No More Sushi Face! Here’s How to Banish Your Post-Meal Bloat

Updated: Jun. 28, 2017

Does your face get puffy after a sushi binge or night out on the town? There's a very surprising culprit—and here's what you can do to banish it forever.

Ever heard of “sushi face?” You need to! Julianne Moore just coined this amazing term in an interview with New York Magazine, and it explains everything we’ve ever wanted to know about post-meal bloating.

“It’s because of the sodium,” Moore told the magazine. “My husband loves to have sushi in L.A. because it’s so good out there. But if I’m there for an awards show or something, I’m like, ‘No, I’m not doing it the night before the Golden Globes. My face will be puffy.’”

Sound familiar? Odds are, we’ve all woken up from a sushi binge with a bit of bloat. But the Japanese dish isn’t the only fishy thing (pun intended) making you puffy.

“Anything that contains lots of salt is going to cause you to retain water,” Dr. Debra Wattenberg, a New York City dermatologist at NY Skin Rx told TODAY. “People who are sensitive to salt are going to swell around their eyes and their lips.”

No-More-Sushi-Face!-Here's-How-to-Banish-Your-Post-Meal-BloatLisovskaya Natalia/shutterstock

Sushi, along with any other salty meals, causes cells to retain fluid—hence your bloating. And the sodium overload affects everyone differently. Fluid pools at the ankles for some people, while for others, it settles around the face and eyes. (By the way, these are the clear signs you’re eating too much sodium.)

Although experts say bloating is relatively harmless, all that swelling and shrinking could cause your skin to age more quickly. Plus, for health reasons, the American Heart Association recommends that people consume no more than 2,300 milligrams of sodium per day. Ideally, we should be aiming for 1,500 milligrams per day.

But does that mean you should abandon sushi altogether? Not necessarily, experts say.

“People should not be scared of sushi. I think it is important to be salt-conscious,” Dr. Adam Friedman, an associate professor of dermatology at George Washington School of Medicine and Health Sciences told TODAY. “Be conscious of what we put in our bodies and the health effects.”

Want to banish the bloat? Besides reducing your sodium intake, make sure to drink lots of water (it flushes the sodium from your body), avoid alcohol, and use a cold compress to reduce the swelling. Some even recommend sleeping at an incline to prevent the fluid from settling in your face. Or, try eating this every day to beat your belly bloat.