Don’t worry, witch hazel has got absolutely nothing to do with witches on broomsticks or the strange concoctions they cook up in the cauldron. But one thing that we can surely agree on is that witch hazel is a magical wonder for your skin. We wouldn’t fault you for not knowing what witch hazel is, but that will change today since you have been missing out on the many skin health benefits that this lovely herb brings.
What Is Witch Hazel?
What witch hazel is categorised as a plant, but if you are being pedantic, it is a shrub that runs under the name of Hamamelis virginiana. Grown mostly in the US and in Canada, the leaves, bark and twigs are often used for medicinal purposes by extracting and distilling the liquid of witch hazel. Those extracts are then paired with alcohol and water before it is then added to ingredients like aloe vera and rosewater for the best effects.
Skincare Benefits Of Witch Hazel
For the longest time, witch hazel has been unearthed as a natural medicinal solution for a lot of our health issues, from soothing a sore throat to treating haemorrhoids. In addition to that, it has been found to help us in the areas of our skin. Read on to find out how the use of witch hazel can improve acne-prone skin.
Don’t fault your body for the inflammation that you are coping with since it is actually a natural immune response by your body to protect itself against injury and infection (that just means your body is responsive and in the pink of health). But what you should look out for is chronic inflammation since that could actually turn into a big problem since inflammation might turn serious and develop into certain strains of diseases. To relieve your body of inflammation, you can actually turn to witch hazel since it contains many potent anti-inflammatory properties like gallic acid and tannins. That is not all since the antioxidants within witch hazel are also responsible for the prevention of inflammation as it works to neutralise the harmful effects caused by free radicals.
For the longest time, most have looked to witch hazel as a way to treat acne and it is still the case many years down the line. Because of the anti-inflammatory properties in witch hazel, it is believed that it can be useful in the treatment of acne. For witch hazel to work, it can be applied right to your face topically after you have cleaned it with a gentle facial wash. Since it works like an astringent, your tissues would contract and your pores would shrink and that would certainly help prevent the acne-causing bacteria from re-entering your pores.
Moisturise The Skin
Those with acne-prone skin would find that their skin might start resembling the tough exterior of a reptile and that is because most medication to treat acne actually causes dryness of the skin. While you might pass it off as a normal side-effect, dryness of the skin could actually worsen your acne since it intensifies the itch and cajoles you to give it a little scratch. Moisturising the skin would help since a hydrated skin would be less likely to itch.
Keep Infection Away
Hey, who knew that witch hazel has plenty more to just ensuring beauty skin. Research studies have been done on this precious plant and it has been found that they are great in combating certain types of viral infections. The tannins in witch hazel actually promote antiviral activity that fights against the influenza A and human papillomavirus. That is why witch hazel has found its way as a remedy to be applied topically to help relieve the symptoms of cold sores.
How To Use Witch Hazel?
The best part about witch hazel is that there are multiple ways you can use it; as a toner, cooling gel or even as a face mask. After cleansing your face with your gentle facial wash, you can add a drop of witch hazel or two onto a cotton ball and dab it all over your face and the acne-affected areas before you slather on your usual facial serum or moisturiser. That would help keep your face free of bacteria before the hydration intensifying effects of your moisturiser. To use witch hazel as an anti-inflammatory face mask, you would have to get a little DIY but we promise that it would be worth the extra labour. What you would need is to mix two teaspoons of honey with a teaspoon of witch hazel in a bowl and apply a layer of that mixture all over your face. After twenty minutes or so, wash it off with warm water and you would find your skin rejuvenated and radiant as ever.