Dark Circles

Whether from a poor night’s sleep or the ravages of stress, eye bags can contribute to an unhappy, unhealthy appearance. Dark eye circles can prevent you from presenting the world with your brightest, healthiest appearance by making you look old and tired. Some days, you may face your morning reflection only to notice your eyes reveal a lack of self-care. If so, you may be interested in these tips for reducing those puffy eye bags and decreasing the effect of dark circles under your eyes.

14. Treat Underlying Allergies

Treat Underlying Allergies

If you notice your eyes are chronically red, swollen, itchy, or underlined with dark circles, you may want to consider whether you have allergies. When exposed to allergens such as hay fever, pet dander, or dust mites, your nasal passages can become swollen and inflamed. This congestion can result in a purplish color beneath the eyes that resembles bruising. This condition is often termed “allergic shiners”, as the undereye discoloration resembles the bruised effect of a punch to the eye. If you suspect allergies may be affecting your eyes, speak with your doctor about using antihistamines, decongestants, or corticosteroid nasal sprays to treat the allergy. Your eyes will thank you.

13. Decrease Salt in Your Diet

Decrease Salt

An excess of dietary salt can lead to puffiness and bloating in the eye area as well as other parts of your body. Excess salt can also lead to medical problems such as high blood pressure, stroke, and kidney disease. Try decreasing your salt intake by seasoning your food with fresh herbs and spices. Shun energy drinks, which contain high amounts of salt. Avoid canned foods such as soups or vegetables that are factory-packed with salt to prevent bacterial growth and food contamination. Instead, enjoy fresh vegetables and soups you make at home with salt levels you can control.

12. Get Enough Exercise

Get Enough Exercise

Getting enough exercise improves circulation to your body, including to your face. As your skin receives the proper blood supply, it stays healthy and vibrant. This prevents the sagging that can contribute to the appearance of undereye bags. Exercising regularly also helps maintain a proper body weight and keeps your face, and eyes, from becoming puffy and bloated. Facial exercises may also help improve blood flow and tone the muscles of the face. Face yoga involves using the gentle pressure of your fingertips along with facial muscle relaxation to tone and strengthen the muscles of the face.

11. Get Enough Rest


Adequate sleep goes a long way toward supplying your body with the relaxation and restoration it needs for healthy function. While you sleep, your muscles are able to relax, providing relief from the daily stresses of frowning, concentrating, and fighting tension. Additionally, sleep allows your body the chance to restore and rejuvenate tired and worn tissues, including the delicate skin under the eyes. The positive effects of adequate sleep on the neurons of your brain allow you to wake up feeling bright-eyed, clear-headed, and ready to take on the day.

10. Adjust Your Sleep Position

Sleep Position

While sleep is important for keeping your eyes looking fresh and healthy, your sleep position may affect the appearance of undereye bags. Sleeping on your stomach can allow fluids to pool in the undereye area, resulting in eyes that look puffy upon awakening. Try sleeping on your back to allow gravity to drain extra fluid from the area beneath your eyes. If you prefer sleeping on your side, keeping your head elevated with an extra pillow may help prevent fluids from accumulating under your eyes.

Related: The Best Sleep Positions Based on Your Health Needs

9. Flush Out Sinus Congestion

Sinus Congestion

If allergies or a cold contribute to the pressure of sinus congestion beneath your eyes, you may want to irrigate your sinuses. Consider removing mucus and debris from your nasal passages with a clean neti pot filled with a sterile saline solution. To use the neti pot, stand over a sink with your head turned to the side. Next, while breathing through your mouth, gently pour the saline solution into your top nostril. As the fluid passes through the nasal cavity, fluid will drain into the sink from your lower nostril.

8. Remove Eye Makeup at Bedtime

Remove Eye Makeup

Allow the skin around your eyes to breathe by removing eye makeup before bedtime. Makeup can clog your pores and contribute to eye irritation that results in red, puffy eyes. For a natural eye makeup remover that gently removes makeup while moisturizing the skin, try fractionated coconut oil. Fractionated coconut oil is coconut oil that has had long-chain fatty acids removed. This allows it to remain a liquid at room temperature and makes it ideal for use as a makeup remover.

7. Use a Cold Compress or Cucumber Slices

Cucumber Slices

Applying a cold compress to puffy undereye areas can relieve pressure and decrease the inflammation of swollen eye tissues. There are many simple home remedies for undereye swelling. You can keep a pair of spoons in the refrigerator to apply to early morning eye bags or the puffiness that occurs after a long day at work. Applying cool slices of cucumber to the eye area while reclining on the couch somehow feels as luxurious as a trip to the spa. Additionally, tea bags make useful compresses when chilled and placed over the eyes.

Related: 10 Tips for Turning Off Your Brain and Catching Some Sleep

6. Avoid Excessive Sun Exposure

Sun Exposure

You are well aware that overexposure to the UV rays of the sun is damaging to your skin. The delicate tissues under your eyes are also susceptible to sun damage. If you are going to be out in the sun, protect your eyes and the skin around them with a pair of sunglasses that provide UV protection. A hat with a brim will also aid in protecting your face from harmful rays. Additionally, a good facial sunscreen designed for your skin type can protect your skin and keep your eyes looking bright and healthy.

5. Gently Apply Concealer


Sometimes dark eye circles are linked to your genetic makeup. Therefore, even adequate amounts of rest and cold compress applications will not make them go away. In these cases, a good eye concealer can provide the coverage you need to brighten your undereye area. When applying undereye concealer, keep in mind that the fragile tissues beneath your eyes can easily be bruised or damaged. Pat concealer gently onto the skin beneath your eyes using your fingertips. To keep your skin strong and healthy, never rub, pull, or drag on the tissues of this fragile area.

4. Add Collagen-Rich Foods to Your Diet

Rich Foods Diet

Collagen is an important component of skin that keeps it supple and healthy. Skin that has suffered collagen loss is wrinkly and baggy. Consume foods that are rich in collagen in order to provide your body with the tools it needs to keep your skin fresh and resilient. Collagen-rich foods include vegetables, berries, fish, meat, and poultry. Bone broth is a rich source of collagen as well. You can brew up your own bone broth using this Beef Bone Broth recipe from Epicurious.

Related: 12 Foods That May Boost Your Collagen and Revitalize Your Skin

3. Try an Eye Cream

Eye Cream

Eye creams may be effective in preventing signs of aging in undereye tissues. They may contain hyaluronic acid, which keeps the skin hydrated and seals in moisture. Other creams contain retinol, which may promote the regeneration and renewed growth of skin cells. Vitamins C and E are sometimes included in eye creams for their antioxidant properties.

2. Limit Alcohol Use

Limit Alcohol

Excessive alcohol consumption can leave your skin puffy and sagging. Alcohol is dehydrating to the body. As water stores are funneled away from your skin and towards organs such as your kidneys, your face is left dry and bloated. Overindulging in alcohol also deprives your skin of the nutrients it needs to stay healthy and supple. Furthermore, the groggy aftereffects of too much alcohol leave your eyes dull and bleary. Limit your alcohol intake to one drink per day for women or two drinks per day for men to keep your skin healthy and eyes alert.

1. Stop Smoking

Stop Smoking

The irritants in cigarette smoke and nicotine can leave your eyes red, puffy, and irritated. The stimulant effects of nicotine can also prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep. This then contributes to the undereye bags that accompany a restless night. Additionally, smoking prevents proper hydration and important nutrients from reaching your skin. This can result in saggy, lackluster skin and contribute to eye circles and bags.

Related: What Happens to Your Body When You Quit Smoking


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