Millions of people suffer from puffy bags or dark circles under their eyes, which can make a person look older, tired, or ill. They may be caused by everything from lack of sleep to allergies, or even a poor diet.

Below are some tried and true tips, both long and short term, for reducing the appearance of these unsightly under-eye bags and circles.

1. Stay Hydrated

One of the primary causes of puffiness under the eyes is salt retention. Eating salty foods, crying, or drinking beverages such as coffee or alcohol can all cause salt water to collect beneath the eyes. The best way to combat these symptoms is to increase water consumption throughout the day, which has plenty of other health benefits as well. Try to drink eight glasses of water each day.

2. Apply Something Cold

Many people have probably heard of using chilled cucumber slices, spoons, teabags, and more as a quick cure for under-eye bags and circles. The important part is that they are cold–almost anything will work. The cool temperature restricts blood vessels beneath the eyes, which reduces swelling and stops the blood from pooling and creating dark circles.

Video blogger, Khichi, has her own recipe for removing dark circles. Check it out!

 

3. Treat Any Allergies or Congestion

Seasonal allergies, colds, and sinus congestion can aggravate blood vessels around the eyes and nose, in addition to causing redness, swelling, or fluid buildup. Allergies should be treated with medication, either over the counter or prescription, and congested sinuses can be cleared by using a neti pot.

4. Change Your Sleeping Habits

People that sleep on their stomach or sides may find themselves more prone to puffiness or bags due to blood and other fluids collecting beneath the eyes during the night. Sleeping on your back, preferably with an extra pillow, can significantly reduce the appearance of these blemishes by allowing fluids to drain while sleeping. In addition, make an effort to get at least seven or eight hours of uninterrupted sleep each night.

5. Take Care of Your Skin

The skin around your eyes and nose is fairly thin, so it is important to keep it from being damaged or weakened. Avoid sleeping in makeup, which can irritate the skin. Use moisturizes to improve skin elasticity, and apply sunscreen–or wear sunglasses–when appropriate, as UV rays can thin out the skin even more.

6. Make Dietary Changes

Eating a more balanced and healthy diet can make a very large difference when it comes to treating under-eye bags or rings. Certain vitamins, such as C, E, and K, along with iron and folic acid, can improve the appearance of these blemishes. This means eating more leafy green vegetables and a variety of fruits, especially citrus and berries. Cutting out sodium-heavy foods can also help reduce salt retention.

Hear Michelle Phan’s great summary of how to keep dark circles away…

 

For anyone suffering from dark rings or bags beneath their eyes, the above strategies may be all that is necessary to reduce or eliminate them once and for all. If nothing seems to work, consider speaking with a physician to determine if there is not some more serious cause behind it, or whether the issue may be hereditary.