How to Get Rid of Under Eye Bags According to an Optometrist

Under eye bags can make you look tired, older, and unhealthy. They form for a variety of reasons – genetics, allergies, lack of sleep, sun damage, aging, etc. While you can’t eliminate bags completely, there are many ways to reduce their appearance.

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Determine the Cause

Figuring out what’s causing your eye bags is the first step toward treating them.


For some people, undereye bags run in their family due to inheriting thin, translucent undereye skin. The blood vessels and muscles underneath become visible and create dark circles. If your parents have prominent eye bags, you likely have this genetic predisposition.


Seasonal or environmental allergies can trigger under eye puffiness and darkness. Allergies cause fluid retention and inflammation around the eyes as the body releases histamine. Getting allergy relief will help reduce bags.

Lack of Sleep

Not getting your 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night leads to eye bags. Sleeping flat on your back can make matters worse since fluid pools under the eyes. Use pillows to slightly elevate your head to prevent this.

Sun Damage

Years of sun exposure can thin the undereye skin, damage collagen, and cause discoloration. This makes any blood vessels or hollows more obvious. Always wear sunglasses and hats for protection.


As we get older, our undereye skin naturally loses collagen and elasticity. This causes it to become thinner and more translucent, revealing the veins underneath. Eye bags become more noticeable with age.

Lifestyle Factors

Dehydration, smoking, high sodium diet, and alcohol intake can worsen undereye bags. Drinking more water, reducing sodium, quitting smoking, and limiting alcohol helps.

Use Cold Compresses

Applying anything cold around the eyes will constrict the blood vessels, reducing any puffiness and swelling. Use refrigerated spoons, gel eye masks, tea bags, or cucumber slices. Do this for 10-15 minutes daily.

Apply Eye Creams

Use an eye cream specially formulated to combat bags. Look for ingredients like caffeine to reduce fluid accumulation and peptides to firm skin. Vitamin C, retinol, and niacinamide also help brighten darkness. Gently tap the cream around eyes morning and night.

Get More Sleep

Aim for at least 7 hours of shut eye nightly. Stick to a consistent sleep schedule and avoid screens before bed. Sleep with your head slightly elevated on 2 pillows to prevent fluid pooling under eyes. Getting sufficient high-quality sleep reduces bags.

Drink More Water

Proper hydration reduces salt balance and toxins that cause eye puffiness. Drink 8 glasses of water daily. You can also try cucumber water. The antioxidants in cucumbers may help diminish under eye swelling and darkness.

Reduce Salt Intake

Eating lots of salty, processed foods leads to fluid retention all over your body – including around the eyes. Limit foods with high sodium and increase your intake of potassium-rich foods like bananas to counteract bloating.

Manage Allergies

Use oral antihistamines and allergy eye drops as needed. This prevents the inflammation response that causes swollen, puffy eyes when allergens are present. Keep eyes protected and rinse pollen away if outdoors.

Treatment Products

Specialized masks, serums and rollers that contain caffeine and cooling agents can temporarily reduce eye bag puffiness when used regularly. Some people also have success using hemorrhoid creams or Preparation H under the eyes short term to constrict blood vessels.

Makeup Concealers

Camouflage eye bags naturally using tinted moisturizer, color correcting primers and concealers in peach and yellow tones. Apply sparingly after eye cream. Set with translucent powder to prevent creasing.

Medical Procedures

For severe under eye bags, talk to a dermatologist or plastic surgeon about procedures like lower eyelid blepharoplasty. This surgery removes excess fat through an incision inside the lid. Chemical peels, laser resurfacing and filler injections are other options.

A Redditor’s Struggle with Eye Bags

One 19 year old woman asked for advice about getting rid of her dark circles and under eye bags. She said no matter how much sleep or water she got, the stubborn bags remained. She disliked how they made her look in photos.

Fellow Reddit users offered sympathy and suggestions. Many asked if allergies or anemia could be contributing since she was so young for such severe bags. They advised trying things like cold compresses, caffeine eye creams, color correctors, vetting her current diet and sleep habits, and seeing a doctor.

The woman explained the bags couldn’t be genetic since neither of her parents had them. Commenters recommended specific eye creams with vitamins C and caffeine, eating more produce, eliminating excess salt, and trying fennel seeds. Some even revealed they turn to hemorrhoid cream to temporarily shrink their eye bags before big events!

While the poster was frustrated, many could relate to her cosmetic eye bag woes. The conversation shows that small lifestyle tweaks like drinking more water, managing allergies, and getting enough sleep can really help reduce their appearance. But sometimes finding the right skincare products or procedures is needed to combat stubborn under eye bags.