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What Causes A Swollen Face & Puffy Eyes

What Causes A Swollen Face & Puffy Eyes

Traveling, duh.

In honor of traveling quite a bit already this summer, and getting ready for a trip to Italy, I just had to revisit all the ways we can get puffy and swollen AND how to fix them.

Ok so air travel, heat, the sun, salty food ( love chips & guac, melon & prosciutto, spicy nuts)…brings me into today’s post. SWELLING.

It’s a real bitch. Believe me, I’ve dealt with it for half of my adult life.

But if you follow the blog you already know this. Years ago I had 16 hour double jaw surgery & it left me swollen for 3 years. Actually, I STILL HAVE RESIDUAL SWELLING. It’s no fucking joke. You’ve heard it all before.

There’s nothing worse than being puffy & for about 3 years I had an identity crisis. When I looked in the mirror I just didn’t look like me. When I spoke to people I would stand as far away as I could without being awkward & whenever I walked I could feel the fluid in my face literally bouncing.

Today I want to let you in on a bunch of secrets I’ve learned in my years as Puffy McPufferson.

These are all the tips & tricks I discovered in the years after double jaw surgery  that helped me SO MUCH. They made all the difference. But first, let’s get into what can cause a swollen face & puffy eyes.


♡ allergic reaction

♡ food allergies

♡ bug bites

♡ surgery

♡ sleeping on your face wrong

♡ pink eye

♡ your period

♡ extra estrogen

♡ sunburn

♡ not enough exercise

♡ dermatitis

♡ or maybe you just had too much drink & got some late-night In & Out burgers-we’ve all been there.


♡ cryotherapy

Love cryotherapy. It’s like the ultimate anti-inflammatory which means it brings down your facial swelling big time. Long-term cryotherapy can help your skin tighten, increase your collagen, improve your energy, mood, sleep & healing rate.

So not only will it help your skin look snatched, it also gets your blood moving which means it helps your muscles, flexibility & pain levels if you have muscle soreness or something more serious like fibromyalgia.

If you want to learn more about cryotherapy, especially if you have medical conditions, be sure sure to check out this post with cryotherapy expert Matthew Bergman.

And if you don’t have time (or want lol) to go to a cryo chamber, there are other ways to get your COLD in. Cold plunge or even just take a cold shower. You’ll end up being addicted, I swear.

the skinny confidential ice roller
the skinny confidential ice roller | What Causes A Swollen Face & Puffy Eyes

♡ ice rolling

Where do I even start with this one. After jaw surgery & researching ( also trying ) everything I could to de-puff & drain excess fluid I bought a cheap-ass ice roller off Amazon. It was ok. It made a difference. But there was so much that could’ve been better. There was so much I wanted to change on the shitty little Amazon ice roller that broke. So I did. It took 3 years but we did it.

As you may know already THE SKINNY CONFIDENTIAL HOT MESS ICE ROLLER launched a few years ago, & lemme tell ya- if you want an ice roller that keeps the cold, this is it.

It stays fucking freezing cold for so long because it’s made of aluminum. It’s also cheeky, pink, sturdy & comes with a thumb print so you can apply pressure where you need to. Ok, ok so why should you use an ice roller? Let me pull out my scroll…

    + WHERE DO I EVEN START. First off, it instantly reduces puffiness & redness ( think how an ice-pack can reduce swelling & bruising. YES PLZ ).

    + Boosts circulation, because lucky us it brings blood to the skin surface which totally restores radiance & encourages optimum cell function.

  + Helps shrink the size of pores, for smoother-looking skin- so like use it before you apply makeup, mkay?

    + Helps with lymphatic drainage through the combination of a facial massage & ice therapy- SO BYE-BYE WINE FACE. *We’ll talk more about lymphatic drainage in a min.


( NOTE: when you remove the ice roller from the freezer, roll it on your wrist like 8 times to make sure it’s not too cold for your face. Also never wet the ice roller before putting it in the freezer- you do not want a dry ice situation so, NO water needed. To clean it, just use lukewarm water on a wash cloth. You can always use the roller in regular temperature too- you will still get the lymphatic benefits if it’s not cold.).

Anytime, anywhere- morning or night. If you want it freezing cold like me, add to the freezer. If you want it sort of cold, add to the fridge.

MORNING: I LOVE using mine as soon I wake up because I feel like it gives my face a shot of espresso. Another hot tip: is to gently roll before you apply make-up. It will tighten your skin before applying your sunscreen, foundation, etc.

NIGHT: use at the end of your nighttime skincare routine to help lock your serums & moisturizers’ ingredients into your pores. OH & use with your ICE QUEEN FACE OIL…because the oil has cooling properties. We created it to be used together. A ying & yang if you will.

Ice rolling is the QUEEN of getting rid of a swollen face & puffy eyes.

♡ facial massage

Facial massage is one of the best tips for de-puffing because you can do it yourself at home, for free. Or you can use a number of tools to assist you. You can use your hands, a vibrator ( yes, like the one meant for your vagina ), a jade roller or other gua sha tools or the PINK BALLS.

Facial massage feels so damn good, plus it:

+ helps iron out wrinkles

+ improves circulation

+ is amazing for lymphatic drainage

+  reduces inflammation ( no, but like, BIG TIME )

Learn more about The Skinny Confidential PINK BALLS face massager here. They’re the only balls you’ll want on your face.

♡ Lymphatic drainage Massage

So. Let’s have a quick little anatomy lesson:

“Our lymph system is a network of organs, nodes, ducts, and vessels that transport lymph — a fluid containing white blood cells, proteins, and fats — from your tissues into your bloodstream. Lymph nodes are structures that produce immune cells to combat infection and filter lymph fluid to remove bacteria and cancer cells.  Our lymph system is a crucial line of protection against infections.via }

During a lymphatic drainage massage, a massage therapist stretches your skin in order to “allow for congestion, deposits & debris to flow from the body,” Carey says. Technically, your lymph nodes are your body’s biological filtration system, so they do this naturally. But the belief is that by manually applying pressure to areas around your lymph nodes, you can sort of speed up the process, or give your lymph nodes a leg up.

So essentially lymphatic drainage is just what it sounds like- you’re draining excess fluid from your face.

In order to successfully do this, be sure to go up & out then down your neck when doing facial massage, gua sha or ice rolling.

Lymphatic drainage is so major when it comes to de-puffing the face, but you can also get a lymphatic drainage massage for your whole body.

The first one I had was in Hong Kong & let me tell you IT WAS AMAZING. It was like popping this balloon inside of me that totally deflated all the excess bloat in my body. After I peed, I coughed, I was thirsty, but most importantly I felt incredible. Also, I woke up with no puffy eyes – after a long haul flight that’s pretty rare. Needless to say, I was hooked.

Lymphatic drainage also improves the overall circulatory system & flushes toxins from the under arms, legs, pelvic area, & neck. AHHH, I LOVE DETOXING.

Ok, so if you specifically want a lymphatic drainage facial, then you need to get specific with the person doing your massage. You guys sent so many DMs about where & how to get the best lymphatic drainage so I wrote a whole post about what I specifically ask for.

ice roller and face massager
the skinny confidential pink balls

♡ gua sha

The gua sha tool that I keep going back to one by The Golden Secrets. It’s my favorite. Gua sha is a form of facial massage & if you’re just getting started with it, be sure to check out my YouTube tutorial.

When you gua sha you always want to go up the face, then down the neck to make to really drain the face & de-puff. Oh, & before you gua sha you’ll want to use a thin layer of oil so your tool glides nicely across the skin. Good options are ICE QUEEN face oil, rosehip oil, Living Libations cleansing oil & jojoba oil.

Along with all the facial massage benefits above, gua sha also:

+ is a natural, alternative therapy

+ can be done on any area of the body

+ helps with headaches

+ is SO good for neck pain

♡Sleep slightly upright

This was so major when I was recovering from jaw surgery. Arranging your pillows so that you’re head is slightly above the rest of your body will really decrease the swollen face & puffy eyes when you wake up.

I just can’t recommend this enough. Plus, try sleeping with a silk pillowcase, because it’ll help all your skincare stay on your skin, not on your pillow.

♡ bouncing on a trampoline

Ok, this is not a joke. I bought a mini trampoline & would jump on it to help drain my face. It worked!

Doing some light bouncing for 10 minutes a day can help open up your lymphatic system for quicker drainage, which means quicker depuffing.

I’d even add a little extra bounce to my step when I went out for a walk.

♡ ice ice ice

There’s always good ol’ ice. If you’ve never heard of an ice facial à la Kate Moss & Sonya Morgan of The Real Housewives of New York City, let me fill you in.

Fill a bowl with ice cubes & water, tie your hair  back, & dunk your face in for 5-10 seconds, 3 times.

Seriously this is one of the best supermodel secrets. It will instantly de-puff your face.

Other things I do to avoid puffiness are to eat & drink diuretics. A diuretic is something that makes you pee & can help rid your body of sodium. { via }

Things like: coffee, hibiscus tea, watermelon, celery, garlic, teas like peppermint & rooibos. ( You should know that tons of teas are diuretics- loving Pique tea right now *use code SKINNY for 5% off* ).

If you’re prone to a puffy face try drinking a glass of water for every cocktail you have & avoid salty foods. When I have one fucking measly olive I blow up like Violet in Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. You too?

Hope you’re all having a fab summer

x, lauryn

+ stalk my book if you’re into skin tips & tricks.



  1. I really enjoy listening to you and your husband’s podcast, and this post about facial swelling. What other remedies would you suggest to help with inflammation? Xo- Cassie

    1. I just had double jaw surgery on Monday of last week. I wish I had come across this sooner. I’ve been trying all the juices and ices to de-puff so I quit looking like the daughter of Shrek and I am mentally exhausted. I have the facial roller and it is going into my freezer ASAP now.

    2. Grounding, anti-inflammatory food, dry brushing, hydration & movement in the AM

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