Most of you will have heard that witch hazel has many benefits for your skin at some point or other, and probably most commonly that it is excellent for preventing and clearing breakouts. However, what are the other benefits of witch hazel for skin and how does it work? In this blog post I will attempt to answer as many of your questions about witch hazel in skincare as possible.
What is Witch Hazel?
Witch hazel is a flowering plant that is widely sourced from North America, Japan and China. However, Valley Mist works hard to source our witch hazel from France, and it is steam-distilled here in the UK. We do our best to ensure all of our ingredients are sourced as locally as possible to ensure maximum sustainability.
When in bloom witch hazel has bare branches and yellow, spidery flowers, making it similar in appearance to a yellow magnolia.
In the autumn and winter the witch hazel trees are harvested, turned into a pulp and then distilled to be used in skincare. Although you might think it is the flowers that are the most useful part of witch hazel for skin, as with roses and lavender, it is actually the leaves, bark and twigs of the witch hazel plant that are used for medicinal and skincare purposes.
Benefits of using Witch Hazel in Skincare
Witch hazel has powerful astringent properties that make it excellent for tightening the pores in skincare. Any number of things can cause the pores to dilate, from excess sebum and diet to UV rays and pollution. Using witch hazel in your skincare regime is an excellent way to help combat this and minimize the appearance of pores.
Additionally, using witch hazel is an excellent way of reducing inflammation. Acne, eczema, and psoriasis are a few among many causes of skin inflammation and witch hazel contains many antioxidants that are excellent at soothing the skin. As a result, using witch hazel can be particularly beneficial if your skin is quite sensitive, as it has been proven to be effective at reducing irritation. Finally, another benefit of witch hazel is its ability to help protect your skin from damage by forming a barrier that protects it from harmful materials. The plant materials that help form this barrier are called tannins and more information about exactly how this works, as well as how they reduce inflammation, can be found here.
It is a combination of all of these factors together that make witch hazel extremely beneficial for acne-prone skin in particular.
Which Valley Mist Products contain Witch Hazel?
Witch hazel can be found as a key ingredient in two of our milder micellar water and toners; the Combination Skin Micellar Water and Toner, and the Men’s Witch Hazel Kick Micellar & Toner for Combination Skin (although all of our micellar waters and toners are, of course, unisex). These are both recommended for combination skin types, or if you have more sensitive oily-prone skin:
Other Valley Mist Micellar & Toners
If you’re not sure which of the micellar water & toners would be right for your skin then there are 30ml minis available in the Combination Skin, Normal-Dry Skin, and the Oily-Prone Skin for you to try.