Ever feel like there’s a new beauty ingredient you can’t stop seeing and hearing about? That all of the sudden, it’s in every product and all over your Instagram feed? This is what our Beauty Buzzwords series is all about – helping you learn more about these mysterious ingredients and why everyone is raving about them.
First up in the series is witch hazel…because frankly, it just seems weird to a product with a name like that on your skin.
What Is It?
Witch hazel is a native North American plant that’s been used for centuries as an herbal remedy to treat topical infections.
It sounds frightful, but this gentle plant is nothing to fear. The most common way to use witch hazel is in a toner, prepared by distilling the leaves and bark to create a clear liquid that’s virtually odourless.
Why Use It?
Witch hazel has incredible antiseptic properties and can be used to help clarify the skin, keep pores free of blemishes, and calm inflammation.
There’s a common misconception that acne should be treated with harsh ingredients, when in fact this can actually cause more breakouts! Over-drying the skin can increase oil secretions, cause inflammation, and disrupt the skin’s natural ability to protect and heal itself. Witch hazel is a gentle solution to treat inflammation and infections (like breakouts) without over-stripping and irritating the skin.
Use Witch Hazel Instead Of:
Alcohol-based and salicylic acid toners
Ideal To Treat:
Oily Skin and Breakouts: After cleansing, tone the skin both morning and night using a cotton pad soaked in witch hazel.
Skin infections and Bug Bites: Apply witch hazel directly onto the infected area using a cotton pad to disinfect and stop itching.
Bruises: Apply witch hazel to a cotton pad and hold against the bruised area for 1-3 minutes (up to three times a day) to help reduce swelling.
Witch hazel is available at Well.ca in its purest form or mixed in with other helpful ingredients for different uses – find the product that’s right for you here.
Seanna Cohen is a certified skin care therapist and founder of the Clean Beauty School, an online destination to learn skin care tips & tricks and get personalized advice. As a trusted skin care expert, she inspires others to take a holistic approach to beauty and find sustainable practices through her skin care coaching, webinars, and classes.