How to Prevent and Reduce Bags Under Your Eyes

You could start by putting down your phone before 2 a.m.


I know, binge-watching weird YouTube videos and eating chips until three in the morning is extremely important. But now you have to deal with the consequences, and those consequences come in the form of deep bags under your eyes. The good news is, in most cases, both preventing and reducing those unattractive buggers is super easy. Follow along as we show you how (and bring those chips with you). 

Eye bags often consist of built-up fluid underneath the skin, and while there are many reasons why that might happen, as you already know, perhaps the most common is lack of sleep, since an exhausted body has trouble draining excess fluids. In which case, getting around eight hours of sleep each night should keep them away. Eating too much sodium, which encourages your body to retain excess water, can also contribute to under-eye bags, so unfortunately maybe those chips were a bad choice after all.

There are a few other, perhaps less simple, reasons why you might develop bags under the eyes, too. “Some people get bags under the eyes because they have allergies,” dermatologist Anthony Rossi explains. For those people, he suggests taking a daily antihistamine to reduce swelling. Rossi also mentions that some people have what are called festoons, which are basically more permanent pockets of swelling under the eyes. For festoons and other age-related eye bags — when you get older, that fat under your eyes can begin to droop — he says the best option is undergoing some minor plastic surgeries, like blepharoplasty, which involves removing excess tissue around the eyes.

Dealing with sleep-or-sodium-related bags, however, can be much easier (and you might not even have to go back to bed or ditch your chips, although those are probably the healthiest options, not only for the sake of your eyes). As esthetician Gregory Dylan explains, skincare products with caffeine can calm the swelling and have a diuretic effect that reduces puffiness by removing excess water (in a pinch, a chilled tea bag or coffee ice cubes might even do the trick). “You can give them a boost by keeping them in the fridge,” he says. “Apply a thin layer under the eyes, almost like a mask, and let it absorb. Then blot off any excess. The cold gel will help to shrink bags and plump up any fine lines, perking up the overall appearance.”

For more severe dark circles, you might need something a little more heavy-duty. “If you’re trying to treat dark circles,” Dylan says, “look for an eye treatment with Vitamin K to fortify the capillaries — these can easily break and create that bluish cast under the eyes that we see from the outside. Also, an ingredient like licorice root will help to brighten up and even out the skin tone under the eye area.”

So get to work calming down those eye bags, my dude! But first, gimme some more chips.