Written By: UMA Editorial Team |

Published on: November 9, 2023

Many of us know the feeling of waking up with puffy, swollen eyes or dark circles. Sometimes, it’s clear what the cause is, such as when we get too little sleep. But other times puffy eyes and under-eye bags can be a recurring condition that we are not sure how to alleviate. 

Though we may be tempted to turn to topical solutions, or to simply cover dark circles up with makeup, Ayurveda tells us that the condition of our eyes reflects deeper imbalances within the body. Rather than treating the symptoms of puffy eyes, Ayurveda stresses the importance of tackling the root cause with soothing, natural solutions. 

Here, we break down some of the potential causes of puffy eyes and dark circles and present several Ayurvedic remedies that promote radiant, youthful eyes.



Poor Diet & Indigestion

In Ayurveda, it is believed that what we eat becomes reflected in other parts of the body, including in our faces. When we have puffy eyes, it may be a sign that we are not eating a proper diet. 

Eating foods that are irritating to our dosha, eating while distracted or watching television and consuming Pitta-aggravating substances like alcohol and coffee can all lead to indigestion and worsened health. These conditions decrease the forces of agni (our digestive fire) and ojas (our inner life force), which, when kept in balance, contribute to our overall radiance and well-being. This imbalance then manifests itself in our eyes, which appear puffy, swollen and irritated. 

Fluid Retention

One major cause of puffy eyes is fluid retention, which can lead to swelling, aches and puffy skin. As it turns out, our diet has the power to greatly influence our fluid retention—eating salty foods, for example, can cause fluid to gather to combat elevated salt concentrations, leading to excess swelling. Alcohol also has a similar effect.


Another potential cause of puffy eyes is dehydration. When we don’t drink enough water, our eyes can become dry, saggy and tired. Furthermore, dehydration can worsen other underlying causes of puffy eyes. As oculofacial plastic surgeon Dr. Chaneve Jeanniton tells Vogue, “Dehydration can make eye bags look worse by amplifying the effects of excess salt, high alcohol or poor sleep.” 


Aging is a natural process of life whose side effects can include puffy eyes or undereye bags, as our skin loses elasticity when we grow older. However, external factors like sun exposure, pollutants and stress can contribute to premature aging, leading us to develop wrinkles and sagging skin earlier than we typically might have.

Lack Of Sleep

While we sleep, we process the events and external stimuli of the day and rejuvenate both mind and body. A lack of sleep prevents us from regenerating and resting our eyes, causing dark circles or eye bags. Furthermore, research has demonstrated that sleep deprivation can lead to stress that worsens signs of aging, making us even more susceptible to sagging, puffy eyes.


Stress increases our cortisol levels, which in turn aggravates the appearance of bags and dark circles. Furthermore, when we’re stressed, we’re more likely to get less sleep or eat an improper diet, which are also contributors to puffy eyes.


Eat A Balanced Diet

An important step in getting rid of puffy eyes is eating a balanced diet full of antioxidants. As we age, and as we expose ourselves to external toxins and irritants, we become more susceptible to free radical damage, which leads to the development of wrinkles and the loss of skin elasticity. Eating antioxidant- and vitamin-rich foods such as cucumbers, blueberries, watermelons, apples, pomegranates and leafy greens can help combat free radical damage and prevent puffy eye symptoms. It’s also important that we eat foods that are suitable for our dosha.

Avoid Over-stimulating Substances 

As we have seen, substances like coffee, alcohol and tobacco not only increase the likelihood of developing puffy eyes, but they also carry a number of other health risks. Avoiding these substances entirely, or consuming them in careful moderation, can help us maintain balance and reduce sagginess and puffiness.

Regulate Your Sleep

To promote youthful eyes, it’s important to get an adequate amount of sleep and to make sure you sleep at a regular time each day. However, the exact timing and amount of sleep you should get depends on your constitution. Kaphas, for example, experience optimal balance when they wake up before 6am and avoid oversleeping. For more information on how to sleep for your dosha, you can check out our blogs here and here.

Relax With An Eye Massage

Giving yourself an eye massage is a powerful and simple self-care technique that can help combat puffy eyes and dark circles while also alleviating stress. By massaging a soothing essential oil in firm, gentle motions on your upper and lower eyelid, you can increase circulation in the area, which in turn promotes radiance and helps to combat fluid retention. Our UMA Absolute Anti Aging Eye Oil was designed for exactly this purpose—harnessing the hydrating, tightening anti-aging effects of frankincensesandalwood and rosehip, it brightens the skin around the eyes and helps eliminate puffiness and dark circles.

Use A Kansa Wand

The lymphatic system is essential for ensuring that we have healthy circulation and immune function. An imbalanced lymphatic system can lead to swelling, so one way to combat eye puffiness is by using a Kansa wand, which promotes lymphatic drainage.

An Ayurvedic tool whose tip is derived from copper, which contains natural antimicrobial and detoxifying properties, the Kansa wand is applied to marma points along the face and neck to improve circulation and induce lymphatic drainage. As a result, the skin becomes more radiant and even.

Stay Hydrated

Even more essential than eye massages or using a Kansa wand, staying hydrated is a crucial way to boost circulation in the eye area and to reduce dryness and irritation. In addition, getting enough water is important for maintaining liver and kidney health, which in turn can reduce fluid retention. Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water each day, starting with a glass of lukewarm or warm water first thing in the morning (which also helps to regulate digestion).

Try A DIY Cucumber Mask

If you’re looking for some quick relief for swollen eyes, try covering them with fresh cucumber slices, which can calm down irritation and reduce stress. If done regularly, this practice can more effectively reduce puffiness and dark circles in the long run.