How To Get Rid Of Bags Under The Eyes
One of the most obvious ways we might look tired is due to the the bags and dark circles under our eyes. Some are more prone to getting them than others, especially if other people in your family have eye bags. This is because getting bags under the eyes can be genetic due to hereditary pigmentation. There are other causes of puffiness under the eyes, mainly due to lifestyle issues. Possibly the most common cause of bags and dark circles under the eyes is age. While we can't turn back the clock, oneHOWTO has the best advice on how to get rid of bags under the eyes. The effectiveness will depend on many things, but this is what you can do if you don't want to rely on expensive cosmetic surgery procedures.
Adequate sleep is essential
Our faces can often reveal more about us than we want to let on. It has been suggested by more than one medical study that "face perception is the most developed visual perceptual skill in humans". This means that the way our face looks can tell a lot about our current state. As a species, we look at certain facial cues to understand whether or not a person is tired, dark circles and bags under the eyes being one of the most common.
There is a key distinction to make between sleepiness and fatigue. Sleepiness is something which happens to most of us when enough time elapses between sleeps. It is a natural process which reminds us to rest and conserve energy. Our eyelids will get heavy, our heads might nod and we fall into sleep. Tiredness or fatigue is something different. This is when we are physically and mentally slow, feeling heavy in our body and are unrested. Fatigue can often be a result from an illness or condition and falling asleep, despite tiredness, might not happen easily. People who are simply sleepy should be able to sleep when given the opportunity.
The reason we make this distinction is that adequate sleep will help with tiredness under the eyes, but if you suffer from fatigue (such as chronic fatigue syndrome), then there are other concerns which need to be taken care of.
If not enough sleep is the problem, then remember it is very important to sleep between 7 and 8 hours a day and to do activities which are relaxing. Getting into a good sleeping pattern can make a lot of difference to your overall health, not just puffy eyes. How you sleep is also very important. If you find your sleep is disturbed through the night, you might need to think about your sleeping position or even investing in a U-shaped pillow to improve quality of sleep.
Avoiding water retention
Another important distinction to make in regards to eye bags is whether it is from discoloration or puffiness. Of course, it is possible to have both, but it is important to remember that eye bags are almost exclusively (but not quite) caused by fluid retention under the eyes. Fatty tissue grows around the eyes as we age and this tissue can fill with fluid if we retain too much water.
You may notice you have bags under the eyes in the morning. This is likely due to fluid moving to that area when laying down, the bags usually clearing as you walk around and fluid redistributes.
Avoiding water retention will mean the likelihood of fluid staying in these eye bags is reduced. To do so, we need to reduce the salt intake in our diet. This is because sodium in salt will help you to retain water and might end up in puffiness under the eyes. Another important factor is including diuretic foods in your diet as they will help prevent the accumulation of liquid in your body. Including other foods will help us process liquids properly and avoid water retention. Fruits like pineapple, melon, watermelon, blueberries, oranges and grapefruit are helpful. So too are vegetables such as lettuce, cucumber, artichoke or asparagus.
OK, so this may sound like conflicting advice, but water retention isn't the only water related cause of bags under the eyes. Not having enough water can also lead to puffy eye bags. Like tiredness, dehydration has its own warning signs displayed in the body. Puffiness under the eyes is just one of them. It comes from not being able to replace the water we use for physiological purposes (called 'free water') with new water to keep the body going.
To keep well hydrated by you need to be drinking between 1.5 and 2 litres of water per day. You can complement water intake by drinking teas which will help get rid of toxins and unwanted liquids. Pineapple tea, sage tea or horsetail are very effective. This way you'll reduce the swelling in the eye area, therefore helping to get rid of bags under your eyes. You need to get the right balance when drinking hydrating liquids such as these teas as well as the diuretics mentioned above.
Wash your face
Something extremely simple which will help reduce bags under your eyes and get rid of the swelling in the area is to wash your face with cold water every morning when you wake up. This helps to rejuvenate your face and redistribute the liquid accumulated during the sleeping hours.
However, splashing your face with cold water alone is only part of it. Applying a specific cream for eye contour to keep the area perfectly hydrated should allow for a shiny and perfect look. It's important to apply the cream with light touches with the tip of your fingers on the eye contour to reactivate circulation in the area. Do this by applying the cream in concentric circles around the eye bag area. You should be including this in both your morning and night routines to keep you clean and clear throughout the day.
Eye covers for puffiness under eyes
Another good alternative to get rid of bags under your eyes and avoid looking tired and fatigued is to place natural alternatives to natural cosmetics over the eye bags. These can help keep the skin hydrated, allow for proper distribution of fluid and to just make you feel refreshed. This is partly because the coldness will help constrict the blood vessels in the skin around the eyes.
- Place two slices of cold cucumber (directly from the fridge) on your eyes for 10 minutes. It's perfect to drain the liquid from bags under your eyes.
- Put two used teabags in the fridge and, once they're cold, place them on your eyes. Let them rest for 10 minutes and you should start to see a difference.
- Prepare a chamomile tea, soak two cotton swabs in it and spread it on the eye contour with light touches. Again, ensure it is cold before applying to sensitive skin areas.
- Apply rose water with a cotton swab around the eye area.
Avoid alcohol and tobacco
Cigarette smoking is not generally advised for anybody. It can lead to general health problems and quitting smoking will probably help with a lot more than just bags under the eyes. However, it can also help with dark circles around the eyes. The smoke itself can cause discoloration, especially if you smoke in poorly ventilated areas. However, more commonly, smoking can lead to stress, fatigue and changes to our hormones which can result in puffiness and dark circles around the eyes.
Drinking alcohol moderately as part of a balanced diet should be fine for those with a healthy constitution. Unfortunately, if you start to drink over the recommended daily allowance, you may start to see the adverse sides of drinking alcohol. Puffiness under the eyes may reduce as you reduce your alcohol intake. Caffeine also can have a similar effect on your eye areas.
Stay away from allergens
Many people will find that certain products or materials can result in an allergic reaction. One symptom of this reaction may be puffiness or dark circles around the eyes. This could be from something you ingest, but if it is related to the skin, it could equally be something which comes in contact with it which causes the issue.
If you already know what you are allergic to, then staying away from it will be imperative, not just for puffy eye bags, but your general health. Eye puffiness can be from mild allergies like mild hay fever or something more concerning such as celiac disease. If you think that something coming in contact with your skin is the root of the problem, then arrange an appointment with a dermatologist to see if you need to get tested. Avoiding the allergens which affect you might be the way to get rid of bags under your eyes.
Ensure you don't have another medical condition
There are a range of medical conditions which might cause puffiness under the eyes. We have already alluded to some (such as chronic fatigue syndrome), but there are others. Seek a physician's advice if you have tried remedies for getting rid of bags under the eyes and they have not worked. This is because it may be related to one of the following:
- Mononucleosis: otherwise known as glandular fever, eye puffiness is one symptom of the infection.
- Hypothyroidism: this is when the thyroid gland does not produce enough of the thyroid hormone resulting in different symptoms, eye bags being one of them.
- Cellulitis: an infection which inflames the skin.
- Super vena cava obstruction: edemas (build up of fluid) can result from this condition.
- Nephrosis: kidney failure leading to eye puffiness.
Makeup to cover puffy eyes
You could always conceal bags under your eyes with makeup. It is particularly good when you have more of a dark circle than puffiness around the eye to contend with. To do so you can use a concealer with a similar tone to your skin and apply it on the most visible part of the bags to camouflage this cosmetic issue.
Part of the reason you may need makeup for puffy eyes is due to a breakdown in collagen in this skin area. Once collagen breaks down, it can cause the skin to puff out and look older. Apart from makeup, you might want to try eating some foods which increase collagen to help you out.
Learn how to make makeup last longer with our tips on oneHOWTO. Also, remember that you should apply eye makeup to match your eye shape to make your eyes stand out and look their best.
Cosmetic surgery for eye puffiness
This is (or at the least should be) the last resort for puffiness under the eyes. The reason for this is that it can be invasive, result in a negative reaction or even lead to nerve damage. If you have tried home remedies and ensured that an underlying medical condition isn't the cause of dark circles or puffiness, then you might consider this option.
However, before you seek advice from a plastic or cosmetic surgeon, try to make the above lifestyle changes to see if it has a bearing on those bags under the eyes. Your physician should be able to advise on the best course of action, but a qualified dermatologist may have some specific advice to help.
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