I don’t care if your name is Hugh Jackman, we’ve all had days where our eyes look like they didn’t make it out of bed, even if you did. Bags under your eyes make you look tired, worn out, and generally off your game. For a lazy Sunday it’s fine, but for work presentations or client meetings, it’s far from ideal.
The good news is they’re no cause for alarm. Under-eye puffiness, as it’s also known, doesn’t point to medical attention. It’s actually just your body retaining fluids, and generally the result of actually consuming too much fluid, excess salt in your diet or not looking after your sleep or energy over a short period of time. Seasonal allergies and skin conditions like eczema also impact add to the dark circles, and some of it is (unfortunately) is just caused by good old-fashioned genetics.
But before you pick up the phone to yell at your parents, understand that there are ways to remove bags under your eyes. With some easy lifestyle changes, habits and diet choices, you can keep your face looking fresher for longer. Here are our tips to get you back on top and winning again in the face department.
- Eat less salt
Salt is a killer for more reasons than one. It can mess with your blood pressure, but sodium also contributes to excess water retention which creates puffiness. The impact is small but definitely big enough to observe, especially if you’ve just woken up after a salty dinner. If you see the bags forming, lay off sodium-rich foods like pizza and soup, and eat more vegetables for a few days. The bags will go down quickly, we promise.
- Lay off alcohol & cigarettes
We hate to say it, but those weekend beers are dehydrating you which causes fluid build-up. There’s no cause for panic, though. You don’t have to go alcohol-free to reduce that sunken eye look. If your face looks like a headline act at soundwave, try reaching for the soft drink for a couple of days. Cigarettes, on the other hand, dry out skin and speed up ageing. They create faster wrinkles and a hollow look – neither of which you’re going for.
- Look after your allergies
If you have a string of allergies that flare up from time to time, you’ll already be acquainted with the puffy eye effect. Stay on top of any seasonal allergies you might have for a fresher looking face. Essential Oils can offer surprisingly good relief, as does good medication and some over the counter products like allergy sprays. Just monitor it closely to stop it becoming a downer.
- Cool it down – fast
Cold temperatures can ease eye puffiness and swelling, especially as a result of allergies or even insect bites. They shift the excess fluid and bring colour back to normal. Use a cold pack, cucumber slices, cold spoons, frozen pea packs or any item from the freezer. Anything will work as long as it brings the temperature down. Give it 10-15 minutes to see a difference.
- Treat them with a Neti-Pot
Neti-pots are an ancient remedy found in most health food stores. It looks like a small teapot and used mostly for drying up excess moisture from sinuses as a result of a nasty cold or flu. It’s also great for removing eye puffiness fast. Just pour the salt water up one nostril, and let it drain from the other side. Strange, yes. But very, very effective.
- Focus on a good night sleep
Sleep is important to removing eye bags for two reasons. Firstly, you might want to consider changing your sleep position if you’re usually on your sides or front. Lying on your back works to stop gravity drawing extra fluid into your eyes during the night. Bags also occur when, as you might have guessed, you just don’t get enough sleep. If it’s a once-off you can probably get away with it, but regular discolouring may require an early bed time for a week until your eyes look vibrant again.
Give these tips a go to combat those bags under your eyes and keep you looking fresher for longer. You’ll not only appear energised, healthier and on the ball, but you’ll get more second tinder dates too. Who can pass that up?