As we get older, it's common to develop a mild swelling or "bags” under the eyes. Most of the time, it’s nothing to worry about. Some attribute it to genetics, while some say it’s a symptom of lifestyle choices that you’ll want to address. (We’ll get into those in a moment.)
In most cases, eye bags are the result of the tissue around the eye weakening. When that happens, fat, which at one time supported the eyelids, is pulled down by gravity and comes to rest under your eyes causing bags.
Below we’re going to take a close look at eye bags, their causes, and the best-known ways to remove eye bags. Let’s get started.
What Causes Eye Bags?
While fat shifting into a position under the eye creates the characteristic "bag," there are different reasons why the under-eye tissue weakens and makes this possible. Here are some of the most common reasons:
- Lack of sleep - Researchers believe that a lack of sleep interferes with the ability to expel excess bodily fluids. They then collect in places like the feet, neck, and under the eyes.
- Lifestyle choices - Too much caffeine, partying with friends, stressful situations and more, can cause us to lose sleep and suffer eye bags.
- Iron deficiency - Also known as anemia, this condition robs the blood of oxygen. In an area like under the eyes where the skin is very thin, this lack of oxygen manifests itself as dark circles.
- Liver disease - Liver disease often results in puffy, swollen eyes. Veins in the skin may also become visible in these puffy areas.
- Allergies - It’s not uncommon for those who suffer seasonal allergies to develop puffiness under the eyes.
- Age - There’s no getting around the effects of aging which loosens the tissue around the eyes.
Just because you have bags under your eyes, however, doesn't mean you have to accept them as a permanent feature of your face. Now, we’ll look at various ways to treat them.
5 Best Home Remedies for Removing Eye Bags
Eye bags have been with us since the dawn of civilization. In that time, scores of potential home remedies have emerged. Some are little more than amusing myths but others have proven themselves effective for centuries and as it turns out, have sound scientific facts behind them.
Here are 5 of the best home remedies for eye bags:
- Cucumber Slices - Cucumbers have been used to treat eye bags for as long as anyone can remember. Why? Because they work. They’re naturally cool without being painfully cold like ice cubes can be. Placing cucumber slices under your eyes helps reduce swelling much like ice does. Cucumbers also help ramp up collagen production which makes for smoother, less puffy skin.
- Coffee or Tea - Coffee and tea contain caffeine which is known to constrict blood vessels. This reduces dark circles, but it also has the effect of preventing fluid from accumulating under the eyes. Just be sure not to overdo it with the caffeine. In addition, used tea bags that have been refrigerated can be used like cucumber slices to reduce swelling.
- Potato Skins - Potato skins contain a lot of vitamin C along with an enzyme called catecholase that has mild bleaching properties. This comes in particularly handy if you have dark circles under your eyes. Applying potato skins to the bags under your eyes can reduce swelling, enhance collagen production, and reduce dark circles.
- Egg Whites - Hundreds of years ago old master artists mixed their colors with egg white because of its binding quality. That same astringent character can be put to use under your eyes to tighten up the tissue and reduce the appearance of eye bags. Brush the egg white on and leave it for 15 minutes before washing it off.
- Sleep With Your Head Raised - If you’re not a fan of turning your face into a salad bar, try sleeping with your head raised. Elevating your head a few extra inches prevents fluid from collecting under your eyes while you're sleeping. In some cases, you may notice that if you went to sleep with dark circles under your eyes, that they’re mostly gone by the time you wake up.
“The eye is the jewel of the body.” - Henry David Thoreau
Best Clinical Treatments to Get Rid of Eye Bags
Sometimes you want a more permanent solution to the problem of eye bags. In that case, you may want to talk to a dermatologist about what clinical treatments would work best to alleviate it. Some of the most popular include:
- Blepharoplasty - This is a procedure performed on the lower eyelid. During blepharoplasty fatty tissue is removed from the area under the eye. Recovery from this procedure usually takes about 10 days, but the benefits are long term. It's not cheap, however.
- Orbital Fat Repositioning - Sometimes, the removal of fatty tissue is the best approach or to simply reposition the fat. During this procedure, the doctor shifts fat from areas where there is too much, to hollow areas where there isn’t enough. The result is that the entire area around the eye appears much smoother.
- Fillers - Sometimes, what appears to be puffiness is actually the result of a hollow under the eye that makes the surrounding area seem like it’s puffing out. Fillers can be injected into these hollows that level out the area and eliminate the appearance of bags.
- Fractional CO2 - This is actually a laser treatment that causes the skin around the eye to tighten up. Recovery from the procedure takes about a week, but the results are typically long-lasting. This treatment is usually only recommended if you have severe eye bags.
Best Products for Removing Eye Bags
Any of the following represent a sensible alternative to surgical procedures to reduce eye bags.
This is a high-quality hydrating cream/moisturizer that infuses the skin with aloe, hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and almond oil to reduce puffiness, eliminate dark areas, and return a natural supple luster to your skin. It’s by far our favorite choice for treating eye bags and can (and should) be used on the rest of your face as well.
- Rich in essential nutrients and moisturizers
- Leaves your skin brighter and less puffy
- A fast, effective solution for eye bags and raccoon eyes
- Costs a bit more than some other creams
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Eye Cream $18
Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle cream not only smooths out wrinkles but does a commendable job of addressing under-eye puffiness. It leverages retinol and hyaluronic acid to flatten out bags and reduce the appearance of dark circles.
- Noticeable results in just a few days
- Reduces dark circles and flattens bags
- Doesn’t work quite as fast as clarasome
Mario Badescu Hyaluronic Eye Cream $18
This is another eye cream that contains hyaluronic acid to remove dead skin cells and allows new, taut skin to emerge. Mario Badescu also helps you retain just the right amount of moisture so that your skin takes on a brighter, more youthful appearance.
- Reduces wrinkles and puffiness
- Repairs damaged skin under the eye
- Might take a while to see results
Where Can I Buy Products to Remove Eye Bags?
Most of the products we profiled above can be purchased at Amazon, through the manufacturer’s website or through a beauty products retailer like Sephora. For our top-rated choice —Dermaclara Beauty clarasome— purchase it through the official Dermaclara website, where you can be sure that you’re getting the best price.
Top Expert Tips on How to Remove Eye Bags
Experts say questions about how to deal with eye bags usually take on of the following forms.
How Can You Get Rid of Dark Circles Under the Eye?
You get rid of dark circles under your eyes by changing behavior that may be causing them. Like staying up late every night. They might also be symptomatic of a more serious condition like anemia. So you may want to see your doctor to be sure.
Is There a Way to Get Rid of Eye Bags Instantly?
There’s no known way to get rid of eye bags instantly. Even the best creams will take a day or two to produce results.
Is There a Way to Remove Eye Bags Permanently?
The best way to remove eye bags permanently is through surgery. Experts tend to discourage surgical solutions though because oftentimes eye bags can be effectively dealt with by simply changing your sleeping habits. So before you decide to go under the knife, make sure you talk to your doctor first.