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Dr. Eva Simmons O’Brien received her MD from Yale University and is a board-certified dermatologist. With over 30 years of experience, she has worked for hospitals, established her own private practice, and consulted for organizations such as the FDA. Today, Dr. Eva runs her own practice in addition to serving as our Chief Science Officer.

Bags Under Eyes - Symptoms and Causes

Bags Under Eyes - Symptoms and Causes

Bags Under Eyes - Symptoms and Causes



There’s nothing worse than waking up and looking like you never went to sleep. Dark circles are one thing, but massive bags under your eyes can make you look old, tired, and hungover even when you aren’t.

Men get bags under their eyes for a number of reasons. If you can determine what’s causing them, you can look for a solution. Ready to send your bags packing? 

Here’s everything you need to know about bags under your eyes, what causes them, and how you can get rid of them fast. Also, check out our website for more manly skin care solutions.

Why Are My Eyes Puffy?

Bags under the eyes are characterized by half-moon-shaped puffy areas or swelling immediately under your eyes. It can look like your eyes are swollen, like you’re tired, or even like you’re older than you actually are. 

The skin under your eyes may be tender to the touch or just feel weak. Bags are different from dark circles. Dark circles or “hollows” refer to areas under your eyes that look darker than the rest of your skin and can make it look like you haven’t seen your pillow in a week. 

Bags and dark circles can appear one at a time, but if you’re really lucky, you can have them both at once. 

Not sure if what you’re dealing with are bags or something else? Here’s a helpful symptom checker. You might have bags under your eyes if:

  • The area under your eyes look swollen
  • Your under eye skin looks saggy, loose, or slack
  • Eyes look tired, feel irritated, or are watering

Bags under the eyes may make your eyes water, but if you’re experiencing itching, burning, or problems with your vision, it could be a sign of something more concerning. You’ll want to contact your doc and have your eyes checked. 

What Causes Bags Under the Eyes

The bags under your eyes look bigger than the standard sized carry-on and you aren’t even planning a trip. What gives? Here are a few reasons you could be seeing swelling under your eyes

You’re Bloated Aka You’re Retaining Water

Fluid retention is one of the main reasons why you might be experiencing bags under your eyes. So what causes fluid retention? 

Nine times out of ten,  it’s due to something you ate. If you chowed down on a super salty meal for dinner or binged on chips or pretzels just before bed, you can wake up with baggy eyes. You might not think you eat a lot of salt, but chances are, you eat more than you think.

Fluid retention can also be hormonal (yep, even for dudes). Fluctuations in your hormones can cause you to retain water, as well as lack of exercise, or even being on a plane for a few hours. 

The best way to eliminate excess water is to (drumroll please)... drink more water. 

Your body stores water because you’ve either eaten a lot of salt or because you’re dehydrated. Either way drinking more water helps eliminate the excess water, which can lessen the appearance of bags under your eyes. 

You’re Not Sleeping

Sooner or later those late nighters are going to catch up with you. Lack of sleep can cause your eyes to look tired and feel puffy. Blood circulates through your body (obviously) while you’re sleeping, but if you don’t get enough restorative sleep, your blood vessels can dilate and cause blood to pool beneath your eyes.

You can also develop bags under your eyes from sleeping a little too good. If you’ve spent the past twelve hours passed out on your face, fluid will naturally collect under your eyes and make them look puffy. 

You’re Getting Older

Unfortunately, you aren’t aging like Benjamin Button, and as you age the skin under your eyes begins to stretch and weaken, leaving room for fluid build up. 

Skin that loses its elasticity is common the older we get, but you can fight back with products that help to firm, tighten, and encourage the continual production of collagen. Collagen is what keeps your skin looking youthful and fill it out. 


Puffy eyes can also be a symptom of allergies. If you’re looking a little too much like Hitch every time you try to step outdoors, you could have allergies. 

Normally, allergies that affect your eyes will come along with itchiness, burning, irritation, and watering, which makes it easier to identify the possibility of an actual allergy. An over the counter antihistamine blocker can help give you immediate relief, but if you continue to suffer you should definitely see your doctor. 


If your mom or dad (or even your grandparents) had bags under their eyes, you can blame it on your genes. Heredity can play a huge role in whether or not you develop bags under your eyes, and it’s also a good marker for when you might start to see them appear. 

Just because you didn’t win the gene pool on under-eye puffiness doesn’t mean you’re stuck with this not-so-sexy look the rest of your life. You just need products to help treat the area so the skin looks youthful and tight. 


It’s in almost every anti-aging article we publish. Smoking ages your skin faster than it would age if you weren’t smoking. Smoke from cigarettes irritates the eyes and can trigger an immune response that makes your eyes swell.

Smoking also pumps carcinogens into your skin, which breaks down the collagen and destroys your skin’s elasticity. When your skin becomes looser, there’s more area for fluid to collect. 

How to Prevent Bags Under Your Eyes

You can save yourself a $100 baggage fee and stay sexy by making a few changes to your routine and using some products to help keep your skin looking smooth, tight, and puff free. 

Your Go-To Eye Product

You can spend a lot of dough on products that claim they’ll make your eyes look like a newborn babe’s, or you can be sensible and opt for products that contain powerful, natural, proven ingredients that get the job done better and without the use of harsh chemicals that can burn or irritate your skin. 

The best ingredients you can find for helping eliminate bags under your eyes are:

  • Caffeine. Hands down, one of the best ingredients you can use topically under your eyes to reduce the puff is caffeine. Caffeine is full of antioxidants which can help protect the delicate skin around your eyes. It also helps to constrict blood vessels, leaving less room for fluid build up and effectively de-puffing your entire eye area. 
  • Pycnogenol. This ingredient is derived from a particular type of pine tree and is a powerful antioxidant that helps diminish the effects of oxidative stress and lessens the appearance of both dark circles and bags under the eyes. 
  • Niacinamide. A form of vitamin B3, this ingredient helps to erase the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, keeping your eyes looking youthful and helping to encourage faster cell rejuvenation. The faster your skin cells turn over, the faster you see newer, younger looking skin. 

Disco’s Repairing Eye Stick is the OG heavy hitter for eliminating bags and dark circles under your eyes. It’s a one stop shop filled with caffeine, pycnogenol, niacinamide, phytic acid, and a blend of oils and plant botanicals -- which means it won’t strip your skin and leave the area under your eyes feeling dry or cause the skin to peel.

You can swipe on our repairing eye stick as soon as you wake up and notice you’ve got some unclaimed baggage. The convenient stick applicator means you can carry it with you throughout your day to use as a spot treatment. 

Up Your Overall Skin Care Game

An eye stick is definitely going to help you out, but if you want to maximize your results, you’ve got to get some solid skin care, man. You go to the gym to keep your body on point, but if you’re not taking care of your skin, you’re selling yourself short. 

A good skin care routine consists of products that help work with your skin to keep it hydrated, healthy, and blemish free. A great skin care routine helps fight wrinkles and keeps your skin looking youthful. The best skin care routine takes care of your face and your body

Let’s Disco

Get better skin care and say goodbye to puffy eyes with Disco’s eye repair stick and our line of natural, good-for-your-skin products. You can take better care of your skin without having to shop the skin care aisle at the drugstore. Those products are normally formulated for women’s skin, not men’s. 

Disco was created to work perfectly with the pH balance of a man’s skin, and doesn’t contain any harsh or toxic ingredients that could cause your skin irritation or clog your pores and leave you looking like less than a million bucks. 

Our products are cruelty free, vegan, and the very best choice for dumping excess baggage (under your eyes). You’ll have to get some therapy for the rest. 



9 out of 10 Americans Eat Too Much Sodium Infographic (heart,org)

Bags under eyes - Symptoms and causes (

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