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Witch Hazel Review

Can This $2 Toner Really Improve Your Complexion?

A couple of weeks ago, I headed to Bliss for a much-needed facial. (Seriously, my skin was so oily that I thought Sarah Palin might show up at my doorstep with a "Drill, baby, drill" sign.) After some pore-purging, my esthetician recommended that I use witch hazel as a toner. I hadn't done this since my junior high days, but I figured it was worth a try.

Witch hazel is a flowering plant that is distilled into the astringent you'll find at drugstores. It's cheap — usually just two or three dollars for a huge bottle of generic witch hazel, which is what I've been using. Two weeks into this toning experiment I've made a few observations. For the pros and cons, read more.

Here's what I've discovered about being a witchy woman.

The good: It never fails to sweep up more dirt after cleansing. Plus, I have fewer blackheads and less redness than usual. Pores look smaller right after application. Even though the solution is 14% alcohol, it doesn't sting or leave my skin feeling too tight.

The bad: The smell is unpleasant, but it goes away in a minute. It might be too drying for non-oily complexions.

Overall, I'm pleased with this simple toner. It doesn't perform miracles, but it has definitely improved my skin for very little money. Not to sound like the kid from Better Off Dead, but it's just two dollars. Can't beat that. I'm curious: Have you used witch hazel, and if so, have you seen any results?

Photo by Flickr User Lady-bug

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