Astringents are often recommended by alternative health practitioners to manage oily skin and fight acne. The well-known natural astringents are witch hazel, cucumber, rose water, lime, apple cider vinegar, and more. So, is witch hazel good for your acne? Well, the honest answer to it is that it may, or may not, work for you since not everyone has the same type of skin and reacts to topical treatments the same way. However, it is still a worth trying home remedy for treating acne, thanks to its amazing astringent, disinfectant, antibacterial, and anti-inflammatory properties.
When it comes to astringents, they are most commonly used for shrinking the size of the pores and tightening skin after washing the face. This is because they contain chemicals that cause body tissue to constrict and pull together. That’s to say, they can smooth your skin and improve the overall look. In theory, they can help enlarged pores associated with cystic acne appear smaller. However, astringents are usually not a good acne treatment because the use of them can lead to a breakout by irritating the skin. The good news is that witch hazel is extremely mild astringent and suitable for all skin types. More importantly, this herb contains antibacterial and antiseptic properties.
This herb is disinfectant and antibacterial, which is the main reason why it is used to kill acne-causing bacteria. Dirt and bacteria could be the culprits behind your breakouts when the excess oil mixes with dead skin cells, dirt and bacteria. While regular cleanser and water could not do anything about the excess dirt and bacteria from pores, distilled witch hazel can help remove them even from the underlying skin. In addition, as an astringent it causes shrinkage of the skin pores, which can in a sense prevent a bacterial infection and the following acne breakouts. So, there is reason to believe that this herb can reduce the risk of acne.
This herb possesses anti-inflammatory properties, which may help soothe and reduce swelling and inflammation in a few days, thanks to the astringent, resin and procyanadin found in witch hazel. In other words, it is able to help your infected skin back to its original look quickly when it is applied directly to the skin or you drink the tea. This is another important reason why herbalists often use it for ingrown hairs, acne, hemorrhoid, spider veins, and other red, swollen, and painful skin problems.
Just like green tea, witch hazel can deep clean pores and offer more protection from the bacterial oxidation. To be fair, there is argument about this claim. As you know, there is a huge diversity of bacteria that can grow on our skin. Fortunately, the formation of bacteria oxidation products on the skin can be suppressed by the use of this herb. For the same reason, applying it with a cotton ball is highly recommended because bacteria from your hands could come in contact with acne and make them worse.
And it is worth mentioning that witch hazel is a totally affordable natural acne treatment. Compared to other expensive astringents and toners, it is an easier and more cost-effective alternative. Besides, your risks are relatively minor if you use it in the appropriate amounts. So, it won’t cost an arm and a leg and you don’t need to concern about the side effects if you use it for a long time.
However, it is important to note that witch hazel won’t help too much to your recurring acne although it can help reduce the symptoms by removing excess sebum from the skin and reducing inflammation. This is because it can do nothing on reducing your increased sebum production, which tends to block the sebaceous gland duct and then cause acne breakouts.