Is Witch Hazel Good for Your Skin? Dermatologists Weigh In
Witch hazel is a common ingredient and can be found in a variety of skin-care products, including toners, ointments, face mists and more. But while it’s known to be great for oily skin types, there are some rumors out there that it may cause dryness or irritation to others. To find out whether this is true and how to know if the ingredient is right for you, we talked to Dr. Joshua Zeichner and Dr. Arash Akhavan, board-certified dermatologists and Skincare.com consultants.
What Is Witch Hazel?
According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), witch hazel is an astringent derived from the bark and leaves of the witch hazel shrub. It’s often used to neutralize the itch of bee stings and bug bites, as well as soothe irritation associated with skin abrasions.
The Skin Benefits of Witch Hazel
“Witch hazel is an astringent that can strip oil from the skin,” Dr. Zeichner says. That being said, not all witch hazel-infused products are created equally. If you have sensitive or dry skin, look for a product that’s alcohol-free, like the Thayer’s Witch Hazel Facial Toner. Not only is it alcohol-free but it’s also formulated with aloe vera to keep your skin soothed and comfortable.
Before using any product, though, we recommend doing a patch test on your arm and waiting at least 24 hours to see how your skin reacts. When in doubt, consult your board-certified dermatologist to find out if the product is right for your skin.
Image: Chaunte Vaughn