It’s not like you can drag them around or hide them under the bed. They’re not those kind of luggage. Bags under the eyes are unsightly but unless you know what you’re dealing with, it’s not as easy to get rid of them as you might hope.
Bags under the eyes and puffy eyes are caused by a combination of factors with an unhealthy lifestyle leading the charge. Everyday habits such as rubbing your eyes frequently, going to bed with makeup on, and excessive alcohol, are major contributing factors. There’s very little you can do if the under-eye bags are hereditary, i.e. your parents have them, plus it’s a natural part of getting older. But you can certainly do something about changing your lifestyle to get reduce the size of that set of bags or if you have seasonal allergies.
Let’s start with Puffy Eyes
Seasonal allergies, a cold or a sinus infection, a dinner that’s heavy on the salt or a night of crying can cause the morning-after puffiness. Fluid retention is the culprit.
Sleeping on your side or stomach can also encourage fluids in the body to collect under your eyes, so sleeping on your back and elevating your head slightly may do the trick if you are habitually waking up with puffy eyes. Putting something cold like cucumbers on the eyelids will quickly help to reduce the puffiness, but really, anything cold will do such as a bag of frozen peas or chilled tea bags. Or try irrigating the nasal cavity to clear the drainage in the area with a medicated nasal flush that you can buy from the chemist.
As we age, the delicate skin around the eyes weaken and become thinner. Dehydration, especially from heavy alcohol consumption and smoking, amongst other things exacerbates the condition, making the skin more likely to sink into a pouch.
Rehydration helps to alleviate the problem. Apply a moisturiser to the eye area nightly, making sure not to pull the skin excessively.
However, dermatologists do point out that under-eye bags may be an indication of an underlying medical condition such as thyroid or kidney problems. So if you suddenly sprout bags under your eyes and you are not suffering from allergies or a cold or a sinus infection, see a doctor.
Discolouration in the skin under the eyes are common in people of Asian or African descent. The extra pigment in the skin shows through when the skin in the under-eye area becomes thinner with age. Often this is created by a loss of volume in the area, creating dark circles under the eye.
A light makeup concealer should do the trick of covering up dark circles. Other, more expensive options such as pulsed light treatments or photo-rejuvenation therapy can smoothen the skin to reduce the appearance of dark circles.
Creams with slight caffeine ingredients will help too by constricting the blood vessels under the skin to so that it is less prominent.
If you are considering more drastic but longer lasting results from treatments such as dermal fillers and surgery, seek out a skilled dermatologist or plastic surgeon. A new treatment combining fat removal and laser resurfacing is being trialled but it may be some while yet before it’s readily available.