First used centuries ago by Native Americans, witch hazel is a timeless natural ingredient with a long list of uses. It’s a medicine cabinet staple for treating cuts and burns. But you may be surprised to find that it’s also one of nature’s oldest beauty solutions thanks to its positive effect on the skin. Don’t be tempted to just reach for the bottle in the back of the cupboard and start pouring it on your face – it’s important to know about the two different versions, and which is right for your skin.
Which type of witch hazel should I use?
There are two types of witch hazel, and both are suited to different purposes and skin types. There’s witch hazel with alcohol, the antiseptic kind you’ll find in your first aid kit. Then there’s alcohol-free witch hazel, which is more gentle and isn’t as drying on the skin.
To remove excess oil, shrink pores, or combat acne you’ll need alcohol witch hazel. It’s an astringent, meaning it tightens skin, and the alcohol content gives it antibacterial and antimicrobial properties to fight spots. You can also use it as a makeup remover for both water and oil-based makeup. Just make sure to use a moisturiser afterwards, as alcohol is drying on the skin.
Anyone who isn’t looking to treat acne (especially those with sensitive skin) should stick to alcohol-free witch hazel. It’s less drying and doesn’t have astringent properties. It won’t take off makeup, so use it the same way you would a toner. Apply after washing your face to restore your face’s pH balance and reduce redness and inflammation.
If you wish to combine essential oils with witch hazel you’ll need to use the alcohol version, since it acts as an emulsifier.
Where to buy witch hazel:
It’s time to look to the solutions of the past for your skincare issues. Both prodcuts are available to purchase on our website in a range of sizes: