Under-eye bags are a common cosmetic condition where dark circles form just below your lower eyelids. Though not particularly stylish, these bags are typically harmless and caused by things like age, allergies, and a lack of sleep. If you want to get rid of your under-eye bags, there are a number of short-term, long-term, and cosmetic solutions at your disposal.


“I love this anti-ager because it’s dual acting: It’s an oil- and fragrance-free moisturizer, plus it’s a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide but doesn’t leave your skin looking pasty and chalky. It's a must-wear for your face, neck, décolleté and hands. I recommend it to treat and prevent dark marks and it’s my secret weapon for fighting rough knees and elbows,” says Dr. Sonia Badreshia, M.D., clinical instructor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco.
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Depending on what's causing bags under the eyes, eyelid surgery (blepharoplasty) may be a treatment option. During blepharoplasty (BLEF-uh-roe-plas-tee), the surgeon removes excess fat through an incision in the natural crease of the upper eyelid or inside the lower lid. He or she then rejoins the skin with tiny dissolving stitches. The procedure is usually done as an outpatient procedure.
Bags under eyes can include mild swelling, saggy or loose skin and/or dark circles. While you may not like the way these bags look, they are usually harmless and do not require medical attention; however, if you experience severe and persistent bags accompanied by redness, itching or pain, you may want to see your doctor. Also, if you notice redness, itching or pain on other parts of your body, such as your legs, you could be having an allergic reaction and need medical attention. Your doctor will want to rule out other possible causes that can contribute to the swelling, such as thyroid disease or an infection.
“I have dry skin, but I also tend to break out if I layer on a night cream that's too rich. This product provides the perfect solution — I simply take a quarter size of my night cream, add a few drops of this serum, and smooth it onto my face, neck and cheeks. Whatever’s left goes on my hands. It basically supercharges my moisturizer, giving me more hydrated skin without clogging my pores. I tell people using these two products together freezes my skin in time,” says Dr. Whitney Bowe, M.D., a New York-based dermatologist.
The majority of studies evaluating the benefits of these OTC retinoids are poorly designed and the effectiveness of these studies is regarded as marginal, at best, by most skin experts. When marketed as cosmetics, the manufacturers of these “anti-wrinkle” creams are not required to obtain pre-market FDA approval, nor are they required to prove the product’s efficacy to back up claims. OTC “anti-wrinkle” creams, in essence, are merely moisturizers that claim to improve skin tone, texture, and radiance while reducing wrinkling. As a skin care expert, the true ability of an OTC “anti-wrinkle” cream to improve the appearance of the skin has more do to with the products ability to moisturize, to increase the water content of the skin.
What causes them? The main causes for dark circles are genetics and skin tone, Kenneth Howe, M.D., a board-certified dermatologist at Wexler Dermatology, tells SELF. The under-eye area can look purple or bluish because the skin there is so thin and translucent that you can easily see the underlying veins. It can be more apparent in people with fair skin, and those with very little subcutaneous fat supporting the area under the lower lid. Lack of sleep increases venous congestion; fluid build-up leads to pooled blood in those superficial blood vessels, making dark circles look even darker when you’re tired.
For a cream that will check all of your boxes, Neutrogena Rapid Wrinkle Repair Moisturizer SPF 30 was a hit with our consumer testers, who reported that it improved skin tone, softened fine lines, and firmed skin. The rave reviews: "Hands down the best wrinkle cream I have tried so far." "I like that my skin looks brighter and feels firmer." "Until I tried this cream, I was doubtful that day creams actually worked as advertised. My skin looks younger — it's firmer and has less visible wrinkles." Lab tests confirmed that the retinol-infused day cream firmed and evened out skin while dispensing a dose of hydration.
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Alas, under-eye bags are not a feature that improves with age. Now, many people get dark circles when they have a bad night’s sleep–occasionally, but not severely. I’ve had a combination of under-eye bags *and* dark circles since college. If you’re wondering what that even looks like, imagine curtain valances (the half-moon drapes that top your curtains). Thank you, Dad.

“I love this anti-ager because it’s dual acting: It’s an oil- and fragrance-free moisturizer, plus it’s a broad spectrum UVA/UVB sunscreen that contains zinc oxide and titanium dioxide but doesn’t leave your skin looking pasty and chalky. It's a must-wear for your face, neck, décolleté and hands. I recommend it to treat and prevent dark marks and it’s my secret weapon for fighting rough knees and elbows,” says Dr. Sonia Badreshia, M.D., clinical instructor of dermatology at the University of California, San Francisco.
“It has retinol, which is a precursor to prescription RetinA, the most powerful anti-aging ingredient we know to date. It must be converted on the patient’s skin to RetinA via an enzymatic process, so the actual derived amount is much smaller. But better than no RetinA!” said Dr. Anna Guanche, dermatologist at Bella Skin Institute, Calabasas, California, whose clients include Olivia Culpo and Natalie Imbruglia.
Creams are a favourite treatment type for under eye bags as they are efficient and easy to integrate into your daily beauty routine. The only issue is making sure you choose the right cream. Look out for creams that contain caffeine and hyaluronic acid, as these tend to be the most effective. Caffeine helps to tighten skin, reduce puffiness and drain excess fluid from the area, while hyaluronic acid plumps and hydrates sagging skin. Remember to use cream consistently for optimum results.
"The original one I got was pink, but I've since ordered one in charcoal, so any specks of leftover mascara and eyeliner don't show. Unlike other masks I've tried, the elastic band that goes around your head is also covered in silk, so it's gentler on your hair. It also blocks light to help me sleep — in fact, I can’t sleep without it!” says Dr. Jessica Wu, M.D., a Los Angeles-based dermatologist.
“When it comes to combating wrinkles, I always recommend incorporating retinol into your skin care routine. This is an excellent way to add the effective ingredient to your daily regimen without breaking the bank. The silky formula is proven to diminish the look of fine line lines and wrinkles and it is even suitable to use under makeup,” said celebrity makeup artist Erin Guth.

If you're often tired, stressed out, or sleep-deprived, then you most likely have had under-eye bags before. Under-eye bags are unsightly, making us look haggard, sick and old. Luckily, there are tons of products on the market to reduce eye bags, and many of them are inexpensive! Here are 5 cheap products that dermatologist swear by to get rid of under-eye bags.
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