Why do we get bags under our eyes?

Under-eye woes like eyebags, dark circles, and puffiness often go hand-in-hand. And most of the time, those pesky bags under your eyes are purely an aesthetic concern rather than being indicative of poor skincare. As a result, many myths have sprung up on how to ‘fix’ them quickly, with little success. So why do we get these ‘bags’ and how do we get rid of them?

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Thin skin

Eyebags are most noticable on people who have naturally pale or thin skin. As the skin under our eyes are where it is thinnest, the blood vessels look even more prominent given the more translucent nature of skin around the area. Thus, skin in this area appears darker and more shaded, giving the appearance of sagging skin and ‘bags’.


As we get older, our skin becomes less firm and loses fat and collagen. Without a higher amount of fat between the surface of the skin and our blood vessels, the appearance of ‘bags’ under the eyes is more obvious. This is especially so in individuals who have a more defined bone structure and sunken sockets.

Swelling and fluid retention

These types of eyebags are temporary and tend to occur after you wake up. If they are accompanied by swollen/ puffy eyes, they are likely caused by fluid retention.

Poor lifestyle habits

Poor lifestyle habits like drinking, smoking, and poor skincare will speed up the ageing process in skin and accentuate eyebags.

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Myth: Eyebags are caused by the lack of sleep

Reality: Lack of sleep usually results in dark eye circles, but does not cause eyebags. Persistent eyebags despite a healthy lifestyle may be indicative of other diseases.

Myth: Home remedies and masks can help the eyebags go away

Reality: These things may help reduce the appearance of eyebags temporarily. Volume, once lost from the under-eye area, is very difficult to replace and may require more invasive methods.

Myth: Your sleep position is not important

Reality: If your eyebags are accompanied by swollen/puffy eyes, this may be due to fluid retention. Propping a pillow up beneath your head will reduce the swelling around the under-eye and lessen the appearance of eyebags.

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Tip #1: Reduce your salt intake

If you get puffy eyes in the morning, try cutting back on salt and soy sauce in your diet. Reducing your salt intake will lower the likelihood of fluid retention in the morning and reduce the appearance of eyebags significantly.

Tip #2: Drink more water

Drinking water is not just good for skin, but also reduces puffiness. It seems oddly counter-intuitive while you have fluid retention, but increasing hydration levels (and ensuring you are sufficiently hydrated before bed) will reduce the likelihood of waking up with puffy eyes.

Tip #3: Exercise regularly and early

Getting in a good workout in the morning not only increases your productivity and energy levels, but also reduces bloating. Cardiovascular exercises in particular have been proven to boost circulation in the body, draining away toxins in the skin more efficiently.

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