Witch hazel is extracted from the bark and leaves of a shrub called Hamamelis Virginiana that is commonly found in North America. Witch hazel is known to have more than 30 traditional uses, including treatments for fever, cancer, burns, colds and hemorrhoids. However, over the years, scientists have also confirmed that witch hazel offers wondrous benefits to the skin. Some of the most common skin benefits attributed to witch hazel include healing minor burns, treating varicose veins, reducing eye and membrane inflammation, easing itchiness and healing insect bites and bruises. Witch hazel also contains certain chemicals known as tannins that tighten and harden the tissues, fight the bacteria, repair broken skin and reduce swelling. Moreover, it has a clean smell and it is a 100% natural product. OROGOLD Cosmetics examines some of the main benefits that witch hazel offers to your skin care routine.
One of the most impressive advantages that witch hazel offers to the skin is its anti-inflammatory nature. It works miracles on bug bites, rash and razor burns. Witch hazel was one of the only two extracts (among 65 different plant extracts) that was recognized for its anti-inflammatory benefits in a study conducted at the Shinga Central Laboratory in Japan.
Witch hazel has also been used to heal bruises, soothe poison ivy and treat chicken pox because of its anti-microbial properties. A study that had been abstracted by the US National Library of Medicine confirmed that witch hazel extracts offered significant anti-microbial activity and helped in preventing the development of dermatitis and other microbial skin conditions.
Witch hazel is a powerful astringent because of the high level of tannins it contains. The tannins work to tighten the skin proteins, thereby creating a protective layer on the skin, stopping bleeding and promoting skin healing. This makes it an excellent ingredient for issues like eczema and varicose veins.
Treat varicose veins
Another major benefit that witch hazel offers is that it can reduce the appearance of varicose veins on the skin. The tannins in this ingredient constrict the blood vessels and reduce the swelling and inflammation.
Witch hazel can lock the moisture content in the skin. This was confirmed by a study conducted at the University Hospital Luebeck Dermatology Department, Germany. This study showed that witch hazel was as effective as dexpanthenol, a prescription drug that is used to improve the hydration of the skin.
Prevents sun damage
Witch hazel has been traditionally used to prevent the damage caused by the harmful UV rays of the sun, treat sunburns and prevent the skin from flaking. Its sun protecting properties were confirmed through studies conducted by the BioSkin Institute for Dermatological Research and Development, Germany. The researchers showed that the ingredient suppressed the redness or burning sensations caused by UVA or UVB exposure.
Heals skin blemishes
Finally, witch hazel can help in healing common skin blemishes and acne breakouts by decreasing the excess oil from the skin and reducing skin inflammation. Since the ingredient is mild in nature, it is also known to be the perfect solution for those wanting a gentle astringent for their skin care needs.