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Puffy face in the morning? 8 possible causes and what helps

Had a long night and only got to bed much too late? Then a swollen face is pre-programmed. If you don’t sleep enough, you don’t give your body enough time to regenerate. But there are also less obvious causes that many of us are not even aware of. Tikbow knows the most common causes of annoying water retention on the face and what to do about it.

Possible causes of a swollen face

Glutamate intolerance

Whether at the Asian snack bar on the corner or in a ready-made meal: Many dishes contain a lot of flavor enhancers, and not everyone can tolerate them. As dermatologists know, people often react to glutamate, which is often used, with a swollen face – especially around the eye area – the next morning. Freshly cooked food in the evening and less convenience food helps against this.

Drinking too late

Sure, drinking plenty of fluids is healthy – and übrigens also important to flush water retention from the body. If yesterday, with the best of intentions, you quaffed a bottle of water before going to bed, you will unfortunately still have had the exact opposite effect: In the lying sleeping position, the absorbed fluid can be transported away more poorly and accumulates in places in the body where you don’t want it – such as the eyes and face.

Too much salt in food

If you like to eat a heavily salted dinner, you can help prevent water retention and swelling around the eyes. This is because salt binds water in the body, so that fluid accumulates between the cells and so-called ödeme develop. A diet low in salt can counteract this.

Lactose intolerance

Falls Ihnen die Käse-Sauce vom Vorabend noch schwer im Magen liegt oder sogar richtige Verdauungsprobleme bereitet hat, könnten Ihre Schwellungen im Gesicht an einer Lactose intolerance liegen. Die entsteht bei manchen Menschen erst im Laufe ihres Lebens, weil das Enzym, das für die Verarbeitung von Milchzucker zuständig ist, mit der Zeit immer weniger produziert wird. Am besten testen lassen oder eine zeitlang auf Milch und Milchprodukte verzichten.


Ein zu langes Sunbathing ohne ausreichenden Sonnenschutz kann ebenfalls dazu führen, dass das Gesicht aufgequollen erscheint. Wird die Haut nicht ausreichend geschützt, verbrennt sie – als Gegenreaktion sammelt sich Wasser in der Haut, das das Gesicht verquollen wirken lässt.


In many women, the hormonal surges in the middle of the cycle cause increased water retention, also in the face; sometimes already in the pre-menstrual phase, before it really starts.


Normally you know which allergies you suffer from. If you can rule out pollen or animal hair, it is a good idea to replace your pillow: Often mites lurk in it, which also release histamine and can thus promote the leakage of fluid into the blood vessels. And this then leads to water retention in the surrounding tissue.

Too soft pillow

During sleep, the body is in a horizontal position, which makes it more difficult for lymphatic fluid to drain away. This fluid is transported through the body by the lymphatic system, a network of vessels similar to the blood circulation. It serves to transport nutrients and waste products. The fluid can thus accumulate in the eye area overnight and cause puffy eyes. To prevent this, you can ensure a sleeping position in which your head is slightly elevated.

3 SOS tips that help with a swollen face

A little cold shock

Stars like Kate Moss swear by this trick: Simply immerse your face in a bowl of ice-cold water for a few seconds. This causes the vessels to contract and the swelling to go down. All those for whom this is too strong, simply wash their face with cold water in the morning.

Facial massage

To stimulate circulation and make puffiness disappear, a gentle facial massage helps. A facial roller made of jade or rose quartz can be used to treat puffiness around the eyes. To do this, lightly stroke the roller from the inside to the outside of the eyelid and under the eyes. If the face roller is placed in the refrigerator overnight, the mini-facial is even more pleasant.

Caffeine kick

Here we are not talking about coffee in the morning, but rather a face mask with caffeine. Applied in the morning, the caffeine helps to support blood circulation and tighten the skin. Eye pads or a light cream with hyaluronic acid also plump up and quickly reduce puffiness.