How can I plump up my face naturally?

Why would you want to plump up your face?

There are a few main reasons why someone might want to plump up their face naturally:

  • To combat signs of aging like fine lines, wrinkles and sagging skin
  • To create a more youthful, plump appearance
  • To add volume and fullness to a thin or gaunt face
  • To improve facial symmetry
  • To reduce the appearance of scars or acne scarring

As we age, we lose collagen, elastin and fat in our faces which leads to a loss of facial volume and a sunken, hollow look. Plumping up the face can help counteract these effects of aging and restore a more youthful look. Thinner faces can also lack contour and definition, so adding some fullness can help create more balance and proportion.

How to plump up your face naturally

Here are some of the top ways to plump up your face naturally without injections or invasive procedures:

Facial exercises

Certain facial exercises and massages can stimulate circulation, tone muscles and improve collagen production in the face. This helps create a lifting and plumping effect. Some examples include:

  • Massaging the face with your hands or a jade roller
  • “Fish face” exercises that puff out your cheeks
  • Lifting and squeezing motions along the jawline and cheekbones
  • Puckering and releasing the lips

Aim to do these facial exercises for at least 5 minutes daily to see gradual plumping effects. Be gentle and don’t overdo it.

Facial yoga

Facial yoga uses targeted exercises to work specific muscles in your face. When done regularly, it can stimulate collagen production, improve circulation and help “lift” facial fat pads that may have sagged with age. Some examples of facial yoga exercises that can plump up the face include:

  • The “cheek lifter” – Smile broadly, placing your index fingers on your cheekbones. Lift your fingers up toward your temples. Hold for 20 seconds, release and repeat.
  • The “lip pull” – Place your index fingers above the corners of your mouth. Gently pull your fingers outward, stretching your lips into a smile. Hold for 10 seconds, release and repeat.
  • The “kissy face” – Pucker your lips together in a kissing motion, hold for 5 seconds then release. Repeat 10 times.

Aim for 5-10 minutes of facial yoga daily for a gradual plumping effect. Don’t force or strain your face.

Guasha facial massage

Guasha involves massaging the face and neck with a smooth jade or rose quartz tool to provide a temporary plumping effect. It is thought to stimulate blood flow and lymph drainage, flush out toxins and improve elasticity.

To perform guasha:

  • Apply a facial oil to your skin to allow the tool to glide smoothly.
  • Using light pressure, gently scrape the tool outwards across your face, chin, cheeks and neck using long, sweeping strokes.
  • Focus extra time on any sagging or hollow areas.
  • Finish by using draining strokes down the sides of your neck.

Aim to guasha 2-3 times per week for best results. It provides an immediate plumped, sculpted look that lasts 24-48 hours. Be cautious not to drag the skin or use too much pressure which can damage skin.

Hyaluronic acid supplements

Hyaluronic acid (HA) is a humectant that can hold up to 1000 times its weight in water. It helps hydrate the skin, add volume and create a plump, supple look. Taking an oral hyaluronic acid supplement can help plump up the face more effectively than simply using topical HA products.

Look for a high quality supplement containing 50-100mg of sodium hyaluronate (a highly bioavailable form of HA). Take it daily according to the package directions for at least one month to see results. The molecules easily absorb into the deeper layers of skin to volumize from within.

Collagen supplements

Similar to HA, taking a bioavailable form of hydrolyzed collagen supplement also helps replenish collagen lost with age. This in turn plumps up the skin, reduces wrinkles and promotes a youthful facial appearance.

Look for a marine-based collagen supplement containing types 1 and 3 collagen peptides. Take it daily per the package instructions for 1-2 months to allow the collagen to start rebuilding in the dermis. This helps strengthen the extracellular matrix and gives skin a plumper look.

Facial acupressure

Acupressure for the face involves applying gentle pressure to activate certain pressure points and meridians. This is thought to stimulate blood flow, promote lymphatic drainage, relax facial muscles and increase collagen production.

Some key acupressure points for plumping up the face include:

  • Under the cheekbones
  • Under the eyes
  • Between the eyebrows
  • Along the jawline

Use your fingertips to gently press and release each point for about 15-30 seconds. Do this daily or several times per week to improve facial circulation and volume. Acupressure can easily be done at home to give a temporary lifted look.

Facial cupping

Cupping therapy uses suction to lift and decompress the deep tissues and fascia layers of the face. This can boost blood circulation, stimulate collagen and give the skin a plumper, more sculpted appearance.

Silicone cups are a gentler form of cupping that can be easily done at home. Simply apply oil to your face, place the cups on problem areas and gently glide them around to create suction. Start around the jawline, cheeks, under eyes and forehead for about 5-10 minutes per session.

Aim to facial cup 1-2 times per week. It offers an immediate sculpting effect by lifting sagging facial muscles. Just be cautious not to suction your delicate eye area too aggressively.

Aloe vera gel

Thanks to its high water content (99%), aloe vera gel provides intense hydration when applied to the skin. It acts as a natural humectant to draw moisture into the skin and plump it up.

Apply fresh aloe gel directly from the leaf daily. Massage it into your face, neck and even onto the backs of your hands to hydrate the skin and instantly add volume. Drink aloe vera juice daily too for added hydration internally.

Use moisturizers with plumping ingredients

Look for facial moisturizers containing plumping ingredients like:

  • Hyaluronic acid
  • Ceramides
  • Glycerin
  • Sodium PCA
  • Urea

These humectants attract and bind moisture to the skin, helping fill up facial tissue and smooth away wrinkles and dimples. For optimal plumping, apply your moisturizer after cleansing while skin is still damp and follow up with a facial oil to seal in hydration.

Facial massage

Massaging your face for 5-10 minutes daily helps stimulate blood flow and lymph drainage which plumps up facial tissue. Use light, sweeping strokes moving from your chin up toward your ears and from your nose outward over your cheeks.

You can use your hands, a jade roller or gua sha tool. Focus extra time massaging along the contours of the face like around the eyes, cheekbones, jawline and forehead. Finish by gently massaging moisture-rich cream into the skin.

Lifestyle tips for plumping up your face

In addition to topical and facial remedies, your daily lifestyle habits also impact facial volume. Here are some tips:

Stay hydrated

Drink at least 8 glasses of water daily to keep your skin cells plump and hydrated from the inside out. Infuse water with fruit like watermelon, cucumber or berries for added antioxidants.

Moisturize daily

Dry skin looks thinner and more wrinkled. Combat this by moisturizing day and night. Opt for lotions and creams packed with hydrating ingredients like hyaluronic acid.

Limit sodium

A high-salt diet can cause water retention and puffiness, but too much sodium also dehydrates cells over time. Limit salty foods to keep your face well-hydrated and plump.

Quit smoking

Smoking depletes nutrients like vitamin C needed for collagen production. Smoking also dehydrates the skin which causes a gaunt, hollow look.

Protect from sun

UV exposure breaks down collagen and elastin leading to premature wrinkling and volume loss. Wear sunscreen daily along with hats and sunglasses.

Manage stress

Chronic stress can increase cortisol which breaks down skin proteins. Manage anxiety with meditation, yoga, proper sleep and relaxing activities.

Eat collagen-boosting foods

A diet rich in vitamin C, proteins, zinc and antioxidants helps stimulate natural collagen production to maintain facial fullness. Focus on foods like:

  • Citrus fruits
  • Bell peppers
  • Broccoli
  • Berries
  • Nuts
  • Seeds
  • Beans
  • Fish
  • Bone broth
  • Eggs
  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Tomatoes

Get quality sleep

Your body produces new collagen during deep REM sleep stages. Prioritize 7-9 hours of quality sleep per night to help maintain facial volume and combat sagging.

Risks and side effects

When attempting to plump up your face naturally, be aware of the following risks and side effects:

  • Facial exercises, massage and cupping can potentially cause broken capillaries or irritation if done too aggressively.
  • Some people may experience acne breakouts from using too many thick facial oils or moisturizers. Use non-comedogenic formulas.
  • topical plumping products like hyaluronic acid serums may cause mild redness or swelling when first used.
  • Collagen supplements can potentially cause digestive upset in some people.
  • Any new facial product should be patch tested first to check for allergic reactions.

As always, consult your dermatologist if you have any concerns or experience negative effects when trying to plump your face naturally. If properly done, most of these remedies are gentle with minimal risks.

Professional treatments

For more dramatic plumping effects, you may want to consider professional treatments like:

  • Injectable dermal fillers – Hyaluronic acid fillers (Juvéderm, Restylane, etc.) are injected into facial folds and hollow areas to add volume. Results typically last 6-12 months.
  • Fat transfer – Fat harvested from your own body is reinjected into the face to fill hollows and add fullness that lasts longer than fillers.
  • Sculptra Aesthetic – These poly-L-lactic acid injections stimulate collagen growth to gradually plump and volumize the face.
  • Ultherapy – This ultrasound treatment targets and lifts the deep tissues to better support and plump up facial skin.
  • Microneedling – Using small needles to puncture the skin triggers wound healing and new collagen production for smoother, plumper skin.
  • Platelet-rich plasma (PRP) – PRP made from your own blood is injected to release growth factors that stimulate collagen for fuller facial contours.

These professional options provide more dramatic plumping but also tend to cost more and carry greater risks like infection and allergic reactions. Always consult an experienced provider to learn about the pros and cons of each treatment.


There are many effective ways to gradually plump and add natural volume back to a thinning face for a more youthful appearance. When consistently practiced, facial exercises, massage, topical treatments, proper hydration and collagen-boosting nutrition can all help achieve subtle but noticeable plumping without the use of injectable fillers. For moderate to severe facial hollowing, injectables like dermal fillers tend to produce more dramatic improvements, but should be carefully researched and performed by an experienced provider to minimize risk. With a multi-pronged approach focused on facial stimulation, hydration and collagen production, most people can achieve a healthy, plump and smooth facial appearance over time.

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