how to get rid of bags under your eyes
Dr. Sedat Öz
Written by Dr. Sedat Öz
4 February 2021
Average reading time of this content is 8 minutes
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How to get rid of bags under your eyes

Puffy, dark or swollen eyes can make you look much older than you really are and can really affect how you look overall. While they are usually a temporary concern, they can be exacerbated by poor diet, smoking, tiredness, illness and other life experiences. The good news is that they are treatable and, with some extra care and attention, you can get rid of at least the worst of the visual and physical effects.

If your baggy eyes are especially pronounced, or you cannot shift dark bags under your eyes despite trying several home remedies, there are also more drastic measures you can take, from medication to surgery, but let’s start at the beginning to see how you can get rid of eye bags and treat them easily at home.


How to prevent puffy eyes

Puffy eyes can be caused by a number of issues. The skin under and around your eyes is noticeably thinner than elsewhere on your body and any changes to the body can show up very obviously there. This also means that your skin around your eyes also needs more attention and care than other places, as it can become damaged and irritated more easily. Keep it clean and cleanse regularly.

Watching your diet can really help when trying to figure out what causes eye bags, as eating too much salt can lead to fluid retention and puffiness, while eating the recommended daily amount of potassium will help reduce excess fluids. Cut down on your alcohol consumption, or avoid it altogether to achieve clearer skin all over your body and fresher, brighter eyes with no puffiness or under eye bags. Drink lots of water to keep skin healthy, hydrated and plump. You can always infuse plain water with some fruit if you are looking for some variety in the taste.

Make sure you get enough sleep, as this is crucial for replenishing and revitalising the skin. Get into a healthy sleeping habit, with early nights in a quiet, dark room without screens or noises causing distractions. If you can, prop some pillows up so you encourage fluids to drain away from your eyes as you sleep in a more upright position.

Other areas to help you remove eye bags include taking care of any allergies and avoiding foods, medications and other triggers that could cause your eyes to swell or your skin to become more prone to redness or irritation. If you are unaware of what you might be allergic to, visit an allergy specialist for a test. Do not rub your eyes if they feel itchy and try to avoid crying as this, too, can cause puffiness, swelling, redness and irritation. Take extra care during the higher pollen count seasons if you are affected by hay fever.


Proactive eye products

One highly effective way to embark upon a journey of under eye bags treatments is to lookout for professional, proactive eye products to keep your peepers feeling and looking fantastic. These types of products are applied for preference before you start to notice any under eye bag problems, so that your skin can become more nourished and better able to withstand any threats to looking and feeling at their best.

There is a wide range of products out there, from infused pads to gels; eye washes to an under eye bag cream. Read up on some online reviews, ask your friends, family and medical consultants and have some fun experimenting with what you find online or on the high street. Look for products containing peptides to help firm and smooth the skin so it appears hydrated and taut, rather than limp and swollen or dry.

Once you find a suitable product, or small group of products, establish a regular routine to help you remove eye bags and maintain healthy looking eyes and skin. Add it to your daily skincare regime and always make sure you have plenty of product left to ensure you can apply the correct amount each time.


Caffeinated eye creams

Caffeine can help reduce the effects of swollen eyes and under eye bags, but this doesn’t mean that you should reach for the extra cup of coffee quite just yet. On the contrary, too much caffeine before you go to bed can stop your mind from shutting down enough to relax and so will cause your eyes to become red and swollen through lack of sleep.

Caffeine works to constrict blood vessels and so function as an anti-inflammatory, encouraging blood away from the skin’s surface around the eyes, promoting healthy blood circulation and reducing any dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. Look for a good day cream containing caffeine – and preferably peptides for additional firming properties. Use this when you go through your skincare regime so that it becomes a habit and your eves can start to enjoy longer-term effects of being well supported with this magic ingredient.


Retinol treatment

Vitamin A is highly beneficial for all areas of your skin especially the thinner parts around your eyes. They are an effective anti-aging supplement as they help to firm the skin, close enlarged pores, correct uneven skin tone and reduce the appearance of fine lines. Retinol-based products are rich in Vitamin A and are specially formulated to help support the eye area and firm up the skin, adding strength and springiness for a more youthful look.

Using retinol products will not have such a short-term effect on puffiness as caffeine or using a cold compress (see below), but regular use will help your body absorb the Vitamin A it needs to repair and replenish the skin in the longer term. Stick with your chosen retinol-rich eye cream for bags for the most effective results over a larger number of weeks and months.


Stop smoking

The adverse effects of smoking are well documented now, from damage to skin and internal organs to many cancers and chronic respiratory conditions. One less drastic, but still unwanted side-effect can be puffy or dark circles under the eyes, caused by the toxic ingredient sin cigarettes and cigars on the skin and circulatory system. The nicotine in cigarettes can disturb your sleep and cause tired, red eyes, while the skin can also lose its elasticity and collagen – both vital aspects of keeping it looking and feeling firm and strong. Smoking can cause you to become more dehydrated too, making any existing circles under the eyes look deeper and darker.

You can use all kinds of aids to help you stop smoking, from switching to a nicotine alternative product such as patches or gum to talking therapy, ‘quit smoking’ mobile phone apps or even attempting to go ‘cold turkey’. You will feel the benefits almost immediately, and your body will start to feel better and better and your system cleanses it of the toxic residues of your erstwhile smoking habit.



As already mentioned above, getting enough sleep is one of the most effective, easiest and obviously cheapest methods you can employ to help reduce puffy eye bags. Healthy adults should aim to get between seven and nine hours of sleep per night, in a quiet, dark space where you will not be disturbed.

Cut out (or down on) screen time towards the evening and avoid drinking caffeine. Instead, switch to soothing milky drinks and relaxing activity such as a warm, scented bath, reading a good book for a while or sitting quietly with family, chatting about easy, non-controversial topics to help you drift off to sleep.


Cold compress

It is a very good idea to get into the habit of applying a cold compress to your eyes and face as soon as you wake up to help counteract any fluid retention or puffiness that may have built up while you were asleep. The introduction of something cold will reduce blood flow in the area, stopping swelling and helping the area feel cooler and to push fatty tissues out and away from the eyes. A cold compress can make a hot or inflamed area feel fresh and cool too, lifting the spirits as a nice side effect.

Do not apply anything frozen directly onto the skin, as this could cause injury and discomfort, but an ice pack or bag of frozen vegetable wrapped in a tea towel is ideal. Or you could use a jade or obsidian roller, kept in the fridge, for a soothing, cooling under eye bag treatment first thing in the morning. Press to the skin firmly, but comfortably for a few minutes, taking it off for short periods in between applications to stop your skin from becoming over-exposed.


Consider surgery

If all else fails, or if your under eye bags are particularly pronounced, or are causing you distress, you might like to think about cosmetic surgery options. This is something to talk through with your GP at first and then a specialist to see what the right course of action might be for your individual circumstances. There are various types of surgery you can opt for.

Blepharoplasty is the medical term for upper and lower eyelid surgery. It involves lifting drooping eyelids by removing or repositioning fat under the eyes and tightening up any redundant skin on the lower eyelid. The overall effect is to remove eye bags, make the eyes look more open and give the whole area a fresher and less puffy look. Side effects such as blurriness or double vision can affect some people after surgery but are normally mild, temporary and usually resolve on their own. Consult your GP in the first instance to start the cosmetic surgery process off.

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