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Does Preparation H Reduce Puffiness Around the Eyes?

By Amalah

This is a serious question. Not global warming serious, but you know…
Does Preparation H reduce puffiness around the eyes? Does it shrink things other than butt pustules? Amy, I know that you are a cause-driven individual. I’ve seen your pink hair. We’ve all seen your pink hair. I think it’s time for you to dedicate yourself to this cause and answer the question once and for all. A pictorial of your progress would be swell. No pun intended.

A long time ago I totally believed that Preparation H reduced puffiness under your eyes. My big sister told me it worked, and I believed her. Of course, I was like, four.
According to Cecil Adams’ myth-busting Straight Dope column, the Preparation H story is just another in a long line of vanity-related urban legends, probably designed to embarrass models and actresses and beauty queens. Sure, they look pretty, but they’ve double-sided tape on their butts and butt cream on their faces! Bwa ha ha! Silly models.
(And not surprisingly, the makers of Preparation H are all, “Please don’t put hemorrhoid ointment on your eyes, idiots.”)
Cecil’s assistant Jane was pretty emphatic that Preparation H does NOT work. Also: it’s gross.
But FINE. I will test it out too. With pictures. And then I will probably demand a raise.
(Disclaimer: Always follow package directions! Do not try this at home! I am a professional idiot!)
Here I am, first thing in the morning. Pre-coffee, pre-everything.
Next, I put plain old original Preparation H ointment under my left eye and my regular eye cream (Philosophy’s Hope in a Tube Eye & Lip Firming Cream) under my right.
Prep H is greasy, smells bad and given that it’s pretty obvious where the applicator is supposed to go, I opted to apply it with a Q-Tip instead of my fingers. Am prissy. Yes.
(These photos were taken in a mirror so my left eye actually is on the left side — you can see the shininess of the Preparation H pretty clearly here.)
(Also anybody who comments on my pores gets banned for life.)
I waited a few minutes. I didn’t really see any improvement on the Prep-H side, so I went ahead and applied my foundation.
Putting foundation over the greasy ointment was pretty gross. Nothing really sticks to it, so my makeup just kind of slid around.
Next, I touched both sides up with a yellow-tinted concealer.
So. Judging from these photos, it’s pretty clear that Preparation H did not work and in fact, actually made things worse. A decent moisturizing eye cream and concealer worked much better and also: NOT GROSS.
The other theory is that Preparation H has been reformulated and some kind of “live yeast cell” is no longer part of ointment, and wouldn’t you know it, this is exactly what fixed puffy eye bags and cured wrinkles. Shucks! But it’s still (supposedly) in the Canadian version, so (supposedly) women cross the border to get their vain little paws on the stuff. It’s a conspiracy, man!
Whatever. I’m siding with The Straight Dope on this one. And also going to wash this crud off my face.

About the Author

Amy Corbett Storch


Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Ama...

Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. She is the author of the Advice Smackdown and Bounce Back. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at Amalah. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.

If there is a question you would like answered on the Advice Smackdown, please submit it to [email protected].

Amy also documented her second pregnancy (with Ezra) in our wildly popular Weekly Pregnancy Calendar, Zero to Forty.

Amy is mother to rising first-grader Noah, preschooler Ezra, and toddler Ike.

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You so deserve a raise for this one. I think your right eye looks better than your left after the applications.


After putting ass cream on your face, I definitely think you deserve a raise.
Does this mean that hairspray on bikini bottoms does not really keep them from riding up (not that I’ve ever tried it…)?


It does work for some. many people have used it for years.


i tried it just around 6 am this morning before i fell asleep from work. i woke up around 12 noon and yea it’s worked for me so far considering i just tried it the first time just to see if it’s true what the guyt old me yesterday… i always have big eyebags coz i always sleep late and stressed due to work and i don’t do facials so i’ll see again tom  morning.. i think the wrong part there is you just put it and waited for a few minutes… it really wouldn’t work like that.. it’s no… Read more »