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Is witch hazel safe for skin? Whether you are just surfing the internet or walking down the drugstore, you must have come across the popular Dr Thayer’s Alcohol-free Witch Hazel Facial Toner. If you have not, then read on. You are in for an exciting read about witch hazel.
There is a lot of speculation about the safety of witch hazel for the skin. Some suggest not to use it for skin, like the popular Paula’s Choice article. Others suggest it’s very good and has lots of skin benefits if used in moderation.
In this post, I will write about witch hazel is, its benefits and its safety. You be the verdict if witch hazel is safe after the end of the post.
Now let’s get to what Witch Hazel really is.
What Is Witch Hazel?
Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana L) is native to North America. When it was discovered back then, it was used to treat almost everything from insect bites, healing wounds, painful tumours and ulcers.
Today, the bark and leaves are known for their astringent properties. As an astringent, it contracts skin cells together, causing vasoconstriction of the blood cells. Thus decreasing flushing and inflammation.
Also, witch hazel is very soothing by providing relief for sensitive skin. But is witch hazel safe for all skin types? Read on to find out.
Benefits Of Witch Hazel
1. Relieves Inflammation
Witch hazel is naturally a soothing ingredient when used in low concentrations. Due to the presence of tannins, it is effective in remedying skin irritation like those seen in diaper rash, eczema or blotchy skin. This is why many lotions or ointments include witch hazel as the key ingredient.
If you are treating skin irritation, it is best to dab witch hazel extract on a clean cotton pad and pat gently on the skin. If you are using a cream, apply the cream to your hand and apply it gently.
2. Tightens Pores
Since witch hazel is an astringent, it temporarily causes your skin to contract to give you that tight feeling. This eventually makes your pores appear smaller temporarily.
When using witch hazel to tighten pores, the first step is to cleanse your face first, then apply the witch hazel toner.
3. It Is An Antioxidant
The presence of tannins and polyphenols is responsible for its strong antioxidant effect. This eventually helps mitigate UV stressors and free radicals. Its effects on oxidation thereby reduce the signs of premature aging.
4. Reduce Excess Oil and Fights Acne
Because witch hazel is a natural astringent, it can get into your pores and sop up the oil deeply reducing the chance of acne. In addition, the presence of tannins in witch hazel help reduce the chance of bacteria growth on the skin.
To get the best out of witch hazel for acne, apply witch hazel after washing your skin by using a cotton pad to apply on your face.
Witch hazel can be very drying so it’s best to apply moisturizers afterwards.
5. Helps With Razor Bumps
Razor bumps are associated with skin irritation after shaving. This happens when there is too much friction between your skin and the razor, leaving behind ingrown hair and painful bumps.
Thanks to the tannins in witch hazel, it helps soothe inflammation and minimize the risk of developing razor bumps. Always apply witch hazel to your skin immediately after shaving to calm any irritation.
Is Witch Hazel Safe For Skin
This is the real question that we have all been pondering. Although witch hazel got so many benefits, its safety is questioned.
Witch hazel is great at soothing inflammation in sensitive skin but when used too much, it can cause dryness and irritation. If you have conditions like rosacea, eczema and you notice dryness and irritation, you should stop immediately as it can damage your skin barrier
If your skin barrier is damaged in the process, you can read this post “Ways to repair a damaged skin barrier function“. I have highlighted tips to heal a damaged skin barrier. In addition, you can use moisturizers like Cerave or Eucerin. These moisturizers are simple to restore lost hydration.
To test if witch hazel is right for you, apply a tiny pinch on your arm. Leave for hours and see if your skin reacts before applying to your face.
Best Witch Hazel In Skincare
If you are looking for a simple toner that is well priced and gets the job done, it’s this toner. It is not drying and can be used under your makeup.
Who knew Rihanna is into witch hazel in her skincare line? It is two in one; a toner and a serum. It hydrates and evens out skin tone thanks to the presence of Niacinamide, cherry and cactus flowers.
Who said you cannot use witch hazel for dry skin? Belif witch hazel is specially made with hydrating yet soothing for dry and dehydrated skin. It is not your typical cleansing toner, it is hydrating toner.
So if you have dry skin and want to use a toner with witch hazel, choose this! It works like magic.
The classic witch hazel toner. I am sure you must have heard about this popular toner. It is simple yet effective, it leaves your skin soft and well hydrated.
If you are scared of using toners, start with this one.
This product is affordable, smells good and make your skin soft. Thanks to the presence of hyaluronic acid, it hydrates your skin.
Witch hazel is an amazing natural ingredient. If you have dry or sensitive skin, it is important to do a patch test before applying it to your skin. Witch hazel naturally soothes the skin when used in moderation which sensitive skin may still benefit from but it has to be used in moderation. Whether witch hazel is safe for the skin depends on how much you use it.