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 a protracted historical past. Earlier than trendy drugs, it was used to assuage wounds and promote therapeutic. Quick ahead just a few centuries, and also you may 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 suggest this. The attention space is tremendous delicate and will 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 concern this ingredient, however I feel 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 over time, however how we use it positively has. Skincare merchandise are actually made to be far more mild, with the pores and skin’s protecting barrier in thoughts. Because of extra superior extraction methods, you possibly can 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 gain advantage your pores and skin (and how you can 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 often carried out 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 lots of of years, discovering itself helpful not solely in skincare but additionally in wound therapeutic. Native People used it to assuage wounds and irritation, and it’s now used as a vasoconstrictor in trendy drugs.

In terms 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 folks 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 signifies that it causes a slight contraction (aka tightening) of pores and skin tissue when utilized. Folks usually 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 stream by them. However if you happen to’re attempting to regulate extreme oiliness, this can be a profit!

The factor about these toners within the 90s was that they usually contained drying alcohols on high of being astringent. This was in the end what dried out folks’s pores and skin and brought about irritation. There was a time when so lots of the purchasers who got here to my spa had been utilizing a extremely popular 3-step skincare system that included an astringent toner. However on high of together with drying alcohols, this toner additionally had acetone in it (sure, you learn that proper). I’d actually use it to take off my nail polish as a technique to reveal to purchasers 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 in search of merchandise with witch hazel, it’s essential to take into account 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 will depend on the rationale for extraction. This in the end means some merchandise can have alcohol on the ingredient record. So, the very first thing to do when beginning your seek for the proper witch hazel product is to examine the ingredient record for drying alcohols comparable to SD alcohol 40 or denatured alcohol. Avoid these.  

Understand that 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. As of late, 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 today additionally embody hydrating substances, 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 choose a product by its ingredient label! Usually, a single ingredient doesn’t make or break a product. It’s all concerning 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?

Because of the astringent results of witch hazel, I largely suggest 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 sorts may even profit from witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory properties. 

Along with curbing oil manufacturing, don’t neglect 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 may also present fantastic advantages comparable to antioxidant and soothing qualities, in addition to these wound therapeutic capabilities I discussed earlier. All of it will depend on which share of witch hazel is current, in addition to if there are some other substances added to assist fight its drying results. Tlisted here are a number of formulation containing witch hazel that add substances like humectants (hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and so forth.) to assist entice water to the pores and skin and maintain it hydrated.

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


Essentially 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 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 the event you’re not at the moment out there for a brand new toner, there are many different nice methods to include witch hazel into your routine. It may be a terrific 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 the event you had been confused about a number of the negativity surrounding witch hazel, I hope this put up helps put your thoughts relaxed! This ingredient has a protracted 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 title) and begin cheering on its well-deserved comeback.

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