Why You Wake Up With a Puffy Face


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Do you ever wake up after a good night’s rest and realize your face is a bit puffy? Well, you’re not alone—it’s a common experience for many. But you might be wondering: Why the heck does your face swell in the morning?

Here’s a look at why you have a puffy face in the morning and ways to reduce the swelling.

Why is my face puffy in the morning?

You could wake up with a puffy face in the morning for several reasons. Some of the most common reasons include:

Overnight fluid retention

Facial swelling in the morning may occur just from sleeping due to normal overnight fluid retention.

“Fluids naturally shift in the body as part of normal regulatory processes,” says Edward Robinson, a non-surgical aesthetics doctor in the UK and the founder and company director at Dr. Ed Robinson Aesthetics.

Sleep position

The position you sleep in may cause your face to puff up. As you lie down, fluid rests and collects in your face. Sleeping face down on your stomach can encourage facial swelling.

Allergies and skin irritation

“Allergies and skin irritation are a particularly common cause of facial swelling,” Robinson says. Allergens, such as dust, dander, or pollen you may unknowingly inhale at night, can lead to morning puffiness.

The symptoms of allergies, like sneezing, watery eyes, or congestion, can also cause your face to swell, a condition known as angioedema or swelling under the skin.

Certain foods

What you eat may cause puffiness in the morning. For example, salty foods, like chips or french fries, may cause facial swelling.

Too much salt causes fluid or water retention in your body as sodium attracts water. Fluid retention can lead to swollen, puffy skin around your eyes.


Like salty foods, alcoholic beverages can cause water retention. Alcohol causes inflammation, leading to bloating and puffiness in your face as well as other areas of your body you might notice in the morning.


The menstrual cycle can also cause facial swelling due to fluid retention. Facial puffiness is a common symptom of premenstrual syndrome, or PMS, which can occur a day or two before a period starts.

Cushing’s syndrome

Certain medical conditions can cause puffy faces when you wake up. Cushing’s syndrome, also known as hypercortisolism, is a chronic condition that occurs when your body produces too much cortisol. One symptom of this condition is puffiness in the face.

How to reduce a puffy face in the morning

Here are some ways to minimize morning puffiness in your face:

Use cold water

If you’re seeking a quick fix, try splashing cold water on your face or using a cold towel or compress to reduce facial swelling in the morning.

Massage your face

“Massaging the face and having a morning skincare regime also helps shift the fluid,” Robinson explains. “A popular trend at the moment is a gua sha—a tool for aiding in lymphatic massage—which some people find helpful.”

Jade rollers are another tool you can use to massage your face. They can help increase blood circulation and promote lymphatic drainage to reduce puffiness in your face.

Try skincare products

“Certain skincare products—usually aimed at the under eyes—contain caffeine and can tighten the skin and help to depuff,” Robinson says.

Some examples of other skincare ingredients that may help reduce swelling include:

  • Niacinamide
  • Aloe vera
  • Witch hazel
  • Sea buckthorn oil
  • Chamomile
  • Tiger grass
  • Cannabidiol (CBD)
  • Calendula
  • Licorice extract

Aim for a good night’s rest

Getting a good night’s sleep is the best but not the easiest way to reduce facial puffiness,” Robinson says. You may also want to avoid drinking alcohol near bedtime to reduce facial swelling.

“Alcohol not only makes sleep quality worse due to its effects on your nervous system, but it also makes swelling worse,” he adds.

If an underlying medical condition is causing facial swelling, then speak with a healthcare professional to discuss treatment options.


Does dehydration cause a puffy face?

If you’re wondering why you wake up with a puffy face, it might be due to dehydration. “Dehydration can cause a puffy face in the morning—particularly if this dehydration is due to alcohol,” Robinson explains. “Simply put, when the body is dehydrated, it tries to hold onto fluid where it can, and this is particularly obvious in the face.”

How do you de-puff your face in the morning?

If you want to get rid of facial swelling in the morning, there are a few different things you can try. These include:

  • Using cold water
  • Massaging your face
  • Trying skincare products
  • Encouraging sound sleep

This article originally appeared on Saatva and was syndicated by MediaFeed.

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