We love a great piece of high-quality luggage. After all, nothing shows off our style and proves how well traveled we are more than the exorbitant amount of money we spent on our carry on.
However, as much as we love bags, the only place we want to see them is safely stowed in an overhead bin, not under our eyes.
Puffy, fluid-filled under-eye bags don't exactly give off the sexy confidence of a frequent traveler; they actually make you look like you took the west to east coast red eye and drug yourself into Starbucks for a triple espresso.
Whether your eye bags came from jet lag or just showed up out of seemingly nowhere, you need a quick remedy to get rid of them. We’ll cover how to deal with bags under the eyes, figure out what’s causing them, and how you can prevent them from happening in the future.
What’s Causes Bags Under the Eyes?
You looked like your usual sexy self before bed, but when you woke up, your eyes looked hungover. What the hell happened?
Bags under the eyes, also referred to as periorbital edema, is the collection of fluid under the eyes that makes the area look swollen and puffy. There are a few reasons why this can happen.
Not Enough Sleep
You might think you’re getting enough sleep because you’re still able to function in the morning, but how many energy drinks does it take to get you through your day? Studies show that not getting enough sleep has a profound effect on your eyes, and your entire face.
Not only can it cause pooling of fluid under your eyes that causes you to wake up with bags, it can cause dark circles, red eyes, and a pale, sallow hue on your skin that looks borderline sick.
Most of the time, bags under the eyes due to lack of sleep won’t last longer than 24 hours, but they can become permanent over time.
When you’re craving a snack, do you hit the chips or popcorn hard? If so, your salty food habits could be the culprit behind your baggy eyes.
Sodium causes the body to retain water, and when the body retains water it swells and looks bloated. Extra water retention is visible in the face -- most visible under and around the eye area.
It’s not just salty snacks, either. Most of our diets are jam packed with sodium, especially if you eat a lot of meals on the road (i.e. from fast food) or have a habit of popping a frozen dinner in the microwave each night.
The effects of a salt-binge one night won’t last permanently, but it can make for body and eye puffiness for the entire next day. Your body will naturally get rid of the excess fluid, but you can help it by drinking extra water and getting in a good, sweat-inducing workout.
Too Much of a Good Time
Hey man, we’re not trying to kill your vibe, but if you’re concerned about the bags under eyes you should know that smoking and drinking too much alcohol can cause them.
Smoking. Smoke from cigarettes (ones you smoke or smoke you’re exposed to from others) can irritate your eyes and trigger them to swell. Smoking can also trigger hormonal imbalances which can lead to under eye swelling, one of the first signs of the classic “smoker face.”
If you’re a heavy smoker (usually someone who smokes 20 or more cigarettes per day), you can fall into nicotine withdrawal during the night. This can disrupt your sleep pattern, meaning you don’t get the amount of sleep you need. What happens to your eyes when you don’t sleep? See above.
- Alcohol. Alcohol causes you to become dehydrated. When you’re dehydrated, your body will naturally retain fluid. Fluid retention then causes you to swell, and retained fluid under the eyes turns into, you guessed it, bags.
Allergies and Illness
Sometimes, bags under the eyes are completely unavoidable. If you suffer from seasonal allergies or you’ve got a cold, you’ll probably notice swelling under your eyes.
Allergies. Allergies to things like animals, pollen, and other irritants can cause fluid build up in the sinus cavities, which are located under and around your eyes. If you think your allergies are triggered, you can take an antihistamine or speak to your healthcare professional about other options.
A cold. Colds are miserable enough on their own, but they can also make you look as rough as you feel. Congestion and mucus collecting in your sinus cavities causes swelling on your face and under your eyes. Your eyes may also itch and water, making the situation worse.
- Viruses. Some viruses can cause swelling under the eyes. In fact, under-eye swelling may be a sign of mononucleosis. If you’ve got a virus, antibiotics won’t help. While you’re waiting it out, you can use over the counter meds to prevent swelling and use cold compresses on your eyes to help them de-puff.
Fine lines, wrinkles, and bags under the eyes are basically standard issue for getting older.
As you get older, the thin skin of the lower eyelid gets even thinner, mostly because of the decrease in collagen production in your skin. Collagen is what keeps your skin feeling fuller and looking youthful. When collagen production decreases, you lost some skin elasticity, and the area under your eyes can seem baggy, dark, and hollow.
While some collagen loss and puffiness is unavoidable as we age, there are methods of combating the aging process and ensure you keep getting carded for years to come.
How to Prevent Bags Under Your Eyes
With skincare, it’s all about prevention. If you can prevent a skin condition (like bags under the eyes) before it starts, you have a better chance of managing it. Want to stop waking up to duffle bag eyes? Here’s how.
Hit the Sack
Getting enough sleep is paramount for keeping bags under the eyes away, and for feeling and looking good altogether. The cumulative effect of not sleeping enough can really take a toll on your health and your appearance.
Most people need between seven to nine hours of sleep per night. If you are especially active, you might require more. Ultimately, you have to ask yourself if finishing that Netflix series is worth the price you’ll pay in eye bags in the morning.
We’re not saying you can’t ever nosh on burgers and fries, but try to keep your sodium intake a little closer to 2,300 mg per day, the recommended average for men. If you think you’re on track, just know that most men consume around 3,400 mg of sodium per day.
In addition to cutting back on sodium, make sure to hydrate. Drinking plenty of water will help keep you hydrated and ensure you aren’t retaining water.
You don’t have to decline every happy hour or go to bed by 8:00 p.m., but be smart about how much you drink. Try limiting your alcohol consumption to two drinks a day on days that you drink, and avoid binge drinking altogether.
If you’re smoking, stop. There is zero benefit to your overall health in a cigarette and over 4,000 chemicals in one smoke that can harm you (and make your eyes baggy).
Use Better Skincare
If you aren’t taking care of your skin, it’s time to start. Not only will it save you from developing bags and dark circles under your eyes, it will keep you looking youthful and healthy (read: sexy).
Not sure about skincare? We’ve got you.
Disco is skincare that is specifically formulated to work best with the pH balance of a man’s skin. You won’t find skincare like this on the face cream aisle at your big box store.
How To Get Rid of Them
Some days you’re just gonna wake up with baggage, either under your eyes or in your bed. For the bags under your eyes, there are some quick fixes outside of sneaking your partner's concealer eye makeup -- that lightening pigment is probably not right for your tone anyway, man.
Use a Cold Compress
You can use cold to help constrict the blood vessels under your eyes to get relief and reduce swelling. Try popping a teaspoon in the freezer for a few minutes and then placing it under your eyes, or using a bag of frozen vegetables. Of course, you can always go with the tried and true cooled cucumber slices, too -- who doesn't like a little upgrade to a home remedy?
Puffy eyes can be a sign of dehydration, so make sure you’re pumping fluids all day if you wake up with bags. According to the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, the average guy needs about 15.5 cups of fluid per day.
Caffeine-infused skincare products do for your skin what a cup of coffee does for your body. Skip the teabag on your face and let Disco bring you a moisturizer and soothing eye cream all in one.
Grab Disco’s Repairing Eye Stick, and roll on a healthy dose of caffeine to help reduce baggage and soothe the under eye area.
Pycnogenol (a pine tree extract) helps brighten the under eye area while niacinamide (vitamin B3) helps reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Disco is the solution for your skincare problems. Our products are all natural, vegan, sustainably sourced, and formulated specifically for a man’s skin. If you’re battling eye bags, we can help.
You need skincare, we make skincare; it’s a swipe-right worthy connection.