Witch Hazel: Nature’s Multi-Purpose, Nontoxic Skincare Treatment

Jun 10, 2024 | Main Blog | 0 comments

From the age of 13 to just a few years ago every time I would find a “blemish” on my skin I would do everything I could to make it disappear. I tried many face washes, scrubs, ointments, creams, etc. that didn’t do the job. They probably did more harm than good. Instead of letting my skin heal from all of these remedies I would cover it with concealer and other forms of makeup and suffocate my pores. I couldn’t find the care that I needed for my skin.

It makes me think about the beauty standards today, that make young women experiencing puberty and vast hormonal changes feel the need to cover up every mark of “imperfection.” I know I was not alone in the struggle I experienced to care for my skin and appreciate my natural beauty. But I also acknowledge that the emotional toll it took on me was real. The beauty standards that women are faced with aim to turn us against our natural selves. Women purchase mounds of makeup, creams, and serums because society is geared toward keeping women looking “young and perfect.” It is upsetting because why should women feel the need to purchase beauty products and cover up their faces to look a certain way or feel beautiful?

My goal in recent months was never to go back down that toxic hole and feed into the beauty standards of trying to cover up every “imperfection.” I wanted to find ways to feel beautiful and natural and nourish my skin while doing so. When I see a beauty mark on my skin – which I used to consider a “blemish” – I give it space to heal and avoid trying to cover it up. I ditched all of the chemical-filled face washes and creams.

One of the nontoxic skincare products I have been introduced to is witch hazel. Witch hazel is a small tree that contains therapeutic and aromatic components. Extract from the tree’s bark and twigs is used to create a natural and gentle skincare option. It is most commonly used for topical care, meaning it is applied directly to the skin. Typically, this topical product is marketed as a facial toner and astringent, but it can be added to other skincare products.

Witch hazel is a highly versatile skincare remedy that does more than just tone your skin. Other benefits  include control of oily skin, gentle treatment of acne, and prevention of razor bumps and itchiness. It naturally tightens pores, calms poison ivy irritants, reduces redness and inflammation, helps with sunburn management, and nourishes the skin. Witch hazel can also be used to soothe and control stretch marks, hemorrhoids, dandruff, and the irritation of bug bites. Because of the versatility of witch hazel, it is worth the money!

There are many ways to add witch hazel to your skincare routine. The most common way is to use it as a toner. Begin by washing your face with a natural cleanser (my favorites are Cetaphil and CeraVe), and then add a few drops of witch hazel to a cloth or cotton ball. Using excessive amounts of witch hazel may not be as helpful to your skin; moderation is important. You also might be sensitive to it so a skin patch test on the back of your hand first will show how your skin reacts.

Skincare is such an important aspect of leading a healthy life. Though National Skincare Day was on June 1st, it is valuable to spend the rest of this month prioritizing your skin and well-being. Find what works best for your unique and beautiful skin and opt for a less harmful and more natural option. Witch hazel toner is a skincare remedy that I swear by, and it has done wonders for my skin and self-confidence. Take time to explore what is right for your skin.

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Maddie Bocian

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