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5 Reasons Why You Wake Up With a Puffy Face

Learn how to avoid that dreaded face bloat.
January 04, 2023

We’ve all been there before — rolling ourselves out of bed, shuffling to the bathroom and looking in the mirror only to come face-to-face with someone who looks like you, just slightly puffier. As if acne and under-eye bags weren’t enough to manage, dealing with a bloated, puffy face is no fun. Luckily, facial puffiness can be easily avoided when you know what exactly triggers it and how you can minimize its appearance after the fact. 

Read on for five reasons why your face may be puffy, plus, tips for dealing with a bloated face.

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What is Facial Puffiness?

Facial puffiness manifests itself as a bloated face, caused by a buildup of fluids. If you’ve woken up with cheeks and jowls that look a bit plumper than normal, then you’ve experienced facial puffiness in the morning. It’s not necessarily a cause for immediate concern or an indication of a poor skin care routine, rather it’s the effect of a myriad of causes, some of the most common ones being an excess of salty food or even the way that you sleep. 

Why is My Face Bloated? 

If you’ve ever asked yourself this question or even taken it a step further into a Google search, you’re not alone. Dealing with facial puffiness is pretty common, so to help you figure out why, here are five reasons that explain why your face may be puffy.

1. You’re Consuming Too Much Salt

In case you didn’t already know, a bloated face usually results from water retention and excess fluids in your face. One cause of water retention that many overlook is diet. If you’ve ever wondered what foods and ingredients make your face appear bloated, there’s one offender, in particular, you should know about — salt. According to Harvard Health Publishing, sodium intake (for example, eating a salty meal) is associated with fluid retention, which can result in puffiness and bloating.

2. It’s Premenstrual Symptoms

Speaking of retaining water, thanks to premenstrual water retention, women tend to notice bloating one to two days before they start their period, per the Mayo Clinic. To help reduce visible facial bloat, the Mayo Clinic recommends limiting your salt intake during this time and taking magnesium supplements to reduce water retention. Of course, you should always make sure that you consult with your doctor before introducing new supplements into your diet.

3. It’s a Rosacea Flare-Up

According to the American Academy of Dermatology (AAD), one of the symptoms of rosacea flare-ups is facial swelling. So, your puffy face could be related to rosacea but it begs the bigger question — what can trigger this type of reaction in the first place?

The AAD states that alcohol and red wine are common triggers for rosacea. Along with that, a few more common causes of rosacea flare-ups include stress, overheating and spicy food. The best thing you can do is to try and limit your exposure to these types of triggers to keep your rosacea under control. To learn how to address a current rosacea flare-up, consult with your dermatologist. 

4. You’re Sleeping the Wrong Way

If you’re often victim to puffy under-eye bags, in particular, the way you sleep could be to blame. The Mayo Clinic suggests addressing puffy eyes by sleeping with your head slightly raised. You can do this by using an extra pillow under your head to help prevent fluid from accumulating around your eyes as you sleep, which can help alleviate puffy under-eyes.

5. Exposure to an Allergan

While this isn’t something you should experience often, sometimes an allergic reaction can lead to facial swelling, puffiness and even worse reactions. Always consult with your doctor before taking new drugs or introducing new actives into your skin care routine.

How to Reduce a Puffy Face 

Sometimes a puffy face after a long, indulgent night with friends is inevitable — you’ve got to live your life, right? If you do find yourself sporting a swollen face don’t stress yourself out, here are four ways to alleviate the look of a bloated face.

Tip 1. Try a Jade Roller or a Gua Sha Massager

Either of these handy skin care tools can be used to massage your bloated face, soothing the area and depuffing in the process. According to an article from Dermatology News, crystal rollers, like jade rollers and gua shas, are rolled across the skin to calm swelling and aid in lymphatic drainage to reduce the appearance of puffiness. 

To take their depuffing powers a step further, store your jade rollers and gua sha tools in your skin care fridge so that they’re cool when applied to the skin. Reach for them in the morning after applying your serums for a little de-bloating and self-care action in one.

Editor’s tip: If you wake up with a puffy face more often than you’d like to admit, consider investing in an ice roller. This trendy face tool is stored in the freezer for a maximum cooling effect and powerful depuffing.

Tip 2. Try a Cold Compress

If you don’t have access to your skin care tools, try a washcloth hack that works perfectly in a pinch. The Mayo Clinic suggests using a cool compress, like a clean washcloth that has been doused with cool water, to help reduce the appearance of puffy under-eyes. Press the damp washcloth to the skin under and around your eyes for a few minutes using mild pressure. 

Next: How to Clean Your Skin Care Tools

Photo Credit: iStock

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