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 fashionable 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 comprises witch hazel—to fight under-eye puffiness! (Spoiler alert: I don’t advocate this. The attention space is tremendous delicate and will solely be uncovered to merchandise formulated particularly for this objective.)

In the previous couple of years, witch hazel has been relegated as an old-school ingredient that may trigger dryness or irritation. It looks like everybody’s been made to worry this ingredient, however I feel 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 through the years, however how we use it positively has. Skincare merchandise are actually made to be way more mild, 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 offer severe advantages in additional methods than one! Maintain scrolling to study the way it may gain advantage your pores and skin (and the right way 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 nicely. Extraction is usually achieved by blasting components 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 bunch of years, discovering itself helpful not solely in skincare but additionally in wound therapeutic. Native People used it to appease wounds and irritation, and it’s now used as a vasoconstrictor in fashionable drugs.

In terms of skincare, we primarily use witch hazel for its astringency impact. This occurs due to molecules referred to 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 know 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. 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 movement 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 high of being astringent. This was in the end what dried out individuals’s pores and skin and brought on irritation. There was a time when so most of the purchasers who got here to my spa had been utilizing a highly regarded 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 might actually use it to take off my nail polish as a solution to show to purchasers 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 all the time, 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 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 depends upon the rationale for extraction. This in the end means some merchandise could have alcohol on the ingredient record. So, the very first thing to do when beginning your seek for the right witch hazel product is to verify the ingredient record for drying alcohols equivalent to 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 had been made utilizing it at (or close to) a focus of 100%. You don’t want to fret about that now. Lately, when witch hazel is utilized in a product, it’s a small part of a product’s general formulation. It’s solely there to offer very delicate astringency or anti-inflammatory properties. Most merchandise lately additionally embrace hydrating substances, like glycerin, at the side of witch hazel. This creates an ideal steadiness and offsets any attainable dryness. 

As I all the time say, you shouldn’t decide 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?

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 profit probably the most from its oil-cutting capabilities. Since pimples is an inflammatory situation, these pores and skin sorts can 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 securely 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 nicely. This multifaceted ingredient may also present fantastic advantages equivalent to 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 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 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

Should 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 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 solution 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.

Should you had been confused about a few of the negativity surrounding witch hazel, I hope this submit helps put your thoughts comfy! This ingredient has a protracted legacy within the skincare neighborhood 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 best solution to apply toner.