Monday, July 24, 2017

Witch Hazel: Good for skin?

A client asked me if witch hazel was OK to use as her toner. I asked what her experience was when she used it, and she said it really dried her skin out. She would have to quickly put her moisturizer on afterwards because her skin felt so dried out. Her experience is also her answer. Drying out the surface skin is not an ideal outcome, so I wouldn’t recommend using witch hazel. As you know, drying the skin out is counterproductive and not conducive to healthy skin.

The type of witch hazel you find (very inexpensively) at any grocery or drug store is actually witch hazel water. It has been distilled and stripped of all the benefits of the natural herb. I do not recommend using witch hazel water on your skin as a toner. Although it is primarily water, it contains as much as 15% ethanol alcohol, which is the bad type of alcohol.

The herb witch hazel can be very beneficial. The extracts from the leaves and bark of the hamamelis virginiana plant have anti-inflammatory and wound healing properties. So, as an ingredient in a skin care product, witch hazel is probably going to be OK, but I don’t recommend using it straight on your face as a toner.

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