Under Eye Bags or more popularly called Dark Circles, are common dermatological conditions wherein you notice mild swelling or puffiness on your lower eyelid. It is considered to be a mundane thing, as it develops as you age.
Now, under-eye bags is typically a cosmetic issue and not a sign for medical concern. However, to some that have dark circles, it can be a significant cause of social anxiety, as it does make you look tired and prematurely old.
So we will learn more about the condition, understand what causes it, and also look at some changes we can adopt in our lifestyle to bid goodbye to under-eye bags once and for all.
Causes of Under-Eye Bags
Under-eye bags, aka periorbital hyperpigmentation, can appear as brownish to black hyperpigmentation on your lower eyelid. This happens because the eyelid is the thinnest part of the body, and has the lowest dermal to the epidermal ratio of all skin parts. This allows for fats to accumulate here over time, thus causing puffy under-eye bags.
Most associate dark circles with a lack of sleep. Although true, sleep deprivation isn’t the only triggering factor of the condition. Dark circles can also occur due to inadequate consumption of water, allergies, or a poor diet.
Sleeping on one side can also be what causes under-eye bags. Sleeping only on one side puts a lot of pressure on blood vessels under the eyes. Hence, the pool of blood that accumulates there can cause dark circles.
Dark circles can also be genetic. It is something you can inherit from your parents. In such a case, there isn’t anything you can do about it.
Under-eye bags can be a cause of distress for socially conscious individuals, even to the extent of causing emotional stress and depression. Thankfully, there are multiple remedies and lifestyle changes that can be adapted by us to not only cure under-eye bags but also stop them from ever occurring again.
So, let’s look at some of the most effective lifestyle changes to get rid of under-eye bags.
1. Water Consumption
Staying hydrated keeps you active. Water helps eliminate waste from your diet as well as flush toxins from your body, thus helping restore skin’s moisture. It is recommended to drink at least 13 cups of water per day for men and 9 cups per day for women.
2. Consume Vitamin C rich food
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that can restore the youthful glow of aging skin. Adding vitamin C rich foods like papaya, oranges, mango, pineapple, broccoli, tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, etc. can help in improving skin health. Studies have shown Vitamin C to thicken the skin on the lower eyelid.
3. Avoid Sodium
Salty food contains a lot of sodium. Sodium is known to contribute to fluid retention, which causes bags under eyes. So cutting down on salt, especially at night, can work wonders in reducing puffiness under the eyes. High sodium levels are often found in fast food products like pizza, burgers, or deep-fried chicken. It is true what they say, you are what you eat, and sodium laced food will prove that by thinning the skin on your lower eyelid.
Ideally, adults should consume no more than 1500 mg of salt every day.
4. Avoid Alcohol and Smoking
Alcohol is one fluid that dehydrates the body. This results in the skin losing its moisture, the effect of which is adversely felt on the lower eyelid. If you are craving for a drink, then opt for freshly squeezed fruit juice instead. Smoking depletes vitamin C from the body, which is responsible for producing collagen in your skin.
5. Have Retinol rich food
Your lower eyelid is already the thinnest part of your body, and it needs to stay that way to avoid under-eye bags. This can be avoided by having Vitamin A or Retinol rich food like organic pastured eggs, grass-fed beef, liver, turkey liver, grass-fed butter, and pasture-raised chicken giblets.
6. Have Iron Rich Food
Iron deficiency in the body can lead to the depletion of red blood cells in the body. Red blood cells are essential to transport oxygen to all the tissues in the body. Without them, there isn’t enough oxygen circulation in the body, which then results in dark circles and a host of other unsavory conditions.
Have iron-rich food like grass-fed beef, seafood, beans, leafy green vegetables like kale and spinach, peas, and dried fruits to increase levels of iron in your body.
7. Get Sleep
Lack of Sleep is a common cause of dark circles. We need to make sure our body gets at least 8 hours of sleep every day. To get adequate sleep, avoid caffeinated beverages, and sugar-rich food. Finish all meals 2 hours before bedtime, and finish all exercise a few hours before bedtime.
Make sure to turn off your cell phones, television, and other such devices to reduce blue light and get better sleep. While sleeping, make sure to sleep on your back. Sleeping on one side will put a lot of pressure on your blood vessels, thus causing dark circles.
8. Wear Sunscreen
The UV rays of the sun can severely change the natural color of your skin. Prolonged exposure to the sun can cause premature aging, skin cancer, and discoloration. Medical experts highly recommend sunscreen before participating in prolonged sun exposure. Choose a formula that is at least 30 SPF and higher. It is, of course, important to receive sunlight contact on your skin for 10-30 minutes to receive necessary vitamin D, just be cognizant of prolonged exposure.
9. Apply Tea Bags
Caffeinated tea bags can be useful to prevent dark circles. The caffeine in the tea is known to hold potent antioxidants that can increase blood flow to your skin. Steep the tea bags for about 3-5 minutes let them chill in the refrigerator for about 20 minutes and later apply them on your eyes and keep them on for 15- 30 minutes for best results.
Cucumber is probably the most well-known natural remedy used for dark circles. Cucumber Contains Anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce puffiness under the eyes. Simply place 2 slices of cucumber on your eyes and rest for about 25 minutes.
11. Cold Compress
Relief from puffy looking eyes might be as simple as using cold compress from the things you might find in your home. Applying cold items to your eyes can help constrict the blood vessels.
To do so, you can use a cold teaspoon, wet washcloth, or a bag of frozen veggies.
The Bottom Line
Under-eye bags are a sure-fire sign of aging, and in such a scenario, there is not much you can do about it. However, some questionable lifestyle changes do work in making your skin look tired and old. The above lifestyle changes, if adopted religiously, will help you not only get rid of dark circles but also maintain the youthful glow of your skin even in your elderly age.