How To Get Rid Of Puffy Eyes And Dark Circles

Written by Kelly Wala, RN BSN, Advanced Nurse Injector on May 5, 2015 16 Comments

dark under eye circles

Eye bags (dark circles, swelling or puffiness) are a common occurrence for many men and women. Eye bags are typically a cosmetic problem, although in some cases extreme puffiness can visually impair sufferers. Let’s take a close look at eye bags, including causes, prevention, and treatment.

Types of Eye Bags

While bags underneath the eye tend to be the most prevalent, eye bags can form around the upper eyelid as well:

  • Upper eyelid bags – puffiness occurs when the development of excess tissue in the area combines with a decrease in skin elasticity.
  • Lower eyelid bags – formed by a combination of facial volume loss, unnatural bulging of lower eyelid fat, and the descent of the cheek bones.

Causes of Eye Bags

There are many factors that spur the development of eye bags. Common causes include:

  • Natural aging
  • Genetics
  • Chronic or acute sleep deprivation
  • Fluid retention (stemming for hormonal fluxions or environmental issues)
  • Allergies- which is a big issue in Texas with Cedar Fever.
  • Smoking
  • Persistent stress
  • Dry eyes-which causes us to rub our eyes more frequently and blinking to keep the eye lubricated.

Treatment Options for Eye Bags

There are many ways to prevent the development of eye bags or reduce their visual effects. The efficacy of each treatment option can vary greatly depending on a person’s individual need (specifically the cause of their eye bags and their prevalence).

An Ounce of Prevention

Depending on the causes of your eye bags there are some simple yet effective ways to treat early stage eye bags:

  • Make sure to get a sufficient amount of sleep each night. For most adults that’s between 6-8 hours each night.
  • Use a second pillow to elevate your head when you sleep. Elevating will minimize the buildup of fluids around the eyes while you sleep.
  • Stay on top of your allergies by using prescribed medication when applicable. Antihistamines will decrease the swelling and histamine response we get from external allergies.
  • Use sunscreen daily and avoid excessive sun exposure.
  • Drink lots of water to stay well hydrated.
  • Limit your consumption of sodium (salt) and alcohol.
  • Use a neti-pot to regularly clean your sinuses. This is very helpful during the allergy season so that
  • You don’t get the build- up of fluid in the sinus cavity that will cause the under eyes to look puffy.
  • Always remove your makeup at night before going to sleep. Especially if you leave your eye makeup on it can clog your tear ducts.
  • If you’re a smoker, quit!

Chill Out

The regular application of cold to the eye region can greatly reduce puffiness. Grab a frozen compress, cold cucumber slices, or chilled tea bags and apply to both the upper and lower eyelid for 5 minutes twice a day.

Eye Creams

There are many great eye creams made specifically to reduce eye bags. Some of our favorite products are growth factor based like NeoCutis Lumiere Bio-Restorative Eye Cream which is great in the winter months. The Neocutis Riche Bio-Restorative Eye Balm is better for the summer months because it has an added moisturizer. LifeLine Eye Firming Complex can dramatically reduce the visible signs of aging. Proteins, peptides and extracts help repair delicate skin around the eyes. Powerful nutrients reduce puffiness and dark circles- creating younger-looking, brighter eyes. Important note, do not use old-fashioned hemorrhoid cream (a common wives tale treatment). It can lead to significant irritation of the skin around your eyes.


Dermal fillers such as Belotero or Restylane Silk can be used to add more volume in the tear trough area. Both of these fillers are very smooth and soft and will give a nice smooth appearance in the tear trough area especially with the delicate skin under the eyes. The duration is 6-9 months. Juvederm Voluma can be added to the midface to help smooth the transition from the lower eye lid to cheek junction. This filler is non hydrophilic so it does not have the swelling features of other fillers on the market. Juvederm Voluma has a longevity of two years. Fat harvested from the patient via a fat transfer procedure can also be used.  Given the sensitive area of the face, it is extremely important to choose a physician or provider with lots of experience for any injectable procedure.

Cosmetic Surgery

The most effective and permanent solution for eye bags is often plastic surgery. Eyelid surgery, also called blepharoplasty, is a permanent way to remove excess skin and tissue from the upper and lower eyelids


Kelly Wala, RN BSN

Kelly Wala is a Registered Nurse with a Baccalaureate Degree of Science in Nursing from Eastern Kentucky University. As an Aesthetic Nurse Specialist for the past 10 years Kelly specialized in a full complement of non-surgical aesthetic services such as facial injectables, laser and light therapy, body contouring, and skin care. Kelly was the first in Texas to perform the Injectable Threadlift. Kelly is a Faculty trainer for Allergan Facial Aesthetics and Coolsculpting as well as a Faculty trainer for Galderma Facial Aesthetics and Sculptra. Aesthetics

16 Responses to “How To Get Rid Of Puffy Eyes And Dark Circles”

  1. Avatar Leslie says:

    Great tips! I have issues with dark circles even though I think I get enough sleep. I’ll try some of this out and come back to let you know how it goes!

  2. Avatar Jacquelyn says:

    Great article. I’m having some issues with dark circles and will give these tips a try!

  3. Avatar Isabelle says:

    Great post, i was wondering if things like applying cucumbers can really work?

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Isabelle, thanks for reading this post and submitting your question. Applying cool cucumbers to the skin can actually help reduce swelling and redness in some cases, I would encourage you to give it try! For individuals who experience moderate to severe issues around the eyes there are also other non-surgical treatments.

  4. Avatar Caira says:

    Wonderful post. I am having some issues with dark circles, I am planning to give a try to Posh Naturals Cucumber Eye Cream suggested by one of my friends. I have seen their reviews are positive.

  5. Avatar Kairi says:

    I didn’t realize that dry eyes can cause puffiness and dark circles. When I don’t wear contacts, my eyes are dry all day, and I end up with unsightly eye bags that make me look 20 years older than I should. I’ve tried night creams, but they just don’t work. I’m thinking about trying derma filler injections soon, or possibly surgery.

  6. Avatar Naomi says:

    I had Juvederm treatment last week. It was my first treatment and I was really scared until I saw an amazing result.

  7. Avatar Angela says:

    Dermalmd under eye serum really helps with dark circles and eye bags! Mine are about halfway gone now which is amazing considering that I’m in my 40’s and never get enough sleep. I don’t think it’s possible for them to fully go away because of lack of sleep but dermalmd serum absolutely helps.

  8. Avatar Saima says:

    Hi, I have under eye wrinkles and hollow dark circles. I am 40 but with my eye problems I look like I could be 50. Can you please help me? Thank you!

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Saima, sorry to hear about your issue. We have a few different treatments that can work. The best choice will depend on the specific characteristics of your skin. Please give us a call at 512.328.3376 for a consultation, we can discuss the different options with you!

      Thanks again,
      WD Staff

  9. Avatar Lynne says:

    I had upper lid surgery back in the late winter, but my lowers are what really needs it. What I need to know is how much will it cost to do the lowers only? I live south near Westgate and Davis Lane and want Dr Constantinides do the procedure…I would like to come in for a consult soon, will be ready to do it in mid-October, maybe sooner, depends on my finances. 🙂

    • WD Staff WD Staff says:

      Hi Lynne,

      Thanks for submitting your comment and we look forward to seeing you soon! In terms of procedure cost, I think it would be best to get you in for an in-person assessment. That way we can provide an exact cost rather than a broad range. Please let us know when you are ready to come in!

      WD Staff

  10. Avatar Tim says:

    As I am now aware that eye bags can be caused by dry eyes, I thought that one should see an eye doctor to cure it first before getting rid of eye bags. In my opinion, dry eyes can cause blurrier eyes the longer it is left untreated. With your article, it has convinced me to find a doctor to check my eyes so that I will get it treated immediately once an eye problem has been spotted.

  11. Avatar Saram says:

    Nice tips. I have tried so many thinks to get rid of the circles that everything new is welcome.

  12. Avatar Martina says:

    I’ve suffered form dark circles and puffiness under my eyes since I was a kid. I got Dermalmd under eye treatment serum over a month ago. I’ve been using it almost every morning and evening. The serum is excellent. Goes on easy, does not leave a residue and you can see the darkness becoming lighter right away. After a week of use, I saw a drastic difference in the bag under my eyes. The darkness and puffiness were much better.

  13. Avatar Riya says:

    Great tips! I have been trying to reduce my dark circles. Will keep these in mind. I am using the undereye repair oil by Skog currently as well and it is really helpful! It works well for puffy eyes too.

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