Whether you’re entering puberty or middle age, it seems blemishes and breakouts can wreak havoc at just about any time they’d like. There’s no quick fix to fight zits and apparently, no magical age when they stop appearing. That’s the bad news. The good news is that there are several natural ways to treat blemishes topically. One of our faves: Witch Hazel.
Though its all-natural benefits harken way back to the 1800s, it’s only recently that this plant extract started to make a name for itself as a trusted go-to for zit sufferers. So why all the buzz? Well, we like it for its natural makeup, economical price point and, above all, its efficacy.
For those of you who are new to Witch Hazel as an acne treatment or are in need of a new solution, allow us to break it all down for you.
What is Witch Hazel?
Witch hazel is a plant extract containing natural compounds called tannins that deliver both antioxidant and astringent properties. Antioxidants are compounds that fight free radicals (think fruits and veggies high in Vitamin A, C and E) and astringents shrink or constrict body tissues which, in acne terms, means drying out oily skin.
What is it used for?
Witch Hazel is most commonly used to treat minor skin conditions that cause inflammation like burns, bug bites, diaper rash and, yes, acne.
Benefits of Witch Hazel
When it comes to acne, the benefits of Witch Hazel are tied directly to its tissue-constricting, anti-inflammatory properties. When applied sparingly to breakouts or oily skin, this all-natural astringent dries out the skin to then help reduce the appearance and frequency of breakouts. Since acne, by definition, is an inflammatory skin condition, Witch Hazel can help treat it by soaking up excess oil and reducing irritation that causes acne’s hallmark redness.
Concerns About Witch Hazel
Naturally, something this amazing has to have pitfalls, right? Well, yes, but mainly for those of us suffering from moderate to severe acne. If your blemishes tend to travel in packs then likely you need to use Witch Hazel in conjunction with a stronger, prescription treatment recommended by your dermatologist. Ask your dermatologist about this combination.
If your skin type is dry, you’re also going to want to go easy on the Witch Hazel. Seeing as how the whole point of this astringent is to dry out blemishes, dry-skin types should expect to see even drier skin and be ready with an all-natural, oil-free moisturizer.
In addition to cautioning those with dry skin, sensitive-skin types should also be frugal with their Witch Hazel application. Apply a small amount to a small part of your skin (perhaps a blemish somewhere other than your face) to determine how your skin reacts before using Witch Hazel more generously on the face and neck.
It’s for these very reasons—dryness and sensitive skin—that we formulated our Blem Pen with Witch Hazel AND skin-soothing moisturizers and essential oils. It’s equal parts effective and gentle making it far more effective on all skin types than Witch Hazel alone. Keeping blemishes from turning into full-blown breakouts, our all-natural formula should be used at the first sign of a pimple and applied as often as necessary until the pimple goes away.
No question, a proper face care routine is number one on the list of ways to prevent and treat pesky pimples from popping up, and using the rightface wash based on skin typeis integral to that routine working. Still, we’re all prone to pimples and when that happens, Witch Hazel may just be your new best friend. Go easy on your first few applications to test the results on your skin, but if all signs point to clear, then this all-natural extract could be a regular part of your skin routine.