If you struggle with dark, heavy under eye bags then you know how frustrating it can be to attempt to cover them up as you work to find a solution to limit their appearance on your skin. While some under eye bags are genetic and no skincare ingredient or beauty trick will help to diminish them, there are cases in which dark circles and bags can be remedied, depending on the cause. We checked in with board-certified fellowship-trained cosmetic dermatologist Patrick M. Zito, DO, PharmD for his four best tips on reducing non-genetic eye bags and brightening your appearance, and it all comes down to determining the cause.
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Get Plenty Of Sleep
If stress or a busy schedule is causing you to skimp on sleep, this could be a leading factor in the appearance of your under eye circles. Not getting enough sleep can make your eyes appear puffy due to the dilation of your blood vessels, and prioritizing sleep moving forward can help to negate this. “Make sure you are getting enough sleep and adequate rest. Rest can sometimes reduce the appearance of bags,” notes Zito. However if you find yourself getting plenty of sleep but still waking up puffy, not all hope is lost. “Cold compresses in the morning or before bedtime will help constrict the blood vessels temporarily,” he adds.
Check For Allergens
Sometimes it’s actually the products you’re using that are to blame for puffiness and eye bags, so staying aware of inflammatory reactions on the skin can help to pinpoint their ultimate cause. “The best way to treat puffy eyes is to determine if the puffiness is fluid, allergies, fat herniation, skin redundancy, or a local reaction to eye cream,” suggests Zito. “Eyelid dermatitis can cause puffy eyes and can be caused by aerosolized allergens and most commonly from fingernail polish when one rubs their eyelids,” he notes. With this, being cautious and making sure to patch test each new skincare formula on your arm before applying it to your face will limit puffiness and eye bags due to allergic reaction.
Limit Sodium Intake
Your diet is intricately linked to your appearance, and an eating plan high in salt has the potential to cause your body to hold onto water, leading to bloating and puffiness even around the eyes. “Limit excess sodium and high sodium-containing meals. However, maintain adequate hydration,” suggests Zito. Drinking plenty of water will help to offset your sodium consumption, reducing the impact a salty meal can have on your appearance, particularly when it comes to under eye bags. And yes, that means skipping the bowl of chips or popcorn before bed in the name of clearer, brighter looking skin.
Skip The Scent
Products with a strong fragrance may be pleasing to the senses, but less so to your skin. In fact, eye bags can actually be caused by scented skin care products, creating a negative reaction on the surface of your skin. “In general, I recommend bland eyelid creams without fragrance and reactive preservatives to avoid potential contact dermatitis of the eyelids and periorbital area,” suggests Zito. This will help to reduce the risk of allergens, making your skincare products concentrated with more effective ingredients, rather than fragrance.