Medically review by Kim Langdon
The obvious answer? Probably to get more sleep.
But you know that if you often find yourself with dark under eye circles or bags, sleep isn't the answer you're looking for!
You need something to work now, so at the very least you don't have your co-workers asking you if you're feeling well.
Besides, you should feel confident in the way you look, even without any makeup.
Instead of covering up, we've got a few tips and tricks up our sleeve.
Even if you get good rest most of the time, you're not immune to looking like you didn't!
One late night is all it takes to feel and look a little run down, and it's not exactly a badge of honor.
If you know us at Happy Body Formula, you know we really emphasize good sleep as a crucial part of good health.
Besides slacking on your slumber, other factors that may be impacting the intensity or consistency with which your dark under eye circles appear include smoking, drinking, allergies, skin conditions like eczema, natural aging, sleeping face-down, water retention, and bloating.
And don't worry - we're not talking about any drastic measures today.
We're just dishing out some all-natural, no-harm methods to put a little sparkle back in your eyes, pep in your step, and boost in your confidence.
These easy methods for under eye bags are easily done with budget-friendly products, foods, lifestyle hacks, and things you probably already have at home.
No insanely expensive creams necessary.
The makeup fix: fail-proof concealer
If you've attempted this method before which seems like the most logical, you've likely run into the problem of brightening things up a notch too high.
You know - those photos where your under-eye circles aren't too dark, but a bit ghostly looking instead!
See, there's a method to this madness, and it's all about perfecting it.
A good concealer can be the simplest fix, especially on a busy morning when you're just about sprinting out the door and don't have time for some real TLC.
Start with an eye cream. This addresses the root of the problem - hydration, or lack thereof. We like this eye cream, which is affordable.
Besides, a little goes a LONG way, and you'll love the results.
Follow up with the concealer. We like RMS Beauty for their natural, organic products, and their concealer is no exception.
Their color really adjusts to skin tone rather than "covering" up, so you'll end up with a much more natural look.
This one has a higher price tag, but the fabulous pigmentation means you just need a bit to cover up those problem areas.
When purchasing, make sure to just get around one shade lighter than your natural skin tone.
The trick? Combining the two!
When you add a bit of moisture to the mix, the concealer will do its magic. It will also water down the color, so your cover-up won't look too aggressive.
If your dark under-eye circles are always coming back with a vengeance, add this habit to your morning beauty routine.
Swap it out: trade coffee for green tea and water
Coffee is an unspoken and widely accepted addiction. Yep - we said the dirty word!
While coffee has a nice list of benefits including its high antioxidant content, and its obvious effects on alertness, focus, and generally wanting to do the things, addressing the actual fatigue or adrenal fatigue we might be facing if our eyes are showing it is important for a long-term solution.
Swap coffee for green tea. Green tea also contains caffeine, so the switch won't be quite as harsh as cutting out caffeine altogether which is a cornerstone of our 'detox' week during the 9-week Happy Body Formula program.
Believe me - we see how tough total elimination can be for our participants!
Green tea has more health benefits overall, a less drastic come-up due to less caffeine, and a more stable and natural release of energy.
It also generally means avoiding that dip in energy later when you might see the bags under your eyes worsen.
Bonus: it will also impact sleep less later, allowing you to get a longer and more restful night of zzz's.
Follow up with water. Hydration is the key here. The skin thrives on having enough water, and it shows when we aren't getting enough.
By cutting back on coffee, you won't be actively dehydrating the body quite as much.
After a morning cup of tea, make sure to aim for 2-3 liters of water per day. This should help fill out those circles throughout the day.
Both of these are long-term solutions. These won't necessarily help immediately, but they WILL help address the root of the problem if you make them a habit!
Address your diet: foods to avoid and foods to include
Basically, we can trace a lot back to diet - dark under-eye circles included.
Eating a well-balanced healthy diet rich in vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids, adequate protein, and proper hydration makes a HUGE difference.
If bags under your eyes are a major concern, we have a few tips to follow.
Include more collagen. Collagen is what our skin is made of, so it makes plenty of sense that it's a fantastic supplement to use for restoring a certain youthfulness to problem areas.
Plus, it's from a real food source and has plenty of other benefits for the gut, digestion, and even anxiety.
We recommend a grass-fed brand like Vital Proteins.
You can simply mix it into water or your smoothie each morning. You can also check out our list of the most important nutrients to nourish healthy skin.
Cut back on these. Sugar is the big one here. We know refined sugar is pretty bad for your health, and it's not doing your under-eye circles any good.
Excess carbohydrate consumption makes our bodies more prone to retaining water and bloating - two major factors in the color and appearance of skin. It's also helpful to cut back on excess salt.
Salt your own food, use healthy salts, and avoid processed foods. Lastly, it goes without saying that avoiding alcohol is key.
Besides the immediate effects of dehydration, it's actually a stimulant and can really cut into quality sleep.
Immediate relief: use a cold compress
A cold compress can be done in a few ways, and it can be very effective for immediate relief. Besides, a cold compress should give you a little sensory jolt to wake you up a bit!
This can also be really helpful for those with severe eye irritation, dry eyes, skin problems, or allergies.
Different strokes for different folks. You could simply use an eye pack if you want to keep it simple, or you can use a cold compress with tannins or some sort of caffeine in it like green tea.
This contracts blood vessels and reduces the visibility of dark under-eye circles. Oh, and just like the old spa trick, hydrating cucumbers could also offer some relief.
We hope these tips work for you! If you really want to work on your sleep, consider our 7-Day Sleep Better Challenge - a surefire way to cure those dark under eye circles once and for all.
This article was fact checked for accuracy by Dr. Kim Langdon, MD. As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor.
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Kimberly Langdon M.D. is a retired University-trained obstetrician/gynecologist with 19-years of clinical experience. She delivered over 2000 babies to mothers in a suburban Midwestern community.