How to Get Rid of Bags Under Eyes: 9 Treatments (& Home Remedies)

Updated in September 2023

To get rid of bags that form under the eyes, there are a few treatment options that your dermatologist may recommended, such as moisturizing creams, intense pulsed light, carboxytherapy or chemical peels. These can help to improve circulation and stimulate collagen production, to reduce swelling and sagging skin.

Generally, bags under the eyes are caused by genetic factors that lead to the accumulation of fat in the lower eyelid. However, they can also appear due to fluid retention that causes eyelid swelling or sagging, as well as aging skin. Read more about the causes of puffy eyes and what to do.

In addition to the treatments recommended by a dermatologist, some home remedies can help improve the appearance of bags under the eyes, such as using cold compresses or increasing your intake of foods rich in vitamin C, for example. In all cases, it is important to consult a dermatologist for assessment and treatment as appropriate.

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The main ways to get rid of bags under the eyes are:

1. Lymphatic drainage

Lymphatic drainage helps to improve blood circulation and drain fluid and toxins into the lymph nodes to facilitate their elimination. It helps to reduce swelling and fluid retention that may contribute to bags under the eyes.

Lymphatic drainage can be done by a professional cosmetologist or with daily massages at home. Home massages are done by positioning the ring fingers on the lower eyelid and sliding them to the side with light pressure, starting from the inner corner of the eyes, over to the temples.

2. Cosmetic products 

Cosmetic products, such as creams, ointments or gels, can be useful to help treat bags under the eyes. Many contain moisturizing properties, which increase the elasticity and smoothness of the skin, which facilitate drainage and eliminate the accumulation of fluid in the area. They can also help to firm up the skin.

These products should be prescribed by the dermatologist and vary on the characteristics of each person's skin. Some options include products containing polypeptides, hyaluronic acid, green tea extracts or oils, such as cottonseed or andiroba oil.

3. Intense pulsed light

Intense pulsed light treatment is carried out in the dermatologist's office using a device that emits intense pulses of light at different wavelengths. These are applied directly to the skin, in this case to the bags under the eyes. They can help improve blood circulation and stimulate collagen production, reducing swelling and fighting sagging skin, which may be contributing to bags. 

In addition, the light used is converted into heat in the skin, which promotes the smoothing of marks, blemishes and imperfections, helping to disguise the affected area.

4. Chemical peels

Chemical peels are performed by a dermatologist using acids that remove the outer layers of the skin. This helps to reduce sagging skin around the eyes, as well as diminishing dark spots on the skin. This procedure can thus soften the appearance of bags and can be useful in milder cases of bags under the eyes.

Chemical peels can cause redness, swelling, irritation, peeling or the formation of scabs on the skin, and therefore the dermatologist may recommend some additional creams to help the skin heal. 

5. Carboxytherapy

Carboxytherapy is a treatment performed by a dermatologist that consists of carbon dioxide injections under the skin. They cause the vessels to dilate, improving blood flow in the area and stimulating collagen production.

This therapy can help reduce sagging skin and expression marks, which makes this procedure beneficial for treating bags under the eyes. 

6. CO2 laser therapy 

The CO2 laser treatment is performed by a dermatologist and involves applying the laser directly under the skin in the area of the bag to help eliminate dead skin cells that cause the darkening of the bag under the eyes. It also helps to reduce sagging and imperfections in the area. 

This type of treatment is generally recommended for mild to moderate bags under the eyes. 

7. Hyaluronic acid filler 

Injections with hyaluronic acid fillers are an effective treatment performed by a dermatologist to get rid of bags under the eyes. They are especially recommended in cases where the bags are accentuated by wrinkles or presence of sagging in the area. 

8. Radiofrequency

Radiofrequency is a treatment performed by a dermatologist that consists of applying heat waves to increase the temperature of the skin and muscles. It promotes collagen stiffness and production, as well as elastin fiber production, giving the skin more support and firmness.

In addition, the increase in temperature in the area under the eyes helps to eliminate the excess fat that may be causing the bag under the eyes. 

9. Plastic surgery

Plastic surgery is performed by a board-certified surgeon to remove excess fat from under the lower eyelids in order to eliminate bags under the eyes. It is most recommended for cases that don't resolve with other treatments.

In some cases, it can be associated with blepharoplasty, which is a procedure involving the removal of excess skin from the eyelids in order to remove wrinkles that contribute to a tired, aged appearance. 

Home remedies

Some home remedies can help to get rid of bags under the eyes and improve the appearance of undereye skin and include: 

1. Cold compresses

Cold compresses are a good option to help reduce swelling that may be causing the bags under the eyes. They promote contraction of the blood vessels in the skin, helping to eliminate excess fluids and relieving swelling.

To make a cold compress, place ice in a plastic bag, then wrap it in a clean, dry towel or cloth to prevent skin burns. Apply it to the area under the eyes, and leave it on for 5 to 10 minutes. 

Another option is to use a chilled spoon, previously placed in the freezer or fridge for about 5 minutes, and then apply it to the bags under the eyes.

2. Chamomile tea

Chamomile tea is a great natural treatment for bags under the eyes, as this medicinal plant helps to reduce swelling and rejuvenate the skin. It also helps to reduce dark under-eye circles.

To use chamomile tea, prepare an infusion by adding 1 tablespoon of dried chamomile flowers and leaves to 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Then leave to cool naturally and strain. Put the tea in the fridge until it is very cold, dip a clean, dry piece of absorbent cotton in the cold tea and apply to the under-eyes for about 15 minutes.

Another option is to purchase chamomile tea bags, prepare the tea, let it cool and place the tea bags in the freezer. Then apply the chamomile tea bags to the bags under your eyes.

3. Vitamin C

Vitamin C is important for helping to increase the production and absorption of collagen, a protein responsible for ensuring firmness and elasticity to the skin. Collagen is produced naturally by the body but is generally reduces in quantity with natural aging. Low collagen can cause the muscles and ligaments under the eyes to weaken, leading to the appearance of bags. 

You are advised to increase your intake of foods that are rich in vitamin C, such as oranges, acerola, broccoli, yellow peppers or cashews to help reduce bags under the eyes. Learn more about foods that are rich in vitamin C that you can incorporate into your diet.