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Witch Hazel for Acne: How To Use Witch Hazel for Acne

Easy, Effective Ways to Use Witch Hazel to Eliminate of Acne 

by Christine GlasgowNovember 22, 2016

Acne is not exactly a new problem, humans have been dealing with it since Ancient times. All of the manufactured over the counter acne treatments, potions and pills that you can buy to try and get rid of acne? They are relatively new. Most of them have only been around for a few decades.

So, the question is what did people use to try to get rid of acne before all of these ‘chemical wonders’ came along? Or did they just live with the problem because there was nothing else to do?

Getting Rid of Acne the Old Fashioned Way 

The answer is no, folks, for the most part, were as conscious about their appearance years ago as we all are now. You can find writings about acne, and how to get rid of it, that date back as far as Ancient Egypt and Ancient Rome.

Some of those old remedies sound a little crazy these days (leeches often figured into the equation rather prominently, as did applying animal ‘dung’ to the skin) but some of them are actually still useful today. One of those is using witch hazel to treat acne.


Witch Hazel; What is It? is Witch Hazel Even Good for Acne?

In its straight from nature form Witch Hazel, which is scientifically known as Hamamelis, is a pretty little shrub that can usually be found growing wild across North America, parts of Europe and in China and Japan.

Its rather fetching yellow and red blooms mean that for some it makes a nice little addition to their garden or even their houseplant collection. But that is not what witch hazel has become primarily known for over the (many) years it has been in use. Instead its bark and leaves – not the flowers – have been used to treat a number of different medical conditions, including all of the following:

  • Burns
  • Scrapes and cuts
  • Bruises
  • Hemorrhoids
  • Ear infections
  • Bug bites
  • Acne

Obviously, for our purposes here it is that last use – treating acne – that we are going to look at here. Witch hazel has been used to do so for centuries and, despite the fact that there are so many man made alternatives available at your local drugstore these days many people still use it to help get rid of acne and still find it to be very effective.


How Does With Hazel Help Get Rid of Acne? 

There are several ways in which witch hazel can be effective when trying to treat acne pimples of all different kinds:

  • It’s an anti-inflammatory, so helps reduce swelling and redness in existing pimples
  • It has anti-bacterial properties, so it helps kill and reduce the number of acne causing bacteria on the surface of the skin.
  • It’s a natural, gentle astringent that can easily penetrate pores and clear out dirt and dead skin cells blocking them that have led to acne pimples.
  • It’s astringent properties also remove excess oil (sebum) from the skin
  • It’s a great PH balancer, restoring a natural PH balance to the skin to help reduce excess oil production.
  • It has mild painkilling properties, so it can ease pain and itching
  • As it acts very gently, it is usually very safe to use on sensitive skin.


How to Buy Witch Hazel to Get Rid of Acne 

Because it has been shown to be an effective skin treatment over a large number of years you’ll find that witch hazel is added to all kinds of over the counter products and not just those used to treat acne. It can be most effective however when you buy a simple witch hazel solution, bottles of which are available at many drugstores, and even supermarkets, for just a few dollars at most.

These solutions – which do come in different concentrations – are usually made up of witch hazel extract and a carrier agent – sometimes alcohol, more often distilled water. You may also find it mixed with other skin soothing ingredients like aloe vera extract, green tea or rosewater. If you’d like to try these products that’s fine, as those are all effective acne fighters too, but the most inexpensive, and yet still effective over the counter witch hazel product is the simple witch hazel extract solution.


Witch Hazel Side Effects

As it is a very gentle substance witch hazel extract itself really has very few side effects on the skin, even on sensitive skin. There may be a problem with dryness if you chose a witch hazel solution that also contains alcohol, but that can be easily solved by switching to one that uses distilled water instead.


Using Witch Hazel to get Rid of Acne 

There are several different ways you can use witch hazel to treat and help get rid of acne:

1. Witch Hazel as a Toner 

Most people begin by using witch hazel as a replacement for their regular skin toner.

  • Wash the face as usual and pat dry.
  • Apply witch hazel to skin with a clean cotton ball, sweeping over it with a gentle circular motion.
  • Repeat until cotton ball comes away clean.
  • Repeat whenever you wash your face.

2. Witch Hazel and Green Tea Toner 

Remember those more expensive witch hazel based toners we were just mentioning? Well, you can actually make some of them at home for a fraction of the cost. Green tea is an effective additive because it has potent anti-oxidant properties that help heal and protect the skin.

What You’ll Need 

  • 1 green tea teabag
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons witch hazel extract
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Small lidded bottle (to store mixture)

How It’s Done

  • Boil water and add it to bowl
  • Add teabag and allow to steep for 3-5 minutes
  • Remove teabag
  • Add witch hazel
  • Use as you would use the basic witch hazel toner
  • Store any unused mixture in the bottle for later use in a refrigerator.

3. Green Tea, Witch Hazel and Aloe Vera Toner

Another rather effective toner you can make at home calls for the addition of aloe vera juice. Aloe vera juice can be extracted straight from the plant’s leaves, but most people find it easier and more convenient to pick up a bottle of aloe vera juice at their local health store instead. One bottle will last quite a while and the juice has several other uses, so it is a pretty good investment.

What You’ll Need

  • 1 green tea tea bag
  • 1/4 cup boiling water
  • 2 teaspoons witch hazel extract
  • 1 teaspoon aloe vera juice
  • Small mixing bowl
  • Lidded bottle to store any unused mixture for later use.

How It’s Done

  • Boil water
  • Add boiling water to bowl.
  • Drop in tea bag and allow to steep for -5 minutes
  • Remove tea bag
  • Add witch hazel extract, stir
  • Add aloe vera juice, stir
  • Use on face in place of a standard toner, applying with a cotton ball.
  • Use once daily, alternating use with a basic pure witch hazel extract toner as described earlier.
  • Add unused mixture to the bottle and store in refrigerator for later use.

4. Witch Hazel Face Mask

This once weekly acne treatment adds the acne fighting power of several different natural ingredients to witch hazel to create an all round effective anti-acne mask that can be used weekly.

What You’ll Need

  • 2 teaspoons raw honey
  • 1 teaspoon witch hazel extract
  • 2-3 drops lavender essential oil
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  • Small mixing bowl

How It’s Done 

  • In the mixing bowl, lightly beat egg white. Do not allow it to get so thick it becomes meringue!
  • Add witch hazel extract
  • Add lavender oil
  • Add honey
  • Stir mixture slowly and gently
  • Apply mixture to entire face and allow to sit for 15-20 minutes
  • Rinse away with lukewarm water
  • For the best results repeat the treatment weekly.
  • Do not store unused mixture, it is for fresh, one time use only. Make a new batch every time.

And there you have it, some simple yet effective ways you can try in order to help treat and get rid of your acne using witch hazel. We are sure that there are others we haven’t mentioned here, so if you have heard of – or tried – some do let us know. And let us know how these treatments work out for you too, we’d love to hear about your personal experiences.

Christine Glasgow
Canadian girl addicted to beauty and fashion. I'm a Blogger, Entrepreneur and web influencer 👑 I mostly talk about anything related to skin care and beauty. I created this site to share science-based information on skin conditions, treatments and skin care.

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Acne Natural Remedies Guide