13 Simple Ways To Depuff Face Bloat

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A pufferfish is cute, but waking up with a puffy face isn't. Whether you stayed up too late the night before or had a few too many glasses of wine with salty snacks, a puffy face is harmless but annoying. If only you could undo your decisions of the night before and make smarter choices to get rid of the puffy face.

On this, Dr. Kathleen S. Viscusi told Byrdie, "Underlying anatomy aside, we all are affected to some extent by the temporary puffiness due to our ever-changing, busy schedules and demands of our daily lives." Bloated face results from fluid retention, making you look puffy with inflamed skin. It's usually temporary, but if you experience persistent puffiness, you should consult your physician. Dr. Viscusi added that your face might feel puffier during your period due to hormones, and even cortisol (a stress hormone) can induce puffiness.

While you might experience face swelling when you have a sinus infection, the culprit is often a lack of sleep or your diet. However, even sunburns can cause facial swelling. After all, sun exposure over time adds up. The good news, though, is that you can reverse puffiness. While extra hydration and makeup can conceal it, here are easy at-home tips for depuffing a bloated face.

1. Sleep with an extra pillow to keep your head elevated

Some people prefer a super soft pillow, while others prefer a firmer one. Whatever you choose, sleeping with your head at a slight elevation can prevent face bloat because puffiness can be a consequence of gravity. New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali advises his patients to sleep with an extra pillow, as it can make a big difference if you're prone to a puffy face (via Marie Claire). Dr. Bhansali said, "This is one of the easiest ways to prevent bloating because it reduces the amount of fluid that retains in the face." Perhaps invest in a silk pillowcase so you wake up with a soft, smooth face every morning — and get a good night's sleep, too. (Plus, silk is a good material for your hair.)

"As fluid retention collects (especially around the eyes), sleeping with your head elevated on an extra pillow or two can also reduce the appearance of puffiness, as it is often most prominent in the morning," Dr. Kathleen S. Viscusi, the co-founder/partner of Dermatology and Surgery Specialists of North Atlanta (DESSNA) told Byrdie.

Those not used to sleeping with an extra pillow might find it a bit uncomfortable initially, but you'll get used to it in no time. Plus, a 2017 study published in Sleep and Breathing revealed that sleeping with your head at a slight elevation might even help sleep apnea and improve your sleep quality.

2. Use ice or cold water on your face

If you didn't get enough sleep or had more wine than planned, you might wake up with a puffy face, and you may not want to go around all day looking like that. One of the most accessible at-home remedies is using ice or cold water on your face.

Dr. Geetika Mittal Gupta, founder and medical director of ISAAC Luxe, a Delhi-based skincare clinic, told Health Shots, "There are several benefits for applying ice on your face and each of these benefits can help cure different skin problems." One of them is tightening dilated blood vessels, which helps in reducing face bloat. Splashing cold water on your face or submerging your face in a tub of ice water helps reduce unwanted swelling.

This is a super-easy at-home trick to get rid of face bloat. New York City-based dermatologist Dr. Dhaval Bhanusali told Marie Claire that the chilled temperature could shrink the blood vessels by removing excess fluids to reduce swelling. It can also help tighten your pores for a smoother appearance. Plus, it wakes you right up.

3. Take advantage of green tea

People have been sipping on green tea to lose weight, whether or not it works is still up in the air, but it does help with bloating. According to a study conducted at the University of Shizuoka, green tea is rich in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), which has anti-inflammatory properties. In addition, it prevents fluid retention, which is the cause of bloating. So, drinking a nice cup of green tea can help decrease overall bloating, including in the face.

According to board-certified dermatologist Michele Green, green tea has caffeine and tannins that help reduce the size of blood vessels, resulting in less puffiness, per Byrdie. Swelling and inflammation on the skin can compromise your skin barrier, and Dr. Green added that EGCG could help heal and repair skin cells.

Green tea works its magic when you drink it, but you can also reap its benefits when applying it externally. Holistic plastic surgeon Anthony Youn recommends using sliced potatoes dipped in chilled green tea over your eyelids (via Marie Claire). Dr. Youn told the outlet, "The cold temperature and caffeine will quickly depuff the eyes."

4. Use an LED light therapy mask

You might have seen or used LED light therapy to combat fine lines and acne. Well, it can also help depuff your face by reducing inflammation. Dendy Engelman, a board-certified dermatologic surgeon, told Byrdie, "It works by emitting infrared lights (causing heat) in different wavelengths/spectrums, which have different skincare benefits." Dr. Engelman added that white light penetrates the deepest into the skin and can reduce inflamed skin. Though red light reduces wrinkles, it can target oil glands to reduce the production of cytokines that can cause inflammation.

You can get the LED light therapy treatment at your dermatologist's office or purchase a mask to do it at home, though at-home therapies won't be as strong. One mask you could try at home is the Dr. Dennis Gross Skincare DRx SpectraLite FaceWare Pro. As one reviewer on the brand's website said, "After struggling with a damaged skin barrier for a year due to intense over-exfoliation, my normally hardy skin has been inflamed and sensitized. I even developed mild rosacea. After using this mask for three months on the red light option for anti-inflammatory purposes my skin has stopped breaking out in dermatitis and inflammatory acne." The reviewer added that she used the mask in conjunction with a calming skincare regime. This LED light therapy mask has an impressive 38,000 likes on Sephora.

5. Take over-the-counter allergy meds

Allergies can be annoying, and they're more common than you think. According to The American College of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (ACAAI), more than 50% of America's population suffers from allergies yearly. They can happen any time of the year, especially in spring, summer, and fall. 

As if you already didn't have to deal with nonstop sneezing, runny nose, and itchy eyes, being allergic to pollen or airborne mold and pets can also cause a bloated face because your skin barrier is the first line of defense. So, keep an over-the-counter (OTC) antihistamine on hand if you're prone to face allergy soothe any swelling.

According to Adam Friedman, professor and interim chair of dermatology at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences, topicals can reduce some face swellings caused by allergic reactions (via Women's Health). Dr. Friedman added that certain face swellings go away with time, but if it's severe swelling and inflammation, seek medical attention for prescription strength medications.

6. Do a lymphatic massage

A lymphatic massage can be a game-changer for reducing facial puffiness. "Facial massage stimulates blood circulation and lymphatic drainage, perks up your facial contour, and provides an instant natural glow," plastic surgeon Dr. Davis B. Nguyen told Byrdie. "Think of your chin and jawline as your facial 'trash can,' where all the toxic buildup gets disposed of." 

Gentle massaging targets the lymph nodes in your face, helping initiate lymphatic drainage and reduce fluid retention. A good tip: Before you massage your face, lather a facial oil on your skin so your hands glide more smoothly. "Gently sweep your fingers from the center of your face, following the natural contours outward, then continue down to your chin and neck. This can help move excess fluids away from your face," celebrity facialist Fatma Shaheen explained to Glizour

Pay special attention to areas where you tend to hold tension or notice puffiness, such as around the eyes and jawline. And don't forget to take your time and focus on relaxing your muscles as you go, as this can also help relieve any tension you might be holding in your face. Aim to incorporate this soothing massage into your skincare routine a few times a week for the best results. With consistent practice, you should notice reduced facial bloat and a healthier and more radiant face.

7. Add tools like gua sha or facial rollers to your morning routine

Incorporating tools like gua sha stones or facial rollers into your skincare routine can take your lymphatic massage routine to the next level while making you feel like you're at your own mini spa. Gua sha, a traditional Chinese medicine technique, involves using a smooth-edged tool typically comprised of rose quartz or jade. "Gua sha tools can be helpful in reducing inflammation and puffiness by compression facial massage," board-certified dermatologist Stefani Kappel explained to Real Simple. "It can also help with the microcirculation of lymphatic drainage in the cosmetic subunits of the face. This is especially true for the undereye area in the morning to reduce puffiness as interstitial fluid can accumulate in these areas overnight when laying flat."

Alternatively, you can opt for a face roller for a similar effect. "Face rollers are a way to provide a form of facial massage that may help to improve lymphatic drainage, making the face appear less puffy," board-certified dermatologist Marisa Garshick told Glizour. Face rollers are cylindrical tools usually made from jade, and they have one or two super smooth rolling stones that you use for the massage. By rolling the tool across the skin of your face, you can also stimulate blood flow, which helps with puffiness. Additionally, the cooling sensation of the smooth stones can soothe inflammation and calm the skin, making them particularly beneficial for depuffing the face in the morning. And for that extra bit of coolness, keep your roller in the fridge!

8. Engage in physical activity

This probably isn't what you were hoping to hear, but one of the best and most effective ways to get rid of puffiness in your face is to do more physical activity. Of course, this tip is also good for your overall health, but working out is a legitimate way to get your blood flowing and keep your face puff-free. "Ensure you're getting enough exercise during the day to promote healthy blood flow and drainage of toxins," celebrity facialist Ada Ooi told Glizour, to which Fatma Shaheen added, "Engaging in regular physical activity can help improve circulation and reduce water retention."

Whether it's a one-hour walk, a yoga session, or a high-intensity workout, moving your body — if you're able to — can make a noticeable difference in depuffing your face. Besides, engaging in morning workouts has been proven to have numerous benefits, so targeting your workout early in the day might be wise, too. 

9. Prioritize better sleep

Having a good sleep routine is crucial for many aspects of our lives, including our overall mental health and the appearance of our faces. "The cornerstone of holistic well-being is ensuring you get enough sleep, typically in the range of seven to nine hours each night," Dr. Ko Lamm told Glizour. "Adequate sleep serves as the linchpin for the body to heal, regain balance, reduce stress, and foster an overall sense of well-being." Fatma Shaheen added that "inadequate or poor-quality sleep can affect blood circulation, causing blood vessels to dilate and leading to puffiness in the face." 

So, lack of sleep can equal a puffy face — and if you want to prevent that, you need to get enough hours of high-quality sleep. Creating a relaxing bedtime routine that caters to your needs is a great way to get started. Reading a book, taking a relaxing shower or bath, or doing some yoga or meditation are only some examples of what can help you unwind. Whatever you choose, try to do it as often as possible. And next time you hear the term "beauty sleep," know that there's actually some truth behind it.

10. Avoid foods that can cause facial bloating

Avoiding foods that can cause facial bloating is essential, as certain foods and beverages can contribute to water retention and inflammation. One of the main culprits of facial bloating is excess sodium intake. "Normally, after eating a meal that is high in sodium, your body needs to balance itself out, so [it] will end up holding onto water in certain places, which can include the face," registered dietitian Starla Garcia explained to Healthline. High-sodium foods, such as processed foods, fast food, and salty snacks, should be avoided, and fresh, whole foods with herbs, spices, and other low-sodium seasonings should be prioritized.

Of course, eating super clean and avoiding everything that can cause face puffiness is difficult and, for many, unachievable. However, if you want to look your best on a given day, you might want to pay attention to what you're eating in the days leading up to it. "If you know you want to avoid this reaction on a specific day or occasion, your best bet is to simply avoid these foods for a couple of days beforehand and focus on a healthier diet with less salt and refined carbs," board-certified dermatologist Rebecca Baxt told Healthline. "When you do eat these foods and experience facial puffiness, it should resolve itself within a day or so once they are worked out of your system." 

Of course, by avoiding these common triggers for facial bloating and focusing on a balanced, whole foods-based diet rich in vegetables, lean proteins, healthy fats, and fruit, you can not only reduce puffiness but also feel better overall. After all, getting enough nutrients is essential for health and beauty alike.

11. Employ caffeine for depuffing

Harnessing caffeine's inherent anti-puffing properties can be a great way to reduce facial bloating. Whether you enjoy a morning cup of coffee or prefer to incorporate caffeine-infused skincare products into your routine, this natural ingredient can help ease puffiness. "It's a great pick-me-up and a diuretic that depuffs in a flash," board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jennifer MacGregor explained to Byrdie. However, if coffee isn't your preferred choice, green tea is another great caffeine source for your skin. "The additional water will hydrate your body and will flush out your system, while the polyphenols help to attack fat cells and protect the skin against free radical damage," celebrity esthetician Joanna Vargas added to Byrdie.

Alternatively, you can look for skincare items that contain caffeine. "Caffeine constricts blood vessels," board-certified dermatologist Stacey Tull explained to Glizour, adding, "Using a face cream with caffeine can help to reverse puffiness." Applying a caffeine-infused moisturizer or face mask can help fight some of that morning puffiness. "Many eye creams even contain caffeine to use topically to brighten the eye area and reduce puffiness," Vargas told Byrdie. 

By making caffeine part of your daily routine, you can enjoy its depuffing benefits while also supporting healthy, radiant skin. However, keep in mind that caffeine can be dehydrating, so if you're consuming it, ensure you're drinking enough water as well.

12. Drink more water

Increasing your water intake is a simple yet effective way to combat facial bloating. When the body is dehydrated, it tends to retain water, leading to bloating and puffiness, including in the face. "It may appear counterintuitive, but ensuring proper hydration is perhaps the most effective preventive measure," board-certified internal medicine physician Zion Ko Lamm told Glizour.

If you want to take it a step further, consider drinking hydrogen water or adding a pinch of salt to regular water. "Hydrogen water gives the body more hydration and neutralizes free radicals," skin expert Jasmina Vico told Vogue. "Or you can put some Celtic salt into water to help your body absorb it better for optimal hydration." By staying adequately hydrated, you can help flush out excess sodium and toxins, reducing facial bloating. In addition to plain water, incorporating hydrating foods into your diet can help support hydration even more and reduce bloating. Fancy some watermelon slices?

13. Look for skincare ingredients like aloe vera and chamomile

When searching for skincare products that can help alleviate puffiness, looking for soothing and anti-inflammatory ingredients is your best bet. Two great natural options are aloe vera and camomile. "Known for its soothing properties, aloe vera can help calm irritated skin and reduce inflammation, contributing to a less puffy appearance," celebrity aesthetician Natalie Aguilar told Byrdie. Aloe vera has been used for its numerous benefits for centuries, and calming irritation, reducing redness, and promoting skin hydration are only a few of them.

Chamomile is another great skincare ingredient to be on the lookout for. "Chamomile extract has anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, making it effective in soothing and reducing puffiness," Aguilar added to Byrdie. Chamomile can help with swelling and discomfort associated with facial bloating, making it a valuable addition to skincare products targeting puffiness and inflammation. When selecting skincare products to combat facial bloating, look for moisturizers, serums, and masks that contain aloe vera and chamomile extracts.

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