Bye, Bye Bags!

Who loves waking up in the morning to saggy, dark bags under their eyes? Yep, uh, no one.

Under-eye bags make us look older, tired, and take away the youthful glow we endlessly aim for.

Before we continue to complain, let’s find out how we even get pesky under-eye bags in the first place…and get rid of ’em.

The most common causes are not drinking enough water, not getting enough sleep or not sleeping with your head elevated. All of these habits, which you might do daily, cause fluid to build up under the eyes, creating bags. If you’re well-hydrated and get quality shut-eye, allergies could be the culprit.

Under-eye skin is super sensitive, so it’s important to consider all the possible irritants that cause bags. Seasonal allergies are the most obvious culprits, but other lesser-known allergies can do just as much damage. In the 2006 New York Times article “Bags Under Eyes,” author C. Claiborne Ray interviewed Dr. Lenore Kakita, assistant professor of dermatology at the University of California at Los Angeles. Kakita said allergies to makeup will irritate eyes, making the skin red and puffy. If you’re thinking you might be reacting to the mascara you use regularly, pick up a hypo-allergenic kind next time.

In extreme cases, due to genetic and problematic under-eye bags, blepharoplasty, surgery to remove excess fat and skin under the eye, is used as treatment, according to the Mayo Clinic.

If you’re eye-bags aren’t surgery-worthy, there are products to reduce puffiness and redness. Though they’re not permanent, they’re a quick fix-me-up. Before shelling out your hard-earned money on creams and products that aren’t guaranteed to work, though, home remedies are certainly an effective option (and college-budget friendly).

Think cold compress, tea bags, cucumber slices or try some not-so-ordinary tricks, as suggested by the Mayo Clinic and  The Guardians’ Lucy Atkins:

  • Acupressure: Nope, no needles. acu-pressure, not -puncture, involves applying pressure to spots on the body that correspond with problem areas. The acupressure point for eyes is located on the mound of your palm right below the index finger. Press this repeatedly to target those under eye bags.
  • You say potato, I say…: Potatoes are used in many cosmetic products as a skin lightener, and help reduce the redness that can accompany under-eye swelling. Place half-moon slices of raw potato on the under eye area for 20 minutes to reveal lighter, brighter skin.
  • Nap it out: If lack of sleep is a culprit, it makes sense that a brief, 15-minute nap can help to refresh your mind and brighten your eyes.

Waking up with dreaded dark circles is never fun, but with healthy lifestyle choices and easy at-home remedies, anyone can say bye-bye to bags.