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Get Rid of Your Under-Eye Bags for Good!

We've all been there. After a late night or maybe too much sun, you wake with under-eye bags so big it seems like they may never disappear. Under-eye bags and dark circles are unfortunate plights that affect us all.


But the good news is that they don't have to! We've compiled our favorite tips and tricks to ridding your under-eye circles for good.


Under-eye circles 101:


Under-eye bags are a type of mild swelling that occurs in the skin below the eyes. Understanding the layout of the skin below your eyes is important in knowing how and why your undereye bags are developing.


The skin beneath the eyes is separated into three valleys:

  1. The tear trough

  2. The eyelid crease hollow

  3. Zygomatic hollow

There are also four hills under your eyes, these include:

  1. The orblaris roll

  2. The orbital fat bag

  3. The fluid bag

  4. The malar mound


As fat and muscles change and shift with aging, their placement on these valleys and hills will change the surface appearance of the under-eye. This is why as you age, deeper eye bags may begin to develop. But, the different hills and valleys can also change throughout the day or week.


For example,

  • The fat bag may swell slowly over time. This is because the fat bag is most impacted by the sagging of aging muscles and gravity. Genetics can also play a role in how your fat bag swells.

  • The fluid bag tends to vary from day to day. The fluid bag shifts more quickly due to the great impact of inflammation caused by fluid retention from your diet, allergies, lack of sleep, and stress.

The undereye bags you’re most familiar with are likely due to the fluid bag. In the following section, when we cover the causes of under-eye bags, that is the region we will be referring to the most. And later, when we discuss how to cure your under-eye bags, that is the region we will be targeting.


Causes of under-eye bags:


The bags under your eyes can be caused by a multitude of different factors. The most common include:

  • Sleep issues → As you sleep, fluid will settle in the tissues beneath the eyes (in the fluid bag). Too little sleep can cause your blood vessels to leak and subsequently mix with those fluids, leading to dark circles.

  • Too much sun → Too much sun exposure will damage skin cells and the collagen that keeps the skin under your eyes firm. Over time, this will cause your under-eyes to sag.

  • Allergies and sinus problems → Allergies can not only stuff up your nose, but also the sinus tissue. This can lead to under-eye puffiness.

  • Alcohol use → Alcohol dehydrates the body. When your body is dehydrated, the skin under the eyes becomes weak and deflated, causing bags to form.

  • A diet high in salt → Eating too much salty food will cause your body to retain fluid. One place this fluid collects is under your eyes in the fluid bags.

  • Not taking off your makeup → Wearing your makeup throughout the night can trigger swelling and inflammation, which will cause your under-eye bags to swell.

  • Aging → As you age, tissues and muscles weaken throughout the body. Further, the fat that naturally supports the eyes can sink into your under-eyes over time. This will make them appear swollen.

How to get rid of under-eye bags:


Luckily, you don’t necessarily have to resort to cosmetic procedures like fillers to fix your under-eye bags. We’ve compiled our favorite (and natural) ways to get rid of those pesky under-eye bags:


Quick Fixes:


Put on a cold compress:


Cooling down the swollen areas under your eyes will help to reduce blood flow to the area, which will, in turn, reduce swelling and inflammation. While cold compresses made specifically for under-eyes are available, you can also make your own at home!


Home-made cold compresses can be made of:

  • An ice pack

  • A frozen bag of veggies

  • Cold cucumber slices

  • Chilled spoons

Just be sure you wrap your compress with a soft cloth to prevent your skin from getting too cold.


Clear out your sinuses with a neti pot:


Many swear that using a neti pot to clear out your sinuses can help to reduce under-eye dark circles and bags. Using a neti pot will irrigate your sinuses, removing mucus and other debris.


Here’s how to do it:

  1. Fill your neti pot with ½ teaspoon salt and 1 cup of water. Heat the water to dissolve the salt. Lukewarm or warm water is best for comfort.

  2. Tilt your head sideways over a sink. Place the spout into the upper nostril, the one closest to the ceiling.

  3. Breath through your mouth as you gently pour the neti pot into the nostril. The solution should drain out through the other side.

  4. Flip your head the other way and repeat.

  5. Rinse your neti pot out and air dry before storing.

Apply tea bags:


Yep! Tea isn’t just for sipping. Caffeinated tea bags are actually a great way to help reduce bags and dark circles. When you place tea bags underneath your eyes, the antioxidants in the caffeine within the tea will increase blood flow to your skin. Some believe that it can also slow the aging process.


Caffeinated green tea is the best to use for under-eye bags, given its anti-inflammatory effects.


Here’s how to do it:

  1. Steep 2 tea bags for around 4 minutes

  2. Let the tea with the bags chill in the refrigerator for 20 minutes

  3. Remove the bags from the tea and squeeze out excess liquid

  4. Place tea bags under your eyes

  5. Leave them on for 20-30 minutes


Keep your head elevated while you sleep:


Adding an extra pillow or two under your head can be a great way to decrease the likelihood of waking up with dark under-eye circles or heavy bags. Elevating your head at night will help prevent the pooling of fluid in your lower eyelids that can lead to puffiness in the morning.


If propping up your head doesn’t work for you, you can try elevating the entire top half of your bed. Put a couple of bricks under your bedposts or buy bed risers made for this reason.


Long-term solutions:


Wear sunscreen on your face every day:


We should all be wearing sunscreen every day, in an effort to prevent dermatological issues like premature aging and spots, and more serious damage like skin cancer. Too much sun exposure can also exacerbate your under-eye bags and dark circles.


When buying sunscreen, be sure to look for organic sunscreen with the fewest ingredients possible that is around 30 SPF. Make sure you’re also buying new sunscreen every year- it does expire! Click here to see our guide on the best summer sunscreens.


In addition to wearing sunscreen every day, taking Heliocare is another great way to keep your skin protected from the sun. Heliocare is a powerful antioxidant formula that will protect your cells against harmful free radicals that can lead to early aging skin and decrease your skin’s plasticity. To learn more about Heliocare, click here!


Drink more water!


Staying hydrated is an important part of keeping your skin looking young and healthy. As mentioned earlier, dehydration can lead to under-eye bags and dark circles. So, adding an extra glass of water or two a day to your intake should help decrease those pesky bags.


Sleep more:


You should shoot for at least 8 hours of sleep at night. While getting too little sleep may not actually make your under-eye bags worse, it may make your complexion paler. This will make those dark circles under your eyes look even darker.


To get more sleep at night, try perfecting your sleep hygiene. Our top tips for your best night of sleep are:

  • Increase bright light in the day

  • Reduce blue light in the evening

  • Avoid caffeine in the afternoon

  • Don’t take long or irregular daytime naps

  • Avoid alcohol at night

  • Keep your bedroom cool

  • Try to only exercise in the daytime

Eat foods rich in collagen:


As described above, as you age, the muscles and tissues that support your eyelids will begin to weaken. This means that the skin may start to sag, including the fat that usually stays around your eyes.


Increasing the amount of vitamin C you get on the daily can help your body absorb more hydraulic acid (an essential acid that decreases with age). Foods rich in vitamin C and amino acids can help your body produce more collagen. This will boost your levels of hydraulic acid and give your skin a refresh.


Foods that are high in vitamin C include:

  • Red peppers

  • Kale

  • Broccoli

  • Strawberries

  • Oranges

  • Brussel sprouts

Cut back on salty foods:


As we talked about earlier, eating too much salt can make your body retain fluid. One place this fluid is stored is in your under-eye region. This will make your bags and dark circles worse.


The American Heart Association recommends consuming around 2,300 mg or less of salt each day. But ideally, you should consume no more than 1,500 mg a day. Milligrams can be hard to measure, so we broke it down into teaspoons:

  • ¼ tsp = 575 mg sodium

  • ½ tsp = 1,150 mg sodium

  • ¾ tsp = 1,725 mg sodium

  • 1 tsp = 2,300 mg sodium

One easy way to cut back on salty foods is by avoiding processed foods in favor of organic, whole foods. This is because processed and fast foods tend to be higher in salt.


Try taking Magnesium Glycinate:


Magnesium has a reputation for being somewhat of a miracle supplement. This is likely because so over half of Americans are deficient in the nutrient. Magnesium will help to protect your skin from external damage- due to its role in cellular regeneration and repair, increasing skin recovery and strength.


Beyond ridding your skin of under-eye bags and circles, magnesium glycinate offers a number of other benefits. These include:

  • Relieves anxiety

  • Reduces symptoms of PMS

  • Boosts exercise performance

  • Manages blood sugar

  • Promotes bone health

If you’re unsure about supplementing, you can always add more magnesium to your diet through foods like:

  • Pumpkin seeds

  • Almonds

  • Peanuts

  • Spinach

  • Cashews

  • Black beans

  • Dark chocolate

  • Avocados

No one likes to wake up in the morning with dark under-eye circles or bags. And you don’t have to! We hope this guide will help you wake up looking refreshed every morning.


For more information about Magnesium Glycinate, click here to contact us! Or, contact our office directly at johnsoncenter.inquiry@gmail.com.


The Johnson Center for Health services patients in-person in our Blacksburg and Virginia Beach / Norfolk locations. We also offer telemedicine for residents of Virginia and North Carolina!


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