Nobody likes to hear, “Wow, you sure look tired!” from a friend, co-worker, or classmate first thing in the morning. Sooner or later, though, tiredness comes for us all. As a result, you may find that dark and saggy under-eye bags start to make you look a little gloomy.
Where do under-eye bags come from?
Lack of sleep isn’t always the culprit. In fact, under-eye bags can be a common sign of aging, as the tissue structures and muscles that support your eyelids start to grow weaker. The stretchy part of the skin under your eyes may then appear puffy, discoloured, and swollen. Other reasons for under-eye bags include seasonal allergies, smoking, or simply fluid retention due to eating an especially salty meal.
Under-eye bags can also be hereditary, making them frustratingly unavoidable for some people. So, what can you do to brighten up that gloomy disposition? Your average concealer can sometimes do the trick, but there are a variety of different ways to brighten up those bags.
Sometimes, the easiest answer is a cool compress. Simply press a washcloth soaked in cold water or a chilled spoon under your eye for a few minutes, which should constrict the blood vessels and reduce the puffiness of your under-eye bags. Repeat under the other eye.
Avoid those allergens
During allergy season, your eyes may become itchy and watery due to the eyes’ mast cells fighting off allergens like pollen. It’s hard to resist giving your eyes a good rub, but doing so can make your under-eye bags much more visible.
If you think seasonal allergies may be the cause of your under-eye bags (as well as a bad case of the sniffles), supplements may help. Quercetin, a flavonoid rich in antioxidants, was found to help inhibit the release of histamines in the body, resulting in a decrease in allergy symptoms. Quercetin can be taken in supplement form or found in several raw fruits and veggies like cilantro, capers, grapes, kale, cherries, and red onion.
Take some tea
After preparing a warm mug of caffeinated tea, consider using the leftover tea bag to help combat your puffy eyes. The caffeine in black, white, and green tea can constrict the blood vessels and decrease puffiness when tea bags are put under your eyes.
Just steep one or two organic tea bags for 4 to 5 minutes and squeeze out any excess liquid. Cool in the fridge for 10 to 20 minutes, and then gently press the cold tea bag(s) against you under-eye bags for 15 to 30 minutes to help reduce puffiness and dark circles. Herbal teas like rooibos, camomile, and lavender may also help your under-eye bags and provide relief.
Want to use that big cup of green tea you just brewed for a refreshing recipe? Try out our Strawberry Banana Iced Green Tea Smoothie!
Cut down on salt
Yes, salty snacks like chips, pretzels, and instant noodles are tasty. But they’ve also been found to cause under-eye bags. This is due to the extra sodium making your body retain water, leading to puffiness in the thin skin under the eyes. Choose low-sodium foods more often and see if you notice a difference in your eyes.
You can help counter the salt with potassium-rich foods like bananas, unsalted black beans, leafy greens, and avocado. Green Goddess Smoothie, anyone?
Remove your makeup before bed
If you’re a makeup wearer, clean your face before hitting the hay. Excess, dried makeup can get in your eyes and clog your pores, causing the dreaded puffiness (or dark stains) to form. Set a reminder every night to use a moist washcloth or compostable cleaning wipes to clean your face.
Go crazy for collagen
Certain supplements can help moisturize your skin, combatting under-eye bags. Collagen, an abundant structural protein, contains hydroxyproline, which in turn helps produce hyaluronic acid that moisturizes the skin and may prevent sagging near the eyes. Collagen peptides (small doses of the protein) can be found in powdered or pill form that you can mix with drinks or stir into food.
Up your vitamin C intake
Vitamin C helps boost collagen in your skin, so be sure to incorporate these fruits and veggies into your everyday meals:
- bell pepper
- Brussels sprouts
Increase your collagen and vitamin C intake with a deliciously sweet snack by whipping up alive’s very own Rhubarb Strawberry Collagen Jam.
Pump up your iron
Determining why you have under-eye bags can be difficult, as there are so many possible causes. One of these is iron deficiency anemia, which occurs when your blood is lacking red blood cells and can cause fatigue, dizziness, and discoloration in the face.
If you suspect you may be anemic, first talk to your health care practitioner. Then, consider iron supplements or increasing iron in your diet. Iron-rich foods include red meat, beans, kale or spinach, and fortified cereals
Improve your sleep schedule
One of the simplest reasons for your under-eye bags? You might just not be getting enough sleep. Sleep deprivation can cause a decrease in blood flow to the face, rendering skin dull and discolored.
The National Sleep Foundation advises that every healthy adult needs between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, so try to tear yourself away from your screens at least an hour before bedtime. If you struggle to fall into dreamland, try natural sleep aids. Standout snooze supporters include
- passion flower