Are you bothered about the puffiness and sagging under your eyes? It does not have any medical implication most times, it is just something that changes your facial appearance. Bags under the eyes usually occurs when weakened and sagging skin relaxes, forming a pouch under the eyes. The fat pads located under the eyes slip down to fill the space. Fluid also may accumulate in the space below your eyes, adding to the swelling. Bags under the eyes could be in form of mild swelling, loose skin and dark circles.
One of the most common causes of bags under the eyes is aging. As we grow older, loss of fat padding and collagen, the major component of connective tissues in skin, muscles and other body parts increases. Other causes incluses thyroid disease, infections, allergies, stress, eye fatigue, smoking, lack of sleep and inherited facial features.
When bags under the eyes are as a result of environmental or underlying health issues, there are some simple home remedies and lifestyle changes that may help to lessen their appearance. These include:
1. Stay hydrated
Water contributes about 60 percent of your body weight, hence it may not be surprising that dehydration can contribute to under-eye bags. Increasing 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. Reduce intake of fluids before bedtime and reduce salt in your diet. This will help to reduce the fluid retention that can cause bags under the eyes.
2. Stop smoking.
Smoking can aggravate the problem of bags under your eyes by reducing your body’s stores of vitamin C, which is the vitamin responsible for creating healthy collagen in your skin. Smoking increases risk of wrinkles, discoloration, and even under-eye bags and dark circles.
Quitting smoking also helps with a host of other health related issues. You can add years to your life, get rid of stained teeth, and reduce your chances of developing diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and certain cancers.
You may experience nicotine withdrawal symptoms in the first couple weeks after quitting cold turkey. These symptoms should fade within 10 to 14 days.
3. Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep is also a contributing factor. 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.
Most adults should aim to get between seven and eight hours of sleep each night.
Simple tips for a quick night rest
- create a sleep schedule, or a regular bedtime and wake-time.
- Avoid caffeinated beverages
- Avoid alcoholic beverages around bedtime.
- Eat all meals and snacks two hours before bedtime.
- Do all strenuous exercise a few hours before bedtime.
- If you can, turn off televisions, cell phones, and other electronic devices one hour before bedtime.
4. Sleep with your head slightly raised.
Try elevating your head with extra pillows while you sleep, using two or more pillows should help out. This helps prevent fluid from accumulating around your eyes as you sleep. Dark circles caused by fluid retention in your lower eyelids usually go away when you get up.
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.
5. Reduce allergy symptoms.
Avoid allergens when possible. Try over-the-counter allergy medications. Talk to your doctor about prevention strategies if you develop under-eye reactions due to hair dyes, soaps, cosmetics or other allergens.
6. Eat foods rich in collagen
Aging tends to weaken the muscles and tissues that support your eyelids. This means that your skin may begin to sag, including the fat that’s usually around your eyes.Increasing your intake of vitamin C can help your body absorb more hyaluronic acid. This essential acid is naturally found in the body, but the amount stored decreases with age.
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 oranges, red peppers.
7. Wear sunscreen every day
Protecting your skin against the sun’s rays can help with a number of dermatological issues, like: premature aging skin cancer, discoloration. Hence, wearing sunscreen may also help with your under-eye bags and dark circles.
Broad-spectrum protection against UVA and UVB rays is important, so choose a formula that is SPF 30 or higher and water-resistant.
8. Maintain proper nightly routine
Improving your nightly routine also helps you avoid bags under your eyes. It is important to wash your face before going to bed each night. There are alot of reasons why you should not sleep with makeup on, sleeping with mascara or other eye makeup on your eyes may cause the following
- Allergic reaction
- Infections that causes redness, puffiness, or other symptoms
Do you know that forgetting to wash your face may cause wrinkles or damage the skin in other ways. When you sleep in makeup, you expose your skin to free radicals. This has the potential to create what’s called oxidative stress, which may prematurely age your skin.
9. Eat foods rich in iron
Iron deficiency anemia is a condition where the blood is lacking red blood cells. These cells are responsible for carrying oxygen to tissues in the body. Iron deficiency can cause bags under the eyes and even pale looking skin. foods rich in iron include: red meat, pork, and poultry, seafood, beans, leafy green veggies like pumpkin and spinach cereals, peas.
10. Reduce alcohol intake
Cut down on alcohol to see changes. It can be likened to drinking more water which can lead to hydration. Drinking alcohol contributes to dehydration, and dehydration can lead to bags and dark circles under your eyes. If you have cravings for a special drink, try grabbing a flavored sparkling water or infusing regular water with fruit.
You may not like your look with bags under your eyes, but the bags are usually harmless and do not require medical care. See your doctor if the swelling is severe, persistent, painful, itchy or red.