Witch hazel seems to be one of those skin products that you can use for just about everything, from decreasing pores to reducing inflammation. It’s widely available, too, both as a standalone purchase or as an ingredient in other skincare products.
Does witch hazel live up to its hype? More importantly, should you make room in your skincare cupboard for it? Here’s all you need to know about witch hazel’s uses and skin benefits.
For years, witch hazel has been a mainstay in beauty aisles. While some people swear by it as a toner, others say it’s too strong. There has been some debate about its component parts, particularly its botanical extract, and about whether witch hazel truly works.
Witch hazel is a Native American plant and has been used by indigenous people for millennia to treat skin conditions involving redness and swelling. Today, witch hazel is available in its purest form at your local pharmacy. Numerous over-the-counter (OTC) lotions and creams, including those for insect bites, contain witch hazel.
Witch hazel-based toners can relieve irritation, damage and swelling when administered to the skin. It is widely used to treat inflammatory disorders, acne and burns, to name just a few. Here are some more reasons why you should incorporate it into your skincare routine.
While some kinds of acne are aggressive (including pustules and cysts), witch hazel can also help non-inflammatory conditions (whiteheads and blackheads). It wipes out acne spots in a similar way to other OTC remedies.
Inflammatory skin diseases like eczema and psoriasis can also be helped with witch hazel. The hypothesis is that the number of skin patch reactions will decrease if you manage the underlying infection.
Moreover, witch hazel is entirely safe when applied to the scalp or when used in the reduction of eye bags, though it must not be used directly on the eyes as this could result in burns.
The anti-inflammatory qualities of witch hazel could benefit your T-zone by preventing the formation of lumps surrounding your hair cells. After waxing, swab with a witch hazel-soaked cloth ball to keep your skin smooth and bump-free.
Witch hazel can help soothe insect bites by relieving the itch. Simply put a small amount on the bite and gently spread it across the affected area
Sunburn can also be treated with witch hazel but, contrary to popular belief, witch hazel is not an effective sunblock. It can be used for other kinds of minor skin burns including those caused by chemicals. To treat skin burns with witch hazel, wash a clean cloth or a wet wipe in the mixture. Then, press gently against the burn. It’s best not to rub it in because that might irritate your skin even more.
Witch hazel is a vasoconstrictor, which means it aids in constricting blood vessels and reducing redness. It also contains properties that replenish the appearance of dark spots, decrease swelling and smoothen the skin, thus enhancing your skin tone.
Witch hazel polyphenols may aid in the prevention of the ageing process. This is because it has antioxidant properties that assist in attenuating and minimising the fine lines and wrinkles on the skin caused by ultraviolet (UV) rays and damaging air quality. In addition, its tannic characteristics can help your skin appear tighter.
Another key benefit of witch hazel is that it can prevent infections from developing on your skin. It functions as a shield, keeping inflammatory compounds out of your skin cells. It is also beneficial in the battle against infection since it kills bacteria.
Witch hazel provides numerous skin advantages, such as inflammation relief and razor bump relief. It might also help to minimise acne by removing excess oil from your skin. It should always be applied sparingly, as too much could damage natural tissue and irritate the skin. Additionally, individuals with dry or severely delicate skin should seek medical advice before using witch hazel as it may cause further irritation.
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