It's difficult to present a picture of good health if you look tired and worn out. In addition to creating a weary appearance, under-eye bags and dark circles can lower your self-esteem and age you prematurely. Under-eye puffiness can develop for an array of reasons and may appear consistently, even if you're well rested. Understanding why your eye area can become problematic and employing commonsense techniques can offer relief for your tired, baggy eyes.
Fight eye bags via prevention. Reduce or remove salt, caffeine and alcohol from your diet, as these can cause fluid buildup in the delicate eye area. Elevate your head when you sleep to help remove water from your face, and exercise regularly to keep fluid retention at bay. Opt for a brisk walk or an aerobic workout that will stimulate your circulation.
Stay hydrated to curtail pockets of puffiness beneath your eyes. Even though fluid retention causes puffy eyes, lessening your water intake doesn't help -- your body needs water to flush unsightly fluid buildup from your system. Drinking plenty of water also helps minimize gravity’s sagging effects by hydrating your interior layers of skin, according to FoxNews.com. Drink at least 64 oz. of water a day.
Discuss potential medical causes with your doctor. While tired, baggy eyes typically result from normal fluid retention, age or genetics, persistent or sudden eye puffiness may indicate an underlying health issue -- especially if it's accompanied by additional symptoms. Allergies, kidney disorders, infections and vitamin deficiencies from food intolerance, such as celiac disease, may lead to chronic puffy eyes and dark under-eye shadows. Watch for redness, itching, pain or swelling in other areas of your body -- seek medical attention if you experience such symptoms, recommends MayoClinic.com.
Apply cool topical treatments to your tired eyes. Keep a good quality gel mask in the fridge as part of your eye-bag defense equipment. Apply it in 15 minute intervals to constrict blood vessels and minimize swelling. Apply chilled cucumber slices or cooled tea bags to your eyes if you don't own a gel mask. Use tea with caffeine, which helps shrink puffy skin, or select chamomile tea for its soothing properties.
Apply an eye cream that contains vitamin A, retinol or collagen-building properties. Consult a dermatologist for prescription-strength treatments or advice on selecting products. Avoid using makeup that's too light for your skin tone --you'll only highlight the baggy area and draw attention to your tired eyes. Use concealer that matches your skin tone.
Don't aggravate the delicate area around your eyes. Use light-weight creams.
Avoid rubbing your eyes.
Follow up with a dermatologist if your tired, baggy eyes don't improve. In certain cases -- particularly when eye bags result from genetics or aging -- cosmetic surgery is the only way to get rid of eye bags.