Can you cure eye bags with home remedies?

Do you have a non-beauty product in your home that you can use to make you look younger?  In my latest book, Pause and Reverse, the chapter on natural remedies outlines the most popular household items that are used as beauty products and I rate their effectiveness.

In this blog post, I share an excerpt from that chapter with the 4 most popular natural eye bag remedies, including Preparation H.

1. Preparation H for eye bags

This popular hemorrhoid cream has also become popular for under-eye puffiness. The active ingredient is phenylephrine, which shrinks blood vessels. This effect could temporarily reduce the visibility of prominent eyelid veins, but it won’t do much for the puffiness. You also risk developing irritation or a rash when placing a product designed for, well, a “lower part” of your body on a sensitive area like the lower eyelids.

2. Witch hazel under your eyes

Also known as Hamamelis virginiana, this powerful astringent agent works on the surface of the skin to cause some contraction. It can reduce the visibility of pores and make the surface feel tighter. As with Preparation H, the results are not long-lived. And if you have dry skin, this agent can make the skin drier. Care needs to be taken to avoid contact with the eyes. It won’t take care of major bags, but it could provide a minor beauty boost in the way of smoother under-eyes for a few hours.

3. The purpose of cool cucumber slices over your eyes

Everyone knows about placing cool cucumbers over the eyes as a beauty treatment. The idea is that these slices will reduce eye bags.

There is nothing special about cucumber slices other than their size that fits nicely around the rim of the orbital bone. They have high water content, so they maintain a cold temperature after coming out of the fridge. The same goes for a frozen steak that you’ve seen applied to the recently acquired shiner of the leading man in some old films. Some people do the same with the curved back of two metal spoons that were stored in the freezer. Any type of cool compress will work in the same way to reduce blood flow to the area, possibly reducing some puffiness. I recommend a bag of frozen peas to my patients after eyelid surgery as it molds nicely to the contours of the face. And sometimes cold just feels good.

4. Green-tea bags for eye bags

These have recently been more in vogue than cucumber slices, mostly due to the antioxidant hype surrounding green tea. Many creams contain antioxidants to help reduce sun damage and skin aging. The antioxidants found in green tea are called polyphenols. Are polyphenols effective when placed on the skin in a bag of green tea leaves steeped in water? Currently, no studies have determined if this approach is effective, but there is some evidence that green-tea-derived polyphenols protect against ultraviolet sun damage and improve skin elasticity. As long as you don’t burn your eyelids, there is probably minimal risk.

Is there a better way to fix eye bags?

Using products designed and tested for the delicate under-eye skin is most always a better option.  Concealers, retinols, vitamin C serums can all be helpful.  This infographic lists the causes of under-eye bags and the appropriate fixes for each.

Under-eye filler and a lower eyelid lift are two ways to dramatically improve eye bags when done by a skilled professional.  See some examples of my patients here.