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Home Remedies for Bags Under Eyes: Which Remedies Work?

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Some home remedies for bags under eyes work by reducing swelling or inflammation. Some work by constricting blood vessels in the area to tighten up the skin around the eye and shrink the bags. 

These remedies may be effective in temporarily helping to reduce eye bags or minimizing the effects of rare or occasional swelling around the eye. If you’re experiencing continuous or prominent eye bags, however, medical treatment may be the only option for a long-term fix.

Home Remedies to Ease Bags Under Your Eyes

There are several home remedies that can help to reduce the appearance of eye bags. 

Apply a Cool Compress

A washcloth that has been wet under cold water, an ice compress, or a specifically designed cold compress can be applied to your closed eyes. Keep the compress there for one to two minutes, focusing on the area below the eye. 

Cold compresses reduce swelling and are especially helpful if your eye bags are caused by an irritant, lack of sleep, or high stress.

Maintain a Good Skincare Routine

If you’re wearing a lot of makeup to cover your eye bags and not washing it off completely, the particles left behind may be irritating the below-eye area further. Be sure to wash your makeup off with a gentle, fragrance-free soap at night.

Try Cucumber Slices 

Cucumber has high water content and can be kept cold, so it works to hydrate your skin and reduce swelling. Vitamin C in cucumber may also be absorbed through your skin and reduce puffiness. Cucumber also contains silica, which is a component of healthy, high-elasticity skin.

Apply Tea Bags

Applying wet caffeinated tea bags can reduce the bags under your eyes. Caffeine has antioxidant properties and stimulates blood circulation, which can reduce puffiness around your eyes. It also constricts blood vessels, which can help to decrease bags by “tightening” skin.

Try Vitamin-Rich Eye Treatments 

A study examined the effectiveness of specifically designed eye treatments. The researchers created a pad for the eye containing about 3 percent caffeine and 1 percent vitamin K. After 11 subjects applied these pads to one eye for four weeks, researchers noticed a reduction in bags under the eyes.

Another study found that herbal moisturizers had a similar effect. Researchers examined the effectiveness of 20 commercially available herbal moisturizers in 40 volunteers. They found that, over three weeks, the treated eyes consistently had smaller bags underneath compared to the untreated eyes.

Elevate Your Head 

When you sleep, keep your head slightly elevated on a higher pillow, as long as it is safe and comfortable for your body. If you retain fluid in your lower eyelids or underneath your eyes, this can help the fluid drain.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

Eat less processed food, less fast food, and fewer salty snacks. Generally, try to reduce the sodium you consume. Since salt causes your body to retain fluids, reducing how much salt you take in can help your body feel less puffy and bloated overall.

Get Sufficient Sleep

A lack of sleep can definitely contribute to puffy eyes. If you’re consistently not getting enough sleep, it may be time to make lifestyle changes or speak with a doctor about the problem. 

Practicing good sleep hygiene with positive habits like avoiding screen time before bed, keeping a relaxing evening routine, and going to bed at the same time every night may help. 

Use Allergy Treatments 

Avoiding allergens or taking over-the-counter allergy treatments may be enough to help with mild allergy symptoms. More serious allergy issues may require a prescription or medical advice. Since your allergies cause a strong histamine reaction, and your body swells in response, treating your allergies will reduce swelling, including under your eyes.

Other Treatments for Bags Under Your Eyes

For those whose undereye bags are due to age or genetics, more serious treatments can help to alleviate their appearance for months or years.

Cosmetic Procedures

Common cosmetic procedures include chemical peels, laser resurfacing, and fillers. These tighten the skin, remove damaged layers, and improve tone. Botox may also be used to improve the appearance of under-eye bags.

Cosmetic procedures will not permanently remove these bags, however. They will just reduce their puffiness for a period of time.

Surgery

If you truly want to be rid of the bags under your eyes, you can ask your ophthalmologist about blepharoplasty. This is a surgery designed to repair the puffiness or bagginess of your under-eyelids.

The surgeon creates an incision that removes excess fat, which is a genetic cause of bags under the eyes. Some excess skin may be removed as well if part of the cause is age. If you have puffy upper eyelids, blepharoplasty can also remove some of the excess fat or skin there.

Medical Reasons for Bags Under Your Eyes

Many people have bags under their eyes, and these are likely to become more prominent as they get older.

If you do not have bags under your eyes normally, but they appear and quickly get worse, talk to your doctor. This could indicate an underlying health condition that needs different treatment. You could have an infection in or around your eyes, for example, or an inflammatory autoimmune condition. Your doctor will be able to determine the best treatment for your condition.

Lifestyle Changes to Avoid Getting Eye Bags

While eye bags develop with age, there are steps you can take to lessen their development. Prevention starts when you’re younger, and it involves incorporating certain everyday habits into your lifestyle.

By embracing these simple practices, you can preserve your overall skin health and firmness for longer:

  • Get at least seven hours of sleep every night. 
  • Minimize your salt intake, as salt encourages fluid retention.
  • Quit smoking. Smoking encourages collagen loss and helps loosen the skin under your eyes.
  • Get treated for allergies that may contribute to facial skin weakness and the development of bags under your eyes.

References

  1. Bags Under the Eyes. (November 2018). American Academy of Ophthalmology.
  2. What Causes Bags and Dark Circles Under Eyes? (July 2018). Cigna.
  3. Phytochemical and Therapeutic Potential of Cucumber. (January 2013). Fitoterapia.
  4. Evaluation of the Clinical Efficacy and Safety of an Eye Counter Pad Containing Caffeine and Vitamin K in Emulsified Emu Oil Base. (January 2015). Advanced Biomedical Research.
  5. Assessment of Viscoelasticity and Hydration Effect of Herbal Moisturizers Using Bioengineering Techniques. (October 2010). Pharmacognosy Magazine.
  6. Botox Injections. (February 2, 2021). Mayo Clinic.
  7. How Does Botulinum Toxin (Botox) Work? (March 4, 2021). American Academy of Ophthalmology.
  8. How to Get Rid of Bags Under Your Eyes. Johns Hopkins Medicine.

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