woman splashing water on her face to reduce puffiness

How to reduce puffiness on your face

If you’ve woken up with puffy cheeks, don’t fret

What causes puffiness in the face?

There can be numerous reasons as to why your face is looking a bit swollen – from allergic reactions through to side effects of recent surgery – however one of the most common causes is diet.1

You may have experienced bloating in your stomach after eating, but did you know that certain foods can also have a negative effect on your face? Products which contain lots of salt are the most likely culprits as they can cause your body to retain higher levels of water than normal in order to counteract all that sodium.

Water retention is a completely natural thing for the body to do when it’s dehydrated. Instead of using what little water it does have to keep you hydrated, it sometimes gets stored instead, which can cause things such as bloating and swelling.2

To avoid getting a puffy face due to food, you’ll want to eat as little of certain items as you can. This is especially important before you go to sleep as you won’t be drinking any fluids when you’re off in the land of nod. Things to steer clear of include:

  • Cheese
  • Milk products
  • Salty snacks like pretzels, crisps or salted nuts
  • Alcohol (it’s extremely dehydrating)
  • Certain high-sodium condiments such as soy sauce

How to reduce swelling in the face

It would be pretty tricky to cut out all the foods which could be causing your facial bloating. Luckily, there are a few hacks you can try which may be effective at reducing the appearance of swelling:3
  1. Splash your face with cold water

For immediate relief from a puffy face, it’s worth going to the bathroom and washing your face with cold water. The temperature of the water should make the blood vessels under your skin constrict and consequently bring down any inflammation or swelling.

  1. Use a jade roller

You may have seen these tiny rollers in shops or beauty magazines, but do you know what they do? Made from cooling jade stone, they look like mini paint rollers and are designed to massage the face.

The possible benefits of jade rolling include boosting circulation and blood flow, as well as stimulating the lymphatic system so it works faster to drain out any toxins in your body. Jade stone is also naturally very cold which means it, again, can aid with constricting the blood vessels in the skin and therefore bring down any swelling.4
  1. Drink plenty of water

Staying hydrated throughout the day is a given regardless of your face’s puffiness. Nevertheless, if you do experience swelling which is down to water retention, drinking lots of H2O may help reduce it. Ideally, we should all be consuming six to eight glasses (roughly 1.2 litres) of water per day.5
  1. Moisturise with aloe vera

While most moisturisers won’t have much impact when it comes to bringing down a puffy face, products featuring aloe vera might.6 Aloe vera contains certain soothing compounds meaning they should help to reduce the appearance of swelling on the skin.7 For the best results, store your moisturiser in the fridge, so it feels nice and cool on your skin when you use it. Need a new moisturiser? You’ll find plenty of creams, lotions and gels enriched with aloe vera in our face care range.
  1. Choose your snacks wisely

Just like there are foods which can contribute to water retention and puffiness, there are also foods which can help you avoid it. Try switching up your salty snacks for fresh fruit and veg, swapping ice cream for a probiotic yoghurt or cooking with wholegrains instead of processed products.

As a puffy face can also be a sign of several medical conditions, it’s important that you look out for other potential symptoms as you may be having a reaction to a certain food, medication or an insect bite. If you’ve not experienced swollenness in your face before and you’re worried, it’s always best to seek help from a health professional.

Last updated: 9 June 2020