Ask a Beauty Editor: 5 Natural Ways to Eliminate Under-Eye Bags


Have you ever desired to pick the beauty editor’s brain? Or obtain advice for beauty products from someone who has tried them all. You’ve arrived at the proper location. In this weekly series, beauty editor Hana Hong responds to your most pressing skincare, hair care, and makeup-related inquiries. Tune in every Tuesday and submit your own beauty-related inquiries for a chance to be featured.

What is the greatest method for concealing under-eye bags? —@bajash
“Under-eye bags, help!!!” —@krebsseven
“Born with under-eye bags, with no apparent remedy. What would you recommend?” —@elissagrace1

Given that the skin behind your eyes is 10 times thinner than any other skin on your body, it’s paradoxical that it frequently seems to be the thickest (read: puffiest). Unfortunately, the most noticeable part of our face is also the most affected by puffiness, and even the greatest concealer in the world can only do so much against these half-moons.

I wish I could provide you with a list of things to avoid to prevent under-eye bags, but the fact is that they are unavoidable. Allergies, stress, exhaustion, heredity, and age all contribute to the development of under-eye bags, and if you haven’t noticed the trend, the one thing they all have in common is that they’re completely inevitable. Full disclaimer: If these bags are simply inherited, the only method to eradicate them permanently is through hyaluronic acid fillers or blepharoplasty on the lower eyelids. Sorry to be a downer, but there is some good news: There are measures you may use to reduce their visibility.

To help, I contacted Hadley King, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist in New York City, and Rachael Gallo, esthetician and chief operating officer of Silver Mirror facial bar, to discuss how to get rid of under-eye bags naturally (i.e. without injections, makeup, or treatments)—so that the only bag that attracts attention is the adorable one you’re carrying on your arm.

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Rest with your head supported by pillows.
Remember how I stated that there are a multitude of potential causes for your under-eye bags? If we were to classify them, they fall into one of two categories: According to Dr. King, puffy under-eyes can be caused by either fluid or a fat pad. “If you see that the puffiness is greater in the morning and improves in the evening, your puffiness is most likely due to fluid,” (And FYI: fluid retention will accentuate the appearance of hereditary under-eye bags.) If this is the case, Dr. King recommends sleeping raised up on many pillows so that fluid does not gather beneath the eyes throughout the night. And while we’re on the subject of prevention, remember that fluid retention may also be eliminated by limiting salt consumption and consuming copious amounts of water before night.

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Give yourself a facial with ice.
An additional effective weapon against fluid retention? Cold. Icy cold, to be precise. Gallo states that placing ice cubes or spoons in the freezer overnight is an immediate method for reducing inflammation or puffiness beneath the eyes. “The chilly action of these materials decreases blood flow to the under-eye region, hence reducing puffiness. If using ice cubes, first wrap them in gauze or tissue, and then massage them in a circular manner from the outer eyelid beneath the eye to the brow.” This motion will aid in the drainage of any fluids.
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Apply caffeine-containing topical products.
In addition to being a funny and overused kitchen phrase, “But first, coffee” is also a motto that may assist your beauty regimen. “Because caffeine constricts blood vessels, it can prevent fluid accumulation,” explains Dr. King. Not equipped with a caffeine-infused eye cream? You may use cold tea bag compresses (place used tea bags in the refrigerator)—”these can be beneficial since caffeine and cold work together to constrict blood vessels,” she explains.

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Cucumbers can be used as an eye mask.
A cliché? Possibly, but for a purpose. Gallo states that cucumbers have been used for years to minimize dark circles beneath the eyes. Cucumbers are regarded as antioxidants that moisturize, slow aging, diminish pigmentation, and protect against environmental harm. I suggest putting the cucumbers beneath your eyes for twenty minutes to enable the vitamins time to absorb.” Wait until the cucumbers are slightly wet but not fully dry.

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Consider using lavender oil.
According to Gallo, lavender oil is a wonderful substitute for eye cream. “Lavender oil has anti-inflammatory effects (i.e., depuffing) and is widely used to cure dark spots in skincare products,” she explains. When placed beneath the eyes, the brightening effect is immediate and only improves with time.

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Empty the lymph nodes.
Hold onto the lavender oil we just discussed, and take a face roller as well. Lymphatic drainage, or the act of “draining” lymph fluid, can assist in eliminating puffiness. Just remember two words: upward and out, if you’re unfamiliar with doing lymphatic drainage on your face. Although you can do this with your hands, it’s far more effective (and enjoyable) to use a face roller; just make sure your skin is slick and utilize the smaller side (most traditional rollers will come with a smaller end for your under-eyes).