Preparation H as an Eye Cream

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    Bio-Dyne vs phenylephrine

    • A little-known fact is that the Preparation H of today is not the original formula. The earlier Preparation H contained LYCD (live yeast cell derivatives, also known as Bio-Dyne). Shark liver oil and LYCD were the active ingredients in Preparation H that were said to constrict blood vessels, which helped heal hemorrhoids and would reduce puffy or baggy eyes. Bio-Dyne was also claimed to reduce appearance of wrinkles by shrinking skin. But the active ingredient in Preparation H was changed to phenylephrine, a vasoconstrictor.

    Original Preparation-H Cream

    • Preparation H with Bio-Dyne is no longer available in the United States but is still being sold on Canadian websites for around $20. But buyer beware: Despite the urban myths and legends, there is no guarantee the product actually reduces bags under the eyes.

    Safety Consideration

    • Besides being an active ingredient in Preparation H, phenylephrine is also used as a decongestant because it shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages, and as an anesthetic. It can be found in several medications that treat allergies, the common cold and the flu such as Sudafed and Triaminic products. An allergy to phenylephrine is a possibility, and applying it to the face, it could trigger an allergic reaction.

    Eye Cream Consideration

    • The area around the eyes is delicate, and most products such as Preparation H are too potent for this sensitive skin location. It probably would be better to use a cream specifically designed for baggy, puffy eyes, dark circles or wrinkles. Wyeth, the company that makes Preparation H, says the product is designed to shrink hemorrhoidal tissue; the company does not recommend its use on any other areas of the body.

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