How Does Smoking Affect Under Eye Bags and Dark Circles?

Smoking, a habit fraught with a multitude of adverse health effects, significantly impacts the appearance of under-eye bags and may cause dark circles, primarily through its detrimental effects on various bodily systems. Understanding how smoking contributes to the development and exacerbation of bags under the eyes requires an exploration of its wide-ranging influence on the body’s cardiovascular, immunologic, and lymphatic systems, along with its impact on the nervous system, and the structural components of the skin, including muscle, bone, and fat, especially as they relate to the under-eye area.

Cardiovascular Impact

Smoking has a profound effect on the cardiovascular system, impairing blood circulation throughout the body. Nicotine, a potent vasoconstrictor found in cigarettes, narrows blood vessels, reducing blood flow to the skin. This diminished circulation deprives the skin of essential nutrients and oxygen, leading to a decrease in collagen production and a reduction in the skin’s elasticity. The under-eye area, characterized by its thin and delicate skin, becomes particularly vulnerable to the development of bags, sags, and wrinkles in the eye area due to compromised skin health and integrity.

Immunologic and Lymphatic Systems

The toxins present in cigarette smoke pose significant challenges to the body’s immune system, impairing its ability to fight infections and repair tissue damage. This immunosuppression can lead to increased inflammation throughout the body, including the skin and bags under your eyes, contributing to puffiness and bag formation. Additionally, smoking can obstruct the normal functioning of the lymphatic system, leading to fluid buildup and exacerbating the appearance of under-eye bags due to inadequate lymphatic drainage.

Effects on the Nervous System

Smoking impacts the nervous system by inducing stress responses that elevate cortisol levels in the body. Elevated cortisol can lead to fluid retention and the accumulation of fat under the eyes, further accentuating under-eye bags. Moreover, the stimulation of the nervous system by nicotine disrupts sleep patterns, depriving individuals of the restorative effects of sleep. This lack of quality sleep can result in increased fluid retention and vascular dilation, making dark circles under your eyes and under-eye bags more prominent.

Influence on Muscle, Bone, and Fat

The structural integrity around your eyes is supported by the synergistic relationship between muscle, bone, and fat. Smoking accelerates the degradation of these supportive structures, leading to a loss of elasticity and firmness in the skin. The depletion of fat pads under the eyes, coupled with the weakening of facial muscles and bone resorption, causes the skin to sag and bulge, forming pronounced under-eye bags. The redistribution of fat due to smoking-induced hormonal changes can also contribute to the altered appearance of the under-eye area.

Holistic Effects

Beyond its direct impacts on specific systems, smoking affects the skins overall health and appearance by promoting oxidative stress and reducing antioxidant levels in the body. The increased production of free radicals and the decreased ability to combat oxidative damage lead to premature aging of the skin, making under-eye bags more likely to form and persist.


In conclusion, smoking exerts a multifaceted detrimental effect on the body, contributing significantly to the formation and exacerbation of under-eye bags. Its impact spans from impairing cardiovascular health and lymphatic drainage to compromising the immune system, disrupting sleep, and degrading the structural components critical to the skin’s elasticity and appearance. The culmination of these effects is a pronounced change in the under-eye area, where bags become more visible and persistent.

Preventing or mitigating under-eye bags in smokers, or those recently quit, involves addressing the habits root cause by quitting smoking. Concurrently, adopting a comprehensive skincare and health regimen that includes proper nutrition, hydration, regular exercise, and adequate sleep can help counteract some of smoking’s adverse effects on the under-eye area. By nourishing the body from within and protecting the skin from external damages, including sun exposure and smoking, individuals can significantly improve the appearance and health of their under-eye area, reflecting a more vibrant and youthful complexion in their skin tone.

Why Choose EyeRise, the Premiere Under-Eye Filler Treatment 

EyeRise is a non-surgical technique for eye bag removal and under-eye circles, created by master injector Dr. Stephen Bracci and exclusively available at Verve. Dr. Bracci is known for treating the under-eye area and he developed this innovative method for reducing tired or aged appearance underneath the eyes. During the procedure, a tailored combination of cosmetic fillers are injected under the eyes, and the mid-face (malar) region. The goal of the procedure is to reduce the appearance of eye bags and restore the skin to its original position, by using different cosmetic fillers for each layer underneath the skin. When you purchase a filler treatment, you are purchasing access to as many fillers, touch-ups, and follow ups it may take to get you your desired results. 

In conclusion, the optimal treatment strategy is to use different fillers for different areas, use a sufficient amount of filler in the desired area, and require multiple visits for a natural and complete correction. If you believe you are a good candidate for EyeRise, schedule a consultation at VERVE Medical Cosmetics. 

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About Dr. Stephen Bracci 

Dr. Stephen Bracci specializes and dedicates his practice solely to the use of non-surgical cosmetic injections and facial fillers, known for his injection techniques and ability to produce natural-looking results for his patients. Dr. Bracci focuses on the entire face and restores the skin to its original structure and glow, leaving the patient looking rested and more youthful. Combining his extensive experience, the latest technology, and his artful hand leads to satisfying results. A pioneer in the field, Dr. Bracci has trademarked several nonsurgical techniques, including Baselift™, the non surgical facelift, and EyeRise™ for the under-eye bag area.

Choosing the Right Cosmetic Injector 

Scheduling a Cosmetic Injection Consultation at VERVE

To schedule a complimentary consultation with Dr. Stephen Bracci at VERVE Medical Cosmetics, fill out the form on our website or give us a call at (212) 355-1575 and someone from our team will assist you. 

Schedule a Complimentary Consultation with Dr. Bracci

VERVE offers a free consult for every procedure to ensure you are have all the information when choosing the right cosmetic procedure from an expert you can trust for full facial rejuvenation and eye bag elimination, Verve Medical Cosmetics offers the most focused non-surgical solutions.

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