Lack of sleep, stress, hormone imbalances or overdoing it on the soy sauce the night before can cause us to wake up with a bloated face and wondering where our cheekbones went. The bloating is caused by water retention, which can be prevented by drinking lots of water and limiting caffeine and salt intake. But if all else fails, there are some emergency face masks you can use to bring down the swelling and tighten up the skin.
Beauty blogger Crunchy Betty has received a lot of attention for her depuffing Mocha-Frappuccino mask, which contains honey, cocoa, milk and coffee grounds from her morning brew. The blogger swears that the mask gives her a boost each day, making her face look cut and defined and even making her feel more energetic.
Proof in the Pudding
And it's not all in her head -- caffeine indeed has a number of beautifying properties and has recently become a very popular ingredient in skincare products. Allure editor-in-chief Linda Wells told CBC news that caffeine works in three ways: as a vasoconstrictor to tighten skin, as an antioxidant to detoxify and as a diuretic to dehydrate fat cells, making skin smoother. It's no wonder the ingredient has been used in cellulite creams for years.
Milk and Honey
The other ingredients in the Mocha-Frappuccino mask are also powerhouses when it comes to skin beauty: Both dairy and honey act as moisturizers to soften and smooth out the skin, while honey contains acne-fighting antimicrobials. Honey and cocoa both include antioxidants that work hard to fight free radicals.
Make It Good
To make the mask, grab the following ingredients from your pantry: two tablespoons each of freshly ground coffee and cocoa powder, one tablespoon of honey and three tablespoons of whole milk, heavy cream or yogurt. Put on a button-up shirt or robe that you don't mind soiling and tie your hair back, securing a hair band to keep strands off the face. Wash your face, then use your hands to apply the mask to the face and neck, avoiding the hair line. Allow to dry for 15 to 20 minutes. Rinse off and moisturize.
A few things to keep in mind: Though it’s effective, the Mocha-Frappuccino mask is very messy, Crunchy Betty says, so before applying it consider throwing on an old shirt or robe that you can take off without pulling it over your head. Also, you might want to combine rinsing off the mask with a shower.
Off the Shelf
If you’d rather purchase a ready-made mask, many products are formulated with the sole purpose of de-puffing. The editors at Oprah recommend the Triple Oxygen Instant Energizing Eye Mask from Bliss to bring down the area around the eye that is most susceptible to puffiness. There’s also the Origins No Puffery Cooling Mask with yeast extract, caffeine and essential oils recommended by the editors at InStyle magazine.
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Chloé Baudin has been a health and lifestyle writer and editor since 2008. She has contributed to online and print magazines, covering personal finance, home decor, travel, preventative health, sports, science, technology, psychology and relationships.