9 Ways You Can Use Witch Hazel To Get Amazing Skin
Witch hazel is one of those things that Does. It. All. Have a bug bite? Witch hazel. Dealing with a honking zit? Witch hazel. Skin looking mad oily? Witch hazel.
Seriously, if you’re not stocking this in your bathroom, apologise to your skin rn.
Witch hazel, a botanical extract, is a natural skin healer and cleanser. “The twigs and bark of the plant contain therapeutic constituents that, when extracted and distilled, create the clear, fragrant, natural astringent that has been known for generations as a natural skin care solution,” says dermatologic surgeon Dr Dendy Engelman.
“Witch hazel extract can be good for all skin types,” says Dr David E. Bank, a board-certified dermatologist. Just don’t go crazy with the stuff. In excess, it can strip moisture, which is why some dermatologists don’t recommend it to patients. Bottom line: Listen to your skin and adjust accordingly.
Here’s how to tap into its many beauty and medicinal uses, from make-up-removing to sunburn-soothing:
1. Tone skin
“I would suggest using [witch hazel] as a toner for those with normal to oily skin,” says Bank—its antiseptic properties help zap bacteria. Simply dab a few drops onto a cotton round and rub it over your face after you’ve cleansed.
2. Fight grease
If you’re feeling greasier than a pizza man, witch hazel can help dry things out, says Engelman. It helps remove excess oil—making it a great option for oilier skin types. (Just be sure to moisturise after using to make sure you don’t overcorrect and dry out your skin completely.)
3. Treat acne (the natural way)
Whether you’re pregnant (and thus can’t use regular acne-fighting products like retinoids and salicylic acid) or you’re just more of a natural beauty girl, you should consider trying witch hazel. Because of its ability to remove oil and calm inflammation, witch hazel is a great option, says Engelman. Use as a spot treatment or as a toner.
Try Chezou Witch Hazel Toner, R110 at Faithful To Nature
4. Prevent razor bumps
Witch hazel’s anti-inflammatory properties might be a blessing for your bikini line. It works well at preventing bumps from forming around your hair follicles (and can help heal any you already have, too). After shaving, swipe a witch hazel-soaked cotton ball over freshly shaved skin to keep skin calm and bump-free.
5. Relieve sunburn
Obvi, you should always wear SPF, but you might miss a spot sometimes. For those (hopefully) rare occasions, witch hazel works wonders to ease sunburn pain thanks to its anti-inflammatory powers. It also has a cooling effect, says Engelman, so it will feel great going on.
6. Soothe bug bites
For those times when you can’t stop scratching, grab witch hazel. “Its anti-inflammatory and astringent properties make it great as an anti-itch for bug bites,” says Engelman.
Also try Chezou Body Lotion with Witch Hazel, R99 at Faithful To Nature
7. Tighten pores
If your T-zone looks more like a pumice stone than skin, reach for the witch hazel. It’s an astringent, which Engleman says can help tighten up pores (making them temporarily look smaller).
8. Calm redness
Another witch hazel use: banishing pesky redness. Engelman says witch hazel is a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it helps tighten up blood vessels to reduce redness.
19. Diminish dandruff
Scalp flakes happen to the best of us. Rather than worry about the snow show on your shoulders, you can try witch hazel as an anti-dandruff treatment, says Engelman (like using it in a shampoo). However, she points out that it’s not as effective as common topical anti-fungal medications. If flakiness persists, talk to your derm.
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