Are you packing enough eye baggage for a three week trip to the Caribbean? If only that was the case! Eye bags are the excess luggage of the lymphatics world and we’re on a mission to be rid of them.

So what is with those stubborn bags and is there anything that can be done?

Dark, swollen eye bags can be more obvious in people with thin or pale skin beneath the eyes simply because the capillaries and blood vessels are more visible on a fair complexion. Periods of stress and sleepless nights can slow your circulation, generating dark circles as the blood pools in the fragile tissue beneath the eyes. 

Genetics and skin tone aside, puffy eyes can come on with age due to increased fluid retention and a natural sagging of the tissue around the eyes as collagen production and skin elasticity diminishes. If you think that those bags are age-related, don’t despair! There are ways to promote collagen production and elasticity in the skin, to keep that tissue firm and functioning well for as long as possible!

Ageing and genetics may feel a little outside of your immediate control, but there are some other pesky causes of puffy eye bags that are easier to remedy! Let’s unpack:

1. Food sensitivities and intolerances puffing your eyes?

Puffy eye bags can be a sign that something in your diet isn’t agreeing with you. Dairy is a common intolerance that can show up with dark puffy circles under your eyes and might be accompanied by sinus congestion, brain fog and headaches. Dairy is an arch nemesis of great lymphatic drainage because it is thick, congestive and can trigger inflammation in the mucous membranes of the body, including the face and sinuses!

If you’re used to bloating or toilet trouble when you eat too much cheese, you might be nodding along. But how do you tell whether your eye bags are caused by a food sensitivity if you don’t experience any digestive symptoms?

Perhaps you’ve already driven yourself crazy trying to pinpoint which foods you are intolerant to and have ended up back at square one with no idea.

The quickest and easiest way to identify which foods are causing your puffy eye bags and other lymphatic system woes is to invest in our Food Compatibility Hair Analysis Program.

Hair compatibility

All you need to do is take a small sample of hair and wait for your report of compatible and incompatible foods! The test checks for everything from milk to toothpaste to see what household items might be adding weight to your eye bags. 

Then it is simply a matter of swapping out the incompatible foods for options that are more suited to your unique body, and watch to see if those puffy eye bags start to diminish once you adjust your needs! 

2. Too much of your favourite salty snacks?

If your idea of a good time is ending the day with a glass or two of wine and a bowl of salty crunchy chips in front of the TV, then you might have your eye-bag answer. Salt and alcohol can both worsen water retention (don’t shoot the messenger) which allows fluid to pool under the eyes during the night. 

The result? You wake up with puffy eyes and a mouth that is dryer than the Sahara desert from all that salt. 

In some people, the sulphites in wine alone can cause periorbital edema (the fancy name for puffy eyes) congested sinuses and a stuffy nose.

If you still want something crunchy for supper, try some roasted unsalted mixed nuts and a cup of herbal tea.

Swap the salt for a herbal tea and see if you wake up with puff-free eyes

3. Stuffy sinuses and allergies – the issue is in the tissue

Puffy eyes can occur alongside chronic sinusitis and hayfever because the tissue that lines the sinuses (beneath the eyes) is prone to swelling, inflammation and fluid production. If you’re experiencing this, there is a big chance there is an allergic reaction at play! 

This could be a reaction to something as common as pollen, animal dander or even an old pillow or chemical air freshener. There may also be a lingering infection in the sinuses creating extra inflammation. 

Managing your exposure to any known allergens can be helpful, however be careful not to rely on antihistamines to keep on top of your allergies. Chronic sinusitis, hayfever and puffy eyes are a sign that your immune system is a little overwhelmed and in need of support. Chronic use of antihistamines can (ironically) impede your body’s ability to clear histamine naturally, perpetuating the cycle of reliance.

Waking up with puffy, swollen eyes is not an ideal way to start the day, so what else can be done?

Puffy eyes are a form of fluid retention, so getting that fluid draining is the best place to start. 

Staying hydrated, minding your intake of sodium, alcohol and refined foods may help, as well as using cold compresses to reduce inflammation and relieve swelling. A chilled gua sha tool pressed under the eyes or a slice of cucumber might do in a pinch, but for some extra relief in the morning treat yourself to a lymphatic drainage massage to get that fluid draining properly for the day ahead. Check out this guide on how to get that done in a few simple steps. 

If you’re reading this, chances are that your eyes are not the only part of you that is feeling swollen and puffy! If you get swollen feet, lymphoedema or cellulite that just won’t budge, then you may want to consider some of our more in-depth solutions to lymphatic health. 

Our CJ&CO Circulate pneumatic compression range offers the perfect at-home lymphatic solution, allowing you to experience all the benefits of lymphatic massage at the touch of a button. 

cjandco circulate pneumatic compression therapy why you need it

Or, if you want a free solution? Jump into the BooB CamP Facebook group and stay tuned for our next live event where we’ll dive into everything you need to know about the lymphatic system and how to care for it. 

Bringing your body back to balance and optimising your lymphatic health will have you feeling vibrant, alive and a little lighter in the eye department! Get ready to say “goodbye” to those puffy eye bags!