Witch hazel toners have long been used for treating acne, but lately they’ve gotten a bit of a bad rap.
Is this deserved and what kind of toners should we be using to tackle breakouts? Let’s find out.
Witch hazel, or Hammamelis virginiana is a plant extract. It’s a rich source of antioxidants, particularly tannins.If you’re a wine or tea drinker you might have noticed that your drink gets a little more bitter near the end of your glass or mug. That bitterness is caused by tannins. When applied to skin, tannins can make your skin feel tighter and drier.
Because of this, witch hazel began to be incorporated into skincare, in particular to help with oily or acne-prone skin.
For a certain generation of us, the first thing we used in the fight against acne was witch hazel, usually in a toner Guilty.
As witch hazel is a natural astringent, it can shrink and dry out the gunk in acne, which in turn helps to get rid of it. It sounds good…but pimples aren’t just a simple matter of being too wet or too dry.
The astringent, drying properties of witch hazel can dry out not just acne, but your skin as well. When acne-prone skin gets too dry, skin can get irritated, which leads to more pimples. It also tends to produce even more oil, to counteract the effects of the dryness. But should we write off witch hazel altogether though?
The reason why witch hazel has a negative reputation is thanks to the first generation of witch hazel toners. Most of these had more alcohol than witch hazel and were incredibly harsh on the skin.
Thankfully, both skincare and witch hazel have come a long way since then, and these days there are plenty of gentler formulations making their way onto store shelves. In skincare, the dose (frequency of application) makes the cure.
Too little, and you might get the intended effects. Too much, and you might be dealing with all new problems.
As a general rule of thumb, we suggest introducing witch hazel to your skincare routine every other day. If you’ve got sensitive skin, try once or twice a week to begin with.
Wondering which witch hazel toner to buy?
One of the hottest K-Beauty toners on the market featuring witch hazel is Some By Mi’s AHA BHA PHA 30 Day Miracle Toner.
This product has sold more than 1.2 million units and has been featured across the media and Instagram.
The formula combines witch hazel with a variety of tried and true skincare acids to gently remove impurities from your skin without irritation. This in turn helps your skin return to its normal condition.
If your skin is super sensitive, Purito’s Centella Unscented Toner is a super solution. This is a gentle witch hazel toner that’s completely free of fragrances AND essential oils. It also has a ph 5.5 balance, making it suitable for sensitive skin.
Have you tried witch hazel in your toners before? Let us know your hits and misses in the comments!
"The reason why witch hazel has a negative reputation is thanks to the first generation of witch hazel toners. Most of these had more alcohol than witch hazel and were incredibly harsh on the skin."- STYLE STORY
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