What Can You Do About Bags Under Your Eyes?

What Can You Do About Bags Under Your Eyes?

Posted by Fernanda da Silva Tatley on


What Causes Puffiness and Bags Under Eyes?


Bags under eyes are a form of mild swelling affecting the lower eye lids.

They are caused when the tissue organisation, structural scaffold and muscles supporting your eyelids weaken. The collagen scaffold that helps to retain the skin firmness becomes less effective or starts to breakdown, manifesting as sagging skin. To add insult to injury, the fat that is found around the eye can move into the area below your eyes, exacerbating the tissue expansion. Also, fluid can easily accumulate in the area below the eyes giving a puffy or swollen appearance.


Understanding what contributes to the development of bags under your eyes may help to modify some aspects of your lifestyle that could aggravate the puffiness. So, let’s consider some of the contributing interacting factors that may not be immediately obvious.

Ageing    -     Genetics   -    Environmental Exposure   -   Lifestyle




  • As we age, the skin around the eyes becomes thinner and loses elasticity. This can lead to the appearance of bags and wrinkles. This is exacerbated by excessive exposure to the sun, hence the increased public education on the importance of wearing sunscreen, or a hat or protective clothing.
  • This ageing happens throughout our body, though it may be more evident around the eyes, because they are in your face, literally!
  • As we age, fluid retention increases, that could be due to slower metabolism, circulation, hormone changes and sometimes medical conditions such as kidney or thyroid diseases.
  • As we age, we might be more stressed about work, life, family, health, etc., and this may lead to lack of sleep, which in turn can contribute to tiredness, and sometimes the more tired you are the less you sleep.
  • Then there is gravity! As we age, tissues tend to get closer to the ground… there is a tendency for sagging.




  • Those pesky genes you inherited will also be adding to the Ageing issue.
  • Don’t underestimate these hereditary factors, as these play a considerable role in the development of eye bags. If your parents or close relatives have prominent under-eye bags, you are likely to be more prone to them.
  • Besides, some of these genes may be associated with medical conditions that result in impact on the skin, and especially the delicate skin around the eyes could be affected.
  • Some facial bone and soft tissue structure or anatomy can predispose to bags under the eyes.



Environmental Exposure


  • Environmental allergens such as pollen, types of smoke, smog, dust, molds, mites, pet dander, all of which that can exacerbate rhinitis, especially the allergic type – commonly referred to as “hay fever”.
  • Symptoms of these “allergic type” responses include nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes, headaches due to sinus pressure, mucous in the nose and throat, and all of these will add to the fluid accumulation.
  • But non-allergic rhinitis can also exhibit some of these symptoms, that can lead to puffy eyes.
  • Overexposure to the sun's UV rays can accelerate skin ageing and breakdown of collagen and elastin, leading to sagging skin and under-eye bags.





  • As much you’ll hate to read this… it is true. Your lifestyle contributes to your health, or lack of it, as well as the way you look, and specifically to the puffiness around your eyes.
    • Diet – poor dietary choices, lack of essential vitamins and minerals. Excessive, frequent consumption of salty foods.
    • Hydration – dehydration or poor hydrating habits, with mainly sweet or artificial flavourings.
    • Alcohol - excessive alcohol consumption, without even attempting to consume water at the same time.
      • Did you know that for alcohol to be broken down in the liver, water is used in the reaction. So, if you are not providing an external water source, your liver metabolism will use what you have in your body. Once the liver converts the alcohol to its metabolites, that’s it… no more water and you become thirsty and dehydrated. So, continuous dehydration is a sure way to “bag your eyes”!
      • Moral of the story, if you drink alcohol, drink as much water.




  • Smoking – Affects collagen and elastin, the fibres that keep your skin plump and firm.
    • Cigarette smoke interrupts the skin cell metabolism, leading to the decrease in collagen formation, stimulating the activity of an enzyme that degrades collagen. So, a double whammy!
    • Smoking also constricts blood vessels, leading to reduced blood flow and nutrients, in the body, and ultimately to the skin as well.
    • So, you can guess the impact this is going to have around the eyes.



The point isthere is no one single cause, but without realising we could be compounding the contributors to puffy eyes and unsightly bags under our eyes.


How to Reduce Puffy Eyes and the Inconvenient Bags Under the Eyes?


… Hydrate… Hydrate… Hydrate…

… Moisturise… Moisturise… Moisturise…

It should now be obvious that, hydrating and moisturising are the 2 most important actions to prevent dry skin, slow down ageing and achieve a natural youthful glow. And regardless, how many times you read or hear these 2 words, the truth is that providing moisture and locking this with a good emollient will go a long way to have soft, supple, and healthy skin. Of course hydration is also achieved through ingesting water rich drinks and food.



At Azurlis™ we have 3 products that were specifically formulated for the area around the eye, and in particular the Cooling Eye Gel helps to reduce the puffiness around the eyes. With green tea and rice bran protein, known for their antioxidant properties, this product is cooling on the lids, while providing support to reducing inflammation. (Check this out, below, under the benefits of green tea and rice bran.)

However, I would first like to highlight a few simple products that you can make in your own home, and that can be used in conjunction with your skincare regimen/routines.


Home Treatments for Reducing the Bags Under Your Eyes


So, what in your pantry can you use to reduce eye bags? Some of these ingredients can be useful to manage or reduce mild cases of puffiness… and there is scientific evidence for some.

Though, the very fact that you are making time to look after yourself is in effect a major step forward to destress and this will have benefits in how you feel, which then affects how you look.

Ironically, word on the street is that some eye puffiness is appealing and sexy because it is associated with waking up early in an idyllic place.

Nevertheless, below are a few options.


Frozen Teaspoon Trick


This is an old, and very well-known trick, but often forgotten.

  • Place or leave a couple of teaspoons in the freezer.
  • If you are doing this for the first time, leave the teaspoon for about 30 minutes before taking it out.
  • Wrap the teaspoon in a piece of muslin cloth or an old handkerchief and place over the eye lids for a few second at a time, as if you were dabbing your eye.
  • Do not use the cold teaspoon directly on the skin without a cloth and do not use tissue paper.
  • If necessary, use another frozen teaspoon and repeat.
  • Wash teaspoons and replace them in the freezer for future use.



Cold Compress & Ice Cubes or Frozen Vegetables


  • An alternative is to use a cool damp face cloth and leaving it over the lids for a few minutes.
  • Another option is to wrap an ice cube in the face or muslin cloth and apply it to the lids.
  • If ice cubes are not available, you can wrap frozen vegetable chunks in the muslin cloth and use them instead of the ice cubes.
  • The advantage with this is that you can defrost your vegetables for dinner… just kidding!



Frozen Coffee Ice Cubes


Caffeine is a really interesting ingredient.

It is a stimulant that keeps you revved up when you need to concentrate, and it is one of the most commonly used drugs in the world

Because caffeine stimulates circulation and has antioxidant properties, that protect against damage from free radicals, it helps to reduce wrinkles and fine lines. It also constricts vessels, reduces swelling, that brightens tired skin, so it is ideal for application to the skin, including that around the eyes.

  • Save some of your freshly brewed “roasted coffee” and freeze it in an ice cube tray.
  • Wrap a cube in some muslin cloth and gently dab it over your eye lids for a few seconds.
  • Repeat 2 or 3 times before the coffee cube melts too much.



Caffeine in Black, White and Green Tea


If you don’t have coffee beans, you can use either black, white, or green tea bags, that are also rich in caffeine, though at a lower level than coffee. Also, in particular, green tea has been associated with reducing inflammation, largely attributed to its high percentage of flavonoids, responsible for the anti-oxidant activity.

  • Soak cotton pads in freshly brewed, cooled tea, or use the cooled tea bags, preferably if they are “cloth tea bags”. Avoid using paper, that can be a skin irritant.
  • Apply directly over the eye area for a few seconds, or minutes, while relaxing.



Rice Bran or Rice Extract


Rice is one of the most consumed foods in the world, especially of course in Asia. Nutritionally, rice bran, that makes up about 10% of the rice, also happens to be a rich source of vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy cell function.

Right… you may not have rice bran in the pantry, but if you do, use it as described below. Alternatively, use whatever rice is around.

  • Place 3 or 4 tablespoons of rice bran or rice in ½ a cup of water and let it soak for about 2 – 3 hours. Strain with a cloth and collect the slightly turbid liquid. Soak cotton pads and place over the eyelids.
  • This is very cooling, soothing, and nourishing. Great for puffy and tired eyes.
  • Discard the liquid that is not used within 24 hours.



Careful Application of Make-up – A Quick Fix


Although this is not a treatment, it is a useful trick that can disguise easily disguise puffiness around the eye. This is a favourite of one our team. Thanks for the tip, Floriane!

In fact, you can be quite creative with the use of slightly different toned foundations can give the impression of recessed swelling and cover tired eyes. So this trick will work for a quick fix, while you use the other treatments to gradually decrease the puffiness.



Take Home Message


As you have read above there are a number of contributing factors to getting bags under or eyes or puffy eyes.

These factors range from genetic and ageing that you may have little control over. However, you may be able to adjust some lifestyle habits that will lead to a less stressful work-life balance, more exercise, better diet and care for your body, as well as your skin, your most precious body asset.



With caring for your body and skin come the hydrating and moisturising routines, and if this sounds like a broken record… it isn’t!

Our marketing experts tell us that we need to hear something 7 times before we take cognizance of what is being said, so hydrate… moisturise…

And of course, have fun and take it easy!



Frequently Asked Questions

What are bags under the eyes and why do they occur?


Bags under the eyes refer to the swelling or puffiness that occurs beneath the eyes. They can be caused by various factors such as genetics, allergies, fatigue, sun exposure, and aging.


How are ageing, genetics, allergies, and other factors linked to the formation of eye bags?


Genetics, ageing, allergies, lifestyle, and environmental exposure can all contribute to the formation of eye bags. Ageing with loss of tissue elasticity and firmness leads to sagging skin. Genetics may predispose individuals to have medical conditions that lead to fluid accumulation, and this can also affect the skin tissue around the eyes. Allergies can lead to inflammation and swelling.


Are home treatments effective in mild cases of eye bags?


Yes, you can reduce eye puffiness or bags under your eyes with some home tools and remedies such as the use of frozen teaspoons, frozen coffee cubes, black, white, and green tea pads or bags, cold compresses, and rice bran or rice extract. These remedies can help decreasing the puffiness through reduction of inflammation and constriction of blood vessels.


What is the role of hydration in preventing and reducing eye bags?


Proper hydration plays a crucial role in preventing and reducing eye bags. It helps maintain the elasticity of the skin around the eyes and prevents fluid retention. It is recommended to drink at least five to eight glasses of water a day to stay adequately hydrated.


When should you consult a healthcare professional to treat eye bags?


If you experience significant chronic eye puffiness, you ought to talk to your healthcare professional about the treatment options, depending on the causes.  These treatments could range from those appropriate to deal with a serious physiological condition to those that can be resolved by cosmetic procedures.


What lifestyle changes can be adopted for comprehensive eye bag management?


In addition to using treatments, adopting a healthy lifestyle will contribute to improved eye bag management. This includes good personal hygiene and skincare routines, plenty of sleep, exercise, consuming nourishing foods rich in minerals and vitamins, ensuring adequate iron intake, moderating salt intake, being sensible about alcohol consumption and hydrating at the same time, and if you can, it will be extremely beneficial to quit smoking.





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