Picture this. You wake up in the morning, roll out of bed and head to the bathroom to take a shower and get ready for the day ahead. You glance in the mirror as you head to the shower and do a double-take. Good Lord! Is it possible you look even more tired than before you went to bed? Yikes!
For many of us, this is an all too familiar occurrence. Despite our best efforts and intense skincare regime, we still wake up looking tired AF with insane bags under our eyes. Whether they’re so puffy it looks like we’re smuggling marshmallows under there or so dark and purple that it looks like we’ve cried our makeup off, it’s something that absolutely no one looks forward to.
The skin that surrounds our eyes is very delicate. Its thinness makes it more susceptible to changes, so it’s no wonder that people start to visibly age around the eyes first. It’s also why it becomes discoloured and puffy easily. Turns out being thin is not always desirable!
There are many things that contribute to these dark, puffy undereyes, but the main reason is retained fluid that pools underneath the eye sockets. Think of it as bloating for your undereyes.
Wondering what causes this unwelcome affliction? Lack of sleep and stress are two of the greatest offenders. When you don’t get enough restful sleep, your blood vessels dilate. When your blood vessels dilate, you will experience a dark purple tint beneath your eyes, as well as excess fluid in the area. Enter: eye bags and dark circles. Stress, particularly over a long period of time, sends your body into a fight-or-flight mode that sets off body fluid retention. Your mental state sets off a physiological reaction.
And if it’s not either of these reasons? Well, it could also be because of allergies, whether food, environmental or otherwise. Too much alcohol, overconsumption of sugar or excess sodium in the body all cause bloating all over and, most acutely, puffiness beneath the eyes. The same thing happens if you are eating foods you are unknowingly (or knowingly!) allergic to or if you are exposed to environmental allergens like pollen too frequently.
And, finally, it can also be a result of genetics. If you are one of the unlucky people to be born with fat pads under your eyes, no amount of healthy eating or restful sleep can save you from the terror of puffy, dark undereyes. These will also get worse with age, so if these are causing your strife, you will have to consult with a doctor about removal.
But what about the rest of us? How do we get rid of those pesky eye bags?
The easiest way to send them packing is to make some lifestyle changes. Adjust your sleep habits to ensure you have proper sleep hygiene. The rest will do wonders. Think about cutting back on salty and sugary foods. And make sure you’re drinking enough water. It’s also worth getting tested for allergies to find out what factors could be contributing to the situation.
Another option is to opt for lymphatic drainage. The lymphatic system flushes toxins out of the body through lymph fluid, which can become stagnant, causing swelling. Add body brushing and face rolling to your routine. This will get the juices flowing and help reduce any puffiness. You can also visit a masseuse who specialises in lymphatic massage to see the greatest change in the swelling.
And, finally, you can also invest in some topicals that can make a difference. Look for creams that contain caffeine, as it stimulates circulation and constricts blood vessels. Products containing sweet fern are also useful, as it is a lymphatic-stimulating active.
With a combination of these tricks, you can send those bags packing in the blink of an eye! Here’s to feeling and looking like Sleeping Beauty.