Eye Treatments Part 2 – How to get rid of the bags under your eyes.
This is a follow up to my Eye Treatments post where I dicussed treatment options for eye issues such as fine lines and dark circles. If you haven’t read it I highly suggest you do before reading any further.
Today we’re talking about bags underneath the eyes; be they puffy, droopy or anything in between.
When it comes to under-eye bags, there are three camps you can fall in to:
- Eyes with fat deposits underneath them.
- Eyes that are puffy or inflamed underneath.
- Eyes with saggy skin underneath them.
In order to tell which one you have, simply think back and ask yourself whether your eye bags ever seem to change in appearance; whether it’s with changes in diet, weather, amount of sleep, season (allergies) or whatever else. If the answer is ‘yes, they do’ then it’s likely that your under eye bags (or at least a large proportion of them) are the ‘puffy’ kind.
If your under eye bags don’t seem to change, no matter what you try or how much sleep you get, chances are that these are caused by fat deposits underneath the eye.
As for the third kind, that should be pretty obvious.
So, what does this all mean?
Well, under-eye puffiness is something a lot of people suffer from in varying degrees and there are lots of courses of treatment. When it comes to the fat-deposit or saggy kind, no topical product is going to be able to fix them. A simple surgical procedure is what it’d take to get rid of them so don’t believe any claims that promise otherwise.
However, there are still some options to lessen the appearance of your under-eye bags – even if they’re untreatable for the most part.
- For droopy skin underneath your eyes, using collagen-building treatments may help to slightly plump up and smooth out the skin.
- As for eyes with fat deposits, you can try to get rid of any puffiness that’s making your problem seem worse than it really is.
So, with that out of the way, let’s see what we can do!
Caffeine is a popular ingredient in eye treatments because enough of it will help to drain away the excess fluid being held underneath your eyes. Using an eye product with caffeine regularly will definitely help to deflate your bags. For a lightweight option, try Garnier’s now-famous under eye roll on. If you need a little more moisture underneath your eyes I highly recommend the 100% Pure Coffee Bean Eye Cream which smells amazing, contains a good amount of caffeine and moisturises underneath the eyes without being too heavy.
For a cheap option you can always place cool teabags on your eyes for 10 minutes as a pick-me-up (steep them in cold water, you don’t want to lose all the caffeine in the teabags by using hot water!).
Collagen builders – Retinoids
Use of retinoids underneath the eyes will improve collagen production and pad out eyes that’re looking a bit saggy or drawn. The problem with these is that they tend to dry out and thin skin on the surface in order to thicken and plump the skin underneath. This isn’t much of a problem on your face but underneath eyes – where the skin is already quite thin – it can be a problem. The way to avoid it is by using a weaker retinol product (one that you can buy in stores) on alternate days with a regular hydrating eye cream. This will give you the benefits of a retinol product without the added hassle of dry-looking or thin skin.
Try eye products containing retinol from RoC or Neutrogena or use the stronger (but still mild) Avene Eluage for the best results.
Collagen builders – Vitamin C
At a concentration of 10% or more, Vitamin C will aid in the synthesis of collagen in skin. Even a 5% concentration will be beneficial, just less so. Get your hands on a good Vitamin C serum and apply it underneath your eyes once every day (mornings are best) in order to reap the full benefits. My current favourite is the Kiehl’s Powerful Line Reducing Concentrate.
Other beneficial ingredients
Matrixyl and Niacinamide are both known to improve collagen production in high enough concentrations. Try StriVectin or Hylexin eye creams for Matrixyl or the amazing NIA24 Eye Repair Complex (which also contains caffeine!) for niacinamide. For cheaper (yet still effective!) options, try patting the oft-recommended Olay Regenerist Fragrance Free serum underneath your eyes for niacinamide and the Avon Anew eye cream for your Matrixyl fix.
High protection sunscreen
I know I harp on about it but you need to be wearing a good protection sunscreen on your entire face every day, even underneath your eyes, in order to prevent the premature (and further) ageing of your skin.
Anything cold is going to lessen the appearance of under-eye puffiness. You can buy a gel eye-mask like the one above from Menscience that you strap around your face Patrick Bateman style, use cold wet teabags or even throw some spoons in the freezer and then place them over your eyes.
Changes in lifestyle.
This can often make a huge improvement with puffiness underneath the eyes. I’ve already written on this topic here when asked a question about puffy faces but i’ll paste it below for the lazy ones:
- Drink more water. A puffy face (or puffy eyes) can be a sign of your body retaining fluid due to your not drinking enough water.
- Lose weight. If you’re generally chubby then you’ll have a fuller face. Try eating healthily and exercising to reduce that bloat, there are no specific exercises you can do for your face – just general weight loss will do the trick.
- Cut down the amount of salt in your diet. Excess sodium will cause bloating that includes facial bloating – try and avoid salty foods wherever you can.
- Cut down on refined sugar and wheat. A puffy face is sometimes called ‘carb face’ which is slightly misleading. It’s true that too many unrefined sugars and white bread can make your body bloat but instead of cutting carbohydrates out of your diet simply switch to wholegrains instead.
- Try not to eat carbohydrates after 9pm, old hollywood trick. Basically it allows your body to digest your food before you sleep which should prevent bloating the morning after.
- Include more potassium through your diet. This will help to deflate a bloated face/puffy eyes, top foods include bananas and watermelon (which also contains lots of water so it’s a 2-in-1 when it comes to fighting the bloat/puffiness!).
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