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Face Puffiness: How to Reduce Swelling on Face Home Remedies?

By Nancy H, PharmD
September 8, 2023
8 minutes
How to Reduce Swelling on Face Home Remedies

Although sleepless nights and waking up tired can make your face look swollen, the swelling goes away on its own as time passes. However, are you noticing that your face is consistently getting puffy without any obvious reason and the swelling lasts all day? 

Facial puffiness makes you conscious about yourself and you become hesitant about going out, right? Additionally, the reaction of people looking at your facial swelling makes you alarmed and you wonder if you should go to a doctor right away or try something DIY at home. 

Well, facial puffiness can be caused by several pathological and non-pathological factors. You do not have to visit a physician immediately as it can be treated and prevented with at-home remedies. 

However, you can always book a consultation if you fail to solve it at home. So, we are going to talk about facial puffiness, its causes, home remedies to treat it, and ways to prevent it in this article.

Table of Contents:

Part 1: What is Face Puffiness?

What is Face PuffinessFacial puffiness is a congested swollen appearance of the face that looks like a moon. In facial puffiness, the fluid accumulates in the subcutaneous tissues to make the face appear bigger than it is as explained in an article by Medical News Today [1]

Additionally, there could be blockage of the lymphatic which causes accumulation of the lymphatic fluid making the face appear puffy, inflammation in which inflammatory mediators swell up the face, or excess fats during metabolic disorders.

Facial swelling can be painful or nearly painless, could occur in the morning or present throughout the day, and may be treated easily or show no response to remedies depending upon the cause. 

Part 2: What Causes Face Puffiness?

The facial puffiness might be mild or serious based on the factors causing it. So, below are the most common causes of facial swelling.

Unhealthy Lifestyle

Unhealthy LifestyleThe most common cause of facial puffiness with no serious underlying pathology is an unhealthy lifestyle. It means staying up late at night, lack of sleep, bad sleeping posture, poor hydration, sleeping with makeup on, using harsh skincare products, and eating carbohydrate-rich snacks late at night.

The effect of sleep on facial puffiness has been well-explained in research by the Sleep Research Society [2]


An unhealthy diet, especially excessive use of alcohol, smoking, high-salt foods, fast food, and processed food causes retention of water in the skin leading to face swelling. Additionally, a lack of proper intake of water also prevents fluid circulation in the body causing facial puffiness.

Alcohol and smoking have been implicated in fastening up the aging process as well which makes skin appear saggy and puffy as suggested in a study by the Journal of Clinical and Aesthetic Dermatology [3].


AllergiesAllergies caused by exposure to the environmental agents you are hypersensitive to present in the form of facial puffiness. These environmental agents include pollens, dust, molds, and smog present in the air.

Additionally, side effects of some medicines, insect bites, and using expired skin products can also cause facial swelling.


Infection of the facial skin or its parts can cause the swelling of the full face. The most common types of infection causing facial puffiness are cellulitis which occurs by invasion of the broken skin barrier with bacteria, virus, or fungi; sinusitis which is the infection of the spaces present in the nose and forehead; and stye or chlazion which is the infection of the eye or eyelids.


Minor trauma to the skin caused by harsh makeup products, jewelry pieces, sunburns, and bleach irritates the skin causing facial puffiness. In addition, major trauma in the facial surgery, blunt trauma, or injury can also result in diffuse facial swelling. 


Just like excess fat tissues accumulate in the body in obesity, there is a collection of fats in the subcutaneous tissues of the face as well. This causes facial puffiness, a double chin, and a big face. In this case, facial appearance is similar to that of the moon. 

Endocrine Issues

There are mainly two endocrine disorders that make the face swell up. 1st one is thehing’s syndrome in which there is increased production of steroid hormones in the body with major symptoms appearing as moon face. 

The 2nd hormonal disorder is hypothyroidism in which there is decreased production of thyroid hormones and it affects a large number of people worldwide as you can read in an article by NIH [4]

Periods and Pregnancy

In periods, there is fluid retention under the skin resulting in bloating and facial puffiness. Similarly, there is a condition called pre-eclampsia in pregnancy that results in facial puffiness. 

Pre-eclampsia is characterized by high blood pressure, retention of salts, and accumulation of fluid in the body. 

Part 3: The Top 8 Home Remedies to Reduce Swelling on the Face

Below are the best home remedies to reduce swelling on the face and go on with your day confidently. Furthermore, if undereye bags are a major concern for you, you can reduce those by following the tips mentioned on how to get rid of undereye bags fast

1. Ice or Cold Water

Ice or Cold WaterIce cold water is the easiest tip to reduce facial swelling instantly. You can put ice cubes in a large bowl of water and dip your face in it a few times while continuing for 2 to 4 minutes. Also, you can simply rub an ice cube wrapped in a clean handkerchief on the face. 

In addition to reducing facial puffiness, cold water helps in shrinking the pores and making your makeup last for a long time. The effect of cold compresses on facial skin is elaborated on in an article by Cleveland Clinic [5]

2. Cucumber Slice Massage

Cucumber juice contains anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant agents which can help in reducing facial puffiness significantly. Just like it works for undereye puffiness, cucumbers hydrate the skin, reduce water retention in subcutaneous tissues, and improve skin texture. 

Cucumber can also be used to treat a variety of skin problems as explained in the benefits of cucumber for the face

3. Potato Slices

Raw potatoes work similarly to cucumber slices and reduce facial swelling. They do so by constricting the dilated blood vessels under the skin and giving the skin a cooling sensation. So, they relieve, redness, inflammation, and consequently facial puffiness. 

4. Aloe Vera Gel

Aloe Vera GelAloe vera gel has anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties and can be effectively used to treat facial puffiness at home. So, if you see a sudden facial swelling, scoop out fresh aloe vera gel from an aloe leaf or use a store-bought one and apply it on your face. Leave it for half an hour and wash your face with cool water. 

5. Over the Counter Creams

If the facial swelling is because of insect bites, infection, or trauma, the over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medication reduces face swelling quickly. 

These creams contain therapeutic steroids like hydrocortisone which blocks inflammatory mediators and might already be available at your home. This is especially helpful if the facial swelling is associated with discomfort and rashes as well. 

6. Tea or Coffee Bags

Tea and coffee have agents that help in vasoconstriction. So, make your tea with a tea bag, then let it cool down, and apply it on the face. Moreover, make a coffee facial mask to reduce facial swelling by using its anti-oxidant and skin-tightening properties. 

7. Facial Jade Rollers

Quartz jade rollers are marketed as skincare tools to massage and lift the face. However, they are great for dealing with facial puffiness caused by lymphatic fluid accumulation as they help in unblocking lymphatic channels and letting the fluid drain. Consequently, your face appears fresh, radiant, and youthful. 

8. Anti-Histamine Medication

Anti-Histamine MedicationOral antihistamine medicines are used for the treatment of allergy flare-ups and reactions caused by anaphylaxis. Histamine is the major inflammatory chemical that is released when you come across an agent you are allergic to. So, anti-histamines block the release of these mediators and reduce facial puffiness. 

Part 4: Lifestyle Changes to Prevent Swelling on the Face

The above-mentioned home remedies help reduce swelling and offer a temporary solution. However, you need to do more than that to prevent it and treat it completely. 

Improvement of Diet

One of the best modalities to be done with facial puffiness once and for all is changing your dietary habits and improving your diet. To prevent facial puffiness, avoid high-salt meals, processed food, late-night snacks, and high-carbohydrate foods. You can opt for antioxidant and vitamin-rich food instead. Such foods include omega-3  fatty acids, fruits, and vegetables. 

Drink More Water

Drink More WaterDehydration blocks the outflow of water that is present in the tissues resulting in facial puffiness. So, in contrast to what you might think, drinking more water does not cause fluid retention, rather it improves fluid drainage and prevents facial puffiness. 

In addition to water, you can take green tea, fruit juices, and other natural drinks to keep yourself hydrated and skin healthy. 

Avoid Alcohol and Smoking

Alcohol and smoking contain metabolites that are harmful to the body and lead to the accumulation of toxins. These toxins lead to facial puffiness. So, restricting the intake of alcohol and quitting smoking can prevent facial swelling. 

The effect of alcohol limitation on facial swelling has been manifested in a case report published in Research Gate [6]

Change Your Sleep Habits

Sleep HabitsSleeping late at night, oversleeping, and bad sleeping postures can cause the body fluid to flow and accumulate in the face. So, try sleeping on your spine, keep your head raised with the help of a pillow, and get adequate sleep to prevent facial puffiness. 

Moreover, always remember to remove your sunscreen and makeup at night with a thorough cleansing.

Facial Yoga and Exercise 

Exercise regulates the blood and lymphatic flow through the body and facial yoga makes the skin firm and tight. So, doing exercise and facial yoga regularly contributes to a swelling-less appearance of the face. 

 Moreover, check the best asanas for face yoga here. 

Treatment of the Cause

If your facial puffiness represents a medical disorder and does not resolve by using the remedies and preventions we talked about earlier, it is your sign to go to the doctor and get treatment. 


Facial puffiness, as you can guess, is the swelling of the full face similar to under-eye bags. It can simply be because of your bad lifestyle, high-sodium diet, dehydration, and obesity. Additionally, an imbalance in hormonal levels, pregnancy, endocrine diseases, injury, allergies, and insect bites can also be the culprit. 

A few of these causes might need medical attention while most are treatable with easy remedies at home. These remedies focus on draining the fluid from the facial lymphatics, reducing swelling, and improving circulation through the tissues. Moreover, the prevention of facial puffiness is even easier as long as you make up your mind to live a healthy life. 

We hope that all of your concerns about facial puffiness are addressed here so that you can take measures to treat it yourself. 

Nancy H, PharmD
I am Nancy a licensed pharmacist with extensive knowledge in the healthcare industry. I enjoy writing on a variety of topics including; disease management, dietary supplements, nutrition, fitness, functional medicine, and lifestyle changes for optimal health. Below is my Linkedin profile
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