Witch hazel is a popular skincare product, promising smaller pores, reduced redness, and banishing of blemishes. But is it all it’s cracked up to be? In this post, we’ll cover the pros and cons of using witch hazel as well as some tips for adding it to your skincare routine.

What is Witch Hazel?

The substance we call witch hazel comes from a plant, a flowering shrub that is also known as Hamamelis virginiana. It is native to North America and Asia, and it has been used in skincare for many years. The Native Americans used it for several ailments.

When we see it, it is a clear, distinctive-smelling liquid found on a grocery shelf. This liquid was extracted from the leaves and bark of the witch hazel plant and most commonly was used with alcohol.

Pros of Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is effective at many of the uses for which it has been recommended. The tannins found in witch hazel are rich in antioxidants and have a naturally drying, tightening, and anti-inflammatory effect.

It is also cheap and easy to use, making it a particularly tempting option for many people.

Witch hazel can cleanse and tighten pores, reduce redness, and help with the appearance of acne, particularly in the short term.

Cons of Witch Hazel

Witch hazel is drying, both with alcohol and by itself, because of the tannins. While this is a benefit, it is also a con, because while drying is sometimes desired, too much can be bad for your skin and actually increase problems with redness and blemishes. 

Should You Use Witch Hazel?

That depends. People with dry or sensitive skin should avoid witch hazel for skin care. If you have oily skin, you may be able to make witch hazel a beneficial part of your skincare routine. Introduce it by itself (without also trying other products at the same time) so you can determine if it is causing a problem or not and start slowly. 

Never try to use witch hazel as your facial cleanser. It doesn’t have the slick consistency you need to easily glide over your skin, so you will find yourself tugging at your skin to effectively cleanse. This can cause redness, irritation, and premature aging.

The points above have mainly been directed at using witch hazel as a stand-alone product, but you may have noticed that witch hazel is an ingredient in skincare products. Using these products will probably be fine, because the other ingredients should reduce the drying effect of the witch hazel.

Witch hazel is safe and effective for just about everyone as a short-term application, such as on hemorrhoids, bug bites, poison ivy, and razor burns.

Call Rejuvenation Laser & Skin Center

If you are bothered by persistent skin problems, you should know there are other options besides what you can find on a shelf in a store. We offer laser acne removal and skin resurfacing, both of which can make your skin look healthier and more beautiful. It’s easy to book an appointment with us by phone at 740-538-9943.