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 keep 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 will solely be uncovered to merchandise formulated particularly for this goal.)

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 over time, however how we use it positively has. Skincare merchandise at the moment are made to be rather more light, with the pores and skin’s protecting barrier in thoughts. Due to 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! Preserve scrolling to study the way it may benefit your pores and skin (and how you can 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 Japanese United States, however globalization has made cultivation attainable in Europe as nicely. Extraction is usually 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 a whole lot 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 strictly what makes folks 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 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 stream by means of them. However in case 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 in the end what dried out folks’s pores and skin and precipitated irritation. There was a time when so most of the purchasers 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’d actually use it to take off my nail polish as a option to reveal to purchasers how harsh it was.

The underside line is that witch hazel is a good ingredient each for soothing and for lowering 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 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 can have alcohol on the ingredient checklist. So, the very first thing to do when beginning your seek for the proper witch hazel product is to verify the ingredient checklist for drying alcohols resembling 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 have 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 nowadays additionally embrace hydrating elements, like glycerin, along with witch hazel. This creates an ideal stability and offsets any attainable dryness. 

As I all the time say, you shouldn’t decide a product by its ingredient label! Usually, 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 pimples is an inflammatory situation, these pores and skin varieties may even 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 nicely. This multifaceted ingredient may also present fantastic advantages resembling 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 some other elements added to assist fight its drying results. Tlisted below are a number of formulation containing witch hazel that add elements like humectants (hyaluronic acid, glycerin, and many others.) to assist appeal to water to the pores and skin and hold it hydrated.

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


Essentially the most basic technique for delivering witch hazel to the pores and skin is thru a toner. A mild 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 at present 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 go away 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 option 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.

Should you have been confused about a number of the negativity surrounding witch hazel, I hope this publish helps put your thoughts comfortable! This ingredient has a protracted legacy within the skincare group and is simply one of many many unbelievable elements 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 simplest option to apply toner.