Witch Hazel,Hamamelis virginiana, is a topical astringent derived from the flowering shrub common to North America. Witch Hazel, an effective herbal extract with good cleansing, soothing, and healing properties has been used for over a century for a variety of skincare products.
Witch Hazel hydrosol is a natural extract distilled from the leaves, twigs, and bark.
Our organic witch hazel contains 86% witch hazel extract and only 14% ethanol which makes it more soothing and less drying than the alcohol-heavy varieties often found in local drugstores.
As is the case with many natural remedies, the medicinal properties of witch hazel were first discovered by Native Americans who boiled the stems to make decoctions that were used to treat skin inflammation and irritation. Although there has been a lot of anecdotal information about the benefits of witch hazel over many generations of use, the research is mixed.
There are many natural active constituents in witch hazel including tannins and polyphenols. The tannins in witch hazel make it a gentle, natural astringent and the polyphenols have natural anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. If applied to the skin it is reported to help ease itching, inflammation, insect bites, minor burns, and acne, and calm other skin and scalp irritations.
The natural tannins help close pores to give skin a fine, smooth appearance. They also help smooth out fine lines by tightening the skin. The toning and constricting effect of the tannins may be drying for some.
It is also purported to help unclog, refine, and tighten pores by removing everyday dirt, oil, and impurities. Since it not only controls oily skin but also helps balance skin production, it may be good for all skin types and make an excellent addition to a toner.
Buyer Beware: Be careful when purchasing commercial Witch Hazel in the drugstore. Commercial Witch Hazel extracts often contain more alcohol than actual witch hazel.
Good quality witch hazel will not dry out your skin. Unfortunately, not all witch hazel is created equal. Some commercial brands will dry out your skin since they often contain more alcohol than actual witch hazel. Our real witch hazel extract contains 86% witch hazel extract and only 14% alcohol. If you have experienced overly dry skin when using store-bought witch hazel--this could be the reason.
Some companies tout a “non-alcohol” version of witch hazel. Please be sure to read the ingredients of these brands. The first ingredient, meaning the most prevalent, is usually water and since they contain no alcohol, preservatives such as phenoxyethanol have been added. Phenoxyethanol has been linked to skin conditions such as allergic dermatitis and eczema.