Facial Swelling: How to De-Bloat a Puffy Face

Expert-Approved Ways to De-Bloat a Puffy Face

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Puffiness in your face isn't the end of the world, but it's annoying. It can’t be solved with heavy-duty concealer or a generous slathering of your most intensive moisturizer. The difference may seem minimal (to everyone else), but when you’re feeling puffier than usual, you see that difference acutely, and you can’t stop seeing it. Whatever the cause—one too many cocktails, gorging on a high-sodium feast, or just staying up past your bedtime (or, as in many cases, some combination of the three)—there is a solution that’ll bring down the bloat. Celebrity aesthetician Joanna Vargas and board-certified dermatologist Dr. Jennifer MacGregor of Union Square Laser Dermatology let us in on their de-puffing secrets.

Keep reading for seven tricks, guaranteed to return your face to its pre-bloat state!

Lymphatic Drainage Massage

Vargas calls the lymphatic drainage massage “a lost art,” but one to rediscover if your face is in need of a little refreshing. To draw away the waste that’s built up in your system, massage your skin in gentle circles. Vargas says to start at the top of your face, massaging around your eyes, and then working down towards your jaw. Be sure to get both sides of your face and neck, too. You can also use tools like a jade roller or gua sha stone instead of your fingers.

woman getting a facial massage

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Think you should be avoiding coffee to help prevent a puffy face? Not quite, according to MacGregor. "It’s a great pick-me-up and a diuretic that de-puffs in a flash. Many eye creams even contain caffeine to use topically to brighten the eye area and reduce puffiness."

Eye Cream
Inkey list Caffeine Eye Cream $10

Green Tea

If you're not a coffee person, drink some green tea to kick-start your system. “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,” Vargas says. “Diet-wise, I recommend eating greens at every meal—this will reduce puffiness and bloating, even within the same day.”

Green Tea Serum
innisfree Intensive Hydrating Serum with Green Tea Seed $27


Getting your body moving can make all the difference for your bloated face. "When we lay still and flat overnight, swelling accumulates and settles around the eyes. Getting upright and getting some light exercise will help," MacGregor says.

Healthy woman touching phone screen on armband before exercising outdoors

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Cucumber slices can help de-puff eyes. “It's old fashioned, but it works,” Vargas says. “And the silica in the cucumber will help with skin elasticity.” Place some chilled cucumber slices on your eyes, and run an ice cube across your face—you’ll look and feel tighter in minutes.

Embrace the Cold

Speaking of ice cubes, as it turns out, cold temperatures can help de-bloat a puffy face. MacGregor explains that cold constricts blood vessels and reduces swelling. "In winter, you can just go walk outside or use a pack of frozen peas. If you want to get fancy, there are also cold masks, cold rollers, and cold patches that can be applied to puffy areas," she says.

Black woman doing facial massage

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The right skincare products can also help a puffy face. Many are formulated with vitamins to strengthen the skin while also exfoliating to balance skin's overall tone. Smooth on a serum at night with a cold jade roller for a complexion that feels and looks more resilient.

Daily Serum
Joanna Vargas Daily Serum $85
Article Sources
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  1. Chatterjee P, Chandra S, Dey P, Bhattacharya S. Evaluation of anti-inflammatory effects of green tea and black tea: A comparative in vitro study. J Adv Pharm Technol Res. 2012;3(2):136-138.

  2. Singh DP, Barani Lonbani Z, Woodruff MA, Parker TJ, Steck R, Peake JM. Effects of topical icing on inflammation, angiogenesis, revascularization, and myofiber regeneration in skeletal muscle following contusion injury. Front Physiol. 2017;8:93.

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