What to do about dark circles and bags under your eyes?

Wat te doen tegen donkere kringen en wallen onder je ogen?

Do you have puffiness or dark circles under your eyes? That can be quite annoying. Some men suffer from enormously deep and dark pits under the eyes that sometimes make them look as much as ten years older. In addition, you may suffer from swollen bags under your eyes. Not a pleasant sight in the mirror either. Fortunately, there are plenty of measures you can take. Those we are of course going to share with you!

What are puffiness and dark circles and what's the difference?

The skin under your eyes is thinner than in other areas of your face. Because of this, you are more likely to see signs of stress, aging and damage. In fact, puffiness in men is a mild swelling under your eyes. Not nice, right in the middle of your face.

Dark circles are nothing but changes in the pigment in the skin under your eyes. So where puffiness is a kind of cute little pads, dark circles are simply just dark circles. Two different things that are often confused. But both are equally disturbing. Time to start addressing them.

Causes of puffiness and dark circles

Fortunately, for both problems, there are a number of things you can do to reduce or perhaps even eliminate them altogether. Before that, though, it's helpful to know what might be causing those teabags under your eyes.

How do dark circles under the eyes occur?

The causes of under-eye dark circles in men are diverse but all have to do with the thickness of the skin around your eyes. This is because the skin around your eyes is quite a bit thinner. Your skin is on average 2 to 3 mm thick all over your body. Under your eyes it is only 0.5 mm(!) The dark color can be genetically determined but is often due to a lack of moisture. The skin then becomes even thinner and you can see the colors of the blue blood vessels and gray bony membrane of your skull through the skin. This creates a dark circle. We can't sugarcoat it. Here are a few triggering factors that can make your dark circles worse or just appear:


When you don't get enough sleep, the substance collagen is broken down. This substance keeps the skin firm. Taking away this substance through too little sleep will cause dark circles to appear.


When you are stressed, your body makes more cortisol. This is a stress hormone that can significantly disrupt the skin's moisture balance. A lack of moisture and thinner skin under the eyes are the result.

Drinking too little

When you don't drink enough water, the skin under your eyes becomes drier and thinner. It is the biggest cause in people with dark circles under their eyes.


Your skin becomes thinner as you age. So the older you get, the more you may start to see dark circles. As you age, your body starts producing less and less collagen (which we just talked about). So your skin becomes less firm as you age.


Do you drink a lot of alcohol? We've got some bad news for you. After all, it's not exactly great for the skin around your eyes. Alcohol has a dehydrating effect, making the skin under the eyes thinner. The skin becomes drier and thinner and will also darken.


The substance caffeine constricts blood vessels and also has a dehydrating effect. So when you drink a lot of cupfuls you can definitely suffer from dark circles.

Rubbing your eyes

Rub your eyes hard. Oh man, what a wonderful feeling once in a while. But it can also damage the blood vessels under the eyes if you do this often. This makes them more visible and thus gives you a dark color.

Sitting at the computer a lot

When you look at a screen all day, the blood vessels around the eyes get a lot of stress. They work harder without getting rest. Your blood vessels get bigger thanks to cortisol released to deal with the stress. But the dark circles get so much worse. Do you have an office job? Take a break every hour with your eyes off the screen. Also a nice excuse to tell your boss.

Other causes of dark circles

When your skin under your eyes is darker, in some people it may also have another cause. It could be that you suffer from hyperpigmentation. The dark circles are then slightly browner in color. This is because more melanin is then produced in the skin under your eyes. This can have several causes such as allergies, medications, lots of sun and hormonal changes. If you suspect you suffer from this, ask your doctor for advice.

What to do about dark circles?

Now you may be wondering "what helps against dark circles? Well, now that we know the main causes, here's what we can do to keep the skin under your eyes as healthy as possible:

  • Drink enough (min 1.5 liters per day)
  • Get enough sleep, about 8h per night
  • Moderate alcohol, caffeine and smoking
  • Do not stare at a screen too much
  • Improve your blood circulation by exercising
  • Relax sufficiently

What is the best remedy for puffiness and dark circles?

Adapting your lifestyle is of course the most important thing, but fortunately there are also remedies on the market to remedy your puffiness and dark circles! We've listed our favorites for you.

baxter of california under eye balm

Baxter of California - Under Eye Complex

The winner of the 2016 Men's Health Grooming Award Winner. This eye cream from Baxter of California is specifically targeted to repair the skin under the eyes. The product nourishes the skin with caffeine, seaweed and vitamin E. Although it is not good to drink, caffeine is very good to put on your skin. It shrinks blood vessels and gives your skin a boost that makes dark circles disappear. Free of parabens.


Recipe for men - Under Eye Gel

Minimize dark circles and bags under your eyes with this 100% eye gel from Recipe for men. The gel is made with carefully selected herbs, minerals and peptides. These hydrate, firm and soften the skin, reduce dry lines and increase skin elasticity. This gives the eye contour area a rested and refreshed appearance.

verminder wallen met Patricks EB1 Eye Balm

Patricks - EB1 Eye Balm

This 100% eye balm from Patricks is packed with active ingredients that moisturize and strengthen the skin under the eyes. Combats skin aging and very easy to use. Free of parabens, sulfates and phthalates.

What causes bags under the eyes in men?

There can be several causes for bags under your eyes. Some are simply unlucky with their genes, while others can change a lot by adjusting some part of their lifestyle.

Genes and aging

Puffy bags under eyes are actually an accumulation of fluid and fat. That combination of fluid and fat is there to protect your eyes. It serves as a kind of pad. When a bulge forms, it bulges outward. In some people, the eye socket is smaller so it is actually too small for the cushion. That fat under your eye is normally held together by a connective tissue. As you age, this connective tissue slackens and so the accumulation sinks down causing you to see a shore. So in people with a smaller eye socket you see this more quickly. So this is genetic.

Sleeping too little or too much

Sleeping too long can also cause terrible bags under the eyes in men. When you lie in bed for too long, you don't have enough blood flow and more fluid accumulates under your eyes. Too little sleep actually causes your body to retain too much fluid. So you'll never get rid of those bumps.

Always lie on your side or stomach

When you sleep on your stomach or side, a lot of fluid can escape to the accumulation under your eyes. Add to that gravity that can pull extra on the puffiness and you create thick pillows under your eyes over time.

Eating too much salt

When you eat a lot of salt, your body retains extra fluids. You start seeing this very quickly under your eyes. An ever-increasing fluid build-up occurs, causing thick puffiness.

Alcohol and smoking

You probably could have guessed this one. Alcohol and smoking disturb the fluid balance in your body. This is the first thing you will see under your eyes.


Do you often suffer from colds, sensitive skin or watery eyes? Then you might have an allergy. Your eyes swell up quickly with these types of symptoms. After becoming swollen all the time, the skin around your eyes becomes even looser, allowing fat and moisture to sink under your eyes more and more easily.

What do puffiness say about your health?

Basically, if you have puffiness, it does not have to mean that you are unhealthy. It could just be that you have not inherited good genes (as far as puffiness is concerned). However, you always know best how your puffiness develops. Is it after a men's weekend with little sleep and lots of alcohol? Is it after your children have been keeping you awake for months? Is it after you decided to sin for a month and chewed away way too many salty shoarma rolls? Then you know which area of your health could be the cause of your puffiness. So are you just dad, try taking more naps, have you started sinning with fast food, grab a the healthy cookbook out of your drawer. Most puffiness tells you something about your health, look carefully for the pattern of your puffiness.

How to get rid of bags under your eyes without makeup?

Time for a short course on "getting rid of puffiness for men." Some men are very handy with a make-uppie, the other does not want to start. Either is fine. Fortunately, there are more options for getting rid of your puffiness than makeup alone. There is no one specific approach, but there are several aspects you can try to get rid of puffiness. So, bags under men's eyes could be a thing of the past in no time.

Reduce the swelling under your eyes

You can reduce the swelling under your eyes by cooling and taking care of it. For example, you can:

  • Put slices of cucumber on your eyes: this has a cooling effect.
  • Put cold wet (green) tea bags on your eyes: green tea contains EGCG which could have a beneficial effect on swelling under your eyes. This has never been proven but helps according to many specialists.
  • Cool your eyes with a cold compress: put something cold on the swelling every morning which will reduce it.
  • Use the Recipe For Men - Under Eye Gel for better skin health around the eyes and reduction of swelling.

Change unhealthy habits

  • Eat less salt
  • Sleep on your back: Try to sleep on your back as much as possible. This prevents moisture from settling down under the eyes.
  • Get an average of 7-8 hours of sleep
  • Drink and smoke in moderation
  • Exercise sufficiently

Can you massage away puffiness?

Yes you can! If you have ever heard of lymphatic drainage, you know how it works. Use both ring fingers to apply pressure under your eyes. Start by applying light pressure from the inner corners of your eyes and work gently toward the outer corners. This way you follow your natural lymph flow. Repeat this about 10 to 20 times and finally sweep the waste products down through your temples to the sides of your throat toward the bottom.

We've gone through the causes, tips and our favorites. But if you do have any questions, which of course is always possible, know that we are happy to help! You know where to find us, let us know. If you order your "under eye teabag remover" before 9 p.m., you'll find it on your doormat the very next day.

Good luck!

Your friends, The Alpha Men