Eye bags can really be annoying for most of us. Although there are countless products on the market which claim to help diminish and lighten your eye bags, they don’t usually work.
On the natural remedy side, drinking more water and applying a cold compress can help shrink eye bags quickly, but the only way to reduce their appearance in the long term is to make a few lifestyle changes. But what are the other causes of having a circle under your eyes?
- chronic fatigue
- pigmentation issues
- sun exposure
These are the most common home remedies for eye bags.
1. At least eight hours of sleep
Sleep is really important. Although limited sleep may not actually cause under-eye circles, getting little sleep may make your complexion paler. Any shadows or dark circles you have may be more obvious as a result.
According to Mayo Clinic, if you’re having trouble settling down to rest, try these tricks:
- Try creating a sleep schedule, or a regular bedtime and wake-time.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages and foods 6 to 12 hours before your bedtime.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages around bedtime.
- Finish all meals and snacks two hours before bedtime.
- Finish all strenuous exercise a few hours before bedtime.
- Turn off televisions, cell phones, and other electronic devices one hour before bedtime.
2. Apply tea bags
The caffeine in the tea contains powerful antioxidants and may increase blood flow to your skin. It’s also said to protect against UV rays and potentially slow the aging process. And true enough, tea isn’t just a drink but you can actually use caffeinated tea bags under your eyes to help with dark circles and bags.
Steps to do this:
Steep two tea bags for 3 to 5 minutes.
Let the tea bags chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
Then, squeeze out the extra liquid and apply to your under-eye area.
Leave the tea bags on for 15 to 30 minutes.
3. Water Therapy
Don’t like water? The good news is that all fluids count toward your daily total. Still, water is a low-calorie option. Try sparkling waters, flavored waters, or even water infused with fruit. Hot or cold herbal decaffeinated tea is another good choice.
4. Retinol Cream
When applied to the skin, this ingredient can improve collagen deficiency. You may find lower concentrations of retinol in different OTC products, but stronger creams require a prescription from your dermatologist.
Wearing sunscreen may also help with your under-eye bags and dark circles.
The American Academy of Dermatology suggests that all people wear sunscreen. Broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays is important. So is choosing a formula that is SPF 30 or higher and water-resistant. Reapply as necessary or directed on the package instructions. Choose a daily face moisturizer that’s also SPF 30 or higher.
6. Take your makeup off
Improving your nightly routine may also help you avoid bags under your eyes. In particular, it’s important to wash your face before bed each night.
7. Stay elevated while you sleep
Using two or more pillows should do the trick. How does this work? Elevating your head helps to prevent the pooling of fluid in your lower eyelids that creates puffiness while you sleep.
If propping up your head hurts your neck or you can’t fall asleep, you may also consider elevating the entire top end of your bed by a few inches. You can use bricks under the bed posts or buy special bed risers that are specifically made for this purpose.
8. Use a cold compress
Aside from purchased cold compress at the store, do-it-yourself methods can work just as well. These include:
- chilled teaspoon
- cool cucumber
- wet washcloth
- bag of frozen veggies
Before applying, wrap your compress with a soft cloth to protect your skin from getting too frosty. You only need to apply the compress for a few minutes to see results.
9. Eat more foods rich on Vitamin C and Iron
Aging weakens the muscles and tissues that support your eyelids. Foods rich in vitamin C and amino acids can also help with collagen production through boosting your levels of hyaluronic acid, creating healthier skin.
Good sources of vitamin C include:
- red peppers
- Brussels sprouts
Iron deficiency can cause dark circles under the eyes and even pale skin. Other symptoms include things like:
- extreme fatigue
- cold hands and feet
- brittle nails
Iron-rich foods include:
- red meat, pork, and poultry
- leafy green veggies, like kale and spinach
- raisins, apricots, and other dried fruits
- iron-fortified foods, like cereals, breads, and pastas
10. Lessen the Salty Foods
Salty foods may be at the root of your under-eye bags. Salt contributes to your body’s fluid retention and can make you puffy overall.
The American Heart Association recommends consuming 2,300 milligrams (mg) or less of salt each day. Ideally, adults should consume no more than 1,500 mg of salt each day.
As a guide, here’s how many milligrams are in different teaspoon (tsp) measurements of salt:
1/4 tsp = 575 mg sodium
1/2 tsp= 1,150 mg sodium
3/4 tsp = 1,725 mg sodium
1 tsp = 2,300 mg sodium
You have to pay attention carefully to see how much salt is in your favorite snacks. One way to immediately lower the salt in your diet is to avoid eating packaged, processed foods. Instead, try eating a diet based more on whole foods — fresh fruits and veggies — where you can control the salt content.