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witch hazel

Witch Hazel

Witch hazel has many well-documented uses for your skin. Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is a shrub or small tree that is native to North America. The species native to North America blooms from September-November. This is where it gets its common name of Winter bloom.

Native Americans used it medicinally in traditional medicine. Witch hazel extract is an astringent. Its many properties are attributed to the high levels of tannins, safrole, calcium oxalate, eugenol, and carvacrol.

It is found in many over-the-counter products that are used on the skin such as shaving products, skin creams, shampoo, and hemorrhoid products. Its main uses are for acne and hemorrhoid treatments, but it has many uses for skincare.

How Is Witch Hazel Used For Skin Care?

Witch hazel contains natural constituents that give it powerful astringent, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant properties. These powerful properties make it a valuable tool in your skin care arsenal. Using it for skin care can give you younger-looking skin, help you fight acne, and it may also help prevent some forms of skin cancer.

May Help Protect Against UV Damage

Witch hazel contains compounds called tannins and polyphenols that help to protect your skin from the damaging rays of the sun. These compounds protect the skin through their ability to scavenge oxygen-free radicals in skin cells. They have also been found to help prevent skin cancer and even cause the death of skin cancer cells from melanoma. (1) With the incidence of skin cancer on the rise, it is great to have a natural substance that can help prevent the incidence of skin cancer and protect against skin damage from oxygen-free radicals.

Witch Hazel May Help You Look Younger

The astringent properties of witch hazel can help tighten the skin of the face, helping to make you appear younger. It can help to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, as well as tighten and tone your skin. It can help reduce redness and skin irritation due to its soothing and antioxidant properties.

Instead of using harsh chemical astringents, you can use a natural substance that doesn’t contain harsh chemicals to get results. It also helps to protect collagen, so it helps maintain the elasticity of your skin.

You can add a few drops of Vitamin E oil and Frankincense essential oil to give it even more anti-aging power.

Soothing For The Whole Body

The uses don’t stop with the skin on your face. You can use it anywhere you have irritated skin. Use it after shaving to prevent and soothe razor burn. Since it is an astringent, it is also useful to help stop bleeding if you cut yourself while shaving. It can help the nick heal faster.

Use it for minor skin abrasions and rashes to help soothe and heal the skin. It can be used to clean the skin of makeup and other products you use on your face. These products may contain oils and other substances that can block pores and dry your skin. It has been shown to help to protect collagen and maintain skin elasticity. This can help to maintain and brighten your complexion, as well as decrease acne breakouts. The astringent properties decrease the appearance of pores, giving your skin a smoother look. Again, you can add Vitamin E oil and your favorite soothing essential oil, such as Lavender essential oil, to make a soothing and healing natural skin mixture.

It can be helpful when those nasty bugs bite or sting you. It can help reduce the pain or itching of bug bites and stings while helping to reduce inflammation and promote healing.

Witch Hazel is a Natural Acne Fighter

It has antibacterial properties, which can help kill the bacteria that cause acne. By applying witch hazel extract directly to the pimple with a cotton ball, you can speed up healing time for the pimple significantly. For an even greater effect, you can use witch hazel in combination with other antibacterial substances such as tea tree oil, coconut oil, or pure honey. This combination has been found to be very effective for treating and even preventing acne outbreaks for some people.

You can also apply witch hazel directly to the skin to decrease the production of excess sebum and to help clean the pores of your skin. Witch hazel can soothe your skin and help to heal irritation. Let’s look at a few more reasons using witch hazel can help you in the fight against acne.

Fights Inflammation

It contains naturally occurring anti-inflammatory substances. It contains gallic acid and tannins that have potent anti-inflammatory properties. Since acne is an inflammatory response to a buildup of oils, skin cells, and bacteria in the pores, the anti-inflammatory effects can help clean up those causes of acne.

If you purchase the extract which also contains a small percentage of isopropyl alcohol you also get the bacterial fighting power of both witch hazel and alcohol. Killing the bacteria which causes acne is a sure way to help speed up the healing process. Witch hazel also has astringent properties that can help tighten the skin to help relieve inflammation.

Helps Heal Sensitive Acne Prone Skin

Some small studies have shown that using witch hazel can reduce the reddening of the skin caused by irritation such as acne by up to 27%. Using the extract on sensitive or broken skin can help speed up the healing process and help you toward your goal of clearer skin.

Included In Many OTC Acne Remedies

While there are not a lot of double-blind studies on the effectiveness of witch hazel, it should be noted that many over-the-counter acne medications contain varying amounts of witch hazel extract. This at least points to the possibility that there is some truth to the claims that it can be effective in the home treatment of acne.

Which Witch Hazel For Acne Do I Need?

First, you should make sure you are getting the correct form of witch hazel. You want to make sure the label says Hamamelis virginiana. There are other species of witch hazel, but this is the one most widely used and recommended. You should also look at whether you have dry or oily skin.

For skin that is already dry, it may be preferable to buy witch hazel without alcohol. The alcohol may dry your skin even more. If you have oily skin it may be best to use the extract with alcohol added to help dry up oil production in addition to the bacteria-fighting boost it gives.

So now you know that it can be an effective treatment for your acne without visiting the doctor. If you are looking to cut out chemicals and other harmful substances from your skincare routine, witch hazel may become your new secret weapon.

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