Although there are countless products on the market which claim to help de-puff and lighten the area under the eyes, they don’t always work.
Drinking more water and applying a cold compress can help shrink eye bags quickly, but the only way to reduce their appearance in the long term is to make a few lifestyle changes. This is especially true if your eye bags and dark circles are genetically inherited.
Apply tea bags
Tea isn’t just for sipping. You can actually use caffeinated tea bags under your eyes to help with dark circles and bags.
The caffeine in the tea contains powerful antioxidants and may increase blood flow to your skin. It’s also said to protect against UV rays and potentially slow the aging process.
Green tea, in particular, has been touted by researchers for its potential anti-inflammatory effects, as shown in one study.
To do this:
- Steep two tea bags for 3 to 5 minutes.
- Let the tea bags chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes.
- Then, squeeze out the extra liquid and apply to your under-eye area.
- Leave the tea bags on for 15 to 30 minutes.
Use a cold compress
Toss out those pricey creams. Relief from dark circles may be as simple as using a cold compress you make using materials you already own. Applying cold to the area can help the blood vessels constrict quickly for some temporary relief.
Although you can purchase a cold compress at the store, do-it-yourself methods can work just as well.
Some DIY options include a:
- chilled teaspoon
- cool cucumber
- wet washcloth
- bag of frozen veggies
Before applying, wrap your compress with a soft cloth to protect your skin from getting too frosty. You only need to apply the compress for a few minutes to see results.
Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight. Given this, it may not be surprising that dehydration can contribute to under-eye bags. Upping your water intake should help.
How much is enough? Experts recommend drinking around 13 cups of fluids a day for men, and about 9 cups of fluids for women, per day.
Don’t like water? The good news is that all fluids count toward your daily total. Still, water is a low-calorie option. Try sparkling waters, flavored waters, or even water infused with fruit. Hot or cold herbal decaffeinated tea is another good choice.
If you consistently notice dark circles under your eyes, it might be time to rethink your skincare regime, says Dr Mahto: “Switch harsher cleanses, which tend to irritate the delicate skin in the area, with a hydrating, gentle one instead.
“Also, if you suspect allergies are exacerbating your under-eye circles, visit your dermatologist, who may be able to prescribe antihistamines, mild topical steroids and recommend patch allergy testing,” she advises.
“You need to get enough sleep!” says Dr Mahto. “Loss of sleep results in lacklustre skin and a sallow complexion.”
If that’s not an excuse to go to bed early, we don’t know what is.