Witch Hazel, Yay Or Nay?

24th Jun 2017

Witch Hazel, Yay Or Nay?

We understand that on the constantly changing and extremely competitive beauty market it is extremely hard to keep up to date with all information about products and innovative solutions. Not always is a ‘noisy’ marketing campaign enough evidence and confirmation that a product is suitable.

A number of products are sold under ‘the organic, healthy, paraben free’ label and yet they contain ingredients that could be described as being harmful to us. When you’re bombarded with information and fierce marketing, it becomes harder and harder to feel comfortable making a decision as to which products are right for us.

In the “Yay or Nay?” blog series we will try our best to provide you with more information on ingredients that you can find in beauty products.

In our Yay group there will be ‘hero ingredients’ that are beneficial, safe and healthy for your skin. Whether these are natural ingredients or innovative and patented solutions, we will take a closer look to highlight their beneficial properties.

However, we will also try our best to demystify some of the ingredients we should avoid as they have a harmful effect. This is our Nay group.

In this week’s blog, we put witch hazel on the Skinsider’s radar.

Witch hazel is a plant originally growing in North America and parts of Asia. It comes from the leaves and bark of the witch hazel shrub and for centuries has been well known for its skin soothing properties. No surprise then that witch hazel extract is in the list of ingredients in many beauty products. As a powerful antioxidant it helps speed up healing, prevents signs of ageing and tackles issues of free radicals. Tannins trapped in witch hazel make it a natural astringent, as they help to remove excess oil from the skin, it also contains a high level of polyphenols; the same compounds used to create anti-ageing supplements.

Looking in more detail into its properties you will find witch hazel is a multi-functional ingredient.

Pores and sebum control

High concentrations of tannins in witch hazel make it an excellent astringent that removes excess oil from skin and shrinks down pores. It fights with environmental pollutants and reduces the risk of blemishes, as well as the blackheads appearance. Witch hazel is a perfect ingredient for oily skin, as it will help to balance the skin’s pH level and moisturise without leaving your skin feeling greasy.


Witch hazel is one of the very best remedies for acne no matter what age you are when you experience it. This natural astringent reduces bacteria growth on the skin and reduces inflammation and redness while speeding up the healing process.

Brightening effect

Witch hazel can be used as a skin refresher for tired, tight, stressed and dull skin. As a result, it is perfect for discolouration and puffiness under and around eyes.

Cool down for sunburn

Witch hazel can bring sunburn relief, as healing damaged skin is one of its specialties. It reduces the risk of sunburns and if they appear, witch hazel will reduce the risk of skin peeling and flaking.

Nourish dry skin

Witch hazel can also be used for dry skin. You can use it to clean your face to remove any impurities but it will also lock moisture inside the skin.

Fight the signs of ageing

Too much sun on the skin can cause premature ageing, wrinkles and loss of elasticity of the skin, as well as discolouration, redness, dryness, and scars. If you want to slow down those signs, witch hazel is one of the best things to turn to. It also helps protect the skin against cancer, melanoma and other serious diseases resulting from exposure to UV light. Thanks to its tannins and polyphenols, which are known to inhibit the proliferation of melanoma cells, it helps to protect healthy skin cells as you age.

By combining it with oils known to soothe and protect the skin, it helps the skin fight off the effects of environmental stress.

Treat eczema

This amazing ingredient is also used in products designed for people suffering from eczema. It helps stop that incessant itching, and also improves symptoms like scaling, redness, burning and even scarring.

In a summary, we find witch hazel a Yay product.