Witch hazel which has been used for centuries as a natural skin remedy, is a botanical extract from the leaves and bark of the Hamamelis virginiana plant. As an astringent, it can be used to treat anything from bug bites to first aid because of its antiseptic properties, and is also helpful in reducing inflammation.

The active chemical compounds in witch hazel have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and antimicrobial properties, which can help to temporarily minimize the appearance of large pores and redness. As a natural astringent it helps reduce oil on the skin, and can even be used to soothe skin conditions and reduce itchiness. One of nature’s multitaskers, you can also use witch hazel to relieve sunburn, calm poison ivy, and even alleviate bug bites. 

Does Witch Hazel Really Help With Acne? 

Because witch hazel has anti-inflammatory, cooling, and oil-reducing properties, it makes a great option for those with acne prone skin—especially if you can’t use retinoids or salicylic acid. As a natural astringent, it can help remove excess oil, and because it has both anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties to reduce inflammation, it is also able to cut down on acne-causing bacteria in the skin.  

Does Witch Hazel Have Side Effects? 

Witch hazel is generally very well tolerated and won’t aggravate the skin, however, everyone’s skin is different, so you should do a patch test if you are new to the ingredient.

While witch hazel does have anti-inflammatory properties, it can cause dryness, so if you have dry skin, it’s best to avoid it.