How Witch Hazel Can Profit Oily or Irritated Pores and skin

From magnificence to drugs, witch hazel is an ingredient with many makes use of and an extended historical past. Earlier than fashionable drugs, it was used to appease wounds and promote therapeutic. Quick ahead a number of centuries, and also you may keep in mind tales of individuals utilizing Preparation H hemorrhoid cream—which comprises witch hazel—to fight under-eye puffiness! (Spoiler alert: I don’t advocate this. The attention space is tremendous delicate and may solely be uncovered to merchandise formulated particularly for this function.)

In the previous few years, witch hazel has been relegated as an old-school ingredient that may trigger dryness or irritation. It looks as if everybody’s been made to worry this ingredient, however I believe it’s simply misunderstood! Witch hazel can have advantages for nearly each pores and skin sort, it’s nearly discovering a well-formulated product. Witch hazel itself hasn’t modified through the years, however how we use it positively has. Skincare merchandise are actually made to be rather more light, with the pores and skin’s protecting barrier in thoughts. Due to extra superior extraction methods, you’ll be able to reap the therapeutic advantages of witch hazel with out the drawbacks. Witch hazel is making a comeback, and it’s right here to supply critical advantages in additional methods than one! Preserve scrolling to study the way it may gain advantage your pores and skin (and methods to keep away from any attainable downsides). 

What Is Witch Hazel, and The place Does It Come From?

Witch hazel, or Hamamelis Virginianal, is a tree extract generally utilized in cosmetics. It’s native to Canada and the Jap United States, however globalization has made cultivation attainable in Europe as effectively. Extraction is often finished by blasting elements of the tree (such because the leaves, bark, and roots) with carbon dioxide. This stressor causes the plant to excrete an oil, which then leaves behind a watery substance that’s basically witch hazel essence. This water or “essence” is what’s utilized in your cosmetics.

Witch Hazel has been round for a whole bunch of years, discovering itself helpful not solely in skincare but in addition in wound therapeutic. Native People used it to appease wounds and irritation, and it’s now used as a vasoconstrictor in fashionable drugs.

On the subject of skincare, we primarily use witch hazel for its astringency impact. This occurs due to molecules known as tannins, which trigger the proteins within the pores and skin to tighten up. This helps tighten pores and can be what helps with therapeutic.

Will Witch Hazel Dry Out My Pores and skin?

Witch hazel’s astringent impact is precisely what makes individuals fear that it’s going to dry out their pores and skin. Many people affiliate the phrase “astringent” with tremendous drying toners of the 90s. The factor to grasp is that if a substance is astringent, it actually simply implies that it causes a slight contraction (aka tightening) of pores and skin tissue when utilized. Folks typically affiliate this tighter feeling with dryness, however on this case, that’s not essentially correct. It’s true that in case your pores are contracted, much less oil will move by means of them. However should you’re making an attempt to manage extreme oiliness, this can be a profit!

The factor about these toners within the 90s was that they typically contained drying alcohols on prime of being astringent. This was finally what dried out individuals’s pores and skin and triggered irritation. There was a time when so most of the shoppers who got here to my spa have been utilizing a extremely popular 3-step skincare system that included an astringent toner. However on prime of together with drying alcohols, this toner additionally had acetone in it (sure, you learn that proper). I might actually use it to take off my nail polish as a technique to show to shoppers how harsh it was.

The underside line is that witch hazel is a superb ingredient each for soothing and for lowering extreme oil manufacturing. As at all times, it’s all about discovering a product that’s formulated correctly.

What Ought to You Look For When Buying Witch Hazel Merchandise?

When on the lookout for merchandise with witch hazel, it’s essential to remember that the extraction technique can considerably have an effect on its properties. Some extractions might contain alcohol or have a excessive alcohol content material—it depends upon the rationale for extraction. This finally means some merchandise may have alcohol on the ingredient listing. So, the very first thing to do when beginning your seek for the proper witch hazel product is to examine the ingredient listing for drying alcohols resembling SD alcohol 40 or denatured alcohol. Keep away from these.  

Understand that a part of what gave witch hazel such an undeserved stigma again within the ’90s was that toners have been made utilizing it at (or close to) a focus of 100%. You don’t want to fret about that now. Nowadays, when witch hazel is utilized in a product, it’s a small element of a product’s total formulation. It’s solely there to supply very gentle astringency or anti-inflammatory properties. Most merchandise as of late additionally embody hydrating substances, like glycerin, along side witch hazel. This creates an ideal steadiness and offsets any attainable dryness. 

As I at all times say, you shouldn’t choose a product by its ingredient label! Normally, a single ingredient doesn’t make or break a product. It’s all in regards to the high quality of an ingredient, how a lot of it’s utilized in a product, and the way it’s mixed with different substances. 

Who Ought to Use Witch Hazel?

As a result of astringent results of witch hazel, I largely advocate this ingredient for skin types 1-4. These with oily and acne-prone pores and skin are going to profit essentially the most from its oil-cutting capabilities. Since zits is an inflammatory situation, these pores and skin sorts may even profit from witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory properties. 

Along with curbing oil manufacturing, don’t overlook that oily pores and skin sorts nonetheless want hydration. Listed below are 5 methods to soundly hydrate acne-prone pores and skin.

Now, this isn’t to say that these with dry pores and skin can’t profit from witch hazel as effectively. This multifaceted ingredient also can present great advantages resembling antioxidant and soothing qualities, in addition to these wound therapeutic capabilities I discussed earlier. All of it depends upon which proportion of witch hazel is current, in addition to if there are some other substances added to assist fight its drying results. Tlisted below are a number of formulation containing witch hazel that add substances like humectants (hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and so forth.) to assist appeal to water to the pores and skin and hold it hydrated.

How Can You Incorporate This Ingredient Into Your Day by day Routine?


Probably the most basic technique for delivering witch hazel to the pores and skin is thru a toner. A delicate leave-on formulation, like Balancing Skin Tonic, is a superb choice as a result of molecules in water-based skincare merchandise can penetrate deeper into the pores and skin than molecules in thicker merchandise can. 

Face Masks

In case you’re not presently available in the market for a brand new toner, there are many different nice methods to include witch hazel into your routine. It may be an awesome addition to face masks. Witch hazel and different pore-purifying extracts work collectively in Energizing Cleansing Masque to depart pores and skin feeling tighter, firmer, and refreshed. The mix of antioxidants and nourishing botanicals permits this non-drying, clay masks to ship cleaner pores and extra refined pores and skin.


One other nice technique to reap the advantages of witch hazel is thru a moisturizer like Daily Mattifying Solution. The mix of witch hazel and hydrating substances is right for these with very oily pores and skin, like Skin Type 1, who want hydration plus oil management.

In case you have been confused about among the negativity surrounding witch hazel, I hope this put up helps put your thoughts comfy! This ingredient has an extended legacy within the skincare group and is simply one of many many unbelievable substances in any product formulator’s toolbox. It’s time to cease getting caught up in witch hazel’s troublesome previous (and barely spooky identify) and begin cheering on its well-deserved comeback.

Subsequent, study extra about the best technique to apply toner.