Under eye bags are unsightly, but unfortunately something that most people have to deal with at one point in their lives. The good news is that under eye bags and puffiness can be controlled with natural remedies.
Let’s start by looking at the reasons why you might get baggy, puffy eyes; then we’ll move on to home treatments you can use to get rid of them.
What Causes Bags Under the Eyes?
For the most part, puffy eyes are caused by age, genetics, and lifestyle factors, such as simply not getting enough sleep! Thankfully, puffy eyes are mainly cosmetic issues and very rarely symptoms of a more serious health condition.
- As you age, your body (and gravity) reacts. The muscles that support your eyelids, along with the tissues that surround your eyes get weaker. This weakness causes some of the natural fat in the area to slide down and accumulate under the eyes, which can lead to bags or puffiness. When this is the case, there is not much you can do about it from a natural standpoint.
- Another area you don’t have much control over is genetics. If your family members all seem to have bags under their eyes, it could be hereditary. In these two instances, natural remedies won’t do much for you and you may have to look into other treatment methods.
- Puffiness can also be the result of fluids accumulating in the space below your eyes. When this happens, there is a bit of swelling, but it can be dealt with quite easily. Sometimes fluid retention can be attributed to hot, humid weather, hormones, and diet or lifestyle factors.
- Puffiness can be attributed to allergies or dermatitis.
10 Home Remedies to Get Rid of Puffy Eyes
1. Cold Compress
One of the best ways to relieve under-eye swelling or puffiness is by making the area cold. This constricts the blood vessels in the area, thus limiting the fluids moving in to create swelling. While sitting up, apply a wash cloth dampened with cold water to the skin under and around your eyes. Hold it in place for a few minutes, applying only a mild amount of pressure. You can also dampen a washcloth, put it in a Ziploc bag, and place it in the freezer. Take it out occasionally to put it under your eyes and cut down the puffiness—just make sure you don’t get a headache or freezer burn.
2. Cucumber Slices
Applying cold cucumber slices to the eyes can also help constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling, much like a cold compress. You might have also heard about using potato slices, tea bags, spoons, or other food/general items, but it’s all the same principle. Apply these cooled items to the area for a few minutes with mild pressure and the swelling should subside. Make sure your head is elevated.
3. Drink More Water
If your under-eye area is swelling, you’re probably retaining water. Aim to drink eight to ten glasses of water per day (or even more if it’s really hot outside and you find yourself sweating)—the water should move out of the area and the puffiness will disappear. Also try including lots of fruits and vegetables in your diet; one medium-sized apple, for example, contains about one cup of water.
4. Get More Sleep
Bags under the eyes can also be an indicator of not getting enough sleep. Try to get at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night to relieve the swelling from under your eyes. Try to improve your sleeping conditions by turning off the television and other screens one hour before bedtime. Keep your bedroom a screen-free zone, relax quietly in the hour leading up to bedtime, and avoid consuming any caffeinated beverages at least five to six hours before bed.
5. Sleep with Your Head Elevated
By adding an extra pillow to elevate your head, you can prevent fluids from accumulating under your eyes during sleep. You can even elevate the head of your bed a few inches so the fluids move down, away from the face.
6. Limit Salt Intake
If your diet is high in processed foods, you’re consuming a lot of sodium (salt). Salt can lead to water retention and puffy under your eyes—so cutting down on salt can make a real difference. Opt for more fresh foods from the produce and butcher section, and stay away from processed meats, white breads, and other packaged items. Try to limit your intake of restaurant food and fast foods, which are often packed with extremely high levels of salt.
7. Reduce Allergy Symptoms
The puffiness you’re experiencing could be caused by allergies, so identifying and avoiding allergens is another way to eliminate the swelling. If you’re applying a facial cream at night, introduced something new into your diet, are sleeping with the windows open, or even bought new pillows, they could be creating an allergic reaction. Pay attention to anything you’ve done differently since the puffiness showed up, or read the ingredients of products you’re eating/using.
8. Rinse with Cold Water
When you wake up, head to the bathroom and rinse your eyes by splashing some cold water on them. If you need to, do it a couple of times per day as required. The cold water should constrict the blood vessels so the swelling dissipates.
9. Get More Exercise
Exercise gets blood and fluids moving around your body so it doesn’t pool in certain areas (like under your eyes).
10. Aloe Vera
Applying aloe vera to puffy eyes can be an effective method of removing puffiness—just make sure you don’t get it directly in your eye! Aloe vera can help improve circulation and draw out fluids that might have accumulated.
Sources for Today’s Article:
“Bags under eyes,” Mayo Clinic web site, September 26, 2014; http://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/bags-under-eyes/basics/causes/con-20034185.