In a market rife with skin care products claiming to clear acne, reduce oiliness, and shrink the size of pores, it’s important to understand which natural ingredients work best.
Everyone’s skin is unique, and each person will find that they benefit from certain products better than others. A good starting point for everyone is to consider their options when it comes to natural, organic ingredients that are gentle on skin.
One of the best examples of a natural skin care ingredient that’s both gentle and effective is witch hazel.
Witch hazel is a botanical extract found from a flowering plant found throughout North America, China, and Japan. It’s a well-known antibacterial ingredient in herbal remedies against insect bites, burns, and cuts.
It’s not only great for our bodily well-being, though; using witch hazel for face and body can also be beneficial, especially when it comes to treating acne! In this article, we’ll outline 7 reasons why witch hazel is so helpful for face and body skin concerns.
Benefits and Uses of Witch Hazel
Touted as nature’s knockout astringent, witch hazel can be used in a variety of ways to keep skin healthy while preventing infection. These are just a few ways witch hazel can wow your personal care routine:
1. REDUCES INFLAMMATION AND SOOTHES IRRITATED SKIN
In most cases, inflammation is a normal function that helps prevent infection and injury. However, sometimes the nerves can become hypersensitive and can cause unexpected, acute tissue inflammation.
Inflammation can occur in many parts of the body. When it comes to skin, it can manifest through conditions such as acne, psoriasis, and eczema.
Luckily, topically applied witch hazel can relieve inflammation with its anti-inflammatory compounds, including tannins and gallic acid. Witch hazel is also high in antioxidants, which prevent oxidative damage caused by free radicals.
2. PREVENTS INFECTION
Witch hazel has been shown in several studies to contain antibacterial properties, but it can also work as a form of defense against viral infections, including the influenza virus and human papilloma virus (HPV), as demonstrated in this study.
Witch hazel can be applied topically to prevent colds and infections, as well as protect the skin from the bacteria that causes acne.
3. SOOTHES BURNS AND PAIN
Due to its antibacterial, anti-inflammatory properties, witch hazel can be an effective treatment against minor sunburns and chemical burns. Mild burns can also be treated with lavender oil, coconut oil, and of course, aloe vera.
Witch hazel is also often used to treat pain and inflammation associated with hemorrhoids. These often exhibit symptoms like swelling, redness, pain, and even bleeding. Witch hazel may assist in lessening these symptoms while calming inflammation.
4. REDUCES APPEARANCE OF VARICOSE VEINS
Varicose veins are protruding veins that rise close to the surface as a result of poor circulation and weakened walls or dysfunctional valves, often appearing in the calves and ankles.
However, applying witch hazel topically can improve circulation while reducing the inflammation associated with varicose veins.
5. CLEARS ACNE
Among all of its properties, the one that gives witch hazel the most buzz is probably its ability to fight acne.
Due to potent astringent properties, witch hazel can reduce the appearance of acne while preventing further breakouts. Witch hazel is especially useful for those with oily skin, but can just as well work on dry, normal and combination skin.
That being said, using too much witch hazel can strip the skin and throw off the balance of the acid mantle, so it should be used on skin in diluted measures. Our Flower Water Toner offers a soothing blend of witch hazel, calendula hydrosol, and rose water.
Once you learn more about how witch hazel can treat and prevent acne, this ingredient will certainly secure a spot in your daily routine.
6. EASES SCALP SENSITIVITY
Scalp sensitivity can be a tricky issue to get rid of, as it can be caused by a variety of factors. Possible factors include seborrheic dermatitis, psoriasis, or even a reaction to a hair product.
Thanks to concentrations of flavonoids, tannins, and gallic acid, witch hazel can be useful for your scalp, too. One study involving 1,373 patients suffering from a sensitive scalp concluded that using shampoo with witch hazel could effectively treat flaking skin and sensitivity, while soothing irritated skin.
7. PROTECTS FROM SKIN DAMAGE
One compound that makes witch hazel special is also found in wine: tannins. Tannins are astringent compounds which create a barrier around the skin while flooding it with antioxidants.
Antioxidants are crucial to include in any skin care regimen because they fight against damaging free radicals: unstable hydrogen molecules that age the skin. Antioxidants neutralize free radicals to prevent premature aging and oxidative stress, thus performing an effective anti-aging function.
Switching to a Witch Hazel Toner
Of all of the misguided knowledge that has occurred in the beauty world, using alcohol-infused toners above all will make experts cringe.
Alcohol is often found in toners because of its astringent properties, meaning that it can temporarily tighten the skin and reduce the size of pores. This may sound like quite the boon – especially for those with oily skin – but many enthusiasts now know that alcohol is damaging to the skin: not only is it dehydrating, but overuse can strip the skin of oils to the point of throwing off its pH balance.
That being said, a truly beneficial toner will be gentle on the skin’s acid mantle while dually preparing it for absorption. In addition, not all astringents are inherently bad; you simply need one that will tighten your skin without disturbing its delicate balance. One of these gentle astringents is none other than witch hazel.
We formulate our Flower Water Toner with organic witch hazel, because we believe that a skin care product should always be gentle – but it should also be effective. With that in mind, our toner is more than a quick rinse of hydration; it purifies the pores, quenches dehydrated skin, and soothes irritation, all while restoring pH balance after cleansing.
In addition to witch hazel, our toner is also made with a bouquet of botanical ingredients like rose water and calendula, plus deeply hydrating hyaluronic acid.
For best results, the Flower Water Toner should be applied immediately after cleansing. To do so, dispense a quarter-sized amount to a cotton pad or clean hands, sweeping across the neck before adding a serum or eye cream. Like all of our products, this toner is suitable for all skin types, including dry and sensitive skin.
Witch hazel is a highly beneficial ingredient for the skin thanks to its anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antioxidant qualities. On top of that, it is beginning to effectively replace alcohol as the preferred ingredient in toners.
When adding to your skin care routine, always be kind to your skin and keep an eye out for gentle, effective plant-based ingredients like witch hazel.