Acne can be a disfiguring and uncomfortable skin condition that mostly affects the face, but can also be seen on the neck, shoulders, and back too. Often it affects young teenagers the most, though many adults experience it into their 40s. Acne is caused by a few types of bacteria, but most commonly propionibacterium acnes. This bacteria naturally lives in the skin’s oil pores, but its population can get out of control, causing an immune response that results in red, swollen bumps on the skin. These bumps can quickly turn into white bumps full of pus.
Most people who suffer from acne will try to find the best way to treat it. Fortunately, acne responds well to natural facial treatments. Witch hazel can be an effective, and affordable treatment, that can also be made into many facial toners.
What is Witch Hazel?
Witch hazel is a liquid astringent that can be purchased in a plastic bottle. It’s in the form of a clear liquid, and has a faint herbal scent. This astringent contains a compound that is made from the leaves and bark of the witch hazel shrub called Hamamelis virginiana that commonly grows in North America.
Witch hazel contains many chemical compounds, such as calcium oxalate, safrole and eugenol that give witch hazel extract its healing properties.
Native Americans first used witch hazel for its medicinal properties. They boiled the stems of the shrub to produce an extract. This extract was used to treat swellings and inflammation on the body.
When the Puritan settlers first moved to New England around 1620, they saw the Native Americans using this remedy, and tried it for themselves. They discovered that the leaves also contained the healing compound, so this resulted in the extraction process being more productive. Since then, witch hazel extract can be found in every pharmacy in the USA and Canada.
What is Witch Hazel Used for?
Witch hazel is sold in the form of a liquid astringent that is solely for external use on the body. Since it contains tannins, it’s not recommended for internal use at all.
Witch hazel can be used to solve a variety of skin care conditions, including acne, as it provides astringent properties to kill the harmful bacteria that cause acne, and provide soothing properties that can decrease the redness and inflammation on the skin.
Witch hazel can also be used externally to reduce the swelling of hemorrhoids, and also be used to treat minor cuts and bruises. It can be applied to sooth minor skin irritations, such as scrapes, insect bites, poison ivy, eczema, and psoriasis.
When you use witch hazel on your face, it serves two purposes: one is to balance oil production, and the other is to shrink pores. These both work together to heal acne and restore your face to a healthy looking glow.
Many people choose to do nothing for acne, but unfortunately, the bacteria that causes acne can spread all over the face. Soon, they’ll have a major problem. The sooner you can treat a little patch of acne that is starting up, the sooner you can prevent its spread.
How to Use Witch Hazel for Acne
It’s simple to use witch hazel to heal up your acne. All you need is to purchase pure cotton puffs. You should still wash your face with soap and water at least twice a day, morning and evening. Use a gentle vegetable-based glycerin soap and a soft cotton cloth.
It’s simple to treat your face with witch hazel. Open up the bottle of witch hazel, apply a clean cotton puff to the end and quickly flip upside down. This technique will distribute some of the liquid to the cotton puff.
Wipe the cotton puff all around your face, avoiding hairline, nostrils, and eyes. Scrub gently. Once you’re done, you’ll feel your face is cleaner and less oily. You may even notice how there is a lot of dark dirt on the cotton puff, particularly if this is your first time using an astringent. If there is a lot, repeat the process. Once you get into the routine, you shouldn’t have so much dirt on your cotton puff.
Use witch hazel each time after you wash your face. You may also wish to pack your witch hazel in your bag and bring to school or work, so you can freshen up your face at lunch time. It will also help to control any redness throughout the day, so an application at midday is going to help you to look your best.
How to Make a Witch Hazel Toner to Control Acne
You have the option of buying a bottle of witch hazel and using it directly on your face, or to make a special toner with the additional soothing and healing properties of herbs. Witch hazel is kind of bland to use, so a special recipe will encourage you to use your toner on your face at least three times a day.
Since the witch hazel extract is already in a simple-to-use form, it’s fairly simple to add additional ingredients, to not only increase its healing properties, but to make it more pleasant to use.
Ingredients for Homemade Witch Hazel Toner for Acne
You can make a special toner recipe by adding ingredients to the liquid witch hazel. Collect the following ingredients and supplies together. The vitamin C provides additional healing and astringent properties to the witch hazel. The lavender provides soothing and healing properties, plus, it makes the toner smell really good.
- 1/2 teaspoon vitamin C powder. You can buy vitamin C capsules and break them open.
- 1/4 cup witch hazel extract.
- 6 drops of lavender essential oil.
- Small dark brown glass bottle with twist cap.
Recipe Method to Make Healing Witch Hazel Toner for Acne
Follow these steps to make your soothing witch hazel toner for acne.
- Measure out your witch hazel toner and pour it into the glass bottle.
- Break open your capsule of vitamin C and measure out the amount needed and pour into the bottle.
- Pour your six drops of lavender into the bottle.
- Shake the bottle gently.
- The mixture will have a cloudy look to it.
- The goal is to melt the vitamin C and thoroughly mix it with the witch hazel and lavender oil.
- This mixture will last you for about a week. It’s not recommended to make more for a longer length of time, as the vitamin C can oxidize and be useless over time.
- Store your witch hazel toner in a dark cupboard, away from heat and light.
How to Use Witch Hazel Toner for Acne
You may use your witch hazel toner the same way you would use your extract, every time after you wash your face. You can also keep your bottle and a few cotton puffs in your bag so you can use it at any time of the day. Simply pour some of the liquid onto the cotton puff and wipe it around your face, avoiding hairline, nostrils, and eyes.
Since this witch hazel toner has a bit of lavender oil in it, you won’t feel the need to apply a moisturizer directly after use. The lavender oil will provide a bit of moisture to your face, to counteract any dryness from using a witch hazel astringent.
The Healing Properties of Vitamin C and Lavender Oil
There are always additional benefits to using a toner that contains vitamin C and lavender oil.
The vitamin C will help your immune system in healing up the pimples on your face more quickly. Some people apply vitamin C directly to the face, but since it’s an acid, that can be a bit harsh. It’s better to tone down its properties and mix it with witch hazel and the lavender oil.
Lavender oil also provides a bit of softness for your skin, and can aid in balancing the natural pH of your skin to return it to optimum health. Even skin that produces a lot of oil still needs moisture, as it has fallen out of balance. Lavender oil is also soothing to the mind, so if use your toner on your face at midday, it can help soothe away a headache, and give you a boost for getting through the rest of the afternoon.
Witch Hazel on Face Side Effects
Even though witch hazel is derived naturally, you should still be aware of any side effects.
- Witch hazel is meant for external use only, so never drink it.
- It doesn’t happen often, but like with any medicine or cosmetic, a small percentage of the population may experience an allergic reaction. You can tell after application if your skin suddenly turns red or becomes inflamed, or you develop hives. Discontinue use.
- If you’re applying your witch hazel treatment and are not noticing any difference after two weeks, or your condition appears to have worsened, this could signal you have a more serious skin condition, such as eczema or psoriasis, and you should seek the advice of a medical doctor.
- Witch hazel is safe for most people to use externally, but if doubt, such as whether you can use it while pregnant, check with your physician before using.
Where to Buy Witch Hazel
Many people may think that it could be hard finding witch hazel, but that’s likely because they haven’t been searching for it in the stores. Witch hazel can be found at almost any store that sells first aid kit supplies. Check these locations first.
- Grocery stores and supermarkets.
- Pharmacies and drugstores; ask the pharmacist if you can’t find it.
- Look in the first aid section, as it’s commonly found near rubbing alcohol and hydrogen peroxide.
- If you don’t live near stores or are always busy, shop online stores such as Amazon.
Where Can I Buy Brown Glass Bottles to Make Witch Hazel Toner?
Glass bottles are best for storing your toner or other liquid cosmetics, as the glass doesn’t break down and affect the solution, such as a plastic bottle can. If you are having difficulty in sourcing bottles, try a few of these suggestions.
- You may already have a small glass bottle in your bin if you’ve used up some other lotion or cosmetic. You can wash it out and reuse.
- Some medications come in glass bottles, particularly liquid medications for pets. Save them after you’ve used up the medicine or medication. You can store them until you need them.
- Online stores such as Amazon may sell empty glass bottles in a package so you can purchase in bulk and stock up.
Control your Acne with Witch Hazel Now
Even after you have cleared up your acne with your witch hazel, or used up your special witch hazel toner with vitamin C and lavender, you should still regularly treat your skin. Acne bacteria can come back and cause further skin issues. After your acne is under control, use your toner at least once per day. People over aged 30 may wish to use it once every three days.
After one week you should begin to notice the difference when applying witch hazel to your face. It may take up to a month to completely control your acne, but around this time you’ll see your face clear up and become smoother. It may take a few more months to get acne scarring to heal up and go away.
Even though it can seem like it takes a bit of effort to look after your skin when your day is busy and full of activities, it will be worth it to finally look in the mirror to see the results. Women may even feel confident that they can apply a touch of makeup and not have to worry that they’re clogging up their pores so much that the acne may come back.
Get your witch hazel today, and once you have it in your medicine cabinet, use it on a regular basis. Soon your skin will be clear and glowing, and you’ll be able to smile at yourself in the mirror.