How Witch Hazel Can Profit Oily or Irritated Pores and skin

From magnificence to medication, witch hazel is an ingredient with a protracted and various historical past. It was used for wound therapeutic lengthy earlier than trendy medication. Quick ahead a couple of centuries, and also you may 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 may solely be uncovered to merchandise formulated for it particularly.)

Sooner or later extra lately, witch hazel was 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 sort, it’s nearly discovering a well-formulated product. Witch hazel itself hasn’t modified however through the years, however how we use it positively has. Skincare merchandise at the moment are made to be rather more mild, with the pores and skin’s protecting barrier in thoughts. Due to extra superior extraction methods, now you can reap its therapeutic advantages with out the drawbacks. Witch hazel is making a comeback and it’s right here to supply severe advantages in additional methods than one! Maintain scrolling to study the way it may gain advantage you (and 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 properly. Extraction is often finished 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 basically witch hazel “essence.” This water or “essence” is what’s utilized in your cosmetics.

Witch Hazel has been round for tons 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 medication.

In the case of skincare, we primarily use witch hazel for its astringency impact. This is because of molecules, known as tannins, which trigger the proteins within the pores and skin to tighten up. This helps tighten pores and can be what hurries up wound 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 the tremendous drying toners of the 90s. The factor to grasp is that one thing being an astringent simply implies that it causes a slight contraction of tissue (aka briefly tightens your pores).  Individuals usually affiliate tighter-feeling pores and skin with dryness, however on this case, that’s not essentially correct. It’s true that in case your pores are tighter, much less oily will movement by them, however should you’re making an attempt to regulate extreme oiliness, that’s factor.

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 on irritation. There was a time when so most of the shoppers who got here to my spa had been utilizing a very talked-about 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 my nail polish off to display to shoppers 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 at all times, it’s all about discovering a product that’s formulated properly.

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 could contain alcohol or have a excessive alcohol content material—it depends upon the rationale for extraction. This in the end 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 test the ingredient listing for drying alcohols akin 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 general formulation. It’s solely there to supply very delicate astringency or anti-inflammatory properties. Most merchandise lately additionally embody hydrating elements, like glycerin, at the side of witch hazel. This creates an ideal stability and offsets any potential dryness. 

As I at all times say, you shouldn’t choose a product by its ingredient label! Typically, 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 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 probably the most from witch hazel’s oil-cutting capabilities. Since zits is an inflammatory situation, these pores and skin sorts may even profit from witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory properties. 

Nevertheless, this isn’t to say that these with dry pores and skin couldn’t profit from witch hazel as properly. The multifaceted ingredient also can present fantastic advantages akin 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 every other 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 many others.) to assist appeal to water to the pores and skin and preserve it hydrated to fight any destructive unwanted side effects.

How Can You Incorporate This Ingredient Into Your Every 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 good possibility as a result of molecules in water-based skincare merchandise can penetrate deeper into the pores and skin than heavier merchandise. 

Face Masks

Nevertheless, 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, moisturizers, and primers. 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 merchandise like this non-drying, clay masks to ship newly refined smoothness.


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 good for these with very oily pores and skin who want hydration plus oil management.

Should you had been confused about a number 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 implausible elements in any formulating chemist’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 strategy to apply toner.