Skin Anatomy
and Morning Puffiness

You’re a hydration goddess. Your water bottle is always full to the brim and your face is dewy with moisturizers. Dry skin, who is she? But lately, you’ve been waking up with puffy eyes, swollen eyelids and general bloating around your face and body. How do you stay hydrated this summer without retaining extra water?
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To tackle this issue, we must understand why certain areas of our face and body tend to retain water more than others. First, let’s take a look at the different layers of the skin.
Your skin has three main layers:
The epidermis, or top layer, is your body’s protective shield. It’s where melanin is produced, sometimes in reaction to UV exposure. Studies conducted at the Markey Cancer Center at the University of Kentucky College of Medicine shows that while UVB light is almost entirely absorbed by the epidermis, some long-wave UVA radiation can penetrate deeper into the dermis.

The dermis (middle layer) is composed of mainly collagen and elastic tissue, as well as nerves, hair follicles, and glands. This layer serves to support and protect the deeper layers of skin, as well as aiding in sensation and thermoregulation.

The hypodermis (bottom layer). This is where your skin’s fat cells are stored. It acts as a shock absorber and helps your skin move smoothly along your muscles, tendons, and other deep tissues.
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Each of these layers may be thicker or thinner depending on the person. But the layer that varies the most in size is the hypodermis. In fact, this not only varies from person to person, but also across different areas of the body.
The skin around your eyes, for example, is the thinnest skin in the body, according to ultrasound imaging research done at the Azeal Dermatology Institute in Boulder, Colorado. All three layers of skin are thinner around the eyes, but in particular, this area contains practically no subcutaneous fat, and the collagen layer in the dermis is also much less developed. This leads to reduced elasticity over time and increased puffiness and a bloated face due to water retention. Other areas where your skin may be particularly thin include over your hips and around your groin.

So how can you prevent collagen loss and promote elasticity in these areas?
Avoid direct sun exposure, which can damage collagen tissues and cause hyperpigmentation. Remember to use an SPF and a cream specifically formulated for the area around the eyes in order to avoid over moisturizing.
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Another common cause of fluid retention is excess sodium intake.
This water is commonly stored in the hypodermis or even deeper layers, such as the muscles and tissue surrounding the organs. Reducing sodium intake can absolutely help, but another helpful trick is to add more potassium in your diet. The American Heart Association explains that higher potassium intake causes more sodium to be excreted in your urine, and lessens the effects of sodium on the body overall.
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But one of the predominant causes of morning puffiness is improper sleep posture. If you sleep on your side or stomach, you are putting more pressure on your joints and are most likely cutting off circulation of blood and lymph, preventing it from flowing freely around the body. This causes it to pool in certain areas, such as the head and face, especially if your head is slumped to one side or your neck is bent unnaturally while you sleep. And you know what that means: swollen eyes, a puffy face, and bloating.
If you’re interested in addressing the problem at the source and learning to sleep on your back, try the Aula, a training pillow to help you build the habit of back sleeping. The gentle slope between the upper and lower support bolsters promotes fluid drainage, while the neck bolster, high side bolsters, and indent in the middle of the pillow help “catch” your head and hold it in the proper ergonomic position. Massage elements on the neck support bolsters promote full relaxation. You won’t even want to roll on your side!
If you’re not quite ready to make the leap and want to keep sleeping on your side, you may want to opt for the Sleep&Glow OMNIA. The variable thickness along the bottom neck bolster supports you on either your side or your back, and the side cradles frame your face, preventing direct contact between the face and pillow, thereby reducing acne and wrinkles. And the same gentle slope continues to promote fluid drainage. Find the perfect pillow for you!


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