5 Reasons You Have Bags Under Your Eyes (And 15 Steps You Can Take to Get Rid of Them)
Under eye bags are a common concern for women-of-color. They often cause us to look older…and dare we say it…at times…haggard.
While under-eye bags can be attributed to various factors, their prevalence in women-of-color stems from a combination of these 5 key reasons.
Here are some key reasons women-of-color develop under eye bags:
- Genetics – Our genetic makeup dictates a lot of what we inherit, including pesky under eye bags. The more melanin in our skin, the more pronounced dark under eye circles and bags can become due to the hyperpigmentation that can occur in this area.
- Thin under eye skin – Our melanin and tendency to have hyperpigmentation under our eyes also contributes to the appearance of under eye bags in an area where everyone’s skin is already thinner and more delicate.
- Loss of collagen – As we age, we all lose collagen and with it, elasticity in
- Missed sleep – As we’ve mentioned in other articles, beauty sleep for women-of-color is vitally important. Lack of adequate sleep is a catalyst for under eye bags. When we don't catch enough Zzz's, our body tends to retain fluid, especially around the eyes. This fluid retention leads to puffiness and swelling, accentuating under eye bags and making them a prominent feature on our lovely faces.
- Allergies - Ah, the joy of allergies! Beyond the sneezing and sniffles, allergies can cause inflammation and puffiness around your eyes. Allergic reactions and sinus problems can create a swelling effect that emphasizes the appearance of under eye bags, leaving us looking a bit more tired and puffy than we'd like.
The good news is, I’ve got 15 ways that you can fight back against under-eye bags. Let’s get started:
1. Get your rest: Getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night is vital to allow your body to repair and rejuvenate. During sleep, your body regulates fluid balance, reducing the fluid retention that contributes to puffiness around your eyes. Lack of sleep can lead to blood vessel dilation and increased swelling, making your under eye bags even more noticeable.
If you haven’t read our Ultimate Beauty Sleep Guide for Women-of-Color, you should.
2. Hydrate: Drinking an ample amount of water helps keep the body hydrated, aids in toxin removal, and prevents fluid retention. Proper hydration supports healthy skin function and reduces the appearance of puffiness by preventing water retention.
The amount of water you should drink each day can vary based on several factors, including age, sex, weight, activity level, and climate. However, a commonly recommended guideline suggests consuming eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day or 64 total ounces.
3. Eat healthy: Consuming a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, and antioxidants provides essential nutrients for your skin’s health.
Antioxidants help fight free radicals, supporting collagen production and skin elasticity, which can reduce the appearance of your under eye bags.
4. Eye serums: Using eye serums formulated with ingredients like vitamin C, hyaluronic acid, and retinol helps hydrate and firm the under eye area.
Vitamin C brightens the skin, hyaluronic acid retains moisture, and retinol promotes collagen production, improving skin texture and reducing puffiness.
5. Cold compress: Applying a cold compress or chilled cucumber slices constricts blood vessels and reduces inflammation.
This technique decreases swelling and tightens the skin around your eyes, diminishing the appearance of puffiness.
6. Tea bags: Placing cooled tea bags, particularly green or black tea bags, over closed eyes can decrease swelling and improve circulation.
The antioxidants and tannins in tea help constrict blood vessels, reducing puffiness and dark circles.
7. Sun protection: Protecting the delicate skin around your eyes from harmful UV rays by wearing sunscreen and sunglasses prevents sun damage that can exacerbate under eye bags and dark circles.
8. Avoid rubbing your eyes: Refraining from rubbing your eyes is crucial. Rubbing your eyes can worsen inflammation and break delicate blood vessels. This can increase the appearance of bags and dark circles under your eyes.
Also, remember to pat gently when applying skin care products around your eyes.
9. Limit salt intake: Excess salt can lead to water retention, contributing to puffiness around your eyes.
Cutting back on salty foods can help reduce fluid accumulation and minimize under eye bags.
10. Under eye masks: Using under eye masks containing ingredients like aloe vera or cucumber extract can soothe and rejuvenate your under eye skin.
These masks provide hydration and calming effects, reducing puffiness and revitalizing your under eye area.
11. Facial exercises: Engaging in gentle facial exercises can improve circulation and tone the muscles around your eyes, helping to reduce puffiness and promote a more lifted appearance.
One simple exercise you can do, that doesn’t require you to touch your delicate eye area is the “Eye Squeeze.” To do the Eye Squeeze:
i. Close your eyes tightly and squeeze them shut for a few seconds.
ii. Release and open your eyes wide, raising your eyebrows at the same time.
iii. Repeat this "squeeze and open" motion several times to work the muscles around your eyes.
12. Cooling eye gels/ rollers: Investing in cooling eye gels or rollers helps reduce puffiness and soothes your under eye area.
The cooling sensation can constrict blood vessels and decrease swelling, providing immediate relief.
13. Proper makeup removal: Thoroughly removing makeup before bed prevents irritation and inflammation that can exacerbate under eye bags.
Leaving makeup on overnight can clog pores and lead to puffiness and skin irritation.
14. Eye hydration: Besides drinking water, using hydrating eye drops can keep your eyes moisturized, reducing dryness and minimizing the appearance of under eye bags caused by dehydration.
15. Consult a dermatologist: If under eye bags persist despite home remedies, consult a dermatologist. Dermatologists can provide personalized treatment options such as laser therapy, fillers, or prescription creams to address stubborn under eye bags.
There you have it, 5 Reasons You Have Bags Under Your Eyes (And 15 Steps You Can Take to Get Rid of Them).
And, always… Love Your Brown Skin®
Please note – for the purpose of Skin Care: We use Black skin, Brown skin, and skin-of-color interchangeably when discussing people-of-color. When we use the term people-of-color, we intend to mean those whose skin tone is not White and who are Black, Hispanic, Asian, Native American, Mediterranean, Pacific Islander, or of Middle Eastern descent.