Ingredient to Know: Witch Hazel
What Is It
Witch Hazel comes from the witch hazel, or Hamamelis virginiana, shrub, which grows in North America. Witch Hazel is produced from the leaves and bark of this shrub, and is recognized as an ingredient with many medicinal uses. It has many constituents, such as tannin, flavonoids and saponins, which combine to give witch hazel antioxidant, astringent and anti-inflammatory properties.
What Can It Be Used For
Witch Hazel is dissolved in water, alcohol and other proprietary vehicles to deliver its benefits to the skin. Its astringent properties make it a great ingredient to fight acne. It can be found in acne spot treatments and toners that help remove excess oil (these products usually contain a percentage of alcohol). Witch Hazel's astringency plus anti-inflammatory properties make it a useful ingredient in after-shaves and treatments for conditions such as psoriasis.
So while Witch Hazel has nothing to do with witches, it can work magic for your skin.