Are you always on the prowl for anti-aging/wrinkle solutions? We get it. With a plethora of anti-aging products on the market, it's hard to know which products are fads or real deals.
And speaking of anti-aging beauty secrets, there's actually a new trend going around involving a very unlikely product: Preparation H. That's right, the hemorrhoid cream.
In fact, some famous celebrities have even sworn by this method, including Kim Kardashian!
So, does Preparation H really work on wrinkles? We did some digging to get you the answer.
What is Preparation H?
Preparation H is a cream that's used to soothe hemorrhoids. There are a few different versions of Preparation H.
The classic ointment contains mineral oil and petrolatum, but the key ingredient is phenylephrine HC, which helps to temporarily restrict blood vessels.
There are different types of the product. One has a cooling gel with aloe vera, while another type has an anti-itch cream with hydrocortisone.
There is also a Rapid Relief version with lidocaine and a Multisymptom Pain Relief version with vitamin E, panthenol, and aloe vera.
Why Do People Use Preparation H on the Eye Area?
The theory is that since Preparation H contains phenylephrine, it can temporarily tighten the skin and blood vessels around the eyes, which reduces the appearance of wrinkles and eye bags.
The cream also often contains ingredients like glycerin or petroleum jelly, which can help to moisturize the area around the eyes.
When you look into how to reduce puffy eyes and wrinkles, you'll come across articles where makeup artists claim Preparation H is their "weapon of choice," as well as a lot of blogs and vlogs praising its benefits.
Mario Dedivanovic, Kim Kardashian's makeup artist, has also claimed he used Preparation H on her eyes.
According to Dedivanovic's 2017 makeup Master Class tutorial, he said, "it tightens the skin. That's a really old, old trick. It smells really bad but it works."
Dedivanovic also recommended applying these hemorrhoid creams before concealer for a more even application.
Due to this misconception, many people feel that it should also do so for the eye because the cream temporarily restricts blood vessels in the rectal region.
The inclusion of hydrocortisone in hemorrhoid creams, an anti-irritant supposed to temporarily reduce puffiness in enlarged blood vessels, has also received some acclaim.
What Do Dermatologists Think?
Dermatologists and skincare experts all have different opinions regarding Preparation H as an anti-wrinkle eye cream.
Some experts feel that it could actually do more harm than good because the product is not explicitly designed for the delicate eye area.
The skin around your eyes is fragile and sensitive, so using a cream that contains harsh ingredients could irritate or even damage the skin.
Prolonged use of topical steroids also carries a risk of side effects, such as the thinning of the skin.
Additionally, Preparation H only provides temporary results. So if you're looking for a more long-term solution for eye wrinkles, puffy eyes, and eye bags, this is not the answer.
Meanwhile, other experts claim that while Preparation H may not be the best long-term solution for wrinkles, it can temporarily reduce the appearance of under-eye bags and enlarged blood vessels.
So if you're looking to temporarily reduce puffiness around your eyes before a big event, Preparation H might be worth trying.
Remember to take caution if you decide to try this method, and don't forget to consult with your dermatologist first before trying hemorrhoid creams!
How to Use Preparation H on Wrinkles
Always do a patch test on your skin before putting hemorrhoid cream-- or any kind of cream on your face, regardless of brand, version, or product. Apply the cream to a tiny area on your arm.
Wait around 20 to 30 minutes for any adverse reactions, such as redness, burning sensations, hives, or swelling.
If you don't experience any skin irritation from the skin patch, start by applying a small quantity to the affected areas of your face.
You'll probably want to apply the product after gently washing your face and before bed. Apply a thin layer and massage it softly.
Always be very meticulous in avoiding contact with your eyes. When you're done, wash your hands.
You may also use it during the day, but the cream may make your skin look overly greasy, especially with oily skin types.
You'll probably have to use it consistently over a few weeks or months before you notice any results, as with most wrinkle creams.
However, because there are no studies demonstrating the use of hemorrhoid creams in reducing wrinkles and eye bags, you might not notice a difference.
Possible Side Effects of Preparation H
Depending on what type of hemorrhoid cream you use, it might contain various ingredients that could irritate your skin.
Although phenylephrine can tighten the skin, it can also cause dryness.
If you're using a Preparation H cream containing hydrocortisone, prolonged use could thin the skin and cause stretch marks.
Additionally, if the cream gets into your eyes, it could cause redness, swelling, increased skin fragility, and even temporary blindness.
In some worst cases, if the cream is ingested, it could lead to seizures, coma, or death.
What Anti-Wrinkle Methods Should You Use Instead of Preparation H?
Preventing eye wrinkles and puffiness is a multidimensional approach, starting with determining the underlying cause and then selecting the appropriate treatments to improve the appearance of your eye area.
The skin around the eyes is one of the thinnest on the body, suggesting that family history and poor habits are most visible here. Eye wrinkles and dark circles are also caused by the sun's harmful rays, squinting, smoking, and constant rubbing.
The way you sleep (on your side or on your back) and the fabric of a pillowcase also affect how much facial creases you develop.
There are many ways to get rid of under-eye bags, puffiness, and wrinkles. You can use home remedies or find the right ingredients, such as vitamin c.
Some popular and effective ingredients are caffeine, cucumbers, green tea bags, cold spoons, and aluminum foil.
Many over-the-counter products can help reduce wrinkles around the eyes. These include creams, serums, and moisturizers.
If you're looking for a more long-term solution, consider getting Botox injections or dermal fillers.
The Bottom Line
Puffy eyes can be the consequence of a medical condition that must first be treated.
Of course, the underlying causes should influence how you deal with it - but Preparation H or any steroid cream is never the solution (despite what Kim Kardashian's makeup artist suggests).
While Preparation H has anti-swelling properties, it's not worth risking damage to the delicate skin around your eyes (or your eyes themselves).
It may do more harm than good (including a higher chance of cataracts and glaucoma).
Instead, use one of the many other methods that have been proven to be effective in reducing wrinkles and under-eye bags.
It's not worth the risk to use Preparation H just to experience short-term relief!