Should We Be Trying Prep H Or Other Butt Creams For Younger-Looking Eyes? Asking For A Friend.


Lots of celebs swear by butt cream – Kim K uses Prep H to prevent under-eye wrinkles and both Jenn Aniston and Queen B are known to favour petroleum jelly products – Vaseline and Aquaphor, respectively. If it’s good enough for them, should we be stocking up, too?

I guess the bigger question is how did butt cream even make celeb cult cut? Prep H (aka hemorrhoid cream) kinda makes sense. I mean it does have ingredients that reduce inflammation, given its end game (sorry, we had to go there) is to reduce tissue swelling. But there are different versions depending on which side of the border you live on.

In the U.S., the active ingredient to reduce inflammation is hydrocortisone, a steroid. A very big downside to using steroids is that they cause thinning of the skin, even bruising, over time. Also, obvs, Prep H is not ophthalmically-tested, so eye injuries are a real risk. Most doctors will tell you to use this powerful ingredient only as directed.   

“Canadian” Prep H is the celeb fave

The Canuck version of Prep H has as its active, Bio-Dyne, a natural yeast cell extract that promotes wound healing and helps with burn recovery. This is the version that Kim K’s makeup artist Mario Dedivanovic uses. At one time, the U.S. version also included Bio-Dyne but the FDA banned it several decades ago because of a lack of studies proving it shrunk hemorrhoids. So, while lots of folks anecdotally swear by its facial skin-tightening effects, there’s a dearth of clinical data to back this up.

And, what about petroleum jelly? Well, these products are what’s known as an occlusive, meaning their job is to seal in moisture and create a strong skin barrier – which is what makes them great for treating diaper rash and such. You could make the leap that they will help seal in moisture around your eyes, but that means you first have to use a moisturizer to hydrate the area.

All that said, I am not interested in putting butt cream anywhere near my peepers. Especially when there are so many amazing products on the market that treat the trifecta of eye issues: fine lines, puffiness and dark circles.

Dealing with other skin issues, like redness and flushing? These are the best products to try.

We caught up with Natalia Lavaggi, skincare formulator at Okoko Cometiqués who reminds us that because the eye area is thinner and has its own set of concerns from the rest of the face, creams specifically made for the orbital area are key. Ingredients that hydrate and illuminate, while reducing the appearance of dryness, puffiness and dark circles, should top our list.

Need a quick cosmetic fix for your under-eye business? Our FLEETSTREET editors reveal their must-have concealers.

Lavaggi also suggests avoiding ingredients that are too heavy in consistency like butters and balms as that can exacerbate the look of puffiness. “It’s important that the consistency is not too heavy, because the eye contour area is very delicate and lighter serums and creams absorb more efficiently,” she says.

I’m in 100% agreement with Lavaggi’s thinking! When it comes to eye care, I want a product created specifically to address these issues, not a butt cream.

Here are some new products I’m currently loving:

OKOKO Cosmétiques L’Élixir D’Or, $95. This gel serum combines vitamins A, C and E, as well as coenzyme Q10 to moisturize skin and boost elasticity. It also includes the anti-ager bakuchiol to gently speed up cell turnover and caffeine to deal with puffiness and dark circles.

NEOSTRATA Hydra Filling Eye Gel-Cream, $48. The secret weapon in this new offering is Poly Hydroxy Acid (PHA), a powerful antiager that’s gentler on skin than its exfoliating cousin AHA (Alpha Hydroxy Acid). The gel-cream is infused with 1% hylaluronic acid to deliver plumping moisture and vitamins A, C and E to protect and defend skin.

Aveeno Absolutely Ageless Eye Cream, $27. It’s the antioxidant-intense blackberry complex with vitamins C and E that makes this offering unique. Rich in hydration, it’s best for minimizing crow’s feet.

StriVectin Intensive Eye Concentrate for Wrinkles, $71. A proprietary form of niacin helps strengthen the skin barrier, while antioxidant-rich micro algae extract fights puffiness and horse chestnut flower extract targets collagen to minimize wrinkles.

GLOW RECIPE Avocado Melt Retinol Eye Sleeping Mask, $56. Encapsulated (read gentle form) retinol and coffeeberry work together to minimize dark circles and puffiness, while avocado infuses skin with vitamins to nourish skin.

Boost your cream’s effectiveness by practicing gua sha. It’s a massage technique that uses a smooth stone in long, stroking motions to minimize inflammation while boosting lymphatic drainage. Dr. Erica Acuri of Well Bynd shows you how.

Welcome to Pretty Healthy, FLEETSTREET’s in-depth series. Beauty starts with healthy skin and hair, and this column delivers the goods on making that a reality