Like thousands of other women, I’ve tried Preparation H for puffy eyes and under-eye bags. After weeks of using it, nothing really changed.
In fact, on some days, Prep-H made my tired looking peepers worse, leaving them swollen, red-skinned and irritated.
I'm assuming this was because the formulation I was using was petroleum based and very greasy.
Then I wondered, is it even safe to put hemorrhoid cream under your eyes?
I especially became concerned about safety and ineffectiveness when a new generation of puffy eye suffers brought this old-fashion trend back on a TikTok viral beauty hack page.
Hemorrhoid creams (like Prep-H) contain ingredients like phenylephrine to constrict blood vessels and reduce tissue swelling and inflammation.
And some versions contain the topical steroid hydrocortisone.
While these ingredients may be safe and helpful for the skin outside your anus, it's not safe for delicate skin around your eyes.
Some dermatologists warn that the use of topical steroids can cause:
I still wondered why so many women (mostly models from the 70s and 80s) claimed that this hemorrhoid cream reduce under eye bags and dark circles.
So, I did some research and found the original formula changed.
The original formula used to contain two active ingredients:
And (for reasons unknown) the Preparation H formulation sold in the United States now no longer contained them.
Live Yeast Cell extract, and Shark Liver Oil are known to have anti-inflammatory, soothing, and healing properties.
Note: I couldn't find any studies indicating these ingredients were unsafe to use around the eye!
So, I was determined to find out if this one worked!
I managed to find the original Preparation H formula on the internet, from Greece.
So I bought it!
Sadly, after using it for several days, I never noticed a difference or reduction in my puffy eyes.
I even kept it in the refrigerator, hoping the coldness would further help reduce under eye swelling.
Since Preparation H was designed to reduce inflammation and tissue swelling, it's logical to assume that it should help reduce swollen under eye tissue too.
In fact, some dermatologists say it's safe for special occasions and that it could be helpful to reduce puffy eyes and discoloration.
"Preparation H is a vasoconstrictor" says founder of Smarter Skin Dermatology, Dr. Sejal Shah. "It can also make any bluish discoloration less noticeable."
Personally, I wouldn't use it, even for special occasions. I'm happy with my eye serum, which is safe and works in minutes.
Difference Between Puffy Eyes and Swollen Eyes
What Works to Lessen the Appearance
It's important to determine what's causing the lower eyelid bags.
Preparation H helps reduce swollen tissues, which is why many assume it can help reduce swollen eyes.
But what if your eye issue is due to bulging fat pads and not swollen eye tissue due to excess fluid or inflammation?
Then it's logical to assume that anything that reduces temporary inflamed tissues (like Preparation H) won't do much for that problem.
Under eye fat pads become more prominent as we age, mostly because of weakening facial muscles. The only real permanent option to reducing excess under eye fat pads is surgery (blepharoplasty).
But, if puff eyes are because of temporary under eye swelling, there are basically three ways to reduce the swelling:
I rely on serums because I don't always have time to sit with a cold compress on my eyes, and caffeinated creams never provided the results I wanted.
The eye lift serums really work and offer results in minutes!
They might even help reduce the appearance of fat pads. But, finding one that isn't drying or irritating, especially for mature, dry or sensitive under eye skin.
Click here to watch a video how this Instant Eye serum for puffy eyes helped my friend Bobbie look more awake. Bobbie has excess fat pads under her eyes. And while the serum didn't make them magically go away, it did help make her eyes look less puffy.
It’s been my favorite eye lift serum since 2012 because nothing I’ve tried works as well as this does.
Other serums may work to reduce the look of puffy eyes, but left my sensitive skin tight, dry, or peeling. Unlike Preparation H, this serum reduced the look of puffy and crinkly skin under the eyes.
Although it contains ingredients that can cause side effects like eye irritation or worse, some people feel it's fine once in a while.
It can also clog pores and cause breakouts.
In my opinion, and based on my experience, Preparation H does not help reduce under eye bags or wrinkles.
I get much better results with a skin-firming serum, face/eye massages along with some dietary changes like consuming less salt, or getting more sleep.
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