Under-eye bags and dark circles can be partly blamed on genetics, but experts also suggest cutting back on unhealthy habits to lessen their appearance.
Dermatologists explain that your individual biology – including genetics, anatomy, lymphatics, the vascular system, skin health, and aging – all contribute to under-eye bag appearance.
Dermatologist Dr Cristina Psomadakis told Daily Mail: “Some of it has to do with facial anatomy. For example, if you have a prominent forehead, inset, or bulging eyes, this can cast shadows on the under eye area that is perceived as darkness.
“A good tip is to have someone check if that skin remains dark with your head tilted back.”
As we age, our under-eye area thins, making the skin less elastic and droopy, said Dr. Sabrina Shah-Desai, an aesthetic oculoplastic surgeon.
She noted that certain ethnic groups are more prone to dark circles.
Dr. Shah-Desai added: “Youthful, taut skin reflects light well, giving it luminosity; however increasing loss of collagen and hydration with worsening laxity in the skin makes the under-eye area appear duller.
“Years of sun damage, exposure to high energy visible (HEV) light (from smartphones and computer screens) and environmental pollutants leads to hyperpigmentation of the eye area.”
But don’t lose hope, even if you’re glued to your computer or TV all day.
“One of my top tips is to avoid caffeine and alcohol as both are stressors to the body and cause dehydration, which may worsen fine lines,” said Shah-Desai, who also stressed the need for a good night’s sleep every night.
In light of the current vaping trend among young adults, doctors have warned against it. “Smoking can deplete the body of vital antioxidants and dry out the skin while leaving it looking dull,” Shah-Desai cautioned.
Psomadakis emphasised hydration as crucial for keeping skin plump and youthful, along with completely removing makeup at night. “For those with a lot of puffiness in the morning, sleeping with your head elevated can help,” she added.
The American Academy of Ophthalmology says allergies can cause puffy eyes, and reducing allergy symptoms could also lessen eye bags.
If everything else fails, the AAO suggests less invasive methods like using concealer and color-corrector to lighten under-eyes or applying a cool compress to reduce swelling.
Cosmetic procedures like chemical peels or injecting fillers could also be an option, but should be discussed with a qualified dermatologist.