How to Reduce Puffiness in the Face

By Michelle Ullman

Whether the cause is allergies, too many salty snacks or a jam-packed schedule, waking up to a puffy face is enough to put a damper on your day. While severe or unrelenting swelling warrants a visit to your doctor, it's easy to treat a simple case of facial puffiness at home.

Woman touching face
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Woman looking in mirror examining her face.

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Check Your Bed

Your bed can contribute to puffiness. If you have an allergy to dust mites, sleeping on bedding infested with these common microscopic creatures can lead to swollen eyes, along with other allergy symptoms such as runny nose, headaches or fatigue. Feather-stuffed pillows, comforters or mattress toppers are other potential sources of allergens that can make you puffy. If you suspect an allergy is the source of your problem, wash all of your bedding in hot water to help kill dust mites. If you have feather bedding, consider a switch to non-allergenic materials.

Make a Quick Fix

Don't let a puffy face keep you from looking your best. You can reduce swelling quickly by relaxing for 10 minutes with an ice-water-soaked washcloth over your face. For a more spa-like approach, slice a cucumber into thin slices, then lay the slices over your face. The coolness and anti-inflammatory properties of the cucumber help relieve swelling. If you don't have a cucumber on hand, try black tea bags. Dip the bags in cool water, then place them over your face for 10 minutes.

Watch Your Diet

Frequent facial puffiness can indicate your diet needs a makeover. If you reach for the potato chips in the evening, often eat processed foods or frozen meals, or can't say no to salty snacks in general, the typically hefty doses of sodium in such products can cause your body to retain water, leading to puffiness or swelling. Cut down on sodium intake and increase your water consumption to flush out salt and maintain good hydration. Another common cause of a puffy face is overindulging in alcohol, so practice moderation.

Put Your Best Face Forward

If your face is puffy but there's no time for treatment, you can use makeup to visually slim your face and disguise the swelling. Stick to neutral earth tones on your eyes, lips and cheeks to avoid calling attention to any one feature. Use a bit of contouring blush under your cheekbones to define your bone structure and slim down the appearance of your face. Play up your eyes with winged-out eyeliner and several coats of mascara. Finally, use a brow pencil to create strong, attractive arches, thus guaranteeing that few people will notice the puffiness below your eyes.