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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    Pop this in the freezer and then use it to massage away unwanted water retention and to unblock your lymph nodes.

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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

            What does it mean if you wake up with a puffy face? ›

            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 you prevent puffy face when sleeping? ›

            Hot tip: If you want the top doctor-recommended position for good skin, prop your head up with an extra pillow to ensure that no fluid builds up as you sleep, which prevents puffy eyes come morning. "I recommend sleeping on your back with the head slightly elevated (20 to 30 degrees)," notes Dr.

            When you wake up can you drink water to make your face less puffy? ›

            5. Stay hydrated. While water isn't technically something you eat, just staying hydrated throughout the day and night can help to reduce water retention, stomach bloating, and the chance of facial puffiness as well.

            What is the fastest way to reduce facial swelling? ›

            At-home treatments
            1. Ice: If the swelling is due to trauma or inflammation, place ice packs on the face to reduce the swelling.
            2. Hydration: A swollen or puffy face might be a sign of severe dehydration. ...
            3. Time: If the swelling is due to lack of sleep or too much alcohol, it may take time and rest for the swelling to go down.

            How can I Depuff my face naturally? ›

            Use cold water.

            Tamp down puffiness by lowering the temperature. Dr. Hayag suggests washing your face with cold water, running an ice cube across your face, or applying a cold compress to "instantly constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling." We're also big fans of using the Esarora Ice Roller ($19; amazon.com).

            What leads to puffy face? ›

            It's when too much fluid collects under your skin, commonly around your face. It's not always clear what causes it, but it can happen because of an allergic reaction to a wide range of things, including pollen, latex (in rubber), insect bites, food, water, and even sunlight.

            Why do I have fluid retention in my 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.

            How do you calm a puffy face? ›

            One of the easiest home fixes is a cool compress. Wet a clean cloth with cold water, wring it out, and gently press over your eyes for a few minutes. Do it while sitting, not lying down. Pop the cloth in the fridge or the freezer for extra coldness.

            What is the best sleeping position for your face? ›

            Sleeping on your stomach or your sides means there is constant pressure on your face. Over time, this action will produce unwanted sleep lines. It can be challenging to change your sleep position, but sleeping on your back allows for your face to be fresh come morning.

            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.

            Does coffee make your face puffy? ›

            Dehydration or too much caffeine can also cause puffy face. Binge drinking also gives you a bloated face. It dilates the blood vessels which gives you a fluffy face. Sodium excess is another culprit that bloats your entire body.

            How do you reduce swelling in ASAP? ›

            Cold compresses: Cooling the area lessens inflammation and swelling by reducing blood flow. You can place anything cold, such as an ice pack, frozen bag of vegetables, chilled cucumber slices or refrigerated spoons, over closed eyes for a few minutes.

            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 naturally reduces swelling? ›

            Follow these six tips for reducing inflammation in your body:
            1. Load up on anti-inflammatory foods. ...
            2. Cut back or eliminate inflammatory foods. ...
            3. Control blood sugar. ...
            4. 4. Make time to exercise. ...
            5. Lose weight. ...
            6. Manage stress.
            15 Jan 2020

            What side shouldn't you face when sleeping? ›

            Because your head functions like a north pole, sleeping with your body in a north-facing position is considered a worst-case scenario, according to vastu shastra. It creates tension that may lead to headaches and other health problems.

            Which side we should not face while sleeping? ›

            The recommended sleeping direction per vastu shastra is that you lie down with your head pointed southward. A north-to-south body position is considered the worst direction.

            What to apply on face before sleeping? ›

            Here we give you five face packs to be applied right before you sleep and leave them on overnight for a taught and bright skin.
            ...
            Face Packs For Daily Glow
            • Milk for beauty sleep: ...
            • Aloe Vera to cure pimples: ...
            • Honey for inner beauty: ...
            • Lemons to fight dullness: ...
            • Coconut oil to moisturize:
            4 Sept 2017

            Does apple cider vinegar get rid of water retention? ›

            Yes, the apple cider vinegar is good for treating water retention. You can use apple cider vinegar by adding it to the diet. You can incorporate apple cider vinegar in your daily diet, for example adding it as a salad dressing.

            How can I flush salt out of my body overnight? ›

            Drinking lots of water helps flush sodium from your kidneys; staying hydrated will also help you feel less bloated.

            What foods get rid of water retention? ›

            Eat Enough Potassium-rich foods

            “Potassium regulates sodium in the body and therefore may reduce water retention,” says Gans. “Foods high in potassium include avocados, pistachios, spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, artichokes, fennel, Brussels sprouts, and arugula.” Board-certified plastic surgeon Dr.

            What foods make your face chubby? ›

            There are no specific foods that can increase facial fat. However, consuming more calories than a person uses each day can contribute to weight gain, which could lead to increased facial fat over time.

            Does chewing gum reduces face fat? ›

            Chewing gum does not reduce face fat.

            It is a popularised myth that chewing gum reduces face fat. The simple fact is that you cannot reduce fat from one spot. Chewing gum can give your facial muscles a good workout but isn't effective in reducing face fat.

            How can I make my face look thinner without makeup? ›

            Building extra height at the crown of your head narrows round features and makes your face seem thinner. For the simplest 'do, twist hair into a high knot and fasten with a barrette. Or try a pony — for the most slimming effect, match the ponytail height to the tips of your cheekbones.

            Does drinking a lot of water make your face bloated? ›

            Water retention in the face is caused by stress and other factors, but there is a common misconception that drinking water will cause your face to look bloated and swollen, however this is simply a myth.

            Does sleeping position affect face shape? ›

            Study Shows Stomach, Side Sleeping Positions Cause Facial Distortion, Wrinkles Over Time. Compression, tension, and shear forces applied to the face during sleep cause facial distortion when people sleep on their sides and stomach, leading to the development of sleep wrinkles over time, according to a study.

            Does sleeping on your side flatten your face? ›

            There is no question that sleeping on your side will flatten your face on that side and give you a less symmetrical shape, which can be quite distinct in some people. Regularly changing your sleeping position to ensure you are less likely to have a one-sided sleep is ideal.

            Does sleeping on your back help your face? ›

            May prevent wrinkles and lines

            Back sleeping also helps keep your skin care products on your face and off of the pillowcase. By back sleeping, you avoid face-to-pillow contact and keep the neck straight, preventing the premature development or deepening of wrinkles and lines.

            How do you properly sleep face down? ›

            People who sleep on their stomachs should use thin pillows or none at all because pushing the head backward places pressure on the neck. Or, a person might try sleeping face down with a small, firm pillow propping up only their forehead. This leaves enough room to breathe but helps ensure that the neck stays straight.

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