So you woke up with a puffy face. Now what? The good news is that not all hope is lost for the rest of the day; a few smart strategies can help your skin bounce back quickly. To set the record straight on why you may be puffing up (plus, how to prevent this from happening again in the future), we consulted the experts. Here, their best tips for combating a puffy face first thing in the a.m.
1. What causes a puffy face?
"People wake up looking puffy for many different reasons," says Margarita Lolis, MD, a dermatologist in Hackensack, New Jersey. A few common culprits are dehydration, seasonal allergies, and consuming too much salt or alcohol.
However, if skin puffiness resembles swelling with discoloration, you should see your doctor ASAP. A dangerous bacterial skin infection called cellulitis can cause redness and swelling and may require a trip to the emergency room, Dr. Lolis says.
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2. How to quickly nix puffiness
When you wake up and realize your face is puffy, the first thing you should do is rinse with cool or tepid water and sit with a cold compress on, says Sejal Shah, MD, a dermatologist in New York City. Drinking plenty of water can help, too, but exercising will take your recovery a step further—the combination of sweating and replenishing water helps balance salt and water in your body, explains Dr. Shah.
If puffy eyes are your main concern, try applying wet tea bags; the caffeine in them helps shrink blood vessels. Or reach for Skyn Iceland Hydro Cool Firming Eye Gels to combat undereye puffiness, a top pick of dermatologist Heidi Waldorf, MD.
3. Prevent yourself from waking up puffy
It's important to hydrate throughout the day, says Dr. Waldorf, especially if you are sensitive to salt—you may even want to avoid it if you have an event or special occasion approaching. Prop yourself up with at least two pillows while you sleep so that water isn't pooling in your face. And if it’s allergy season, be sure to take an antihistamine.
4. Use makeup to disguise a puffy face
When using makeup to conceal puffiness, makeup artist David Scott recommends contouring. To create the illusion of a thinner face, use an angled brush to apply a matte bronzer like Benefit Cosmetics Hoola Matte Bronzer from ear to ear along your jawline and in the hollows of your cheeks just below cheekbones.
Scott's pro tip: Use a concealer that isn't too much lighter than your skin tone—usually lighter is good for brightening, but in this case it will have the opposite effect and draw more attention to puffiness, he says.