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Witch Hazel

Definition: Witch Hazel

Witch hazel (Hamamelis virginiana) is a deciduous shrub that loses leaves in Winter but, because it sometimes sprouts flowers then, it has the alternate name "winterbloom." From the leaves and bark of this plant come the beauty product witch hazel, obtained from steaming its twigs.

The bark, leaves, and twigs are high in tannins, which offer astringent properties of tightening pores and removing excess oil. It can be used purely as a facial cleanser or with other added ingredients (like aloe vera) for soothing, anti-inflammatory effects. Many witch hazel products today are all natural, lacking artificial ingredients that may overdry or irritate sensitive skin. Hair can benefit, too, as items such as Aveda Witch Hazel Light Hold Hair Spray reduce flyaways and oily scalps.


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Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 6 years
I use it as a toner, does tighten pores up, and it's awesome for drying up zits. Even those cystic ones!
starangel82 starangel82 7 years
I use it as an astringent. So far one of the few things that works for my acne.
sofi sofi 7 years
I mix some of it in with my AHA toner and it is fantastic.
Antioxidant Antioxidant 7 years
Witch hazel rocks as an astringent for me. It's cheap, gentle and effective.
aimeeb aimeeb 7 years
I used to use it as an astringent.
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