What Causes Bags Under Your Eyes?
Bags under your eyes aren't always caused by getting too little sleep at night, contrary to what many people believe. They can be caused by factors that differ from one person to another. According to a 2007 study:
"DC (dark circles) are caused by multiple etiologic factors that include dermal melanin deposition, post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation secondary to atopic or allergic contact dermatitis, periorbital edema, superficial location of vasculature and shadowing due to skin laxity."
Puffiness and bags under the eyes that appear in the morning may be caused by your sleeping position. Sleeping only on one side places pressure on the blood vessels under your eyes. The pool of blood that accumulates in this area makes the skin appear darker. According to Medical News Today, buildup of excess fluid and weakened muscles may cause dark bags under the eyes as well.
Stress may also contribute to the appearance of dark circles. In Chinese medicine, having puffy eyes can be a symptom of water or kidney imbalance, while dark bags under the eyes may imply allergies.
5 Diet Changes You Can Try that May Help
1. Drink enough water — Staying hydrated will help restore your skin’s moisture and may help eliminate toxins from it.
2. Avoid salty food — Sodium contributes to fluid retention, which causes bags under eyes. Cutting down on your salt intake at night is one way to reduce bags under eyes and puffiness in the morning.
3. Add retinol-rich food to your diet — Retinol or vitamin A helps prevent further thinning of the skin. Nourish the skin under your eyes by adding food rich in retinol such as grass fed beef liver, cheddar cheese, pasture-raised chicken giblets, turkey liver, grass fed butter and organic, pastured eggs to your diet.
4. Reduce or avoid alcohol intake — Alcohol is one of the fluids that can dehydrate your body, including the skin under the eyes. This thin area may likely sink and form a bag. If you do imbibe in alcohol, be sure to balance it with at least 8 cups of water throughout the day.
5. Consume vitamin C-rich food — A 2009 study found that vitamin C from sodium ascorbate lotion may help thicken the skin of the lower eyelids. The results showed that dark coloration is significantly diminished when the dermis has thickened. Reduce the appearance of bags under your eyes by adding foods rich in vitamin C such mango, papaya, pineapple, watermelon, broccoli, tomatoes, green and red bell peppers, strawberries and winter squash to your diet.
5 Possible Topical Remedies for Bags Under Your Eyes
1. Moisturize — Wrinkles and bags under the eyes become more visible when your skin is dry. Keep your skin well-moisturized, especially around the eyes, by using all-natural moisturizers such as pure emu oil and pure coconut oil.
2. Use Brazilian ginseng — A 2009 study found that topically applying a serum sample containing Brazilian ginseng twice a day may help reduce the intensity of dark circles around the eyes.
3. Opt for eye creams with coffee extracts — A 2013 study found that caffeine has antioxidant properties that may work as a sunscreen. These polyphenol compounds protect the skin from UVB radiation, which may help prevent rapid skin aging.
4. Use a safe sunscreen and wear sunglasses — Though sun exposure is vital in achieving optimal health, you must consider factors such as weather conditions, season and time of the day when you stay under the sun to avoid photodamage and the appearance of wrinkles.
According to a 2013 study, using a broad spectrum sunscreen and wearing UV-coated sunglasses may help reduce bags under the eyes. However, in choosing a sunscreen, make sure that it doesn’t contain oxybenzone, synthetic fragrances or retinyl palmitate; your safest choice is a lotion or cream with zinc oxide. You may also wear a wide-brimmed hat or a cap to protect your face and eyes.
5. Gently remove your makeup — Excessively scrubbing your face may break your blood vessels, which may worsen the bags under your eyes. Avoid this by gently swiping some mild makeup remover over your eyes (coconut oil is a good option) and leaving it on your face for a minute before washing it off.
The entire article is written by Dr. Mercola and summarized above for a quick read. For all research links & sources - click here