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 trendy drugs, it was used to appease wounds and promote therapeutic. Quick ahead just a few centuries, and also you would possibly bear in mind tales of individuals utilizing Preparation H hemorrhoid cream—which accommodates 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 goal.)

In the previous couple of 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 kind, it’s nearly discovering a well-formulated product. Witch hazel itself hasn’t modified over time, however how we use it undoubtedly has. Skincare merchandise at the moment are made to be rather more mild, with the pores and skin’s protecting barrier in thoughts. Because of extra superior extraction strategies, you may reap the therapeutic advantages of witch hazel with out the drawbacks. Witch hazel is making a comeback, and it’s right here to offer critical advantages in additional methods than one! Maintain scrolling to study the way it may benefit your pores and skin (and easy methods to keep away from any potential 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 potential in Europe as effectively. Extraction is usually completed 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 primarily witch hazel essence. This water or “essence” is what’s utilized in your cosmetics.

Witch Hazel has been round for a whole lot of years, discovering itself helpful not solely in skincare but additionally in wound therapeutic. Native Individuals used it to appease wounds and irritation, and it’s now used as a vasoconstrictor in trendy 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 strictly what makes individuals fear that it’ll 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 signifies that it causes a slight contraction (aka tightening) of pores and skin tissue when utilized. Individuals 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 way of them. However in case you’re making an attempt to regulate extreme oiliness, it is a profit!

The factor about these toners within the 90s was that they typically contained drying alcohols on prime of being astringent. This was in the end what dried out individuals’s pores and skin and triggered irritation. There was a time when so lots of the shoppers who got here to my spa had been utilizing a highly regarded 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 strategy to show to shoppers how harsh it was.

The underside line is that witch hazel is a good ingredient each for soothing and for decreasing 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 searching 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 relies on the explanation for extraction. This in the end means some merchandise may have alcohol on the ingredient checklist. So, the very first thing to do when beginning your seek for the right witch hazel product is to verify the ingredient checklist for drying alcohols similar to SD alcohol 40 or denatured alcohol. Avoid these.  

Needless to say a part of what gave witch hazel such an undeserved stigma again within the ’90s was that toners had been made utilizing it at (or close to) a focus of 100%. You don’t want to fret about that now. Today, when witch hazel is utilized in a product, it’s a small element of a product’s total formulation. It’s solely there to offer very gentle astringency or anti-inflammatory properties. Most merchandise nowadays additionally embrace hydrating elements, like glycerin, along with witch hazel. This creates an ideal steadiness and offsets any potential dryness. 

As I at all times say, you shouldn’t decide a product by its ingredient label! Most often, 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 elements. 

Who Ought to Use Witch Hazel?

Because of the 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 learn essentially the most from its oil-cutting capabilities. Since zits is an inflammatory situation, these pores and skin varieties may also profit from witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory properties. 

Along with curbing oil manufacturing, don’t neglect that oily pores and skin varieties nonetheless want hydration. Listed here 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 can even present great advantages similar to antioxidant and soothing qualities, in addition to these wound therapeutic capabilities I discussed earlier. All of it relies on which share of witch hazel is current, in addition to if there are another elements added to assist fight its drying results. Tlisted here are a number of formulation containing witch hazel that add elements like humectants (hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and so on.) to assist entice water to the pores and skin and preserve it hydrated.

How Can You Incorporate This Ingredient Into Your Each day Routine?


Probably the most traditional 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 good possibility 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

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


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

When you had 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 implausible elements in any product formulator’s toolbox. It’s time to cease getting caught up in witch hazel’s troublesome previous (and barely spooky title) and begin cheering on its well-deserved comeback.

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