depends on the causative factors. If the allergy is the leading cause of this condition, antihistamines will make the appearance of the under eye bags in check.
Usually, bags under the eyes are dealt with a small surgical process called lower lid blepharoplasty. The procedure is a reductive procedure in which the fat deposits under the lower eyelid could be removed.
It helps in reducing lower eyelid wrinkles, skin redundancy, and fat bulges.
How to get rid of bags under eyes?
1.Taking care of allergies
Allergies are a leading cause of under eyes bags. Taking care of allergies will foremost help in reducing the appearance of bags under eyes. Use of essential oils, such as tea tree oil, lavender oil etc., will help relieve the symptoms of allergies.
Dust proofing the house, identifying the allergens and getting rid of them will not only alleviate allergic condition but will also lessen the appearance of under-eye bags.
People suffering from chronic allergies, which leads to rhinitis and sinusitis, can use a neti pot to clear their sinuses. Antihistamines will decrease the fluid retention and provide symptomatic relief from allergies.
2.Good night sleep
Your sleeping pattern and sleeping position significantly determine the onset of the appearance of bags under eyes.
Sleeping face down will lead to fluid retention in and around the face. Similarly, if your head is not alleviated, then the rest of your body fluid buildup will occur.
Consider adding an extra pillow under your head, which can prevent the overnight built of fluid under the eye.
Tea contains active ingredient tannins that have anti-inflammatory action. Black tea and herbal tea are rich in flavonoids. Tannins and flavonoids together help in reducing the puffiness around the eyes.
The caffeine in the tea contains powerful antioxidants, which increases the blood flow to the skin promoting its repair. Tea also has a mild diuretic action which helps to reduce oedema associated with under eye bags.
4.Remove makeup before bed
Removing the makeup before going to bed should be established as an essential practice. Leaving the makeup overnight on can irritate the skin around the eyes making it inflamed and puffy.
It also increases the time where the skin is in contact with the free radicals which can cause free radical damage.
Smoking has some serious adverse effects on the skin as it has on the body. Smoking can lead to premature ageing. People who are addicted to cigarettes have droopy eyelids with under eye troughs. Chemicals and toxins found in cigarettes can dry the skin on the face.
The carbon monoxide emitted by the cigarette smoke displaces the oxygen in the skin. This causes depletion of nutrients around the eyes which helps in skin repair.
Smokers also tend to have trouble sleeping as they can experience nicotine withdrawals during the night.
Alcohol dehydrates our body. Consumption of alcohol on a daily basis will make our body hold water to prevent itself from drying. This is the reason the bags under the eyes form due to permanent water retention.
Quitting daily consumption of alcohol will prevent dehydration of skin and appearance of under eye bags.
7. Apply sunscreen
Going out in the sun for an extended period can considerably damage your skin. Always try and wear UVA and UVB blocking sunscreen.
Shielding your skin from the harmful ultraviolet rays will prevent the free radical damage. This free radical damage is the prime factor in premature ageing and can be avoided by the use of sunscreen.
8. Eat collagen-rich food
Eating food rich in collagen, such as chicken bone broth, fish, red vegetables, berries, soy, etc., will help heal our skin from inside. Collagen is a protein that helps repair and rejuvenates our skin (4).
Our body tends to decrease the production of collagen as we age. Hence to supplement the natural levels of collagen, you should incorporate collagen-rich foods into your diet plan.
9.Apply cold compress
Our eyes can be easily fatigued. Factors like working for an extended period on the computer, staying up late on cellphones, constant rubbing of eyes will weaken the muscle and irritate the skin around the eyes.
Occasional cold compresses will not only help lessen the eye fatigue, but it will also help alleviate the bags under eyes. Soaking cotton pads in rosewater and keeping it on your eyes will moisturise the skin around the eye and soothe it.
Fresh cucumber and potato will also help lighten the appearance of under eye troughs and reduce the puffiness.
Facial exercises have been proven to be an effective stress reliever. It improves overall circulation of blood throughout the face.
Daily exercise or yoga will reduce the puffiness in and around the eyes and over the face. Exercise will help maintain the elasticity of the face and give a youthful appearance.
11. EGF Serum
Epidermal growth factor serum is the newest trend applied for the reduction in the presence of dark circles and under eye bags. Human ECF which was initially known as urogastrone is polypeptide developed to stimulate skin growth at a cellular level (5).
The EGF is formulated in the form of serum and should be applied twice daily around the eyes. People who have a genetic predisposition to under eye bags can start this in their twenties.
Final words on how to get rid of bags under eyes
When subjected to stress, alcohol abuse, smoking our body undergoes premature ageing and cause bags under eyes. Sleeping on time, taking regular breaks, eating a well-balanced diet, etc. will help our body age gracefully and can avoid the appearance of under eye troughs and puffiness.