Under-eye swelling or puffiness is a common cosmetic concern. Often referred to as “eye bags,” these areas of swollen tissue under eyes can add to the appearance of aging or sleepiness. According to the Mayo Clinic, bags under eyes rarely signal a serious health condition, but many people still struggle with this feature of their appearance. Fortunately, when you understand the causes of bags under eyes, you can figure out how to relieve the puffiness naturally through lifestyle adjustments or home light therapy treatments.
What Causes Puffy Eyes?
Puffy eyes and dark circles under the eyes occur for many reasons, including genetics, allergies, stress, eye fatigue, and salt consumption. Swelling around the eyes is caused by an accumulation of fluid in the surrounding skin tissue. Because the skin around the eyes is very thin, swelling and discoloration can be easily visible.
Whether you choose red light therapy, creams and serums, or other home remedies may depend on the cause of your puffy eyes. Bags under eyes generally result from a variety of factors, including:
- A weakening of the muscles around the eyes, which happens naturally with age
- Consuming too much salt
- Lack of Sleep
What to Do About Puffy Eyes: Lifestyle Changes
Nobody can turn back the clock of aging, and you can’t change your genetics. Still, many of the causes of salt bags under eyes are easy to address with simple lifestyle adjustments.
Improve Your Diet with Smart Choices
A balanced, nutrient-rich diet generally contributes to an overall healthy appearance and can minimize signs of aging. There are a few specific things you can do to address eye bags specifically, though.
Reduce your salt intake: Too much salt in your diet can cause your eyes to puff, as excess sodium levels can lead to fluid retention. If you think too much salt may be the cause of your puffy eyes, cut back on salty foods. Be aware that frozen foods contain higher levels of sodium in order to preserve the ingredients for long periods of time. Additionally, processed foods, fatty meats, canned beans, and other packaged foods can contain high amounts of sodium.
Eat potassium-rich foods: A healthy intake of potassium acts as a counterbalance to high sodium levels. The combination of too much sodium and not enough potassium not only causes puffy eyes but relates to your cardiovascular health as well. Bananas, avocados, spinach, sweet potato, coconut water, yogurt, and other potassium-rich foods help restore the balance of potassium in your body and reduce the water retention that contributes to bags under the eyes.
Stay hydrated: When your body is dehydrated, it tries to retain more water, causing your under eye area to swell. The Mayo Clinic’s water drinking recommendations are that men drink about 3.7 liters of water per day, while women drink about 2.7 liters.
Medical studies show that stress changes the salt balance in your body. If salt and water balances are off, your eyes can retain more water and swell as a result. Stress also causes some people to lose sleep. Lack of sleep causes the blood vessels under the thin skin of the eyes to dilate, creating the appearance of dark circles and puffiness. Look for ways to reduce your stress, such as the following recommended by the Cleveland Clinic:
- Quitting smoking
- Deep breathing
Another way to reduce stress is by maintaining a relaxing bedtime routine, which may include a beauty regimen involving creams and light therapy treatments.
Light Therapy Treatments for Puffy Eyes
Anti-aging light therapy can help rejuvenate under-eye skin by using a combination of different colored LEDs. Red light therapy triggers the body to produce collagen, a structural component of the skin, causing its appearance around the eye to become noticeably smoother. Red light treatments can also help reduce dark circles under the eyes as the light increases cellular activity in the skin and enhances elastin, a protein in connective tissue that helps skin under eyes return to its original position and reduce the signs of aging like wrinkles. Amber light, also found in most anti-aging light therapy systems, can also help reduce the appearance of swelling and inflammation.
Other Home Remedies for Puffy Eyes
To accelerate your light therapy treatments of puffy eyes, you can also use home remedies such as:
- Chilled spoons
- Frozen bags of peas
- Gentle facial massages
- Eye creams
Pro tip: If you put your normal eye cream in the refrigerator, the chilled cream can reduce dark circles and puffiness around the eyes. You can easily combine most of your favorite skincare products with light therapy to keep your skin clear, bright, and wrinkle-free.
Explore our full range of anti-aging light therapy devices and start reducing your puffy eyes today.