How to reduce my puffy face from water retention

Updated March 17, 2017

Awaking to a swollen, puffy face is not the ideal way to start your day. Diet, lack of sleep and, for women, premenstrual syndrome can all contribute to water retention in the body. Water retention in the face is especially bothersome as the face cannot be concealed in the same manner as a bloated belly or swollen legs. If you look in the mirror one morning only to discover a swollen version of yourself staring back, there are a few actions you can undertake to provide relief.

Place a cold compress on your face to provide immediate relief from swelling. Wrap an icepack or pack of frozen vegetables in a towel. Hold the compress to your face for 10 to 15 minutes.

Perform a physical activity in order to encourage perspiration and waste elimination. Sweat helps rid your body of salt and encourages urination and the elimination of excess salt, which causes water retention.

Increase your water intake throughout the day. Although your natural reaction may be to avoid water when your face is bloated, water actually helps your body flush out excess salt. Drink plain water to avoid adding more salt to your body.

Avoid salty foods and reduce the amount of salt in your diet. Too much salt in your body can cause it to retain fluid, which can cause bodily swelling, including in your face. It can take your body up to 24 hours to remove the excess fluid from your system.


Sleep with your head in an elevated position. Place an extra pillow under your head and neck to provide elevation. Consult your doctor if you have persistent facial swelling that does not go down or if pain accompanies the swelling.

Things You'll Need

  • Towel
  • Cold compress or bag of vegetables
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About the Author

Based in Atlanta, Renee Kristi has been writing since 2001 and her work now appears on various websites. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in political science from Spelman College and a Juris Doctor from Georgia State University College of Law.