BuzzFeed may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page if you decide to shop from them. All products were independently selected by our editors, and the prices were accurate and items in stock at the time of publication.
They say that eyes are the window to the soul, and you want your soul to give off a bright, vibrant aura, right?
That’s one reason why eye bags can be a real vibe killer. Even when you’re running on empty and you know those puffy dark circles are the result, having someone say you look tired doesn’t feel good.
The thing is that under-eye puffiness can happen, whether you’re sleepy or not, especially as you age. However, that doesn’t mean you’re doomed to a life of being told you need to get some rest.
There are treatments and products that can help zap away the dark circles and puffiness. Here are some good options for getting rid of eye bags, according to experts.
What causes bags under the eyes?
There are many factors that can contribute to eye bags, according to Dr. Rachel Nazarian, a board-certified dermatologist in New York City.
Some people can have a herniated fat pad, which is a bulge of tissue that happens due to a combination of genetics and aging. The other part of the problem is that the skin on your face thins as you get older, so it’s not going to hold things in place as well.
“The wall is becoming softer, so things can pouch out more,” she said. “If you have healthy, elastic, strong facial skin, it’ll end up holding in that stuff better.”
Aside from that, there are other things that contribute to occasional puffiness around the eyes, including how you sleep, what you eat or drink, and other lifestyle factors.
“When people find that they sleep on their stomach, or they have a high-sodium meal, or they have a lot of alcohol, you can actually just pool more fluid there,” she said. That means changing those factors may help reduce eye bags, and they may get better and worse depending on those circumstances.
Nazarian said that it’s important for people to know all of the possible contributors so they are better equipped to choose the right path forward.
How to get rid of bags under eyes
If you have persistent puffiness or discoloration, there are more intensive treatments like surgery, filler, and laser treatments, Nazarian said.
If you want a more affordable and less invasive solution, products like eye creams and serums can help. When choosing one of those, you should look for specific dermatologist-recommended ingredients.
“Caffeine works well because it actually does immediately decrease puffiness,” Nazarian said. “It’s like a vasoconstrictor, so it kind of clamps down some of the vessels that deal with the puffiness from what you’re eating a lot of the time.”
If you have herniated fat pads, a product with caffeine may help a bit, but it’ll work best in combating fluid retention related to diet or lack of sleep. It’s the best ingredient to address that whole category of lifestyle factors, Nazarian said.
Aside from caffeine, she recommends looking for products with specific ingredients like peptides and retinols, which are derived from vitamin A. This combination should help strengthen the tissue itself and improve elasticity while still being gentle enough for such a sensitive area.
The goal is to improve the health of the tissue so that the wall is a little bit stronger and can push against the fat pad a little bit better, Nazarian said.
There are tons of products with ingredients like these on the market, so finding what works best for your skin or gives you optimal results may involve some trial and error. To kick off your search, here are some great eye creams and products to keep your eyes (and soul) looking sprightly.