What you can do
Although there are countless products on the market which claim to help de-puff and lighten the area under the eyes, they don’t always work.
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. This is especially true if your eye bags and dark circles are genetically inherited.
Other common causes include:
- chronic fatigue
- pigmentation issues
- sun exposure
Keep reading to learn how you can get rid of your under-eye bags for good.
1. Apply tea bags
Tea isn’t just for sipping. You can actually use caffeinated tea bags under your eyes to help with dark circles and 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.
Green tea, in particular, has been touted by researchers for its potential anti-inflammatory effects, as shown in one study.
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.
2. Use a cold compress
Toss out those pricey creams. Relief from dark circles may be as simple as using a cold compress you make using materials you already own. Applying cold to the area can help the blood vessels constrict quickly for some temporary relief.
Although you can purchase a cold compress at the store, do-it-yourself methods can work just as well.
Some DIY options include a:
- 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.
3. Clear out your sinuses with a neti pot
Some people swear that using a neti pot can help remove your under-eye bags and dark circles. A neti pot is a device you fill with a saltwater (normal saline) solution. You place the spout in your nose and irrigate your sinuses, removing mucus and other debris.
To do this:
- Fill your neti pot with a saltwater solution — 1/2 teaspoon of salt into 1 cup of water. Heat the water to dissolve, then cool to body temperature before use. Warm or lukewarm is best for comfort.
- Tilt your head sideways over the sink. Place the spout of the pot in the upper nostril, the one now closer to the ceiling.
- Breathe through your mouth as you gently pour the solution into the nostril. The solution should drain through the other nostril.
- Repeat this process with your head tilted the other way.
- Rinse your pot after use with filtered, distilled, or otherwise sterile water.
- Let the pot air dry before storing.
You can find neti pots inexpensively at most drug stores or online. If you choose to try this method at home, be sure to use distilled or sterilized water to create your saltwater solution. You may also use boiled tap water that has cooled to a safe temperature.
4. Stay hydrated
Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Given this, it may not be surprising that dehydration can contribute to under-eye bags. Upping your water intake should help.
How much is enough? Experts recommend drinking around 13 cups of fluids a day for men, and about 9 cups of fluids for women, per day.
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.
5. Take an antihistamine
Allergies can cause puffy, dark circles under your eyes. You may also experience redness or watery, itchy eyes. This reaction is caused by your immune system’s response to something that irritates it, or allergens.
If you feel your under-eye bags might be allergy related, ask your doctor about taking over-the-counter (OTC) allergy medications. Some brands include:
It’s also a good idea to avoid potential allergens whenever possible.
Certain personal care products, like soaps, makeup, or hair dyes, may be allergens. If you’re having trouble identifying the cause, consider keeping a diary to see what substances or other things cause the most reaction. If this is a chronic problem talk to your doctor about allergy testing.