Preparation H for Skin Care
In some circles, Preparation H's use as a skin care product is considered a sacred secret. Others consider the idea of applying a hemorrhoid cream to the face to be ridiculous or even disgusting. What can't be denied is that beauty books, web sites and word-of-mouth persistently mention Preparation H as an amazing cure for under-eye bags, dark circles and wrinkles, among other skin problems.
According to home remedy authors Joe and Terry Graedon, using Preparation H for skin care is a "Hollywood starlet" tip which has persisted for decades. The authors provide anecdotal reports from their readers claiming the original formula to be effective against wrinkles, baggy eyes, chapped skin, minor burns and itchy scars. Some tout the hemorrhoid cream or ointment for everything from wrinkles and baggy eyes to banishing cellulite.
Because Preparation H is formulated to shrink swelling tissues around the anal area --- admittedly a sensitive body area --- some people theorize that the formula should work on beauty problems in which swelling is an issue. Excess water is generally the cause of puffy eyes and some forms of cellulite, and can exaggerate the appearance of wrinkles. Therefore, beauty books recommend the hemorrhoid cream for tightening skin to "depuff" baggy under-eye areas and temporarily reduce the fine lines and to improve the appearance of cellulite.
While the original Preparation H skin care legend may have had some basis in real results, the modern-day version has been altered --- a fact some home remedy fans may be unaware of. The ingredient originally credited with reducing swelling while providing healing properties was live yeast cell derivative, or LYCD. Since 1995, the U.S. version of Preparation H has not used LYCD ingredients, although the Canadian and European versions still rely on it.
Today, Preparation H sold in the U.S. uses a chemical called phenylephrine, a compound formulated to shrink blood vessels. While some people may find it as effective for treating puffy eyes and wrinkles, the stronger formula may cause irritation. Drugs.com strongly warns that the product should only be used around the rectum and the anal area. The product may irritate your eyes if it is used under or near your eyes. Similar warnings exist about the mouth and nasal passages.
Your dermatologist can give you the latest information on products which can address your skin problem. If you're intrigued by the legend of the original Preparation H, however, you may be able to mail-order the Canadian version of the product. Alternatively, explore other home remedy suggestions, such as those compiled by the natural remedy website Grannymed.com. The site does not recommend Preparation H as a skin care product. Instead, the natural remedy site suggests the traditional applications of potatoes, cucumbers and tea bags to reduce swelling and dark circles under the eyes. It also recommends rose essential oil, grape seed extract or olive oil for wrinkles, and the gel from an aloe vera leaf for minor burns.
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