How To Get Rid of a Puffy Face

If your face is looking a bit fuller than usual after overindulgence in food and drinks, these de-bloating tips can help.

During times like the holiday season, there are plenty of foods and drinks to enjoy—from buffet-style meals to finger foods. However, if you indulge enough, you might experience weight gain with a puffy face as part of the evidence.

This is totally normal, said Marjorie Nolan Cohn, LDN and owner of MNC Nutrition in Philadelphia. "Any person may gain or lose more weight in specific areas of their body due to genetic tendency," Nolan Cohn told us.

Here are a few simple diet and lifestyle changes that can help de-bloat a puffy face, according to experts.

Eat Sodium, Carbs, and Processed Foods in Moderation

Overdoing it on carbs and salty foods can cause your body to hold in extra fluid, which makes you look and feel bloated. "Most changes in the face are from water retention," explained Cynthia Sass, RD, Health's contributing nutrition editor. "The three biggest culprits for fluid retention that shows up on the face are sodium, excess carbs, and alcohol."

If those are part of your regular diet, you may want to pay attention to how you're consuming them. "Many of my clients encounter all of these triggers simultaneously, like eating chips and salsa with a salt-rimmed margarita, or pizza with red wine," Sass said. "When they ditch the processed foods—which are the biggest contributors to sodium—refined carbs, and alcohol, the water retention subsides, and they feel like their faces suddenly slim down."

This doesn't mean you can't have French fries or Chinese takeout ever again—it just means that you'll want to eat a healthy, balanced diet overall and indulge in moderation, which can help prevent long-term weight gain in both your body and face.

Drink Less Alcohol and More Water

Instead of reaching for that glass of red wine with dinner, swap it out for some water. "Alcohol is dehydrating, so your body responds to this by hanging onto extra fluid, like a rebound effect," Sass explained. Drinking more water also helps flush out any excess sodium your body is hanging on to from previous salty meals.

If you don't like to drink a lot of water because it doesn't have much of a taste, you can boost the flavor in your glass: New York-based nutritional chef Melissa Eboli suggested adding a squeeze of lemon juice or drinking coconut water.

Get More Sleep

Not only does lack of sleep have a negative impact on your immune system, it can also cause you to wake up with an inflamed or puffier-than-normal face.

"The natural hormones in our body are really impacted by poor sleep," Chris Winter, MD, sleep specialist and author of The Sleep Solution, told us. "We have chemicals in our bodies that keep inflammation at bay, so if you're not getting enough sleep, those chemicals are not produced the way they should be, and it creates an inflammatory environment in your body."

Dr. Winter noted that this is more common in people with chronic sleep deprivation, so one late night every once in a while probably won't hurt you. However, Dr. Winter recommended aiming for seven to eight hours of sleep each night to keep your body in a natural rhythm.

Go for a Workout

Engaging in physical activity can lead to weight loss, and any weight changes will show up over time—including in your face. Fitness trainer and RK Solid creator Rebecca Kennedy told us that her face is the first place she has shown weight gain. Kennedy recommended going to the sauna more often to de-stress. Kennedy said that she also incorporates more running into her weekly workout regimen.

Add More Ginger, Zucchini, and Coconut to Your Diet

Eboli recommended avoiding foods that may cause inflammation, such as gluten, fried foods, and processed foods. Instead, Eboli said that she loved adding lots of inflammation-fighting foods like ginger, coconut, turmeric, and lemons to her meals. "You can add those ingredients into your smoothies or juices, sprinkle some ginger on some oatmeal, or cook up some zucchini and beets to have on a salad," Eboli said.

For a de-puffing drink, try hibiscus tea, which contains polyphenols that can aid digestive function. (Of note, pregnant women shouldn't consume hibiscus tea due to its caffeine content.) "Sipping on the fruity beverage helps [me] get rid of bloat," said celebrity makeup artist Mickey Williams.

Consider Using Contour

If you're feeling puffed-out, you might consider reaching for contouring tools, said New York-based makeup artist Neil Scibelli. Contouring is a simple way to create more dimension in your face.

"You can use either a cream or powder matte bronzer or contour product," Scibelli said. Next, "create the classic three method: Blend product around the forehead up to the hairline, down to the hollows of the cheekbones (you can suck in your cheeks to find the hollow), and finish along the jawline," Scibelli explained.

If you find that you're still experiencing bloating, your healthcare provider can provide your with treatment options to help resolve the issue.

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