When you look in the mirror each morning, the last thing you want to see is a pair of eye bags staring back at you. But alas, it happens. And it happens to a lot of us every once in a while. But for those that were born like this, it’s probably more than a nuisance. Hereditary eye bags are not uncommon and they can plague your existence until the very end. Things get especially challenging with age.
What Causes Eye Bags?
Let’s dissect why eye bags occur. Science still has not been able to get to the bottom of it, but there are different theories that try to explain it. From what we know so far, the under-eye area typically has normal amounts of fat. However, in some people, it is lacking proper support from the connective tissues in front of it, as well as the skin, orbicularis muscle and orbital septum (resided within the eye sockets). Without a support structure, the fat pushes forward and bulges out, creating the appearance of bagginess.
Another likely explanation is bone loss and deeper volume loss as a result of ageing, which then uncovers the fats in the under-eye area that normally remain hidden. When the muscle and bone structure weaken over time, fat can slide down and jut out.
According to another theory, an issue with the way the cells are pre-programmed may be at play. The stem cells are supposed to create new fat pockets, whereas old cells are supposed to die due to the so-called apoptosis mode (cell death). However, in some instances the new cells may be overpopulating the space, leading to fat growth.
Other hereditary factors that can trigger eyelid sagging include TGIF1, the amount of natural elastin and collagen cells found in the area, as well as skin type. Now, medical issues like sinus problems and inflammation from allergies could lead to puffy eyes. Protruding fat deposits may cast a shadow over the site and create the illusion of brown pigment or dark pigment in the skin, hence dark circles.
The problem with hereditary eye bags and dark eye circles is that they are always there no matter how much sleep you’ve had and what food choices you make. However, you should also know that your lifestyle habits, bad skin habits, and any dietary deficiencies can make your eye bags even worse, condemning you to look tired or sick all the time. And as years go by, the problem may become more prominent due to the unpleasant effects of gravity on the skin.
What Natural Remedies for Eye Bags and Dark Eye Circles You will Come Across Online
- Retinoid creams and other eye bag creams. Retinoid creams may be quite effective in keeping collagen breakdown at bay and cleaning dead cells faster. They add to healthy skin. Without a prescription, you can get retinol creams because they are the weaker form of retinoids. If you want stronger eye bag creams, you should talk to a doctor. Aside from that, you may have heard that concoctions with kojic acid, hydroquinone, and ascorbic acid prevent melanin production, which greatly improves dark color and puffiness.
- Cucumber slices. Cucumber juice is abundant in antioxidants, compounds that help eliminate puffy eyelids and dark circles. You need to apply clean slices of cucumber over your eyes, making sure they cover the under-eye portion as well, and let them rest for 15-20 minutes. To make it more effective, you want to keep them in the fridge for a while before you use them.
- Ice packs. Ice packs made of anything you have at hand in the freezer are a nice way to improve your condition. If you talk to a makeup artist, they will probably recommend green tea bags due to the antioxidant properties of green tea. But whatever you choose, don’t apply cold straight to your under-eye area. Make certain to wrap it in a thin cloth first. Then, let it sit for 15-20 minutes. It is essential to use some cream afterwards so that you don’t have to deal with dry skin later on.
- Water and juice. Ensure that you drink plenty of water. This will help not only your eye bags and dark eye circles but also your overall performance. It is recommended that you gulp down at least 8 cups of fluids daily but this is an average estimation. Truth is that the more you weigh, the more water you need.
- Reduced salt consumption for fluid retention. Too much salt can add to fluid build-up in the body, which is quite evident around the eyes. By cutting these foods and drinks out of your diet, you can improve your eye bags and dark circles (as long as they are caused by water fluid build-up, that is).
- Topical creams with vitamin C. The use of such eye creams can have a positive impact on your eye bags and dark circles because vitamin C is known to reduce blood stasis (when blood flocks in blood vessels). In turn, this eliminates discolouration.
- 8 hours of sleep. The skin under the eyes is without a doubt the thinnest skin. This means that it shows eyelid pigmentation from capillary breakdown and other problems much more readily. Lack of sleep can be detrimental to the whole system and it usually shows on the face more than anywhere else in the body. An elevated head during sleep will cut the chance of blood stasis, among other things, so stacking an extra pillow underneath is your best bet. Don’t go overboard with it as this can hurt your neck. It is essential to get 8 hours sleep or more if you want to wake up with a fresh face.
- Eye makeup. Makeup can camouflage pimples, skin discolouration and whatnot. So, if you are bothered by your eye bags and dark circles, whether caused by genetic factors or not, this is a good way to go. As you can see, this is not a treatment in itself.
- No tobacco use. Lifestyle choices and lack of a balanced diet accelerate health issues and cosmetic problems. Smoking damages vital organs and leaves visible traces on your face and teeth. If you want to look good, you should try and ditch the bad habit once and for all. Your body will thank you later.
- Balanced diet. Nutritional deficiencies are oftentimes downplayed. Vitamin K, vitamins B12, D, and E are linked to circles under eyes in addition to other problems. Thus, a healthy diet might help fight puffiness and eyelid pigmentation. Please note that taking daily vitamins isn’t always the best solution. Instead, you should try and eat varied foods so that you give your body the nutrients it needs.
- Reduced chronic inflammation. Eyelid pigmentation and bags under eyes could arise due to inflammation from allergies or other medical issues. On that note, it is vital that you get a physical check-up and discuss your case with a doctor. They will help you curb chronic inflammation, which will improve your under-eye puffiness.
- Less sun exposure. Environmental exposures are a huge culprit for different health problems we humans face throughout a lifetime. For example, too much sun can cause hyperpigmentation in the skin. That’s why you should always limit your sun exposure by wearing sunscreen, sunglasses, and hats whenever you find yourself outdoors.
- Reduced alcohol consumption. We all know that alcohol leads to dehydration and dehydration can manifest itself in many ways, specifically on your beautiful face. A glass of wine may not contribute much to your eyelid bags but one too many will. So, be careful with that.
- Massage of the under-eye area. Massaging the orbital bones may provide lymphatic drainage and improve eye bags.
Why Those Natural Treatments Don’t Always Work for Hereditary Eye Bags?
If you are the proud owner of a pair of hereditary eye bags, it’s something you have to deal with for life. It’s not like you woke up with eye puffiness because you didn’t get adequate sleep last night or because your body retains excess water. This is a purely anatomical issue. Hence, no matter what homemade cures you implement in your day-to-day life, this won’t fix the missing tissue. Instead of wasting your money on useless stuff, go to the board-certified doctors and other medical professionals who know what they are talking about.
Modern science currently offers a few medical treatments that can minimise the appearance of hereditary eye bags and dark eye circles. One is invasive cosmetic surgery and the others are minimally-invasive eye procedures like facial fillers and laser resurfacing. Let’s have a closer look at each one of them.
Eye Bag Treatment Options that Work
Lower Blepharoplasty Surgery
The purpose of eye bag surgery is to reposition fat, as well as remove excess eyelid skin and fat so that the under-eye area appears firmer (as opposed to retinoids that can’t remove excess skin). This also has the benefit of fattening wrinkles and fine lines in the region. It can be performed both under general anaesthesia and local anaesthesia. The main job of the facial plastic surgeon is to create tiny incisions in the under-eye area where they can eliminate the targeted tissue. Then, they close the openings with stitches and the patient can leave the clinic on the same day.
Now, this procedure can be performed by an oculoplastic surgeon too or another aesthetic doctor. This one strictly focuses on bags under eyes but by generally enhancing the area, you may also accidentally get rid of dark eye circles. If needed, fat transfer can be used to get the desired outcome. Results are long-lasting and a healthy diet can make them even more pronounced.
Eye Treatment Injectable Filler
Let’s admit it, not everyone wants to jump straight on the eyelid surgery waggon before having exhausted all their non-surgical options first. The less invasive route to fix that problem is to opt for a facial contouring filler to add deeper volume to the area. It requires a tiny needle to break the loose skin at multiple sites but there is no cutting, stitches, and general anaesthesia involved, which makes the process a lot easier on the patient. A numbing cream is applied to the eye skin to prep it for what is about to happen, and that’s all.
Dermal fillers are suitable for people who generally have a sunken under-eye structure with protruding fat pockets. The liquid can fill in the hollow spaces and even out the look. This will make eye bags less noticeable. Facial fillers are administered subcutaneously with a syringe by a trained practitioner. It can be carried out during your lunch break and there is no need to get admitted into a hospital.
The good news is that when the problem is solved, no shadow will be cast over the under-eye area which can also minimise the appearance of darker circles. Last but not least, dermal fillers can spur collagen production. It should be noted that injectable fillers do not remove excess skin but they can make facial skin look fuller.
Phosphatidylcholine (PPC) Injections
Now, if you have an excess of fats in your under-eye area but no hollowed spaces, a phosphatidylcholine injection can help melt that extra fat and reduce the eyelid bags. Here is how it works. The shots are given directly into the fat deposits of choice and one to three sessions are necessary to complete the eye bag treatment.
Again, this is a job you want to put into the hands of a skilled professional rather than a random beautician with no medical background. Remember, expertise is of great importance.
When it comes to laser treatments, we can tell between two major types: ablative and non-ablative. With the former, the top layer of the skin is removed using laser light. This increases the lifespan of the recovery period and can destroy otherwise healthy cells. On the other hand, the latter type bypasses the epidermis, basically leaving it intact, and focuses straight on the problem areas that are hidden away below the surface. They heat up the tissue to spur collagen production and renew the skin. The tiny wounds heal faster.
Laser resurfacing tightens saggy skin and rejuvenates the face. It requires multiple sessions to have the desired effect and they need to be spaced out several weeks apart. Because the skin becomes more sensitive to sunlight after the procedure, patients are highly recommended to get it during winter. If not possible in your area, you should shield from the sun using wide-brimmed hats and loose pieces of clothing, as well as lots of sunscreen.
What type of laser work you will receive depends on a plethora of factors such as diminished skin laxity, age, sex, medical issues, other existing problems. Similarly to dermal fillers and other cosmetic treatments, it is your aesthetic doctor that makes recommendations based on your case. Of course, you have a final say in this but you should definitely do as advised by your specialist. When you trust an expert with your case, you can expect nothing but glorious skin.
Chemical peels are effective in evening out the skin tone and encouraging new healthy skin cells to grow (production of collagen too). The treatment comes in the form of a mixture of acids. They have to be used in certain concentrations and combinations so as not to damage the gentle facial skin. For this reason, you should always choose a certified medical practitioner for this treatment. There are different types of acids. Milder acids are seen on the ingredient list on OTC creams, so there is really nothing to worry about. The length and intensity of the treatment depend on individual factors.
Q&A on Eye Bags and Dark Eye Circles
How do I get rid of hereditary dark circles naturally?
The thing is, you can’t. If the issue could be solved naturally, scientists would not be working so hard to come up with treatments such as laser resurfacing, blepharoplasty, and facial-contouring fillers to improve diminished skin laxity.
Do ice cubes remove eye bags and dark circles?
Cold compresses constrict blood vessels and thus reduce swelling and darker circles around the eyes. As blood flow to the area decreases, this may add to a glorious skin tone. But be careful, that’s not always the case. People with darker melanin may experience the other way around. Sometimes increased blood circulation under the eyes can highlight your problem areas.
Do eye bags and dark eye circles come back after eye bag removal surgery?
The results of lower blepharoplasty are long-lasting but you need to keep in mind that as you continue to age, your facial anatomy will change. This could affect the outcome of the plastic surgery over time. Your aesthetic doctor will give your more details on this.