How To Depuff Your Swollen Face

I’m a self-proclaimed “expert” on many a subject for a girl my age. Scissoring. Weeping on public transportation. Navigating panic attacks with and without Xanax. The unexpected nuances of the broke-yet-wildly-glamorous-lifestyle.

And of course, the fine art of depuffing a swollen face.


Full disclosure: I’ve struggled with extreme puffiness my ENTIRE life. Some of us are simply “prone to the puff,” you know? I’ve grappled with the trauma of unwanted by water retention since the sixth grade. We lived in one those colonial houses built in the 1800s when I was growing up — the kind that had a slew of nasty, old-school radiators — that SUCK the fluid out of your body as you peacefully slumber. You wake up feeling like a dying plant. And when you hobble over to the mirror and stare into your reflection — a toad gazes back at you.

I’m not kidding. This one boy used to call me “camel eye” in middle school because I would slink into homeroom with such catastrophically puffy eyes every morning.

It’s only worsened (like everything, darling) with age. And now, as an adult, if I take so little as a sip of champagne, eat anything with a sprinkle of salt, sleep with the heater blasting, eat pasta, eat sushi, drink diet coke, simply exist in the world — I wake up with not just swollen eyes — but a swollen face. It’s a f*cking blast.

The only silver lining of this massive tragedy is that I’ve garnered a shit ton of very effective “de-bloating of the face” tips.

So allow me to kindly walk you through my depuffing routine. I’m not kidding when I say I do this almost every single morning — with the exception of the occasional miracle when I wake “normal.”

And bitch; no one — no one calls your girl camel eye anymore, so I guess this shit is actually working.

1. Ice Rolling with cold aloe vera gel. 

If you follow me on Instagram, you clearly know how deeply committed I am to ice-rolling.

And if you’re a puffy person you must, must, must get an Esarora ice-roller, from Amazon. It should set you back no more than a whopping $12 and it lasts a lifetime.

It looks sort of like a futuristic rolling pin, except its ice cold (you keep it in the freezer). Before you do anything in the morning you need to dutifully ice-roll your face, starting at the jawline working your way up and out. Set the timer and do this for exactly ten minutes while listening to a podcast of your choosing.

Massaging the face with an ice-roller drains out all the excess fluid that’s stuck inside of your face, and pushes it out of your system. As you roll your face you’ll be stimulating the blood flow and no joke — contouring your face. The ice-coldness of the product also kills the inflammation.

I don’t approve of ice-rolling without any oil or liquid on your face, because you don’t want to massage dry skin — unless you want wrinkles. My favorite thing to do is buy ice cold aloe vera gel, keep it in the fridge, slather it on my face and go to town with my ice-roller. My favorite brand of aloe vera gel is Nature Republic Aloe Vera Soothing Gel. It’s $6.99 and one of the best selling products in Asia.

Think about it: We use aloe vera to calm down sunburns and keep post-sun swelling at bay — so why wouldn’t it soothe and depuff the face? It is sticky — but that’s ok! You’ll wash that shit off soon enough.

2. Dutifully drink your Turmeric.

After I ice-roll my face I make myself a cup of ~steaming~ hot (filtered, only drink filtered) water with a slice of fresh lemon and lots of turmeric powder. Turmeric is nature’s strongest anti-inflammatory and truly depuffs faster than any other natural product I’ve ever tried. Topical stuff (creams, ice-rollers, serums) can only do so much. I like to get to the root of the problem, and the root of the problem lies deep beneath the mere surface of your skin. You’re swollen because something is irritated from within. Which means a supplement must be ingested. I prefer to take my turmeric in powder form rather than in a capsule because I feel like it works faster, and forces me to get hydrated — and hydration is imperative to depuffing.

Add some lemon for flavor and because lemon has a powerful diuretic effect. Which means you’ll pee the puff out even faster. 

3. Coffee Grinds under the eyes.


After you have your morning coffee take some the wet grinds out of your Keurig or the old-school coffee pot and mix them together with a tiny bit of water using your fingers until they turn into a thick paste. Apply the paste beneath your eyes or all over your face if your whole face is still puffy.

Caffeine is an anti-inflammatory rich with antioxidants. Caffeine quells swelling and puff by constricting the blood vessels just below your epidermis which gets everything moving and pushes your skin back into retaining its normal tone, babe!

I keep this mask on anywhere from five to forty-five minutes depending on how much time I have. Five minutes will definitely help — but forty-five? You’ll look as if you’ve had a professional lymphatic drainage massage.

4. Face washing with a vibrating brush. 

The best way to get rid of puff is to stimulate the skin, gently. And vibrations do a brilliant job of stimulating the skin in a way that’s far more intense and effective than our fingers could ever dream of achieving.

My favorite vibrating facial tool is the “StyleCraft gentle facial cleansing brush” (in purple, The Dirty Beauty official color). It’s made out of silicone so it doesn’t harbor bacteria the way other facial brushes do — and I find it to not only depuff my face — but it also does a brilliant job at smoothing out the texture of my skin, so the makeup lays ~perfectly~ against it.

I use this with a gentle cleanser (obsessed with Honest Beauty’s cruelty-free gentle cleanser — only $12.99 and perfect size) and follow up with a CBD infused facial serum. CBD has an anti-inflammatory effect, so it really drives the depuffing point home. I also think it has a well-needed calming effect on my skin, which is very important as this routine is intense.  Whenever you do a bunch of skin-care shit you must, must, thank your skin by rewarding it with something nourishing. As far as CBD infused facial serums go, I swear by Naveya’s daily facial serum. It’s non-GMO and plant-based and makes me look younger. 

5. Drink a gallon of water a day. 

You will never not be puffy if you are dehydrated. In fact, this whole routine is a waste of time if you’re not hydrated. When you’re dehydrated your body panics and holds on to the water it has, which is why you look so squishy! Chances are the whole reason you’re swollen right now is because you’re sorely dehydrated.

So commit to a gallon of purified water a day. Tap water can contain all kinds of bacteria and sulfates that will make you even puffier. Don’t cheap out on your water. Invest in the fresh shit and guzzle that gorgeous, taste-less liquid down like your life depends on it (because it does). In fact — make sure you have 20 ounces of water before you pump your body with caffeine or any other crap. You wake up like a wilted flower that desperately needs to be watered in order to bloom in the world!

What are your de-puffing tips? Have any of you trade Jade Rolling? I have a few times but haven’t had much success! Tell me what works for you, babe.


7 thoughts on “How To Depuff Your Swollen Face

  1. Cate says:

    Great tips! I’m dipping my toe into better self-care and these are great things to consider doing!

  2. Ellie says:

    I use a mini vibrator on my eye puffiness and sinuses and move the fluid toward my ear and down my neck to drain my lymphatic system and depuff. You can actually feel the fluid move and my skin always looks awake and healthier afterwards.


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