Does Preparation H Help Puffy Eyes & Dark Circles?

Does Preparation H help puffy eyes and dark circles?  What about wrinkles?  Supposedly, this is a runway model secret to quickly transform tired eyes to look awake and revived.  If you haven’t heard this one, Google it and you will see it’s plastered all over the internet.   What is the magic ingredient in Preparation H and does it help puffy eyes, dark circles, and wrinkles?

Preparation H help puffy eyes and dark circles

I did some research to find out more about Preparation H and I’ve also tested it on my eyes.  With my puffy eyes and dark circles, I’m a perfect guinea pig.  Anyhow, I’m not a medical expert so please don’t take my opinion and findings as such but I’ll share my experience  with you.  Then, you can decide if Preparation H is worth a shot for reducing wrinkles and tired looking eyes.

Does Preparation H help puffy eyes, dark circles, and wrinkles?

I ran out and picked up a tube of Preparation H cream before I did any additional research. When I embarked on this experiment, excitement got the best of me!  I dabbed it under my eyes for a few nights before I went to sleep and again when I woke up.  It definitely did nothing for me.

After my failed test, I began to research the product and I found the alleged magic ingredient is called BioDyne and it’s no longer in the formula sold in the United States.  A-Ha!  That must be why I didn’t notice a difference!  I immediately tossed out the tube and purchased the Canadian formula that contains BioDyne from a reliable eBay seller for approximately $10.  Now, I was ready for the real test and anticipated results.  Let me share some interesting and relevant  background information with you first about BioDyne.

What is BioDyne?

BioDyne is a live yeast cell derivative (LYCD) which is a medicinal extract of a species of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae.  (Remember that, it might come up in Trivial Pursuit one day)  Experiments with BioDyne in the mid to late 1930s with both humans and animals showed it improved the rate and quality of wound healing.

The medicinal effects of the live yeast cell derivative are the result of a protein fragment that contains a combination of a number of peptides.  The documented benefits of BioDyne included the treatment of burns, hemorrhoids and wounds.  Biodyne was found to increase the rate at which cells reproduced and grew through the intake of oxygen.  There were different variations of BioDyne discovered during research and the formulas were patented.

Why isn’t BioDyne in the U.S. Preparation H formula?

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) required the manufacturer of Preparation H to remove the LYCD ingredient in the U.S. product because there wasn’t enough evidence to prove it was effective in relieving hemorrhoid symptoms.  The FDA was willing to accept studies that showed LYCD was effective in healing wounds in other areas of the human body and evaluated two studies that were presented.  The evidence presented was not found to be reliable and it was believed the studies were not properly controlled.

In 1993, the FDA ruled any over-the-counter product containing LYCD for anorectal use is not generally recognized as safe and effective and is misbranded.  It was in 1994 that the rule went into effect and it has remained in effect since that time.  No over the counter products sold in the U.S. may contain LYCD.The economical impact of the decision was also weighed and it was determined there was no significant economic impact on the ruling of LYCD.  The ingredient has been banned in the U.S. for over 20 years now.  I wonder if most people know the U.S. formula doesn’t contain the ingredient that is believed to help with cosmetic concerns?  I’ve never heard anyone mention not to get the U.S. formula and that’s the one I initially bought.

Preparation H: Canadian Formula vs U.S. Formulas

If you look at the ingredients in the U.S. ointment and cream and compare them to the ingredients in the Canadian cream, they are quite different.  The only effective ingredient noted in the Canadian formula is BioDyne and some of the inactive ingredients in the Canadian formula are listed as active in one or both of the U.S. formulas.  Ay-yay-yay!  If both formulas work, we don’t know which active or inactive ingredients are even helping relieve hemorrhoid systems when comparing the two products!  How two formulas of a medication with the same name can be so different… I have no idea!

Preparation H help puffy eyes and wrinkles

U.S Formula Active Ingredients:

Ointment: petrolatum 71.9%, mineral oil 14%, shark liver oil 3%, phenylephrine HCl 0.25%.

Maximum Strength Cream: white petrolatum 15%, glycerin 14.4%, pramoxine HCl 1%, phenylephrine HCl 0.25%.

U.S. Formula Inactive Ingredients:  

Ointment: benzoic acid, BHA, BHT, corn oil, glycerin, lanolin, lanolin alcohol, methylparaben, paraffin, propylparaben, thyme oil, tocopherol, water, wax

Maximum Strength Cream: aloe barbadensis leaf extract, BHA, carboxymethylcellulose sodium, cetyl alcohol, citric acid, edetate disodium, glyceryl stearate, laureth-23, methylparaben, mineral oil, panthenol, propyl gallate, propylene glycol, propylparaben, purified water, sodium benzoate, steareth-2, steareth-20, stearyl alcohol, tocopherol, vitamin E, xanthan gum

Canadian Preparation H with Bio-Dyne

Canadian Formula Active Ingredients:

Cream: yeast as a live cell derivative (Bio-Dyne: Skin Respiratory Factor) 1.0%.

Canadian Formula Inactive Ingredients:

Cream: butylated hydroxyanisole, cellulose, cetyl alcohol, citric acid, disodium edetate, glycerin, glyceryl monostearate, glycerol oleate, lanolin, parabens, petrolatum, propyl gallate, propylene glycol, simethicone emulsion, sodium benzoate, sodium lauryl sulfate, stearyl alcohol, water, xanthan gum.

What’s the Preparation H verdict?

Preparation H for wrinkles

The verdict: Preparation H doesn’t help improve the appearance of wrinkles, puffy eyes, or dark circles.

It would seem there is sufficient evidence to support BioDyne aids in wound healing.  I’m no expert but there are several studies that have been conducted.  I’d place my bet that BioDyne affects wound healing if I had to.   A study published in the Journal of Burn Care & Rehabilitation tested an extract of LYCD with mice.  The mice were diabetic and did not heal well after being wounded.  The mice receiving the topical LYCD extract experienced 100% wound closure 24 days after they incurred wounds.  Less than one-third of the mice receiving the placebo treatment experienced wound closure within that time.

I am not aware of any controlled tests that have been conducted with regards to BioDyne helping puffy eyes or dark circles.  Also, I’m not sure why a connection was made between wound healing and wrinkles, puffy eyes, or dark circles?  The way in which the human body heals an open wound is different than cell turnover in healthy skin that is in tact.  There are many products on the market that are said to increase cell turnover in healthy skin.  Even these speciality skin care products are not miraculous when it comes to reducing wrinkles and they don’t claim to resolve puffy eyes and dark circles.

Could the BioDyne help reduce swelling if that is the cause puffy eyes?  Perhaps, but ice can do that too.  In my experience, using the BioDyne Preparation H formula had no impact on swelling under my eyes.  And I had legitimate persistent swelling to resolve from a laser procedure.  Nothing helped to resolve the persistent swelling except an injection of Kenalog, a corticosteroid, plus time and patience.

I also tried the BioDyne formula for dark circles and it made no difference.  Color corrector and concealer is my weapon of choice.  The U.S. formulas contain phenylephrine HCl which shrinks blood vessels and is used in decongestants but there are many reasons we get dark circles under our eyes and expanded blood vessels are not on the list of common reasons.   Sometimes dark circles are treatable and other times they are not.  Regardless, you need to know the cause of the dark circles to determine an effective treatment.  If dark circles are the result of eczema or allergies, they can usually be treated.  If the problem is hereditary or resulting from the skin becoming thin due to aging, it’s more difficult to resolve or improve.  Not impossible though!

In my experience, Preparation H didn’t do anything for puffy eyes or dark circles.  And it did nothing for wrinkles but I honestly didn’t expect it to.  I thought there was a chance it might help reduce puffy eyes due to swelling.  Also, an important consideration, the Canadian formula of Preparation H contains parabens.  Many people question whether parabens used in cosmetics are harmful to your health.  Health Canada, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the Cosmetic Ingredient Review (CIR) have all deemed that parabens are safe at current exposure levels but some researchers disagree.  Many products on the market have discontinued the use of parabens.

A recommendation for a multi-tasking eye cream

Lumiere Eye Balm by Neocutis with PSP

A multi-tasking eye cream that comes highly recommended by many dermatologists is LUMIÈRE Bio-restorative Eye Balm by Neocutis.   It is a professional line so it can only be purchased through medical providers, however, you don’t need an appointment to buy it.  This eye cream contains caffeine, alpha hydroxy acids, hyaluronic acid, antioxidants, vitamin E, and vitamin C.  It is ideal for all skin types and addresses puffiness, free radical damage, aging skin, and dark circles.  One of the few that does it all.  I haven’t used this product but I am in the process of purchasing it and will review it in a few weeks.  The one thing I do want to mention about this product is the use of human cells in the origination of the formula.  Some people may not be comfortable with.  You can read more about this in a Fox news article and if it’s a concern for you, consider other options.  Neocutis also provides information on their website about the Processed Skin Proteins (PSP) used in a few of their products.

Using the locater on the Neocutis website, you can find a provider in your area to purchase the product.  It is also available on and but I haven’t confirmed these are authorized retailers.  The best price I’ve seen is on DermAvenue but be sure you are selecting the eye cream that contains caffeine.  It retails between $75 -$92.

This product from Neocutis is consistently rated very high by consumers and dermatologists.  I’ve noticed on sites that are sponsoring Solvaderm products (which Solvaderm has managed to get on the front page of Google), they manage to inconspicuously bash reputable skin care lines to promote themselves.  Be cautious of sites showing you Solvaderm products rated as #1.  I’m not sure who or what entity is rating them #1 but I can tell you none of the products I’ve tried from Solvaderm are effective.  It’s also difficult to find information about the face behind the company.  Beautypedia bashes a lot of great products as well, including this one.  I don’t heavily rely on them.  The reason being, everything reviewed on Beautypedia from Paula’s Choice (their line) is top rated.  We know it’s impossible for any company to have a full line of 5-star products.  I mean, come on!  Beautypedia rates some other products high that can’t be disputed due to patents or extensive research.   Plus, they can’t slam everyone out there or it would be obvious they may be partial to certain brands.  The Beautypedia site wouldn’t appear credible if that was the case.  It seems to me a lot reviews on Beautypedia are biased and inconsistent.  So, take it all with a grain of salt and beware of the motives certain authors may have.

What to make of all this?

does preparation H help wrinkles

People swear by the Preparation H with BioDyne and believe it is providing beneficial results when used on their skin.  Maybe it is, however, there are better products with more beneficial ingredients that are safer to apply to your skin, especially the eye area.  Maybe other products don’t come with a price tag of $10 but if BioDyne was a miracle ingredient for skin care, manufacturers would have jumped on it years ago!  Either someone would have come up with new BioDyne formulas that were not patented or the manufacturer of Preparation H would have produced a best selling anti-aging all-in-one eye cream.  How come they haven’t produced a cream that would fly off shelves all over the world?

I don’t think there’s any harm in trying it out but it’s probably a good idea to ask a medical professional before you do.  I took a risk to test it out on my skin and it’s not approved for use in the eye area.  Getting the product in your eyes could be harmful.  If you are interested in trying it, you can find the product on line in many Canadian pharmacies and on eBay.  I believe moderate wrinkles require more aggressive treatment than topical products can provide and dark circles and puffy eyes show decent results with products that contain caffeine such as the one I’ve recommended above.  It’s fun to hang onto the idea of knowing the “best kept secret” to looking youthful but I don’t think Preparation H is the answer.  Believe me, I wish it was!

What are your thoughts?  Have you used the Preparation H product with BioDyne and experienced great results to report?


Beauty Blog Phoenix Lifestyle blog

10 thoughts on “Does Preparation H Help Puffy Eyes & Dark Circles?

  1. Such a fun post Janine, loved reading it! I kind of gave up on finding a miracle product to solve my panda eyes issues. As you have mentioned – corrector + concealer that is. Also a good eye cream to hydrate the area xx

  2. An interesting read for sure. Thanks for sharing your results. I look forward to your review on the Lumiere eye balm.

    1. I get all excited when I find a topic to research. I enjoy combing the web for information. I’m weird like that. I think George Castanza is the only other person who likes to read medical journals. Not sure that says a whole lot for me though. LOL

      1. Did the product work? I struggle with dark circles under my eyes and puffiness. Tried many things including preparation H!! Didn’t work for me. The best thing I have found so far is black tea bags!! Lol. Would like a product however. I take excellent care of my skin. Looking to hear your results.

        1. Unfortunately no. It didn’t work for me either. Black tea bags or green are great because the caffeine really helps to reduce the puffiness and the tea is soothing. I love keeping wet tea bags in the fridge! Have you tried them in the refrigerator too?

          The product I am currently using and absolutely LOVE is from 3LAB Skin Care. If you look on my main page, I just wrote a post about it. I’m very impressed with their cream and you can get a sample either from them or if you live near a Barney’s. You’d know after 1-2 days if works magic for you. It’s expensive so be sure to get a sample or just confirm you can return it if you don’t absolutely love it.

          Another thing I really LOVE are the eye patches/masks from Patchology. OMG, they are magical little things! They are available on line at Ulta and Ulta lets you return if you don’t like things (so you aren’t stuck with it). I’d definitely try these. I wear them for about 10 min when I wake up and it’s a miracle!!

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