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Our team aims to be not only thorough with its research, but also objective and unbiased. Today, we have hundreds of different beauty products available to us — acne washes, toners, scrubs and so on — but what did people use thousands of years ago before commercial chemicals existed to help heal their skin? American Indians relied on for fighting swelling, sores and infections. There may be no plant more beneficial to your skin, as research showcases the many advantages witch hazel provides. So if you’re looking for cleaner, healthier skin, look no further than witch hazel and its seemingly infinite benefits for your epidermis. North America, is a member of the Hamamelidaceae plant family. The most popular use for witch hazel is for skin care, since its strong antioxidant and astringent properties are perfect for killing bacteria that lives within skin’s pores, stopping cellular damage that can lead to skin cancer, preventing signs of aging, and speeding up healing. How Witch Hazel Works How can witch hazel do so much? High levels of healing active ingredients reduce inflammation, cellular damage and swelling, while also soothing wounds.
The bark, twigs and leaves of the plant are used to extract active constituents called polyphenols and tannins. They’re then added to either alcohol or water to make a concentrated product called witch hazel water, Hamamelis water or distilled witch hazel extract. Tannins are responsible for making witch hazel extract a natural astringent, since they remove excess oil from skin. This is the reason why witch hazel is one of the most popular natural acne treatments worldwide and is used in dozens of over-the-counter treatment gels, washes and lotions. When it comes to the products that you apply directly to your skin, you always want to treat the surface of your body how you would the inside: Avoid as many chemicals and toxins as possible. Witch hazel extract is considered to be polyphenolic and has been shown to help inhibit cell proliferation in cancerous human cells. Oxidative stress and free radical damage build up over time from exposure to things like UV light, pollution, a poor diet, stress and so on.
Proven Benefits of Witch Hazel The skin is our largest and most vulnerable organ, so it could use all the support it can get. Skin is our natural barrier to the outside world and provides us with protection against UV radiation, chemicals in our food supply, bacteria and other germs, and environmental pollutants. Herbal plant therapies for skin disorders have been used for thousands of years, and today many traditional herbs are being reintroduced, studied extensively and experiencing a resurgence in popularity since many chemical treatments don’t always work or they have harsh side effects. But the benefits of witch hazel aren’t limited to the skin — it’s also an antioxidant and has antibacterial properties, which means it can fight symptoms caused by all kinds of illnesses. Witch Hazel Uses: 10 Ways to Help Treat Skin, Hair and Teeth Witch hazel products include Hamamelis water, distilled witch hazel extract and witch hazel tea. Ideally, purchase a pure organic witch hazel, and always check that the ingredient label lists the correct species name — Hamamelis virginiana. For sensitive or dry skin, you might want to use a non-alcoholic witch hazel water over an extract, since alcohol can add to dryness and scabbing. As a natural cleanser, it’s capable of reducing bacteria growth on the skin and speeds up the time needed to heal infections or scabs. Instead of opening up a pimple and making the problem worse, put witch hazel directly on the skin wherever you notice a zit forming or where acne tends to break out.
Skip irritating acne products and turn to witch hazel to lower the severity of blemishes forming under the skin, prevent blackheads caused by dried sebum buildup in pores, and stop swelling and redness if you already picked at your acne. Witch hazel can curb signs of past irritations and deal with skin infections gently. Dab witch hazel on your skin with a clean cotton ball or cotton pads up to several times per day anywhere you experience irritation, starting slowly and giving your skin time to adjust. Fight Signs of Aging and Damage from Sun Exposure If you’re looking for a natural way to tighten the skin and slow down signs of aging like scars, redness, discoloration, dryness and puffiness around the eyes, then look no further than witch hazel. Witch hazel tightens skin and is protective against skin cancer, melanoma and other damage caused by UV light because of its protective polyphenols and tannin antioxidants. Keep your skin free from irritating chemical products that can alter oil production and increase dryness. Witch hazel has been shown to help protect collagen and skin elasticity just as well as many commercial beauty products. Then apply it to discolored skin, bruises, old acne marks and bites to help fade their appearance and reverse damage. Combine it with other skin-saving oils like evening primrose, frankincense and tea tree oils for even better results.
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