Witch Hazel Herbal Extract Toner, $28 at Sephora
It is crystal clear witch hazel is the star ingredient in this herbal toner, given the name and the brand's easy-to-understand, ingredient-focused packaging. Witch hazel blends with other apothecary ingredients for a nourishing treatment that won't leave your face feeling tight. The dermatologist-tested formula doesn't contain dyes, fragrances, mineral oil, synthetic preservatives or animal-origin ingredients.
Vanishing Cream, $44.95 at Lush
Make excess grease and zits vanish with this moisturizer for oily and acne-prone skin. It's the brand's lightest formula and is just the right blend of hydrators and oil fighters, including witch hazel, rose water and lavender honey water. The delicate calming scent will soothe your senses.
Witch Hazel Toner, $7.99 at Ulta Beauty
Rub a cotton pad saturated with this oil-free toner over skin for that deep-clean, pore-tightening effect. The formula also promotes healing thanks to effective acne-fighters salicylic acid and witch hazel. Those who swore off moisture-sucking astringents will see why this is a brilliant drugstore buy — it leaves skin feeling refreshed, not uncomfortably tight.
Corrective Acne Treatment Pads, $48 at Arbonne
No matter how exhausted, lazy or rosé-buzzed, you have enough energy to use these pads. After cleansing, apply a pre-soaked pad to the entire face. The witch hazel and 0.5 percent salicylic acid formula balance oil levels, exfoliate dead skin cells and treat breakouts while preventing new ones. The pads also contain calming botanicals to soothe skin without triggering redness.
Witch Hazel Bath, $70 at Space.NK
Take a well-deserved soak in the tub with this luxurious witch hazel bath product. The star ingredient has medicinal effects that include regulating skin's oil levels and nourishing scaly patches. The soft scent and calming waters it produces make the experience feel decadent.
Blue Herbal Acne Cleanser Treatment, $22 at Kiehl's
Start fighting pimples on the daily with this cleanser. The dual-action formula treats existing spots and helps prevent new ones. The super-foamy product relies on witch hazel, salicylic acid, frankincense and ginger root to tackle oil, blackheads, whiteheads and other pesky bumps without irritating skin. Those obsessed with this botanical goodness can try the full Blue Herbal range.
Witch Hazel Alcohol-Free Toner Facial Mist - Cucumber, $10.95 at Target
This cucumber and aloe vera facial mist draws on the brand's OG toner, but comes in a convenient spray bottle. The mist does not contain alcohol, parabens or phthalates. Use it after cleansing, to set makeup or when skin could use a refresh. The faint cucumber and aloe vera scent will revive the senses as much as skin.
Witch Hazel & Rosewater Toner, $14 at Mario Badescu
Clarifying witch hazel plus soothing rosewater is a beautiful combination. The nondrying toner harnesses the astringent properties of the former ingredient, resulting in a product that cleanses skin without stripping it. There's nothing overpowering or artificial about the scent, a smell as fresh as a garden thanks to the rose water plus rose oil and black rose.
Clarifying Clay Mask, $48 at Space.NK
The nature-meets-technology treatment is designed for acne-prone and oily skin types and offers a multiaction approach. In 10 minutes, clay draws out impurities while other antibacterial and anti-inflammatory ingredients help balance skin. It's a great clay mask without excessive post-treatment tightness.
Banish Stick, $28 at Indie Lee
This is one of the chicest and most compact acne fighters around. The clear solution helps stop pimples in their tracks with a blend of witch hazel, salicylic acid, glycolic acid, camphor and zinc sulfate. It's formulated for all skin types and can be dabbed on blackheads, enlarged pores and blemishes to minimize redness and irritation. The Banish Stick will fit in the tiniest bag, making it easy to reapply throughout the day.
Post Shave Elixir, $22 at Herbivore Botanicals
Do bumps and ingrown hairs have a habit of popping up post-shave? Witch hazel to the rescue. It reduces inflammation and discoloration while aloe vera moisturizes. The alcohol- and cruelty-free product has the potential to change any post-shaving regimen.
Lifesaver Skin Brightening Toner, $28 at Sephora
"Lifesaver" is a strong word, but it does apply to this antioxidant-rich toner. Natural AHAs, including organic witch hazel, grapefruit oil and aloe vera, tackle congested pores, redness, dullness and unevenness. The clean formula is suitable for all skin types, including sensitive. Try storing it in the fridge for an extra burst of freshness.
Cannabis oil might be getting skin-care enthusiasts buzzing, but it’s far from the only plant with potential to improve complexions. The all-natural trend is sticking, with witch hazel seeing a rise in interest recently. Pinterest reported a 305 percent increase in searches. This old-school toner is working its way into skin-care products in new and innovative ways, and we’re totally here for its healing powers when it comes to treating redness, acne and irritated skin.
Witch hazel is an oldie but goodie, but people might still have some misconceptions about it. First of all, witch hazel is not an essential oil although it’s processed in the same manner. Witch hazel is the liquid extracted from the leaves and bark of the Hamamelis virginiana plant, according to Heather Wilson, the director of brand development at InstaNatural and a licensed esthetician. “Witch hazel distillate,” as it’s commonly listed on beauty product ingredient lists, is typically made through a steam distillation process where the viable plant materials are vaporized with hot steam then cooled before being condensed into liquid form, according to Megan Lind, Fourth Ray‘s product development manager.
Witch hazel is typically associated with toners thanks to its astringent properties. It can also appear in cleansers, serums, moisturizers and even body and hair products. Kim and Zoe Roebuck, co-founders of Dr Roebuck’s, explain that witch hazel contains chemicals called tannins and polyphenols. These properties make witch hazel a pro at tackling a number of skin issues, including swelling, bacteria and itchiness and redness. The effective ingredient can manage excess oil, clear breakouts and minimize the appearance of pores without stripping skin, says Wilson.
Witch hazel doesn’t just make your skin look more vibrant, it can also act as an astringent, anti-inflammatory and antiseptic, says Tara Pelletier, co-founder of Meow Meow Tweet. “I love it as an aftershave or skin-soother after waxing my bikini line,” she reveals. “[Witch hazel is] also great in your natural first aid kit for things like sunburns, cold sores and bug bites.”
Given its characteristics, witch hazel is well suited to those with oily and acne-prone skin, but all skin types could benefit from the right formula. Just watch out for products with alcohol, says Pelletier, because they will dry out skin.
Click through the gallery to shop the best witch hazel skin care products for managing greasy T-zones and fighting breakouts.
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