Puffy Eyes or Face Causes, & Expert Tips on How to Reduce it!

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Puffy eyes or face? Have you ever woken up all bloated? Maybe your eyes are swollen or you have a bloated feeling all round. This is called facial puffiness (or edema) and it’s relatively common. Facial puffiness is often caused by fluid retention and inflammation, which can be due to many things. For example weather, hormones, dietary choices, injury, infection and even the time of the day. But don’t worry, there are ways to reduce facial puffiness! In this article, we’ll go over some of the most common causes of facial puffiness and what you can do to reduce it.

So let’s take a closer at what can be causing your facial puffiness and look at some ways to address the problem.

What Causes Puffy Eyes or Face?

Diet & Hormones

There are several different factors that can contribute to facial puffiness. The most common cause of facial puffiness is water retention, which occurs when you’ve had too much salt or sodium in your diet. This retention may also be due to premenstrual hormones, or even by sleeping on your stomach! Overeating can also cause the stomach to push up against the diaphragm and compress the lungs, which can lead to facial puffiness.

Water retention can also be the result of a lack of fiber in your diet, and can be especially painful around your eyes. It’s also possible to develop water retention as a result of a deficiency in potassium, which can be caused by taking a diuretic (medication or ingredients that causes the kidneys to make urine – ridding the body of fluid & salts).

Puffiness in your face can also be a sign of dehydration, this is often the result of bad drinking habits & busy lifestyles. If you consume too much caffeine and alcohol, you may become dehydrated, especially if you’re also living a very active lifestyle. Thankfully if we listen to our bodies signs well, it usually signals when we need to rehydrate. I.e. like dry skin, lips, mouth and yellow coloured urine (sorry had to be described)! Please do note that over hydration (though very rare) is toxic for the body too.

Stress levels

Another common cause of facial puffiness is stress & anxiety. Stress can cause your body to release the hormone cortisol in large amounts, which causes fluid retention. This type of facial puffiness is temporary, and will go away once you relax and lower your stress levels. Again hormones may also play a role in increasing stress levels. If you suspect that hormones are the cause of your facial puffiness, talk to your doctor about possible treatments.

Allergies, Inflammation & Medical issues

Allergies are a common cause of puffy eyes and swelling in the face too. If this is the case please see a Doctor for advice and avoid using cosmetics on your face. Taking antihistamine available over the counter may temporarily help. But do make sure you get it checked out, as ‘simple symptoms’ like allergies can occasionally be related to other complicated illness or diseases.

Another possible cause of puffiness is inflammation. This could be from an injury, infection (including sinusitus), or even just something as simple as sunburn. If your puffiness is accompanied by redness, warmth, and pain, it’s probably inflammation and you should see a doctor for further advice.

Finally, puffiness could also be due to fat deposits under the skin. This is more common in people who are overweight or have genetic conditions like Cushing’s syndrome.

How to Reduce Facial Puffiness:

If we understand what causes our puffy eyes or face, we can then address it properly. For one, fluid retention can be a big factor, as can hormonal changes. And while you can’t always control these things, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the appearance of puffiness.

1. Change your Sleep

First, if you’re noticing that your puffiness is worse in the morning, try sleeping with your head elevated on a pillow. This can help reduce the amount of fluid retention in your face overnight. Get enough sleep (at night time) so your body can function correctly like getting rid of fluids.

2. Effective Eye Creams

Secondly, try using an eye cream or gel that contains caffeine (Green tea). Caffeine is a vasoconstrictor, which means it helps to constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling. You can also consider antioxidants like Vit. C. & Vit. E (or a mixed formula). Just apply a small amount under your eyes before bed and in the morning for best results.

3. Food & Drink Habits

Make sure you’re staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. And cut back on salt and other salty foods, as this will help to reduce fluid retention. Avoid drinking caffeine, alcohol, and smoking (including vaping) and ofcourse eat a healthy balanced diet.

4. Keep Cool!

You can also try using a cold compress or hydro gel eye pack (refrigerated) or ice pack for a few minutes each day. This can help to constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling.

5. Fitness & Tools

Exercises like tai chi, qigong, yoga or meditation may also help lymphatic drainage and blood circulation. You can consider using a humidifier (to keep skin moist), invest in a gua sha face massage tool / LED electroporation device (aids blood circulation & lymphatic drainage) or try facial exercises.

Following these expert tips should help to reduce the problem. However as mentioned water retention, inflamation and puffiness may also be caused by medical conditions. If the problem persists see a doctor for further advice.

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