7 Nighttime Rituals For Looking Less Puffy & Red In The Morning

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If you wake up some mornings appearing dewy and well-rested, and then look bloated and puffy other days, you may start to wonder what's up. For some people, this type of morning puffiness is par for the course, while for others it can be a sign of something off in their evening routine. But either way, there are things you can do to lessen its effects.

"Redness and puffiness can be caused by increased inflammation or decreased circulation and pooling of fluid around the eyes and cheeks," Dr. Rachel Nazarian, of Schweiger Dermatology Group in NYC, tells Bustle. And since you (hopefully) spend at least seven hours asleep each night asleep, it's only natural to wake up with some degree of puffiness, as a result of being horizontal. The morning groggy look will go away, on its own, as the day goes on.

If it bothers you, though, you can switch up a few of your evening habits, that have the potential to make you puffy the next day. For example, "eating salty high-sodium meals or [drinking] alcohol before bedtime can [...] increase redness by drawing fluid into the tissue," Dr. Nazarian says. "Sleeping with makeup, [and] even perfume, on the skin is a source of potential infection, inflamed skin, and can cause it to flush, breaking blood vessels and increasing redness over time."

Morning puffiness doesn't happen to everyone, and some people don't even notice or care. But if it's something you'd like to avoid, then try these simple tricks at night to ensure a puff-free morning.

1. Drink More Water

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It may seem counterintuitive, but you may want to drink more water in order to flush out water retention, which can be a major cause of morning puffiness.

Dehydration is another common cause of morning puffiness, so here's yet another reasons to make sure you're drinking enough water throughout the day.

To know you're drinking enough water, try to keep your pee on the clearer end of the spectrum, according to the Mayo Clinic. If your pee is coming out bright yellow or orange, that's a sign of dehydration. You should also drink before you're thirsty, since thirst is another sign you're already dehydrated.

2. Skip The Alcohol

Drinking alcohol before bed can contribute to puffiness and redness, too. So if you'd like to wake up looking refreshed, instead of like you were out all night, minimizing alcohol intake may be key. As Dr. Nazarian says, "Alcohol can dehydrate the skin. Dehydrated skin will appear red and more inflamed."

Again, water can be a good substitute, if you're worried about your skin. "Instead of drinking alcohol, increase water intake up until two hours before bedtime," she says. This timeframe will give your body enough time to process the water, so you won't need to wake up in the middle of the night to pee.

3. Stay Away From Salty Foods

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If you love to hunker down in bed with salty chips and popcorn, then go ahead and do so. But this may be one habit you'll want to replace if less morning puffiness and redness if your goal.

As Dr. Nazarian says, "Salt attracts more fluid and can make your face appear bloated." So go ahead and snack, but look for low-sodium ones instead, and remember to drink plenty of water to help keep your body balanced.

4. Sleep On A Pillow

While you don't have to sleep on a giant wedge if you don't want to, propping yourself up slightly at night can make for a less puffy morning.

"Keep your head elevated with a pillow or two," Dr. Nazarian says. "This enhances lymphatic and blood circulation to decrease puffiness around the eyes."

5. Use A Face Mask

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If you can get your hands on a de-puffing face mask, then you may want to add it into your evening routine. "Many of these products contain natural antioxidants and anti-inflammatories that help decrease redness and inflammation while you sleep," Dr. Nazarian says. "That way you can wake up looking more refreshed."

Look for face masks and other skincare products that contain caffeine, which has also been shown to decrease puffiness.

6. Get Rid Of Allergens

If you're sleeping all night in a pile of allergens, then it's pretty much guaranteed you'll wake up with redness and/or puffiness. So give your bedroom a once over to search for possible allergens, and make improvements wherever possible.

You may, for example, want to buy a hypoallergenic pillow, so dust mites don't aggravate your allergies while you sleep. You may also want to keep your pets off your bed, to see if that does the trick. Or even sleep with the windows closed, to prevent allergens from wafting in at night.

7. Wash Your Face

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While it's so much easier to fall asleep without washing your makeup off, this is one habit you may want to break if you're sick of waking up to excess puffiness.

As Dr. Nazarian says, "Makeup can inflame and irritate skin (and eyes!), causing redness and uneven skin tone." And the same is true for perfume, too, which you shouldn't allow to linger on your skin while you sleep. So go ahead and create a bedtime routine that includes cleansing your skin and removing dirt, oils, and makeup from the day.

It's no fun waking up in the morning feeling refreshed, only to be met with a puffy reflection in the mirror. If it bothers you, make a few small changes to your evening, and you may notice a big difference come morning.

This post was originally published on 1/26/2016. It was updated on 6/11/2019.

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