If You Have Woken up With a Puffy Face, Here Are 7 Things to Try to Reduce It (2022)

If you’ve woken up this morning and your face is looking a little more puffy, or bloated, than you are used to, know that there are a few potential reasons why – most of which are easily remedied.

While there are some health conditions, such as allergies or a sinus infection that might be the root cause, for most people, it's more likely that late nights, red wine or salty snacks are what is going on.

To figure out what might be at play here, WH consulted a handful of leading experts, to get their take on the cause of, and solutions to a puffy face.

What causes a puffy face?

Typically, a puffy face is caused by water retention. 'The reason for your face becoming puffy is usually due to vasodilation [the widening of blood vessels] and electrolyte [minerals in your body that have an electric charge and which help to balance the amount of water in your body] imbalance, causing fluid to leave your veins and go into your skin area,' notes Harley Street Dermatologist Dr Emma Craythorne.

Issues with your lymphatic system could also be involved. 'The lymphatic system is incredibly important in its role for clearing impurities from the body, and occasionally it gets blocked or slowed down. One of the most important things you can do to improve lymphatic drainage is to drink water,' adds Dr Craythorne.

The trigger for this build-up of excess water varies. There are quite a lot of reasons this could happen to you, from eating too much salt, allergies, early wake-up calls, hot showers, alcohol and (the ever-unavoidable) PMS,' says facialist Lisa Franklin.

Can any underlying issues cause a puffy face?

'There are many health conditions that can present with facial swelling including thyroid disease, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematosus and kidney disease,' notes Dr Susan Mayou, Consultant Dermatologist at the Cadogan Clinic.

A sinus infection could also be the reason you're looking a bit more bloated in the face than usual.

When you have a nasty cold the air-filled spaces between the eyes and behind your forehead, nose, and cheekbones become inflamed and can get they blocked up with mucus. The pressure caused by that backup causes a dull ache around your eyes, greenish-yellow discharge from your nose, pounding headaches—and sometimes, a swollen face.

Have concerns that this could be you? Give your GP a call and explain what's going on, to them.

How can I prevent a puffy face?

If you know you’re prone to puffiness, aesthetic doctor Dr Sophie Shotter recommends 'sleeping propped up in bed, which can help,' as it will help the excess water to drain. 'Also remove makeup before bed, inflammation in the skin worsens puffiness and dirty makeup left on overnight will contribute to this,' she adds.

'Triggers like allergies and hormones are unavoidable, so it’s worth being mindful of the amount of alcohol and salt you’re consuming around these times especially–and using cooler water to wash your face is a good idea,' advises Franklin.

What foods cause a puffy face?

'Too much sodium (from salt) in the body causes fluid retention which can present as a puffy face,' explains Dr Mayou. 'Use herbs and spices to flavour food rather than salt.

Reduce your intake of foods laced with salt such as the below

  • Crisps
  • Processed meats
  • Anchovies
  • Cheese
  • Gravy granules
  • Olives
  • Pickles
  • Salted and dry-roasted nuts
  • Salt fish
  • Soy sauce
  • Stock cubes

    Does alcohol cause a puffy face?

    Alcohol is a diuretic that leads to general dehydration. Our skin becomes dry and can look wrinkly, but at the same time, the face can be puffy due to vasodilation. The complexion dulls but the facial skin can flush and with chronic excess alcohol ingestion the redness can become permanent with broken capillaries.

    'Alcohol can deprive your skin of vitamins and nutrients and can cause long-term damage – heavy drinking is linked to permanent redness and skin conditions such as rosacea, so it is important to moderate alcohol,' she warns.

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    Caffeine and hyaluronic acid work too soothe and de-puff the delicate under-eye area.

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    Eating salty foods and drinking alcohol? Sipplenty of water to prevent a puffy face.

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    How can I get rid of a puffy face?

    1. Get up and about

    Woken up with a puffy face? 'Get up and out of bed!' says Dr Shotter. 'Being upright will encourage fluid to drain from the face and swelling to reduce quicker.'

    2. Stay hydrated

    Also, Dr Shotter recommends drinking plenty of water. 'It might sound counter-intuitive, but staying well hydrated will mean your tissue fluids are more balanced and puffiness will decrease.'

    3. Use a cold compress

    All the experts agree that using cold water to cleanse or using skincare or facial tools straight from the fridge can help de-puff. 'Water retention can sometimes feel a bit inflamed or uncomfortable,' notes Franklin. 'The cool temperature will not only feel great but also help de-puff.'

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    4. Try lymphatic drainage

    Franklin ends all her facials with a lymph draining massage using a rose quartz stone. 'We have lymph nodes all over our bodies and their purpose is to drain fluid from the tissue in the skin and transport it back to the bloodstream, however, if there’s any kind of obstruction then fluid will build up (aka water retention / puffiness).

    'This is where massage comes in, as it will help clear any blockages and accelerate the transportation of fluids. For example, to target puffiness around your jawline, use your Rose Quartz facial tool to sweep along your jawline with gentle pressure, sweeping from the chin towards your ear. Then, sweep downwards along the outside of your neck – always start in the middle and sweep out towards the edge of your face.'

    If You Have Woken up With a Puffy Face, Here Are 7 Things to Try to Reduce It (10)

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        5. Exercise

        A workout can make all the difference to your bloated face. When you lay still and flat at night swelling accumulates around the eyes making them look puffy. Doing a workout or even just some light exercise will help.

        6. Try a cooling moisturiser

        This uniquely cooling moisturiser is enriched with super-hydrating hyaluronic acid and is suitable for use when applied straight from the freezer for an icy, soothing saviour to combat tired and puffy skin

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        7. Turn down your shower

        A hot shower may feel nice and relaxing but it can increase fluid as well as blood supply to the face, meaning you exit looking hot and puffy.

        Turning the heat down a notch or two is the best way to avoid this, however if you need high temperatures then just make sure to end your wash by splashing cold water on your face.

        How can I get rid of a puffy face from alcohol?

        As well as trying all the above, all the experts suggest skilling up on your at-home facial massage if you want to deflate a puffy face, fast.

        If you don’t have a facial massage tool, you can use your hands. Dr Craythorne recommends the following five minute facial massage for puffy faces:

        • Apply gentle but firm pressure and swipe upwards, using a gentle facial oil
        • Use your ring finger for the eye area and gently pat around each eye, in circular motions
        • Move your fingers across your forehead in both directions for around thirty seconds
        • Move your fingers from below your chin using upward strokes towards your ears
        • Tap fingers around your lower jaw
        • Move your hands from the top of your nose downwards and back upwards.
        • Gradually move your fingers and hands in sweeping motions towards your earlobes.
        • Pucker your lips together for a few seconds to stimulate blood in the mouth area and then smile widely.
        • To finish, move your fingers and hands from the base of your ears down to your collarbone in gentle sweeps

          How to get rid of a puffy face, fast

          In a rush? De-puff and cool by grabbing some trusty ice cubes that have been chilling in your freezer, wrap them up in gauze, and run over your skin, focusing on the eye and forehead areas. 'Your skin will be brighter, tighter and lifted,' says Dr Alexandrides.

          Follow with this sheet mask. Formulated with cryotherapy technology, it mimics the refreshing and detoxifying effects of extreme cold on the skin, helping to reverse the visible signs of fatigue and de-puff your face.

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          What foods reduce swelling in your face?

          Occasional swelling can be a sign of long-term inflammatory disease so see your GP if you're concerned. In the mean time though you can also raid your fridge and pantry as certain foods can help to dial down inflammation.

          1. Bananas
          2. Fennel
          3. Dark Green vegetables
          4. Healthy fats such whole nuts
          5. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in salmon and other fatty fish
          6. Dark chocolate
          7. Green tea
          8. Turmeric
          9. Ginger

            FAQs

            Why do I wake up with such a puffy face? ›

            Here's our process. You may occasionally wake up with a swollen, puffy face. This could happen as a result of pressure being placed on your face while sleeping. However, a swollen, puffy face can also arise from a facial injury or indicate an underlying medical condition.

            How do I stop my face looking puffy? ›

            Quick Home Remedies for Puffy Face and Body
            1. Cool Compress. 1/15. Bags under your eyes? Lack of sleep, allergies, salty food, and smoking all can lead to under-eye puffiness. ...
            2. Hemorrhoid Cream. 2/15. ...
            3. Drink More Water. 3/15. ...
            4. Raise Your Feet. 4/15. ...
            5. Raid Your Pantry. 5/15. ...
            6. Cut Salt. 6/15. ...
            7. Move. 7/15. ...
            8. Limit Alcohol. 8/15.
            22 Jun 2022

            What foods make your face puffy? ›

            Avoid eating at night
            • ramen.
            • sushi.
            • processed meats like ham, bacon, and salami.
            • milk.
            • cheese.
            • chips.
            • pretzels.
            • french fries.

            Why do I have fluid retention in my face? ›

            Dehydration can cause blood vessels to enlarge that can lead to water retention, especially in the face causing it to be puffy. One of the main reasons for your face to swell up is the high content of salt in the body. Salt tends to retain water in the body that causes puffiness.

            Does dehydration cause puffy face? ›

            In the early stages of dehydration, your body tries to hold on to fluid causing water retention. Water is drawn into the blood vessels, causing them to swell. This leads to areas of the body, especially the face, becoming bloated and puffy looking.

            Why is face so puffy? ›

            Why might your face be puffy? "Facial puffiness, or excess fluid retention, may be transient and temporary swelling due to day-to-day changes in our lifestyles and exposures, such as seasonal allergies, high sodium diets, excess alcohol consumption, crying, and lack of sleep," explains Viscusi.

            How do I make my face thinner? ›

            How to Lose Face Fat: 8 Effective Tips
            1. Do facial exercises. Facial exercises can be used to improve facial appearance, combat aging, and improve muscle strength ( 1 ). ...
            2. Add cardio to your routine. ...
            3. Drink more water. ...
            4. Limit alcohol consumption. ...
            5. Cut back on refined carbs. ...
            6. Get enough sleep. ...
            7. Watch your sodium intake. ...
            8. Eat more fiber.

            How long does it take for swelling to go down on face? ›

            Your face may be swollen and bruised. It may take 5 to 7 days for the swelling to go down, and 10 to 14 days for the bruising to fade. It may be hard to eat at first.

            What is sushi face? ›

            People who are sensitive to salt are going to swell around their eyes and their lips.” BCFC / Getty Images/iStockphoto. People might notice puffier faces and more pronounced bags under their eyes several hours or even a day after eating sushi because it can be a salty meal.

            How can I reduce inflammation in my face naturally? ›

            1. Avoid the sun. Sun damage is one of the prime causes of skin inflammation. ...
            2. Rinse with cool water. A cool shower always goes a long way to soothe inflamed skin. ...
            3. Give your regular skincare routine a break. ...
            4. Moisturize. ...
            5. Use kitchen ingredients. ...
            6. Check your diet. ...
            7. Wear comfortable clothes. ...
            8. Pop an anti-inflammatory.
            19 May 2018

            Does Benadryl reduce swelling in face? ›

            Antihistamines can reduce the swelling, redness, and itchiness of rashes and hives on the face. They can also help with symptoms, such as watering eyes, stuffy nose, and breathing difficulty.

            What helps swelling go down? ›

            Lifestyle and home remedies
            • Movement. Moving and using the muscles in the part of your body affected by edema, especially your legs, may help pump the excess fluid back toward your heart. ...
            • Elevation. ...
            • Massage. ...
            • Compression. ...
            • Protection. ...
            • Reduce salt intake.
            1 Dec 2020

            What foods make your face thinner? ›

            Reduce your salt intake

            Also, opt for low-sodium foods which include broccoli, cauliflower, peppers, red beans, brown rice, quinoa, berries, apples, bananas, pears and more. When you reduce your salt intake, it helps in reducing inflammation as well as bloating. All these will result in a slimmer face.

            How do you Debloat fast? ›

            Tips to ease bloating
            1. Stay hydrated. Sipping water before, during, and after meals can help reduce bloating by flushing excess sodium, which can often lead to bloating.
            2. Get some exercise. ...
            3. Give yoga a try. ...
            4. Try peppermint oil. ...
            5. Massage your abdomen. ...
            6. Digestive enzyme supplements. ...
            7. Soak in an Epsom salt bath.
            15 Oct 2021

            Why do I have fluid retention in my face? ›

            Dehydration can cause blood vessels to enlarge that can lead to water retention, especially in the face causing it to be puffy. One of the main reasons for your face to swell up is the high content of salt in the body. Salt tends to retain water in the body that causes puffiness.

            Does dehydration cause puffy face? ›

            In the early stages of dehydration, your body tries to hold on to fluid causing water retention. Water is drawn into the blood vessels, causing them to swell. This leads to areas of the body, especially the face, becoming bloated and puffy looking.

            Why is face so puffy? ›

            Why might your face be puffy? "Facial puffiness, or excess fluid retention, may be transient and temporary swelling due to day-to-day changes in our lifestyles and exposures, such as seasonal allergies, high sodium diets, excess alcohol consumption, crying, and lack of sleep," explains Viscusi.

            Can you retain fluid in your face? ›

            Common Causes of Puffiness

            The most common cause of puffiness in the face is fluid retention. Fluid retention, or edema, is when certain parts of your body are affected by an accumulation of fluid in certain tissues and cavities.

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