Possible Side Effects Of Witch Hazel
The Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database lists witch hazel water as Likely Safe when it is used topically and appropriately. If you have unusually sensitive skin, apply a small amount of a water infusion or ointment and wait 12 hours to see if irritation develops.
Some herbal guides recommend drinking various dilutions of witch hazel to treat throat or stomach conditions. But tannin-rich astringent extracts can be irritating to the digestive tract, and some sources have even suggested they could be carcinogenic. Do not take witch hazel orally without consulting a physician who has training in herbal medicine.
Witch Hazel And Face Toners Whats The Relationship
Facial tonersIs Witch Hazel Good For Oily Skin? Or Does It Strip Moisture and Natural Oils?alcohol free witch hazel tonerDo All Witch Hazel Facial Toners Have Alcohol In Them? Should I Be Using an Alcohol Free Toner?we do not use any alcohol in our witch hazel extraction process.Is Witch Hazel irritating or sensitizing to the skin?Do tannins provide a benefit to the skin?Is Witch Hazel Good For Acne and Blemishes?Witch hazel astringentswitch hazel toners
Soap Used To Be Too Harsh
Soap used to contain lye, which would make the skin more alkaline than it was naturally. Washing with lots of lye soap would strip away the acid mantle. This is the thin protective layer of oil, lactic acid, and amino acids on our skin that helps prevent skin irritation. To counterbalance this, witch hazel products were advertised as pH balanced because they could help restore the acid mantle and maintain a healthy amount of oil on the skin.
Also Check: What Hormone Causes Cystic Acne
The Benefits Of Witch Hazel For Your Skin
Wards off signs of aging
The polyphenols witch hazel contains may help fight premature aging: Theoretically, witch hazel may have antioxidant effects that help mitigate and prevent free radical damage to skin from UV and oxidizing air pollution, says Los Angeles-based board-certified dermatologist Tsippora Shainhouse, MD. Plus, its astringent properties can make your skin look firmer.
Witch hazel is a rich source of constricting compounds that make the proteins inside skin cells come together, says Deborah Longwill, DO, board-certified dermatologist and founder of Miami Center for Dermatology. The result? It temporarily makes your pores appear smaller.
The natural tannins that witch hazel contains may temporarily calm the appearance of red, irritated, or blotchy skin, says Dr. Shainhouse, making it a handy product to have around when breakouts, insect bites, or a pesky sunburn are cramping your style.
Sops up oil
Witch hazel is extremely antioxidant-rich with tannins, which act as a natural astringent on the skin that can help to sop up excess oil, says Dr. Schlessinger. This is why its such a popular ingredient in toners and mattifying products.
Soothes puffy eyes
Thanks to its anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, witch hazel may reduce puffiness and soothe the under-eye area, says Dr. Longwill, while also providing a tightening effect.
Improves skin tone
Okay But It Sounds Magical Why Wouldnt I Want To Use Witch Hazel
Older generations often used this botanical ingredient to treat bug bites, sunburns, bruises, and minor wounds. Nowadays, most people use it as a facial toner after cleansing and its been said to balance oily skin and is often used as a treatment for acne.
You May Like: How To Treat Severe Acne On Face
How Does Witch Hazel Work In Skincare
Witch hazel is a natural astringent, which means it causes blood vessels and pores to contract. This means that it helps make our pores appear smaller, and as a result, absorb less excess dirt and oil. You may have heard that witch hazel can be used as a treatment for bruises, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins, and this is because it has the ability to constrict the blood vessels.
Those tannins we mentioned earlier? They also have the power to reduce swelling and calm inflammation. In fact, witch hazel is a good medicine cabinet staple that can reduce under eye puffiness and bags. As an anti-inflammatory, witch hazel also soothes razor burn and itching .
Witch Hazel Can Aid Insects Bites
Insects hate the smell of witch hazel, which is lucky for you and me. This is the reason why you can find witch hazel extract in the formula of countless bug repellents. So, in this context, you can even use this wonderful ingredient as a preventive measure against insect bites, as well as a remedy after youve been bitten. Many people turn to witch hazel to reduce pain and swelling from stings, allergies, and irritations.
Recommended Reading: How Can I Get Rid Of Acne Fast
Vitamin C Lavender Oil And Witch Hazel For Acne
Okay, so fruits and veggies are antioxidant powerhouses because of the high amount of vitamins they have inside them. But, aside from eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, you can also take the vitamins in the form of supplements, mix them together with other powerful ingredients and apply them together directly on the surface of the skin where the problems are. For this remedy, we will use Vitamin C, because complements and boosts the healing and astringent properties of the witch hazel. The lavender oil, on the other hand, has soothing and healing properties, as well as a calming effect on the nervous system.
What to do?
Mix together a ½ teaspoons of Vitamin C powder, a ¼ cup of witch hazel, and 5-10 drops of the lavender oil. You can add the ingredients in a small bottle, close it and shake it to blend everything nicely. You can use this tonic every day, but make sure you are not using the same blend for more than a week because the Vitamin C will oxidize and it wont have any effect on the skin.
For best results, every time after washing your face, take a cotton ball, dip it in the liquid and apply all over your face.
How Does Witch Hazel Work For Pimples
Supposedly, witch hazel can help reduce acne because it addresses all three of acnes leading causes:
- excess oil
- P. acnes bacteria
Some sources claim that using witch hazel can stop all of these in their tracks. Witch hazel extract is U.S. Federal Food and Drug Administration-approved . Lets investigate the evidence.
Also Check: How To Know If You Have Cystic Acne
Can Witch Hazel Make Acne Worse
That sounds great, but can witch hazel ever make acne worse? Unfortunately, yes. If used too much, witch hazel can dry out your skin and lead to adverse acne effects. Dr. Shainhouse explains: The dryness leads to skin irritation and can trigger rebound oil production, leaving skin oilier, says Dr. Shainhouse.
What I Didnt Like About It:
- Although I dont have perfume allergy, I would have preferred this product unscented.
- May trigger rashes and breakouts if you have extremely sensitive skin.
The Bottom Line
Having said that, I too have sensitive skin, yet I didnt have breakouts in these four weeks. As I said, everyones skin reacts differently to skin-care products. If you are still unsure, you can give your dermatologist a call before buying this product.
Id say it is a much better alternative to heavy alcohol-based, chemical-loaded toners Ive used since my teenage. The overall effect is pleasing, which makes this toner a good value for money.
Recommended Reading: How To Improve Acne Naturally
Why Witch Hazel Could Be Making Your Skin Concerns Worse
Derived from the witch hazel plant, youll often find it as hammamelis virginiana water on your labels. Known for its antioxidant and astringent properties, its a core ingredient of products aimed at soothing redness, and those with oily and acne-prone skin types. One such example is Simples new Daily Skin Detox range. The six-piece collection, featuring a Micellar Cleansing Water, Polishing Face Scrub, Face Wash and more, combine the plant extract with thyme, zinc and vitamin B3 to help reduce shine, clear skin and fight blemishes.
Similarly, Boots has also recently released a Tea Tree & Witch Hazel range that features a Blemish Stick, Concealer Stick, Pore Strips, Cleansing Wipes and even a Back Spray, all formulated with the needs of the breakout-prone in mind.
Top 5 Benefits Of Witch Hazel For Acne Removal And How To Use It
I. How Does Witch Hazel Help Remove Acne?
1. Work As A Good Moisturizer
According to a recent study, witch hazel ointment could help hydrate the skin and keep it moisturized. One of the crucial steps to treat acne is to keep your skin moisturized. Dryness can damage the skin barrier, which causes inflammation and water loss.
2. Act As An Astringent
The astringent properties in witch hazel come with tannins that may aid in shrinking your skin pores, thus reducing excess oil production. It further helps to prevent dead skin cells, dirt, and bacteria responsible for acne from entering and clogging the pores.
3. Help Reduce Inflammation
According to a 2014 study, theanti-inflammatory properties found in witch hazel may help calm skin inflammation and deal with acne.
4. Has Disinfectant
Witch hazel possesses disinfectant properties so that using it on the skin may be beneficial for lowering the bacteria, which in turn help to prevent the formation of acne.
5. pH Balance
Lots of acne treatments irritate your skin, leading to dryness, inflammation, and soreness. Witch hazel is a natural product, which is suited for skin care. This is because it doesnt disrupt your skins pH that tends to cause irritation.
Also Check: How To Cure Cystic Acne
Can Witch Hazel Treat Acne
The tannins found in witch hazel have long been thought to help inflamed skinDr. Sperling contends the ingredient effectively fights bacteria, relieves inflammation and repairs broken skin, all musts for acne-prone skin.
Witch hazel can help treat acne by drying out the blemishes by eliminating oil, so I recommend it for acne patients, Dr. Gonzalez says. It is an astringent, so it contracts the skin cells and cleans oil out of the pores, preventing and removing blemishes, says the doctor. However, similar to many other acne-fighting ingredients, witch hazel can be drying to the skin if used too much, so be cautious.
Benefits And Uses Of Witch Hazel
We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Heres our process.
Witch hazel is a plant with powerful medicinal properties that can be used in a variety of ways.
There are many species of witch hazel, but Hamamelis virginiana a type of shrub native to North America is most commonly used in folk medicine in the US. The leaves and bark are made into teas and ointments.
Most often applied to the skin and scalp, witch hazel is widely known for its ability to ease inflammation and soothe sensitive skin.
It can also be added to herbal teas and ingested orally in small amounts as a natural treatment for other conditions.
Here are the top 8 benefits and uses of witch hazel.
Recommended Reading: How To Get Rid Of Acne Caused By Medication
Dr Weils Thoughts About Witch Hazel
Its no wonder that Native Americans prized witch hazel so highly. I too regard it as indispensable. This time-honored topical agent can help alleviate many skin conditions. Whenever the skin is cut, abraded, irritated, itchy or burned or simply in need of refreshment, a witch hazel lotion, alcohol-water solution or alcohol-free toner can usually provide relief.
If you enjoy creating your own medicinal concoctions, you can try mixing a commercial witch hazel liquid product with a carrier cream such as coconut or jojoba oil, experimenting with proportions until you find a combination thats to your liking.
If you want to make your own witch hazel skin tonic from scratch, ethnobotanist Dawn Combs recommends harvesting and drying bark and twigs from wild plants in the early spring or late fall, or purchasing the dried bark online.
Then, in a saucepan, combine ½ pound witch hazel bark and enough distilled water to cover the bark with an inch of water. Simmer 20 minutes, then let cool. Strain, and mix with vodka or pure grain alcohol at a ratio of two to one for example, two cups witch-hazel water to a cup of vodka. This tonic lasts up to two years if stored in an airtight bottle in a cool, dry place.
You can use this as you would a commercial witch hazel preparation: splashing or spraying onto problematic skin, or mixing it with a carrier oil to make an ointment.
Reviewed by Russ Greenfield, M.D., May 2017
Protects Against Skin Damage
Witch hazel is rich in tannins, a natural plant compound with powerful antioxidant properties that can help protect your skin against damage when applied topically.
One animal study found that tannins can act as a barrier, preventing inflammation-causing substances from entering your skin cells .
Whats more, a test-tube study showed that witch hazel helped neutralize harmful free radicals and prevented the spread of skin cancer cells .
Similarly, another animal study discovered that the tannins in witch hazel were able to slow skin tumor growth in mice exposed to radiation .
However, most research is currently limited to test-tube and animal studies. More studies are needed to evaluate the effects of witch hazel on humans.
Animal and test-tube studies have found that witch hazel and its components could prevent skin cancer growth and protect against skin damage.
Read Also: How To Get Rid Of Pubic Acne
Possible Risks Of Witch Hazel
While witch hazel may help with some skin conditions, there are mixed results on its efficacy. For example, witch hazel might not be sufficient for eczema.
Part of the problem is that while witch hazel may reduce inflammation, it doesnt get rid of the itchiness associated with these types of rashes.
Anecdotal research on witch hazel also has mixed results. For example, a forum on the use of witch hazel for acne is mostly positive, but some users claim excessive dryness and even worse breakouts.
Since these testimonies are circumstantial, its difficult to know which types of witch hazel were used, and how long these side effects lasted.
The American Academy of Dermatology still recommends proven OTC acne treatments: benzoyl peroxide and salicylic acid.
Its also important to know that the majority of research articles that back up the benefits of witch hazel are based on topical uses only. Theres no evidence that witch hazel can help internally when taken in a capsule, for example.
Theres not enough evidence that witch hazel can treat anti-aging concerns, either. These include fine lines, wrinkles, and varicose veins.
A final consideration is the type of witch hazel used. Pure formulas contain witch hazel, and nothing else. Many OTC formulas can also contain fragrances and alcohol, though. These can aggravate your skin if you have inflammation, wounds, or have sensitive skin overall.
Can Witch Hazel Be Used For All Skin Types
Very oily skin will benefit most from the de-greasing benefits of witch hazel which is why its especially common in products aimed at teenage skin, when oil production tends to be sky-high. There arent any issues when it comes to mixing it with other skincare ingredients and you dont have to worry about sun exposure as it wont make skin more sun-sensitive in the way retinol can.
Witch hazel doesnt have any known side effects although it can be drying if used excessively.
The oil-reducing effect comes from the tannins in witch hazel but these can be very sensitising for skin. This is worsened by the fact almost all types of witch hazel are distilled using denatured alcohol which can damage the skins protective barrier making it more prone to dryness and irritation, warns Begoun, who advises dry, sensitive or rosacea-suffering complexions to steer clear, in particular.
Read Also: What To Clean Your Face With For Acne
Helps With Razor Bumps
Razor burn or razor bumps can develop when there is too much friction between your skin and a razor, or when your hair curls inward and grows back into your skin. In both cases, your skin becomes irritated and inflamed, leading to swollen red bumps that can be painful.
Witch hazel can be used after shaving to “remove residue left on the skin, calm inflammation, and minimize the risk of developing razor bumps,” Zeichner says.
Razor bumps arise when your skin becomes irritated and inflamed, so the soothing effect of the tannins in witch hazel helps keep them from developing. But be careful to pick out a witch hazel product with no ethyl alcohol, as this can dry out and further irritate damaged skin.
How to use it: To prevent razor bumps, apply witch hazel extract or lotion to your skin immediately after shaving to calm any irritation.
Rose Water Tea Tree Oil And Witch Hazel For Acne
What you will need?
Around 15ml of rose water and witch hazel, as well as a few drops of tea tree oil. Find a bottle, that can hold more than 30 mil of liquid and add inside the rose water, the witch hazel and the tea tree oil. Close the bottle and shake it well for the ingredients to mix.
You can use this tonic on a daily basis, Just simply take a cotton ball and dip it in the tonic then apply on your face. You dont have the need to wash your face afterward.
You May Like: Is Hyaluronic Acid Good For Acne Scars