The eyes are the mirrors of our health and well-being, and changes in this area quickly attract attention.
A common but often misunderstood issue is "bags under the eyes". I notice in daily practice that many people use the term "puffiness" to describe both dark circles and fluid retention (fluid retention).
However, these are two completely different eye contour problems....
In this article, we will dive deeper into the world of eye contour changes and the mechanisms that lead to both dark circles and puffiness. We will discuss the possible causes and provide tips to tackle these problems.
Always looking tired because of dark circles
Dark circles around the eyes, also known as "puffiness" ( which is therefore incorrect) or "panda eyes", can have several causes and are often caused by a combination of factors. The main causes are
1. Skin pigmentation: The skin around the eyes is thinner and more sensitive than on other parts of the face. An accumulation of melanin (the pigment that gives colour to the skin) can result in dark circles. We often see this in darker skin tones.
2. Poor circulation: The skin under the eyes contains many small blood vessels. If these blood vessels dilate or become permeable, blood can accumulate, which can lead to a darker complexion.
3. Age and volume loss: As we age, the elasticity and thickness of the skin decreases. This can make blood vessels and pigmentation more visible, which in turn results in dark circles. The loss of volume in the face and under the eyes creates a visible tear duct and shadowing, making circles visible.
4. Heredity: Genetic predisposition also plays a role. If dark circles are common in your family, you may be more at risk of developing them yourself.
5. Fatigue, lack of sleep and stress: Lack of sleep can affect blood vessels and make skin paler, making dark circles more noticeable.
Prolonged stress in turn can lead to fatigue and disturbed sleep. Capillaries ( the small blood vessels) can also cramp under stress, reducing circulation round eyes.
6. Allergies and sinus problems: Allergies and sinus congestion can lead to inflammation and fluid accumulation under the eyes, resulting in dark circles.
7. Hormonal changes: Hormonal fluctuations, such as during menstruation or pregnancy, can contribute to the appearance of dark circles. This is because points 1,5 and 6 lurk then
8. Smoking: No need to discuss this further as it is not good for anything
9. Nutrition and hydration: Insufficient hydration can cause the skin to dry out and reduce blood circulation, which in turn can therefore contribute to the appearance of dark circles.
So a whole laundry list of possible causes. Fortunately, to reduce dark circles you can do a lot yourself.
- Get enough sleep and rest.
- Wear sunglasses on sunny days
- Manage stress and find relaxation methods that work for you.
- Moisturise yourself sufficiently.
- Use eye creams or serums that contain ingredients that reduce skin discolouration, such as vitamin C or niacinamide.
- Use an eye mask regularly
If dark circles persist or are severe, it is best to consult a professional for advice and possible treatment options because there are several treatment options!
Treatments will usually aim to brighten the skin, improve circulation or return volume. This can be done, for example, with meso treatments or a hyaluronic acid filler.
A puffy look due to puffiness
Under-eye puffiness, also known as eye bags or under-eye bags, is caused by an accumulation of fluid and sometimes fatty tissue under the thin skin around the eyes. These bags can swell the area under the eyes and cause a puffy appearance. Several causes are also possible for fluid puffiness:
1. Accumulation of fluid: Moisture can accumulate under the eyes due to malfunctioning lymph or blood circulation in that area. And this can be exacerbated by factors such as your salt intake, alcohol consumption and dehydration, which can disrupt the balance of your body fluids.
2. Age: As we age, the elasticity of the skin and muscles decreases, making it easier for fluid and fatty tissue to accumulate under the eyes.
3. Genetic predisposition: If moisture bags run in your family, you may have a genetic predisposition to develop them. The anatomical features of the under-eye area can vary from person to person.
4. Allergies and sinus problems: Allergic reactions and blocked sinuses (sinus congestion) can cause inflammation and also lead to fluid accumulation under the eyes.
5. Poor sleep: Again, lack of sleep can cause fluid to accumulate in the under-eye area, leading to swelling.
6. Salt intake: A high intake of salt can lead to fluid retention in the body and accumulation of fluid under the eyes.
7. Lying position: Sleeping in a flat position can cause fluid to accumulate under the eyes, especially if you don't have enough height under your head.
8. Smoking and alcohol consumption: Smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to dehydration and swelling of the skin.
There are also tips for reducing and preventing puffiness:
- Get enough sleep and a good sleeping position.
- Limit your salt intake.
- Reduce your alcohol and caffeine consumption.
- If necessary, use cold compresses and eye serums with soothing and decongestant ingredients.
- Light draining massage of the eye area helps drain moisture
And if the puffiness persists or is severe, again, you can choose to have it treated by a skin professional. For example, they can perform lymphatic drainage where the puffiness is 'drained', so to speak. This can be done manually or with specific equipment such as soft laser or gentle vacuum massage.
Puffiness can also be filled with fat
Now we have talked about fluid puffiness but swelling under the eyes can also consist of fat.
So puffiness has to do with fatigue, diet, allergy, in short, lifestyle factors that you can influence. Especially during the night, our lymphatic system is busy draining waste products and fluids and if you don't get enough sleep, this task sometimes cannot be completed.
But puffiness occurs with age and can sometimes be genetic. The elasticity of the skin and connective tissue decreases and the tissue becomes weaker.
As a result, the fat under the eye may protrude slightly and create a bulge. With surgical lower eyelid correction, the fat and excess skin can be removed.
How can you tell if your bags are filled with fluid or fat?
Lie completely flat. If the volume of your puffiness is no longer visible then it is fluid puffiness. If you lie flat and still see the thickness of your puffiness then it is fat puffiness.
Pascaud product tips:
NEW : Eye Essence. This eye serum contains Arnica and Nanowhite in addition to a stable form of vitamin C. A powerful problem solver for the most stubborn circles and puffiness. The roller tube feels very refreshing and gives an instant radiant eye look.
Powerful problem solvers in the form of eye mask, gel, cream and serum:
For a good night's sleep : Circadian capsules, stick and your eye mask for the night.