Under Eye Puffiness, also referred to as Under Eye Bags or Dark Circles, which presents in form of mild swelling, puffiness, dark circles and baggy skin underneath the eyes are usually no more than cosmetic concern. However, because they make you look dull, tired, unsightly and older, you may worry and want to know how to get rid of under eye puffiness. Before I get to that, let me tell you a little about what causes it.
Causes Of Under Eye Puffiness
Under eye puffiness or under eye bags occur when fluid retained by the body gathers under the eyes causing it to look puffy or swollen, or when normal fat which supports the eyes moves downwards into the eyelids making it to look swollen. For details of the causes of this skin problem, read this article.
There are certain factors which cause this effect. They range from age, allergies, to genetics, lifestyle habits, and so on. When puffiness or eye bags occur due to any of these factors, a number of strategies exist for their treatment.
Long Term Strategies – Preventive Measures
These are steps which you can take to prevent the appearance of puffiness or eye bags. They include;
(1) Change Your Sleeping Position
People who do not sleep enough or who sleep on their sides or stomach have very high chances of having swollen or puffy eyes.
Not sleeping enough encourages excess fluid, which should be flushed out during sleep to gather under the eye causing it to look saggy. And so also does sleeping on the sides or stomach.
To prevent this happening, it is recommended that an adult should have between 7 to 8 hours of night sleep. Also, try to gradually change your sleeping position to your back. You may find this a little uncomfortable initially, but would get used to it in the long run. Add an extra pillow under your head. This way your head is elevated making it difficult for the pooling of fluid under your eyes causing puffiness.
(2) Change Your Dietary Habits
Taking too much salt in your diet, drinking alcoholic drinks and smoking of cigarettes can have a long term effect on your eyes and their tendency to have eye bags. To prevent this happening, try making these changes;
(a) Cut Down On Your Salt Intake
Taking too much salt contributes to your body’s tendency to retain fluid. Cutting down on it will reduce the chances of fluid retention that causes puffiness. If it is possible avoid salt altogether at dinner, otherwise your body will not have time to balance things out before you go to sleep.
(b) Drink Less Alcohol
Drinking alcohol contributes to dehydration which leads to water retention. If you must drink alcohol, take no more than one glass a day, then follow it up with an equal amount of water.
(c) Quit Smoking
Among the many health risks inherent in smoking is the damage it does to the skin. Aside drying up the skin making it vulnerable to wrinkles, it dehydrates it making it thirsty leading to the body retaining water in order to avoid further dehydration.
Stop smoking to prevent or reduce the occurrence of under eye bags.
(3) Take Great Care Of Your Face
Your facial skin, especially under the eye area, is very delicate and fragile. Due to this fact it is very vulnerable to damage leading to puffiness. Take better care of it in the following ways;
(a) Constant Use Of Sunscreen
Use sunscreen on the face, especially on the fragile skin underneath the eyes before going out to protect it from damage which the sun’s ray can cause to it. The effect of such damage is a weaker eye skin making it susceptible to puffiness.
If you are going to be out in the sun for long, then arm yourself with a tube of sunscreen and ensure you apply it on your face at least twice. In addition, wear dark shades and sun hat for blocking the sun blazing directly on your face.
(b) Remove Makeup From Face Before Going To Bed
Chemicals in your makeups can irritate your eyes at night causing puffiness and eye bags. Also, mascara and eyeliner can smudge overnight worsening dark circles.
Use a good makeup remover to wipe these off your face. Take care to do gently ensuring you are not pulling at your delicate under eye skin too harshly.
(c) Moisturize Your Face Every Night
This ensures your face, especially the eye area gets enough moisture as you sleep to help it to retain elasticity and strength thereby keeping away eye bags and puffiness. Use a moisturizer or oil every night before going to bed.
(4) Take Care Of Your Allergies
A symptom of allergic reaction is puffiness and swelling around the eyes. Use an allergy medication to treat seasonal allergies. You can also manage allergy with natural remedies like essential oils for allergies or even catch them before they start.
Always have these oils handy as allergies can sneak on you unexpectedly. Above all, stay away from sources of allergens
Short Term Strategies – Quick fixes
Whenever you have swollen eyes, there are numerous natural things you can do to get immediate relief as they can help reduce the appearance of puffiness under the eyes.
• Use A Cold Compress
A cold compress can ease puffiness. The cold temperature causes the blood vessels to tighten thereby reducing the swelling. What you use is not important. It is the cold compress that does the job, so any cold object used for this purpose would do. You may try the following remedies;
(a) Potato Slice
Refrigerate raw potatoes for about 30 minutes and slice into two. Place each one on each closed eye so it covers the puffed area under the eye. You will notice that the eye bags have diminished in size.
(b) Cold Slices Of Cucumber
Apply cold slices of cucumber over each eye. Leave it on for between 25 to 30 minutes. The ascorbic acid and caffeic acid in cucumber helps to minimize water retention and reduce puffiness and swelling around the eyes
(c) Chilled Tea bags
Get some tea bags and brew them. Then refrigerate them for about 30 minutes. Thereafter, place a tea bag on each closed eye for 25 to 30 minutes. It has same effect as cold cucumber slices. Afterwards rinse your face with cold water.
For best results use green tea.
(d) Cold Spoons
Refrigerate some stainless steel spoons for about two hours, or any amount of time that it would take to achieve the required temperature. Then place a spoon over each closed eye for about 20 to 25 minutes. Keep switching the spoons as they lose their coldness. Keep at this until you achieve the desired result.
Other Things To Consider
There are other things that can help keep, not only your eyes fresh and healthy, but adds to the well-being of your overall body and skin;
(1) Stick To A Healthy Diet
Eating foods rich in nutrients is a good way to stay healthy and have a beautiful, glowing skin. Eat more collagen-rich foods. Collagen gives our skin strength and elasticity and helps the skin to replace dead cells. However, collagen production by our body naturally decreases as we age. This can contribute to eye puffiness and under eye bags.
Foods rich in vitamin c and amino acids can help with collagen production by boosting your level of hyaluronic acid, an essential acid found in the body, thereby creating a healthier skin. It is therefore important that you increase your intake of vitamin c to help your body absorb more hyaluronic acid as the amount stored by the body decreases with age.
Also, eat more iron-rich foods to increase and boost your red blood cells. Iron deficiency can cause dark circles under the eyes.
(2) Stay Hydrated
Factors like smoking, drinking alcoholic and eating too salt, as mentioned earlier can lead to water retention by our body thus causing puffiness and eye bags. The same thing can happen when your body is dehydrated…it retains water. It would therefore seem counter-intuitive to say you should drink more water. The reason is that, because your body retains water when you are dehydrated, you would need to drink water to flush out excess fluids. It takes water to flush out water.
To prevent dehydration and water retention, cut down on alcohol and salt, they don’t do your eyes any good. However, if you must drink alcohol at all, don’t drink just before going to bed, and follow each alcoholic drink with an equal amount of water. This way you will stay hydrated.
8 glasses of water a day is the recommended amount
(3) Get A Good Eye Cream
Sometimes, in addition to the natural remedies discussed above, you may need an extra helping with an eye cream or serum to rid yourself of the puffiness. For this purpose look for a high quality one, especially one with anti-aging properties, to reduce your wrinkles as well. Eye creams containing retinol, specially formulated for the delicate skin of the eye area, are very good for this treatment.
Retinol helps with cell turnover and collagen synthesis, and can be used for restoring and reviving skin around your eyes. There are many eye creams available that contain retinol to help you look rested and refreshed, along with other ingredients to soothe the sensitive skin in the eye area.
Warning = You must carefully read and follow the instructions on the product’s label.
When To See A Doctor
Though, under eye puffiness and bags are usually harmless and are not a cause for alarm like I stated earlier, there are times when you should see a doctor. Hence, if after following the tips recommended above, your eye bags continue to worsen, or the swelling is severe, painful, itchy or red, then you would want to see your doctor to rule out any possible medical issue.
I have outlined the proven ways of preventing and treating your under eye puffiness and bags. It is my hope that you will feel great and look younger after trying them. Let me know your experiences with these remedies, and should you have any questions or comments on this issue, please drop me a quick message below and I will be too happy to get back to you.