Undereye bags are a common occurrence for many men and women alike. The most well-known cause of tired looking eyes is not getting enough sleep, but there are other factors that can also bring about dark circles, bags, and puffiness. For some people undereye bags are hereditary, but fluid retention after a salty meal, allergies, or just getting older can also contribute to their appearance. But, that doesn’t mean it’s any less aggravating.
Sick of dealing with undereye bags and the constant commentary about your sleep habits? Here’s everything you need to know about how to visibly reduce the puff.
How They Form
Undereye bags, excluding those caused by aging (more on those later) are primarily a form of fluid retention. Excess fluid builds up in the area and causes swelling, making it appear as if eyes are puffy. The cause of this build-up can be everything from too much salt in your diet to environmental allergies. Some people are more genetically predisposed to them. Many times, undereye bags are accompanied by dark circles.
Conversely, puffiness caused by skin aging has to do with the structure of the skin. As you get older, your skin becomes weaker. The muscles around the eyelid may begin to lose their firmness, causing the fat that is around your eye area to sag, moving down to your undereye area. There’s no specific timeline for when that could happen — and could depend on your lifestyle (i.e., smoking, not getting enough sleep, sun damage).
Diminish Visible Eye Puffiness
Fortunately, minimizing the appearance of puffiness is relatively simple if you have the right products. One of the most common ingredients found in products that are designed to minimize the appearance of eye puffiness is Caffeine. It’s an effective vasoconstrictor, meaning it tightens the capillaries beneath the eye, temporarily firming the appearance of under eye skin to reveal younger-looking eyes . It’s also a natural diuretic that reduces the amount of fluid beneath the eye area. It’s the star ingredient in Kiehl’s Eye Fuel, alongside brightening Vitamin B3.
A lesser known ingredient is Butcher’s Broom Extract, a plant root known for its anti-swelling properties and ability to stimulate circulation. We pair it with Squalane and Evening Primrose Oil in our Midnight Recovery Eye serum to help smooth and reveal younger looking eyes by morning.
In addition to stocking your cabinet with eye creams, there are some additional at-home tricks you can do to help improve the appearance under eyes. Even better, these moves are also excellent self-care practices to get in the habit of doing.
The first is to chill out — literally. The cold is another form of vasoconstriction that naturally tightens those undereye capillaries temporarily. Popping your eye cream in the fridge before you apply for a refreshing burst of coolness on tired looking eyes.
Another way to get that built-up fluid moving is by manually massaging your eye treatment into the skin. The trick is to make sure you aren’t pulling or tugging on the already delicate skin area and causing more damage. To do a proper massage, gently apply a dab of eye cream and, using your ring finger, begin to circle around the eye area moving 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 focus in on the massage, grab a jade roller and use that with your favorite eye cream. The rolling action helps soothes tired eyes for a visible reduction in the appearance of of dark circles and bags.
If you are in a hurry and don’t have time for a massage, grab the Kiehl’s Facial Fuel Eye De-Puffer — it’s a cooling eye stick formulated with Caffeine that glides on skin and absorbs quickly, giving eyes a quick energizing effect.
Once you find the right routine to reduce the look of puffiness you can give yourself a bright-eyed and well-rested look.