Food isn’t just responsible for gut bloating — it can cause facial bloating, too

Food isn’t just responsible for gut bloating — it can cause facial bloating, too

Do you ever look at pictures of yourself after a night out and notice that your face looks unusually puffy?

While we commonly associate bloating and the foods that cause it with the body’s stomach and midsection, certain foods can cause your face to swell as well. According to Starla Garcia, MEd, RDN, LD, a registered dietitian in Houston, Texas, and Rebecca Baxt, MD, a board-certified dermatologist in Paramus, New Jersey, foods that have shown to cause facial bloating are often are high in sodium or monosodium glutamate (MSG). It’s also called “sushi face,” thanks to actress Julianne Moore, and has been used to describe bloating and water retention that occurs after eating high-sodium meals like ramen, pizza, and, yep, sushi (likely due to refined carbs and soy sauce).

“Normally after eating a meal that is high in sodium, your body needs to balance itself out, so [it] will end up holding onto water in certain places, which can include the face,” Garcia said. (every gram of glycogen, which is stored carbohydrate, your body stores 3 to 5 grams of water.)

Here’s a list of late-night snacks you should avoid:

  • ramen
  • sushi
  • processed meats like ham, bacon, and salami
  • milk
  • cheese
  • pretzels
  • french fries
  • alcoholic beverages
  • condiments such as soy sauce and teriyaki sauce

For the sake of looking camera-ready the next day, it’s a good idea to avoid all the refined and processed carbohydrates, processed foods, and dairy products, because when it comes to having your sodium and not being bloated too, Baxt says it’s nearly impossible. “There’s really no known way to prevent bloating from foods that are high in salt and carbohydrates.

A lot of it really just comes down to common sense,” she says. “If you know you want to avoid this reaction on a specific day or occasion, your best bet is to simply avoid these foods for a couple of days beforehand and focus on a healthier diet with less salt and refined carbs. When you do eat these foods and experience facial puffiness, it should resolve itself within a day or so, once they are worked out of your system.” Garcia recommends staying away from these foods for most of the week leading up to any camera-ready event.

Of course you can always apply Shapelyne V Shaping Face Serum the night before so you look fresh every morning (even after drinking alcohol the night before with your girlfriends).

Back to blog