INGREDIENT SPOTLIGHT: Witch Hazel

Witch Hazel plant and oil Witch Hazel, also known as Hamamelis Virginiana, is considered to be an excellent addition to skin care solutions, moisturizers and toners. Also known as winter bloom, Witch Hazel is particularly famous due to the fact that it is loaded with antioxidants and can help to treat a range of skin care issues such as dehydrated skin, oily skin, redness and complexion problems. The ingredient is derived from a deciduous shrub that is found in North America and is known to be used to soothe skin irritation for ages. Witch Hazel has particularly been noted for its astringent qualities, something that is produced from its bark and its leaves. It has had a long history with a range of uses such as healing swellings, burns, sores, hemorrhoids and bruises and helping out with tuberculosis, fever and cold. One of the greatest boons of using Witch Hazel is that it is full of “anti-abilities” – antiviral, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial are just a few of those abilities.

Witch Hazel burst onto the scene in the mid 19th century, when it became a staple ingredient in almost all medicine cabinets because of its soothing and healing properties. Women also began to use it to tone their complexion and men began to use Witch Hazel as an effective form of aftershave. The leaves and twigs of the shrub were also boiled to draw out natural oils and extracts. The ingredient has an ethanol content of 70 – 80% as well as a tannin content of 2 – 9%. The alcohol present in the ingredient and the tannin content can cause irritation in some people, particularly when they are used repeatedly on the skin. However, when used within the right doses, the ingredient can actually do wonders for your skin care routines.

Studies have also shown that Witch Hazel can easily be used for psoriasis, cracked skin, treating insect bites, eczema, poison ivy, healing sunburns and for locking in the moisture content of your skin. Today, the petals of Witch Hazel are used in a variety of skin care solutions because they are known to offer amazing benefits to the skin.

Now that you are aware of how Witch Hazel can benefit your skin, why not learn about the various ways in which it can be used for your skin care solutions?

Treatments dermatitis and inflammation and soothing your skin – According to a study published by the Journal of the German Society of Dermatology, a 10% solution of distilled Witch Hazel helped to treat inflammation caused by UV-erythema. Another study published in the Journal of Pharmacy and Pharmacology showed that Witch Hazel was effectively used to reduce paw swelling among rats, thereby bringing about the hypothesis that it can actually be used to reduce the swelling on your skin.

Witch Hazel acts as an antioxidant and detoxifies your system from the inside – According to the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, Witch Hazel is not the best antioxidant available in the market. That honor goes to green tea extracts. However, it is still considered to be an excellent option because it boasts of having the best free radical scavenger products against cytotoxicant peroxynitrite along with having antioxidant effects. By creating prooxidative challenges, it manages to cause an endogenous detoxifying reaction, thereby kick-starting the internal detoxifying system.

Witch Hazel can help you treat your cold sores – Studies have shown that Witch Hazel has anti-bacterial qualities that allow its usage in treatments for cold sores and diseases like herpes.

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