There are a lot of misunderstandings and myths about witch hazel as an ingredient in skincare. Is it good for your skin? Is it bad for your skin? How should it be used in skincare?
Continue reading to learn more about this mysterious ingredient & why it's beneficial for your skin.
What is Witch Hazel?
Witch hazel is an aromatic extract that is produced from the leaves and bark of a small tree or flowering shrub that is native to North America. It can have multiple trunks and crooked, irregular branches that form open-looking ‘crowns'. It was used for medicinal and healing purposes by Native Americans, was adopted for similar uses in folk medicine by early settlers, and became widely used across North America.
According to wildflower.org, “A myth of witchcraft held that a forked branch of Witch-hazel could be used to locate underground water.” Other names for the witch hazel plant include Winterbloom, Snapping Hazelnut, Striped Alder, Spotted Alder, Tobacco-wood, and Water-witch.
Witch Hazel is an antioxidant and astringent, which may temporarily improve the appearance of superficial inflammation. For this reason, it is used in numerous topical and skincare products, most commonly toners.
Many misunderstandings and myths around witch hazel in skincare stemmed from these formulations that historically were very high in alcohol and, therefore, could be very drying and barrier-stripping. At goPure, we know it doesn’t have to be drying or harsh. That is why our Hydrating Toner is alcohol-free!
Witch hazel is packed with bioactive compounds similar to grapes and tea leaves, such as green tea, that get a lot of positive attention in skincare. These powerful antioxidant compounds include gallic acid, catechins, flavonoids, and proanthocyanidins. Scientific studies have shown that the antioxidant power of proanthocyanidins is 20 times greater than vitamin E and 50 times greater than vitamin C. It is particularly high in tannins, specifically hamamelitannins, which can be pH-balancing and reduce the look of inflammation.
8 Skin Benefits of Witch Hazel
• Naturally acidic and pH balancing
• Reduces the look of pore size
• Clarifying and removes dirt oil and debris (in the right products)
• Provides a temporary, visible tightening effect
• Can reduce the look of redness
• May improve the appearance of breakouts and acne
• Soothes the look of irritated and inflamed skin
• Can reduce the negative impact of harmful free-radical damage
How To Find The Right Witch Hazel Products
Reach for alcohol-free Witch Hazel products, instead of outdated and drying alcohol toners. Look for ingredients in your witch hazel products that can soothe and hydrate the look of the skin, like aloe, rosehip seed oil, and other soothing botanicals.
How To Use Witch-Hazel Toners
Step 1: Cleanse (and exfoliate) your skin with warm water. Pat dry.
Step 2: Apply your Hydrating Toner with a cotton round or your hands to the face, neck, and even the décolleté.
Step 3: Do not rise your face. Continue with your serums and the rest of your skincare routine.
Check out the full breakdown of how to apply all your skincare products to maximize results!