Like witches toiling over a boiling cauldron of… whatever, there can be a lot of hocus-pocus around skin care claims. But real ingredients deliver real results.
Take Witch Hazel, for example.
Witch Hazel, scientifically known as Hamamelis virginiana, is not a villan in an animated series. It’s actually a shrub native to North America with a history that includes folk medicine uses.
Also known as winterbloom, the extract of the witch hazel plant has been used as a natural astringent and remedy for a range of skin issues including hemorrhoids, acne, and psoriasis. It is praised for its ability to help treat inflammation, itching, irritation, and it may also play a role fighting certain types of viral infections.
Some of the magic in Witch Hazel comes from it’s tannins. Tannins are a natural compound with powerful antioxidant properties that can help protect your skin against damage. When applied topically, the tannins help reduce swelling, repair broken skin, and fight bacteria. One study found that tannins act as a barrier, preventing inflammation-causing substances from entering your skin cells. These antioxidant-rich tannins also help to remove excess oils from your skin, which is why it’s a popular ingredient in toners and mattifying products.
Witch Hazel may also help reduce acne, since it can remove the excess oils from your skin and fight bacteria.
One published study on plants used to treat skin conditions showed that the polyphenols contained in Witch Hazel also help fight premature aging. Los Angeles-based board-certified dermatologist Dr. Tsippora Shainhouse, says, “…Witch Hazel may have antioxidant effects that help mitigate and prevent free radical damage to skin from UV [rays] and oxidizing air pollution.”
Plus, its astringent properties can make your skin look firmer.
And the constricting compounds of Witch Hazel make the proteins inside of your skin cells come together, giving you tighter, smaller-looking pores. This same effect also helps reduce razor burn (the bumps you get on your skin after shaving). Combine its cell constricting abilities with its anti-inflammatory and astringent properties, and Witch Hazel may be the perfect ingredient for reducing puffiness and tightening the under-eye area, too.
Because its various properties refine the appearance of pores, reduce inflammation, and tighten your skin, this trifecta of perks adds up to a more even skin tone.
It’s magic, right?