How to reduce puffy face: Four methods that ‘constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling’

There are a lot of ways in which our daily habits contribute to facial puffiness.

The phenomenon is most commonly caused by water retention, a result of dehydration, which can be caused by a variety of factors such as hormonal imbalance to diet and stress, Marie Hayag, MD, board-certified dermatologist, told Real Simple.

Whether consuming lots of caffeine to get through the day or grabbing drinks with friends after hours, both often result in dehydration and lead to facial bloating. So, too, does a lack of sleep and seasonal allergies.

However, you can combat it at the root or try some quick-fix techniques outlined below.

READ MORE: Skincare expert shares simple tip to ‘keep skin looking young and fresh’

Four free tips to debloat your face

1. Drink water

When the body is dehydrated, it holds onto and retains water, oftening showing in the face as well as stomach.

It is important to take note of your caffeine, alcohol and salt intakes, especially at night, all of which are top contributors that lead to dehydration. Doctors typically recommend drinking eight glasses of water a day.

If possible, doctors also recommend avoiding salt before bed because it makes us thirsty. As a result, we drink too much water before bed, which is retained in the body and can potentially disrupt sleep.

2. Get better sleep 

It is critical to get good sleep, ideally eight hours a night, for a variety of reasons. However, to go an extra step further, Dr. Hayag advises sleeping on your back with your head elevated on an extra pillow in order to avoid fluid retention.

3. Use a cold press

Whether washing your face with cold water, running an ice cube across your face or applying a cold press, the chilly temperature can “instantly constrict blood vessels and reduce swelling.”

4. Try lymphatic drainage techniques

While face rollers and gua shas have become trendy in the West in recent years, it is a technique that has been used in China for eons. You can alternatively use your hands to do the same facial exercises like Meghan Markle.

The science behind the tool is that it stimulates lymphatic drainage, which helps to remove stagnant and excess fluid moving towards the lymph nodes where it gets stuck.

For the best results, experts recommend rolling in a lateral motion, moving away from the center of your face, towards the lymph nodes, which are located along the jawline and in front of the ears. You can also store the tools in the fridge and freezer for extra strength.

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