Facial puffiness is a widespread occurrence and not something to be immediately alarmed about. That being said, it is normal to want to combat this puffiness. The first step to healing and preventing your swelling is to find the source.
Today, MadeMan will explain the common causes of facial puffiness and tips to get rid of it.
Common Causes of Puffiness
The most common cause of puffiness in the face is fluid retention. Fluid retention, or edema, is when certain parts of your body are affected by an accumulation of fluid in certain tissues and cavities.
Normally, the lymphatic system will drain this fluid from your body tissue using a network of little tubes in your body.
There are a variety of different triggers for water retention and facial puffiness. Here are some of the most common causes and how to combat them.
The consumption of certain foods can cause your body to retain water. The primary culprit of this is sodium. Sodium is a mineral and major ingredient found in table salt, so any foods containing a considerable amount of salt can lead to water retention and other issues like high blood pressure.
Over 70% of the sodium that you consume comes from eating pre-packaged, processed, or pre-prepared foods, meaning that it can be tricky to minimize your consumption of sodium-rich foods when most convenience foods already come with high sodium levels.
The problem is that sodium tends to increase people’s thirst levels by disrupting the fluid balance in your cells. However, your increased water intake will not always be released during urination and will get collected in various areas of your body — hence, fluid retention and puffiness.
Check the Labels
So how can you minimize sodium levels to reduce face puffiness? Our first suggestion is to read the nutrition facts label before buying and eating your food.
When reading the labels of food products, keep this recommendation in mind. If you are looking for foods low in sodium, only select items with 5% DV or less. Anything above that but below 20% DV is considered normal. If it exceeds 20%, this is a high sodium food that’s worth avoiding.
If checking the nutrition labels and serving sizes becomes too much of a hassle, try preparing your own food instead. Any pre-packaged products should be avoided or limited since they tend to come with high sodium levels. If possible, make your own meals from fresh produce and meats, and buy them fresh so that you can directly control how much salt is being used in your meals. There are several seasonings, spices, and herbs that contain minimal to no salt that you can use while cooking instead.
Sauces and condiments can be a major source of sodium intake without you even noticing. Rather than sacrificing these condiments, just choose reduced-sodium versions of them or reduce your portion size. When eating out, an easy fix to this issue is to request that any sauces or dressings are served to you on the side so that you can control how much of it that you consume.
While a high sodium intake is perhaps the leading dietary cause of facial puffiness, your diet being deficient in certain nutrients and vitamins can also lead to water retention.
Thiamin, also called vitamin B1, is an essential nutrient that cannot naturally be made in the body and, instead, is found in food and supplements. The central function of vitamin B1 is to aid the body in using carbohydrates, which are sugar molecules, as energy.
Thiamin is a water-soluble vitamin that is carried through the bloodstream. Since the vitamin is not stored in your body, you must consume vitamin B1 consistently to maintain your health. Thanks to enriched grain products, it is rare for men to have thiamin deficiencies.
That being said, those who consume a large amount of alcohol are at risk for this deficiency. Alcohol tends to increase the rate at which people loss thiamin through urination, which can also lead to dehydration. This dehydration will signal to your body that it needs to retain water. Consequently, this combo will sometimes lead to water retention in the face.
In addition to consuming less alcohol and more water, there are a variety of food sources that you can use to increase your vitamin B1 intake. These include fortified cereals, beans, lentils, pork, and fish.
Not Getting Enough Sleep
Getting too much or too little can play a role in how and where your body retains water. You may notice that in the morning, your face looks puffier than usual. This happens because when we lie down, fluid will collect and rest in the face.
In most instances, this puffiness will go away with time because, as we get up and move around for the day, gravity will draw this fluid downward through your body.
However, getting an inadequate amount of sleep can exacerbate this symptom, making it more obvious and slower to disperse. Your body needs you to get enough rest in order to control hydration levels and minimize water retention.
As you sleep, your body will work to remove all unwanted toxins. If you are not getting enough rest throughout the night, your body will not be able to perform these essential functions.
In addition to water retention, not getting enough sleep can cause grogginess, reduced attention span, irritability, and worsened memory. However, getting too much sleep can cause stress, fatigue, issues with productivity, and low energy.
To combat sleep-induced water retention and face puffiness, consider your sleep position and make changes if necessary, and most importantly, do what you can to sleep seven to nine hours a night. Between work, family, and hobbies, finding the time to get a sufficient amount of rest can be extremely difficult. However, it is worth it for the health benefits and benefits to your skin.
To combat this from happening on warm days when you cannot avoid the heat, focus on maintaining your hydration levels. It is when your body is dehydrated that it will fail to remove fluid from tissue.
It is recommended that men, on average, drink about 15 cups of fluids a day. On hot days, you might even want to exceed this number for the sake of your health. In addition to drinking more water, you can also avoid heat-induced facial puffiness by eating more water-rich foods.
The following are foods with high water contents:
- Lettuce: water content of 96%
- Cucumber: water content of 95%
- Zucchini: water content of 94%
- Watermelon: water content of 92%
- Strawberries: water content of 91%
- Cantaloupe: water content of 90%
- Peaches: water content of 89%
- Oranges: water content of 88%
Excessive Sun Exposure
When you spend time in the sun, your body becomes less efficient at removing fluid from your tissue.
To break this down further, what actually happens is that blood vessels and capillaries in the body are made to expand and dilate as a direct result of the heat. This reaction results in fluid filling the cavities between your body tissue. This means puffiness in various areas of your body, including your face.
In addition to the temperature, sunny days pose a separate threat of water retention: sunburn. Sunburn is the result of unprotected exposure to ultraviolet light.
When out in the sun for long periods of time, you will often accrue sun damage called photoaging. Photoaging is the premature aging of the skin caused by exposure to UV radiation. One of the most common results of photoaging is sunburn.
Your skin can get burnt by both UVA and UVB rays. UVB radiation mainly harms the epidermis which damages DNA and sometimes leads to skin cancer. UVA radiation is penetrative and harms epidermal cells, collagen, and elastin in the dermis.
When your skin gets burnt, your skin will retain fluid and swell. The easiest way to combat this is to protect your skin against sunburn. Apply quality sunscreen every morning and reapply throughout the day as needed.
You can use either a chemical or mineral sunscreen. Chemical sunscreen uses ingredients like octisalate and oxybenzone to absorb the sun’s rays, preventing them from penetrating and harming your skin. Chemical sunscreen is usually not visible and, because it is lightweight, is absorbed rapidly.
Mineral sunscreen uses ingredients like titanium dioxide and zinc oxide to deflect the sun’s rays, preventing them from penetrating and harming your skin. Mineral sunscreen is thinner than chemical sunscreen, which makes it safe for even acne prone skin since there is a lesser chance of your pores getting clogged.
Though they work differently, both chemical and mineral sunscreens share the function of keeping your skin safe from the sun. Therefore, you can use whichever sunscreen you like. However, to adequately protect your skin from the sun, your sunscreen needs to be broad spectrum.
As previously mentioned, both UVA and UVB rays can lead to your skin getting burnt. Therefore, it is necessary that you exclusively use broad-spectrum sunscreen, which defends against both forms of radiation. Additionally, use sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of at least 30 to ensure that you have a sufficient amount of protection.
Other Ways To Help Reduce Puffiness
One of the simplest ways to reduce the puffiness in your face is to use masks and creams.
Puffiness in your skin is a result of water and toxins being accumulated in the lymphatic system. In order to remove this buildup, you need to essentially detoxify your body.
It is sometimes recommended that you use coffee masks to stimulate the skin and constrict the blood vessels, in turn minimizing puffiness. While you can directly place coffee grounds onto your skin, there are also face masks that you can make at home for yourself using coffee so that you can stimulate your skin and flush out toxins.
Combine coffee grounds with olive oil and apply the mixture to your face in circular motions — be gentle, this is a naturally exfoliating combo and you don’t want to irritate your skin!
Once set, allow the mask to sit on your skin for at least 15 minutes. Then proceed to rinse off the mask with lukewarm water.
A different coffee ground mask for you to try is coffee and honey. Create a paste using two tablespoons of coffee ground and one tablespoon of honey. Since honey is a humectant, this mask will not only reduce puffiness but also help with hydration. Apply the mixture over your face or apply it to specific areas of your skin that you would like to work on, such as the T-zone. After 15 minutes, wash the paste off with lukewarm water.
Another common recommendation for reducing puffiness is using cold water. Cold water splashed on your face can rapidly minimize puffiness. There are face masks that use cold water to help reduce puffiness.
For example, you can use a teaspoon of baking soda and cold water to create a paste. Apply the paste all over your face or on target areas and let it sit for about 15 minutes. You can then proceed to rinse off the paste with cold water.
Regularly Cleanse Your Skin
Before applying your moisturizer, it is important that you cleanse your skin, ridding it of any harmful bacteria or grime that accumulates both through the day and overnight.
For cleansing, we recommend MadeMan’s The Resetter. The Resetter actually doubles as both a cleanser and a shaving gel. The product is carefully designed to facilitate a smooth shave and deep cleaning all at once.
Like The Refresher, our cleanser is water-based and uses a unique formula that includes all-natural ingredients.
The benefits of using our product include balancing both greasy and dry skin, getting rid of razor burn and ingrown hairs, eliminating impurities from your pores, and, of course, reducing puffiness.
The Resetter is directly designed to minimize facial swelling. It uses such ingredients as glycerin-infused coconut oil and sunflower seed oil to nourish and cleanse skin.
Apply the cleanser to your skin in circular motions and wash it with lukewarm water when finished. Then, proceed to use your moisturizer by applying an even layer of the product across your face.
Order The Reset Collection and get the best results with The Resetter and The Refresher. We do not recommend our products lightly. We are backed by great reviews and happy customers.
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Invest in a Hydrating Moisturizer
Using a quality face cream is essential for moisturizing, hydrating, and soothing your skin. This can both help the skin to calm down after having face mask ingredients applied to your face, as well as do some work to minimize puffiness.
For this, we recommend using MadeMan’s The Refresher. The Refresher is an all-in-one moisturizer that uses anti-foaming additives derived from silica to smooth out your skin and give you a healthy, hydrated appearance.
There are several benefits to using The Refresher twice a day, every day. These benefits include boosting your natural collagen production, protecting your skin from blue light, and combating signs of aging like redness and dark spots.
Our moisturizer has been tested and is proven to work safely on all skin types. This is in large part due to the fact that it has a water base, making it all the more hydrating, and uses carefully selected all-natural premium ingredients.
Choose Quality Ingredients
Many natural ingredients can directly help with your goal of reducing facial puffiness. For example, we include chicory root in The Refresher for its ability to increase collagen production. Your skin will be lifted and tightened with time as your collagen production is supported. This effect, notably the tightening, will help to diminish the unwanted appearance of swelling.
Another example is the Indian ginseng extract, which is also in The Refresher. This ingredient is used to protect your skin cells from the light that comes from your phone and other screens on electronic devices.
Though we have already discussed the threat that the light from the sun poses to our skin, we have not discussed the threat of blue light emitted by phones, laptops, and televisions. These devices can have a similar dulling effect on our skin with overexposure. Using our moisturizer can help minimize the likelihood of your face growing puffy as a result of the screens all around you.
In conclusion, facial swelling can be a challenge, but it’s not something that you cannot fix. Your facial puffiness will no longer be an issue with a little time and patience. Consistently use the right ingredients, products, and methods capable of treating water retention to be rid of your puffiness fast.
Fluid retention (oedema) | Better Health Channel
Thiamin | Health Professional Fact Sheet