What is Witch Hazel?

Witch hazel is a Native Amer­i­can plant found in numer­ous skin care prod­ucts. The tan­nins that are extract­ed from the leaves and stems help con­strict blood ves­sels and skin tis­sue mak­ing it ben­e­fi­cial for a vari­ety of skin issues. It is a nat­ur­al rem­e­dy for many skin ail­ments like rash­es, minor cuts and even bruises.

It is also the basis of most facial ton­ers because of its nat­ur­al astrin­gent prop­er­ties. It gen­tly removes excess oil with­out over-strip­ping or dry­ing the skin. It’s been rec­om­mend­ed for acne prone skin for decades because it reduces oili­ness, and also for its anti-inflam­ma­to­ry ben­e­fits. It calms the red­ness and swelling of a blem­ish and tight­ens enlarged pores.

Since it works well for black­heads, I rec­om­mend using a ton­er with witch hazel as a first or sec­ond ingre­di­ent. Even rosacea prone and nor­mal to dry skin can ben­e­fit from its use it in the T‑zone with­out being over dry­ing. Witch hazel’s gen­tle yet effec­tive ben­e­fits allow it to be used dai­ly on most skin types. For deep black­heads, espe­cial­ly on the nose, use a retinol or a pre­scrip­tion retinoid at night along with the ton­er to help re-lay­er the pore walls from the inside out.

The Oba­gi Nud­erm ton­er is one of my favorites because it can be used with sen­si­tive red­ness prone skin or a very oily and acne­ic skin type. This ton­er con­tains witch hazel along with aloe, sodi­um PCA, cal­en­du­la, and saponins to ensure the skin is cleansed, toned and hydrated.

Although witch hazel is an old herbal rem­e­dy, it is and will con­tin­ue to be a sta­ple in skin care prod­ucts because it ben­e­fits a vari­ety of skin issues and skin types.

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