We’re all familiar with the cucumber-slices-over-the-eyes trope that’s depicted in film. The cucumbers, it goes, are supposed to get rid of bags under the eyes, diminish dark circles, and create a more awake appearance. But if you’ve tried this trick for yourself, you probably know that getting rid of noticeable under-eye bags isn’t quite that easy. Whether temporary or chronic, bags under the eyes can be frustrating to deal with. And while cucumbers may temporarily alleviate puffiness, the truth is that visibly reducing eye bags often takes a bit more effort.
If you’re struggling with bags under your eyes and don’t know where to start with managing them, you’ve come to the right place. Here, we’ll teach you about the various factors that can cause under-eye bags and puffiness. You’ll also learn our best tips for improving the appearance of your eye-area concerns. Read on for your Kiehl’s guide to caring for puffy, tired-looking eyes.
What Is The Main Cause Of Under-Eye Bags?
Under-eye bags, excluding those caused by aging (more on those later), are primarily a form of fluid retention. Excess fluid accumulates in the area and causes swelling, making it appear as if your eyes are puffy. The cause of this buildup can vary, though common triggers include allergies, eating too much salt, and lack of sleep.
Conversely, puffiness caused by skin aging has to do with the structure of the skin. As you get older, your skin becomes thinner and less resilient. At the same time, the muscles around your eyelid may begin to weaken, causing the fat around your eye area to sag and migrate to your under-eye area (resulting in baggy eyes). There’s no specific timeline for when that could happen—it’s largely influenced by your lifestyle and daily habits, though your genetics play a role, too.
Following good skin habits, however, may help keep your skin strong and resilient. As early as possible, we suggest incorporating a basic, hydrating eye cream, such as Avocado Eye Cream, into your daily routine. This eye cream with avocado oil and shea butter is clinically-demonstrated to help brighten and de-puff the eyes.* It also helps defend the delicate eye area against digital fatigue caused by blue light. We recommend using the iconic eye cream morning and night (alone or underneath your makeup) to help care for your delicate under-eye skin.
*Results based upon expert grading evaluated with product in a four-week clinical test.
Do Under-Eye Bags Go Away?
Puffiness can sometimes go away on its own, but it depends on the cause. If you’re experiencing puffy under eyes due to allergies or irritation, taking away the stressor (in other words, whatever is causing the puffiness) may help resolve the problem. For age-related puffiness and eye bags, proper skincare can help improve the appearance of your under-eye area.
How To Visibly Diminish Puffy Under-Eyes: 5 Tips
If you’re wondering how to get rid of bags under the eyes, the truth is, there’s no magic fix that makes them disappear. However, the right routine can help improve the look of your under-eye area. Ahead, learn our best tips for diminishing puffiness and giving your eye area a firmer, more rested appearance.
Try an Anti-Aging Eye Cream
Super Multi-Corrective Anti-Aging Eye Cream
As under-eye bags and dark circles are often tied to skin aging, we suggest using an anti-aging eye cream to help keep the area strong, resilient, and youthful-looking. Try a formula that targets multiple signs of aging at once, like our Super Multi-Corrective Anti-Aging Eye Cream. Formulated with niacinamide and collagen peptide, this multi-action eye cream lifts, smooths, firms, and de-puffs the eye area, helping it appear more refreshed. The non-greasy gel-cream formula absorbs quickly, and it can be worn alone or applied underneath eye makeup, making it an ideal choice for morning or night.
Midnight Recovery Eye
That said, if you want to try a different eye cream in your nighttime skincare routine, we suggest Midnight Recovery Eye. The replenishing nighttime eye cream smooths and helps restore the eye area while you sleep, leaving it feeling strengthened and replenished. Plus, it helps improve the appearance of puffiness and dark circles. Apply it at night for fresher, younger-looking eyes by morning.
Be Gentle When Removing Makeup
One of the easiest ways to help combat eye area concerns like eye bags is to be gentle with your eye area. Friction, like from removing your makeup, can contribute to sagging, which may make bags and puffiness look worse. Avoid rubbing your eyes, and when removing makeup, do so with something that gently dissolves makeup, such as our Midnight Recovery Botanical Cleansing Oil. The lightweight cleansing oil removes makeup, dirt, and other impurities without drying or stripping your skin. To take off eye makeup, we recommend dispensing a few drops of the gentle formula onto a clean cotton round and pressing it onto your (closed) eyes for 10 seconds. Then, gently wipe it away and splash your face with water. The remaining oil will emulsify into a light cleansing milk that rinses away to leave your skin feeling soft and supple.
Reach For Products With Caffeine
Caffeine is one of the most common ingredients found in products designed to reduce under-eye bags. It’s an effective vasoconstrictor, meaning it tightens (or constricts) the capillaries beneath the eye, temporarily giving the skin a firmer appearance. The popular ingredient is also a natural diuretic that can help reduce the amount of fluid beneath the eye area, giving way to a less-puffy appearance. Our favorite way to reap the skincare benefits of caffeine is with an eye cream that contains it, such as Eye Fuel. The men’s eye cream, which is also formulated with niacinamide, provides weightless hydration and helps revive puffy, tired-looking eyes. And as if that isn’t enough to make it a Kiehl’s must-have for combating men’s under-eye bags, it helps diminish the appearance of dark circles with consistent use as well.
Powerful-Strength Dark Circle-Reducing Vitamin C Eye Serum
Remember what we said about cucumber? The origin of that beauty habit is the idea that something cold (like a nice chilled slice of cucumber) can help minimize the appearance of puffy eyes. And there’s truth to that idea. Instead of reaching into the crisper drawer, applying cold compresses to your eye area can help visibly reduce minor puffiness. The cold temporarily tightens up the capillaries around your eyes, which can give your skin a firmer, tauter appearance.
Another effective way to refresh tired-looking eyes is by stashing your products in a skincare fridge. Try this trick with an eye serum, like our iconic Powerful-Strength Dark Circle-Reducing Vitamin C Eye Serum. Made with vitamin C and hyaluronic acid, this potent eye serum instantly smooths and hydrates the eye area to help refresh the appearance of tired-looking eyes. Over time, it helps improve the appearance of an array of eye-area concerns, including puffiness and dark circles. You can use it alone or layer it under a richer eye cream for added hydration.
Utilize Gentle Skincare Tools
If your under-eye bags are caused by fluid retention, a massage may help. The trick is to be gentle—you don’t want to damage the already-delicate skin around your eyes. To do a proper massage, apply a dab of eye cream and, using your ring finger, begin to circle around the eye area in a counter-clockwise direction. Do this for at least a minute, then lightly pat in any excess cream. Or, if you want to really elevate the massage, grab a skincare tool (like a jade roller) and use that with your favorite eye cream. The rolling action helps soothe tired eyes for a visible reduction in the appearance of dark circles and bags.
When you don’t have time for a massage, grab the Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer—it’s a cooling eye stick formulated with caffeine that glides on skin and absorbs quickly to refresh and de-puff tired eyes. Plus, it’s convenient and portable, so you can even use it on the go.