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Bags under eyes - causes, and how you might get rid of them

Bags under the eyes are an inevitable part of ageing. But they can change our appearance and can become increasingly difficult to hide with creams and concealers.

While your lifestyle can affect how prominent your eye bags are, there are a few things you can do to help get rid of the bags under your eyes if they concern you.

Learn more about how you can tighten and tone eye bags with selfologi.

Find a clinic or practitioner near you and enjoy a risk-free booking process thanks to free in-clinic consultations and the option to pay in-clinic. Also, you can now split the cost of your treatment into four equal, interest-free instalments using Tabby.

What are bags under eyes – and what are the symptoms?

Bags under eyes affect the lower eyelid skin, making them appear swollen and puffy.

  • In small percentage of population, the bags are hereditary, while in majority they appear as a sign of aging.
  • As you get older, your eyelid muscles weaken – allowing fluid and fat to get into your eyelids. As this causes the eyelids to sag, the skin can form visible swollen pockets of skin, known as bags.
  • They are rarely a sign of illness but if they feel heavy, and the swelling becomes overwhelming, see your doctor so they can check for things like infections, allergies, sinus issues, or hormonal imbalance. They may also check for fluid retention due to systemic disorder and intake of some medications such as steroids.

Why do I have bags under my eyes?

The simple answer? Bags under the eyes are a classic symptom of getting older, in much the same way skin develops wrinkles. But there are other things that can contribute to eye bags.


Smoking starves your skin of oxygen and nutrients. Toxins, such as nicotine and carbon monoxide, reduce blood flow and cause wrinkles. You may also lose collagen – the protein that keeps skin plump. A lack of collagen makes delicate eyelid skin even thinner, so blood vessels beneath show up more, which can create the shadowy look of eye bags.


Bags under the eyes can be hereditary – so you may have inherited them from your parents.


Eating lots of salty food can mean that excess fluid is retained. This then gathers under your eyelids which can cause eye bags to look more prominent. Drinking too much alcohol can also be a factor as this can dehydrate the skin, leaving it looking thinner and making eye bags more apparent.


Allergies can lead to swelling in the tissue around the eye area, which can cause any existing signs of eye bags to appear puffier and more pronounced.

Poor eye care

We are exposed to a lot of pollution on a daily basis, and keeping your eyes clean and moist will prevent the lymphatic channels around your eyes from being congested or obstructed.

Using commercial (non-laboratory tested) eye makeup such as mascara, eyeliner or eye pencil in addition to the poor cleaning may exacerbate the condition.

How to get rid of bags under eyes

Lifestyle changes

Your lifestyle can contribute significantly to the prominence of bags under your eyes. Some things you can do to potentially reduce them include:

  • Monitor allergies – check in on the weather forecast and pollen counts and speak to a pharmacist about allergy medication.
  • Skincare – look for an eye cream with caffeine, retinol and hyaluronic acid to help hydrate and smooth the area.
  • Eyes care – wash your eyes frequently and use medicated eye wash if you are exposed to pollution or apply makeup daily. Never sleep with your eye makeup on.
  • Stop smoking and have a balanced diet.
  • Use a cool compress – (clean flannel and cold water) to soothe tired eyes. Eye shaped gel packs are available online.
  • Home remedies – Prepare ice cubes made of cucumber or potatoes filtered juice to enjoy instant de-puffing of the bags.
  • Massage – massaging the area can help with lymphatic drainage.

Laser resurfacing

If you prefer the idea of a non-surgical option, laser resurfacing can be a good treatment for bags under eyes.

How it works?

A dermatologist will use lasers to remove the top layers of your skin (the epidermis) while also stimulating the lower layers (the dermis). The heat from the laser aims to boost the production of collagen.

What should I know?

The treatment can be done in around one hour. You may feel slight discomfort during the treatment, and afterwards the skin around your eyes may be red and swollen for one week. You’ll most likely be able to go home soon after treatment.

Tear trough filler

Dermal filler can be inserted into the under-eye area to help reduce the sign of eye bags, tighten loose skin, and smoothen any wrinkles.

How it works?

Your practitioner will assess your eye bags and determine if filling the tear-trough area below them will help smooth out the look or not, then they will decide how much filler you’ll need. The filler will be injected into your lower eyelids and lightly massaged in to spread it out evenly across the area. It can be better suited to people whose eye bags aren’t as severe.

What should I know?

Filler should last for around one to two years and to maintain the look, you’ll need to have repeat treatments. There’s no downtime with tear trough fillers, although you may get a tiny bit of bruising or swelling in the days after the treatment.


Blepharoplasty is the medical term for eyelid surgery. As opposed to the non-surgical options, you’ll be operated on under anaesthetic and the effects can be permanent. Scars will be very thin along lower lashes line and are almost unnoticeable.

How it works?

A surgeon will aim to remove the excess fat that has gathered in your lower or upper eyelid, or both. They’ll also try to remove tiny bits of excess baggy skin, with a small cut to the lower eyelid, which requires a few stitches.

What should I know?

The surgery can take a couple of hours. Bruising can remain visible for weeks, and you’ll likely need to take a week off work to recover. Sensitive, watery eyes are a common side effect but should go away after a few days.


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