Although there are tons of under-eye patches and eye creams on the market that work to remedy this issue, models and celebrities alike have claimed for years that their #1 secret to perking up tired eyes is none other than, wait for it… hemorrhoid cream.
While I’ve always tossed this advice aside (it sounds too gross to be true), I’ve always vaguely wondered if there was even a smidge of truth behind the old-age trick recommended by Hollywood’s elite. So, I decided to speak with Annie Chiu, M.D. Celebrity Dermatologist, and Elizabeth Tanzi, M.D., the founder and director of Capital Laser & Skin Care and Clinical Professor of Dermatology at the George Washington Medical Center, for their expert opinions.
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It turns out, this drugstore product used to work great on under-eye bags back in the day, but not so much anymore. “In older formulations of Preparation H, before 1995, there were live yeast extracts and sometimes hydrocortisone that helped with puffiness and inflammation; however, the company has since reformulated the product,” Dr. Chiu explains.
Since the formula in the product has changed, the active ingredient in hemorrhoid cream is is now phenylephrine. According to Dr. Chiu, since phenylphrine constricts blood vessels, it can sometimes help with puffy eyes in a dire situation; however, using alternative solutions will not only give you a better outcome, but it’ll help you avoid coming into contact with any irritating ingredients commonly found in Preparation H—it isn’t created for your delicate facial skin, after all.
Additionally, Dr. Tanzi warns that using hemorrhoid cream under your eyes too often can cause inflammation in the skin called dermatitis. Instead, Dr. Tanzi recommends using cool compresses or cold cucumber slices to help reduce swelling. For more ways on how to reduce those pesky under-eye bags, here’s how to get rid of dark circles in 20 minutes or less!
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