Look Sculpted: The Simple Hack To Depuff Your Face In Less Than 5 Minutes

mbg Editorial Assistant By Jamie Schneider
mbg Editorial Assistant
Jamie Schneider is the Editorial Assistant at mindbodygreen with a B.A. in Organizational Studies and English from the University of Michigan. She's previously written for Coveteur, The Chill Times, and Wyld Skincare.
Young Woman Gently Massaging Her Face
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Say you've been eating saltier snacks than usual or having one too many at-home cocktails—you may be facing some swollen, inflamed skin. If you routinely wake up to thoughts such as, Where did my jawline go? and I swore I had cheekbones last night!, you're not alone: In fact, one of the first questions celebrity facialist Kate Somerville received in a recent Instagram Live interview was how to depuff your face, and fast. The founder of her namesake skin care line shares her secret—and it's easier to get hold of than you thought. 

Here's the hack: ice.

It's perhaps the most simple yet effective beauty hack there is: That's why Somerville uses it on all her celebrity clients before big events (Jessica Alba, Olivia Wilde, and Kate Hudson, to name a few). "I have them first go into a steam room or take a hot shower after they get off the plane," she explains in the interview. "Then I'll have them take an ice bucket with cold spoons, and I'll make them apply their moisturizer and their eye cream with the cold, icy spoons."

Think of it as a makeshift gua sha: If you don't have one of those handy tools at home, consider icy spoons the next best thing. Better, even, as Somerville notes: "Spoons are awesome because they have that curvature. You can really contour the face," she adds. 

If you're facing some puffiness along the eye area, Somerville recommends first carving inward toward the nose (the lymph flows inward, so you'll want to drain that first), then applying smooth strokes up and outward toward the ear and jawline. "You're really able to pump those lymph nodes out and really tighten the skin," she explains. What you're left with is firm, contoured skin ready to take on any important event—or Zoom call. 

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Does ice really work?

Simple as it may be, ice really can help the puffiness subside. That's because ice is a great vasoconstrictor; as board-certified dermatologist Loretta Ciraldo, M.D., FAAD, tells us about chilling skin care products, "A cooler temperature helps to constrict tiny blood vessels in our face, the same way that applying ice water to a burned area lessens redness and discomfort."

And Somerville isn't the only esthetician out there with an affinity for using ice to her advantage: Celebrity esthetician Renée Rouleau is also partial to ice for reducing puffiness in a pinch, albeit with a slightly different technique:

If you routinely wake up to a swollen face, she tells mbg, fill up your bathroom sink with cold water and toss in around 15 ice cubes. Pour ⅓ cup of witch hazel into the water (just make sure you choose one that's alcohol-free, as witch hazel is already naturally astringent). Then "dunk your face in and out about 10 times," she says. Think of it as an ice bath for your face, with the ice and witch hazel working twofold: The ice constricts the blood vessels in your skin, while witch hazel's anti-inflammatory properties can reduce puffiness.

The takeaway. 

If there's one old-school beauty hack to tighten the skin, stat, consider ice the fan favorite. Although it may be a while before we attend events and parties again, we can all benefit from some advice on how to carve our cheekbones—even just to look sculpted for a morning Zoom meeting. 

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