How To Help Ease The Appearance Of Under-Eye Bags: 7 Derm-Approved Tips
Under-eye concerns can be a total nuisance, especially under-eye bags. Not only are they unavoidably visible to everyone and anyone (they are sitting right in the middle of your face, after all), but most of the time their appearance is completely out of your control.
Dark circles and puffiness can often be caused by lifestyle habits such as lack of sleep or poor diet. They can also be handled pretty easily thanks to makeup and even a shock of ice.
When it comes under-eye bags, there's not a whole lot you can do to avoid them, as they're primarily caused by genetics and aging (and maybe worsened with some lifestyle choices).
So what can you do? Well, we outlined your options.
What are eye bags?
Unlike dark circles and puffiness, under-eye bags don't get talked about as often, probably because they're much more out of our control. Bags are caused by fat pads under the eyes due, most likely, to genetics.
"Some families have under-eye fat pads that stick out from an early age," board-certified dermatologist at Skintap Morgana Colombo, M.D., explains.
Arash Akhavan, M.D., owner of Dermatology and Laser Group in NYC, adds that aging typically compounds the issue.
Both dermatologists also agree that there are a few lifestyle elements that can also affect the under-eye bags and make what's already there worse. This includes sleep, diet, and managing allergies. These are the aspects, along with aging, that we have more control over when it comes to preventing or treating under-eye bags.
Seven natural remedies for eye bags.
Since genetics and natural signs of aging are the most common reasons for under-eye bags, there's not a whole lot that can be done to get rid of them completely, bar getting them surgically removed. Since these factors are out of our control, the best route to take to minimize their appearance is all about prevention.
If you're looking to prevent under-eye bags from getting worse without having to seek professional assistance, there are some simple, natural steps you can incorporate into your skin care routine or slight lifestyle changes you can make to see a difference:
Support collagen around the eyes.
To tackle the issue of aging, the best thing you can do is support collagen production around the eye. This will help prevent sagging and promote a stronger barrier for a youthful appearance. You can do this through collagen supplements or topical products.
Or, as Akhavan recommends, using a product with retinol. "Retinol is a derivative of vitamin A, which increases cell turnover to help generate collagen over time," he explains. See here for our favorite clean retinols.
Use skin-supporting under-eye products.
Along with retinol-based products, there are lots of other great active-packed serums and creams that can help prevent and improve eye bags. Besides retinol, Akhavan recommends peptides, hyaluronic acid, vitamin C, vitamin E, and caffeine.
Peptides and vitamin C can help by promoting collagen production and reducing the breakdown of collagen to treat and prevent signs of aging.
Since lack of water can worsen the appearance of under-eye bags, hyaluronic acid can treat this by binding and retaining water to keep skin hydrated and youthful.
Vitamin E's antioxidant ability helps stabilize free radicals, which can speed up signs of aging, while caffeine's antioxidant power can delay photoaging by protecting against UV ray exposure.
The good news is that there are a ton of great clean, natural eye creams and under eye patches to choose from.
Wear SPF and sunglasses.
Even though vitamin E can help with UV protection, it's not enough to truly prevent any real damage. Instead, you'll want to make sure you apply enough SPF and wear protective sunglasses to slow down the sagging of the skin around the eyes.
"As UVA and UVB rays are the main cause of sun damage and aging, wearing sunglasses and SPF is essential for preventing under-eye bags," Akhavan says. "This will help block the UVA and UVB light, reducing the risk of under-eye aging and skin cancer."
If you're looking for a sunscreen that provides enough protection while still being gentle enough to use around the eyes, check out our best sunscreens for sensitive skin.
Use gua sha or jade roller facial tools.
If you have a big event coming up and you want to quickly and efficiently improve the appearance of your eyes, Colombo recommends using a gua sha or jade roller. These tools can target puffiness and sagging by promoting lymphatic drainage, which reduces swelling and improves circulation by helping to flush out toxins.
To help target the right area, you'll want a tool that has a smaller-sized corner that targets the delicate area. We've rounded up our favorite gua sha and facial massagers for your shopping convenience.
Decrease salt intake.
If your under-eye bags seem to be getting worse on a daily basis, you may want to take a look at your diet. For instance, a lot of salt intake can dehydrate your skin and cause fluids to build up throughout your body, including under your eyes. Though this may not be the sole cause for eye bags, it can definitely increase their puffiness. Cutting back on salty foods can improve this.
Cut back on alcohol.
Salt isn't the only thing in your diet that may affect your under eyes, but drinking too much alcohol can also cause dehydration and inflammation. So if you want to decrease puffiness and improve dark circles and under-eye bags, cutting back on alcohol intake may help.
Sleep on your back with your head propped up.
Not only can more sleep help improve the appearance of eye bags, but this specific sleeping position can give your under-eyes the little boost they need to improve their appearance. "Sleep on your back with your head a little elevated to decrease fluid retention overnight," Colombo says.
Even though there are some simple steps you can take to prevent and treat under-eye bags, you may not see them completely disappear. But healthy habits like eating well, sleeping well, and taking care of your skin can improve the appearance of bags, even if just slightly.
Emily Rekstis is a freelance writer, editor and content creator. After serving as the beauty assistant at Harper's Bazaar and Self magazine, she went on to cover celebrity beauty and fashion as UsWeekly's Style Editor. Consistently curious and always willing to learn, she indulges in her variety of interests writing about everything from beauty trends to health habits to design tips for publications like Healthline, Byrdie, Women's Health, MyDomaine, BuzzFeed, The Cut, Allure and many more.